over the Thames to link millenniums

The flat cool light of October when desperate shadows feared of winter’s grip waver pallidly and slink into corners. I lag behind as she strides ahead over the Millennium Bridge towards the Tate Modern Museum to meet friends. Crouched at the foot of the tawny brick tower of the former power station is Louise Bourgeois’ 30-foot tall spider called “Maman”: a riveting ribbed bronze sculpture with marble eggs in stainless steel meshed sac. The sluggish tidal river below teems with traffic, pleasure craft, tourists agog – camera shutter constant winking – barges laden with stone and coal, from upstream a whoop-whoop of River Police seeking violators. Southwark sprawls ahead, the borough of red-light sin, the haunt of the Bard, his ever present ghost seeks next hit play. Desperate poverty starved of attention. The City wealth glitters in spun webs of commerce on the near shore. It draws back fastidiously from the stink of unwashed masses.

exposed noisome muck
wormed pilings herring gulls perch
discarded lunch feast

Millennium Bridge, London Oct. 2007

Millennium Bridge, London Oct. 2007

For d’Verse this Halloween the prompt bridge is to write about a bridge as a first person.

I also wrote a free verse poem about a bridge for the Daily Post prompt called “I strain daily to reach You” two days ago.


33 thoughts on “over the Thames to link millenniums

  1. Pingback: a tribute to Rumi #12 | There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament

  2. I love this, Brian. it is so evocative, it screams of a layered reality, with some historic stuff thrown in. This just sings of place….and the haiku is perfectly fitted to the haibun. Lovely trip and I didn’t have to move my fanny!


      • I like very much what you expressed about this word bridge. I was thinking only on a very shallow level. You and others here expanded my knowledge on this. Plus, you saved my bacon on this prompt. And armchair trips are very underrated. LOL!


        • You shallow? Inconceivable! In my case of writing the prompt I used past-present, north-south, wealth-poverty, work-tourism, utilitarian-artistic, nature-man made, and probably a few more types of bridges. Perhaps even a dental bridge. 🙂


  3. This is lush with details of the bridge, and scenes of city life, including discarded lunch feast. You captured the many faces of the city – poverty, wealth, bronze sculpture and tidal river. Thanks for joining us Brian.


    • Thanks Grace. I always love the challenge of the prompts even when I think they may be a bridge too far. There is so much history along the Thames that bridging it becomes an exercise in detail.


  4. The City wealth glitters in spun webs
    of commerce on the near shore.

    So much of activities witnessed just being over the bridge while far away were glittering lights evidently showing more activities. You painted a very realistic picture of city life just by standing there, Brian!



  5. This is so familiar to me and I love your perspective, Brian! From the opening phrase ‘The flat cool light of October’, I’m shadowing you on your walk across the Millennium Bridge towards the Tate Modern Museum’ – this is where I’m from! You are describing a river I know so well – not the bridge so much, although my dad once worked at Tower Bridge and my family comes from around this part of London – we are related to the Goodfellows – now that’s a Shakespearean name if ever there was one!.And I enjoyed your rather sardonic haiku!


  6. Thank you for taking me back to London where past and present, poverty and wealth, nature and man-made exist side by side, if only we care to look. The Millenium Bridge used to wobble in the old days :o)


  7. Pingback: where do you live? | There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament

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