Monday, August 20, 2012


                                                       Under the Bridge by Adolphe Valette 1912

Picture Credit: Courtesy of Tess' Mag

Staring into the mist
He allowed his gaze to wander
Had he seen this before?
He thought he saw movements
Was it a big ship speeding fast?
It was heading directly at the pillar
His thoughts went back to those days

He had seen action before
Now a similar scenario was about to unfold

He had hesitated 
He was on the bridge
Imperative he should react
A split second decision
He should act!
But he was numb
He couldn’t move, he panicked
There was time but he froze
Time stood stlll

Dereliction of duties
cited at the court martial
He paid for it!

Now a similar drama is about
to unfurl. He is on the embankment
He is an innocent bystander
Those on the ship ought
to do something fast
He remembered the destruction before
Now it’s worst, a bigger ship, a stronger pillar

Now he can hear the sirens blaring
There is a great commotion
Too late!

Somebody ought to take the rap
It was painful, it wore him down
He knew too well
It happened to him!

Written for Tess' Mag #131 and Real Toad's Open Link Monday


  1. this is good... i always dreampt of it, that there are times where and when i needed to move fast, i just cant move. and it fells like it happens over and over again...

    and u r right Pare, in times like that before an accident happens, a quick brilliant decision must be taken...

    Pareng JJ

  2. Watching on and knowing the feeling
    Has to leave some reeling
    Not as bad as those in the crash
    But still unable, no matter the want, to make a quick dash

  3. You've told a whole story here. Even though there are times we know we should act, time does freeze until it's too late. Nice piece.

  4. ... a whole new interpretation to 'the promise of an unforgettable experience' ..

  5. To stand immobile while watching a familiar scenario play out would be terrifying. Fantastic piece!


  6. "He had seen action before
    Now a similar scenario was about to unfold"

    Horrible! To watch something I had been punished for means to watch mostly for two things (1) will the crash be averted? (2) what will the punishment be? There is a sense here that he's going to watch someone else get away with what had cost him everything. He's going to have to wait and see. Very Well Told!

  7. keep reliving the crash...and a new crash ....can def be pretty traumatizing....its a hard moment to be in...

  8. Awwwee poetry, are you emo or what bro? get outside and do something and quit sitting around in front of your computer feeling sulky.

  9. Life unfolds and folds and unfolds. We are always there. What a beautiful poem. Thank you.

  10. really disturbing...I felt something like .. Deja Vu.....

  11. such an interesting take on the prompt!

  12. "It happened to him."
    It happened to me, too.

  13. Ah... sometimes our hesitation can be disastrous as he discovered. I wonder if he could have prevented the one he just watched though, still, I bet he saw his own all over again.
    Yes, a complete story here. Nice writing Hank.

  14. I could have sworn you were channeling the captain of the costa concordia for this one, Hank, well done mate

  15. He was on the bridge..
    This pivotal line seems to offer the reader many possible interpretations. The whole poem reads like a life story we all know so well.

  16. The worst kind of deja vu or is it a nightmare? Feeling frozen to the spot and knowing you should act but fear holding you back. You've painted a terrifying picture but one where we can immediately empathise. Well done.

  17. You have captured the very heart of taking on responsibility. It's so easy to identify with the guilt of not doing enough, with the embarrassment of doing too little, the fear of being caught between a rock and a hard place. Well written, Hank. I love the self questioning focus. Thanks for sharing. =D

  18. quite an astonishing crash

  19. Sometimes it takes many years to overcome such really caught the sense of place that lives deep within the soul.....!

  20. I love how you wrote this story type poem~ It was brilliant!
    I'm off to read your interview :D
    Well Done