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At age 45 I decided to become a sailor.  It had attracted me since I first saw a man living on his sailboat at the 77th street boat basin in New York City, back in 1978.  I was leaving on a charter boat trip with customers up the Hudson to West Point, and the image of him having coffee on the back deck of his boat that morning stayed with me for years.  It was now 1994, and I had just bought a condo on the back bay of a South Jersey beach town — and it came with a boat slip.

I started my search for a boat by first reading every sailing magazine I could get my hands on.  This was frustrating because most of the boats they featured were ‘way’ out of my price range. I knew I wanted a boat that was 25’ to 27’ in length and something with a full cabin below deck so that I could sail some overnight’s with my wife and two kids.

I then started to attend boat shows.  The used boats at the shows were more in my price range, and I traveled from Norfolk to Mystic Seaport in search of the right one.  One day, while checking the classifieds in a local Jersey Shore newspaper, I saw a boat advertised that I just had to go see …

  For Sale: 27’ Cal Sloop. Circa 1966. One owner and used very
   gently.  Price $6,500.00 (negotiable)

This boat was now almost 30 years old, but I had heard good things about the Cal’s.  Cal was short for California. It was a boat originally manufactured on the west coast and the company was now out of business.  The brand had a real ‘cult’ following, and the boat had a reputation for being extremely sea worthy with a fixed keel, and it was noted for being good in very light air.  This boat drew over 60’’ of water, which meant that I would need at least five feet of depth (and really seven) to avoid running aground.  The bay behind my condo was full of low spots, especially at low tide, and most sailors had boats with retractable centerboards rather than fixed keels.  This allowed them to retract the boards (up) during low tide and sail in less than three feet of water. This wouldn’t be an option for me if I bought the Cal.

I was most interested in ‘blue water’ ocean sailing, so the stability of the fixed keel was very attractive to me.  I decided to travel thirty miles North to the New Jersey beach town of Mystic Island to look at the boat.  I arrived in front of a white bi-level house on a sunny Monday April afternoon at about 4:30. The letters on the mailbox said Murphy, with the ‘r’ & the ‘p’ being worn almost completely away due to the heavy salt air.

I walked to the front door and rang the buzzer.  An attractive blonde woman about ten years older than me answered the door. She asked: “Are you the one that called about the boat?”  I said that I was, and she then said that her husband would be home from work in about twenty minutes.  He worked for Resorts International Casino in Atlantic City as their head of maintenance, and he knew everything there was to know about the Cal. docked out back.  

Her name was Betty and as she offered me ice tea she started to talk about the boat.  “It was my husband’s best friend’s boat. Irv and his wife Dee Dee live next door but Irv dropped dead of a heart attack last fall.  My husband and Irv used to take the boat out through the Beach Haven Inlet into the ocean almost every night.  Irv bought the boat new back in 1967, and we moved into this house in 1968.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun the two of them had on that old boat.  It’s sat idle, ******* to the bulkhead since last fall, and Dee Dee couldn’t even begin to deal with selling it until her kids convinced her to move to Florida and live with them.  She offered it to my husband Ed but he said the boat would never be the same without Irv on board, and he’d rather see it go to a new owner.  Looking at it every day behind the house just brought back memories of Irv and made him sad all over again every time that he did.”

Just then Ed walked through the door leading from the garage into the house.  “Is this the new sailor I’ve been hearing about,” he said in a big friendly voice.  “That’s me I said,” as we shook hands.  ‘Give me a minute to change and I’ll be right with you.”

As Ed walked me back through the stone yard to the canal behind his house, I noticed something peculiar.  There was no dock at the end of his property.  The boat was tied directly to the sea wall itself with only three yellow and black ‘bumpers’ separating the fiberglass side of the boat from the bulkhead itself.  It was low tide now and the boats keel was sitting in at least two feet of sand and mud.  Ed explained to me that Irv used to have this small channel that they lived on, which was man made, dredged out every year.  Irv also had a dock, but it had even less water underneath it than the bulkhead behind Ed’s house.

Ed said again, “no dredging’s been done this year, and the only way to get the boat out of the small back tributary to the main artery of the bay, is to wait for high tide. The tide will bring the water level up at least six feet.  That will give the boat twenty-four inches of clearance at the bottom and allow you to take it out into the deeper (30 feet) water of the main channel.”

Ed jumped on the boat and said, “C’mon, let me show you the inside.”  As he took the padlock off the slides leading to the companionway, I noticed how motley and ***** everything was. My image of sailing was pristine boats glimmering in the sun with their main sails up and the captain and crew with drinks in their hands.  This was about as far away from that as you could get.  As Ed removed the slides, the smell hit me.  MOLD! The smell of mildew was everywhere, and I could only stay below deck for a moment or two before I had to come back up topside for air.  Ed said, “It’ll all dry out (the air) in about ten minutes, and then we can go forward and look at the V-Berth and the head in the front of the cabin.”

What had I gotten myself into, I thought?  This boat looked beyond salvageable, and I was now looking for excuses to leave. Ed then said, “Look; I know it seems bad, but it’s all cosmetic.  It’s really a fine boat, and if you’re willing to clean it up, it will look almost perfect when you’re done. Before Irv died, it was one of the best looking sailboats on the island.”

In ten more minutes we went back inside.  The damp air had been replaced with fresh air from outside, and I could now get a better look at the galley and salon.  The entire cabin was finished in a reddish brown, varnished wood, with nice trim work along the edges.  It had two single sofas in the main salon that converted into beds at night, with a stainless-steel sink, refrigerator and nice carpeting and curtains.  We then went forward.  The head was about 40’’ by 40’’ and finished in the same wood as the outer cabin.  The toilet, sink, and hand-held shower looked fine, and Ed assured me that as soon as we filled up the water tank, they would all work.

The best part for me though was the v-berth beyond.  It was behind a sold wood varnished door with a beautiful brass grab-rail that helped it open and close. It was large, with a sleeping area that would easily accommodate two people. That, combined with the other two sleeping berths in the main salon, meant that my entire family could spend the night on the boat. I was starting to get really interested!

Ed then said that Irv’s wife Dee Dee was as interested in the boat going to a good home as she was in making any money off the boat.  We walked back up to the cockpit area and sat down across from each other on each side of the tiller.  Ed said, “what do you think?” I admitted to Ed that I didn’t know much about sailboats, and that this would be my first.  He told me it was Irv’s first boat too, and he loved it so much that he never looked at another.

                   Ed Was A Pretty Good Salesman

We then walked back inside the house.  Betty had prepared chicken salad sandwiches, and we all sat out on the back deck to eat.  From here you could see the boat clearly, and its thirty-five-foot mast was now silhouetted in front of the sun that was setting behind the marsh.  It was a very pretty scene indeed.

Ed said,”Dee Dee has left it up to me to sell the boat.  I’m willing to be reasonable if you say you really want it.”  I looked out at what was once a white sailboat, covered in mold and sitting in the mud.  No matter how hard the wind blew, and there was a strong offshore breeze, it was not moving an inch.  I then said to Ed, “would it be possible to come back when the tide is up and you can take me out?”  Ed said he would be glad to, and Saturday around 2:00 p.m. would be a good time to come back. The tide would be up then.  I also asked him if between now and Saturday I could try and clean the boat up a little? This would allow me to really see what I would be buying, and at the very least we’d have a cleaner boat to take out on the water.  Ed said fine.

I spent the next four days cleaning the boat. Armed with four gallons of bleach, rubber gloves, a mask, and more rags than I could count, I started to remove the mold.  It took all week to get the boat free of the mildew and back to being white again. The cushions inside the v-berth and salon were so infested with mold that I threw them up on the stones covering Ed’s back yard. I then asked Ed if he wanted to throw them out — he said that he did.

Saturday came, and Betty had said, “make sure to get here in time for lunch.”  At 11:45 a.m. I pulled up in front of the house.  By this time, we knew each other so well that Betty just yelled down through the screen door, “Let yourself in, Ed’s down by the boat fiddling with the motor.”  The only good thing that had been done since Irv passed away last fall was that Ed had removed the motor from the boat. It was a long shaft Johnson 9.9 horsepower outboard, and he had stored it in his garage.  The motor was over twelve years old, but Ed said that Irv had taken really good care of it and that it ran great.  It was also a long shaft, which meant that the propeller was deep in the water behind the keel and would give the boat more propulsion than a regular shaft outboard would.

I yelled ‘hello’ to Ed from the deck outside the kitchen.  He shouted back, “Get down here, I want you to hear this.”  I ran down the stairs and out the back door across the stones to where Ed was sitting on the boat.  He had the twist throttle in his hand, and he was revving the motor. Just like he had said —it sounded great. Being a lifelong motorcycle and sports car enthusiast, I knew what a strong motor sounded like, and this one sounded just great to me.

“Take the throttle, Ed said,” as I jumped on board.  I revved the motor half a dozen times and then almost fell over.  The boat had just moved about twenty degrees to the starboard (right) side in the strong wind and for the first time was floating freely in the canal.  Now I really felt like I was on a boat.  Ed said, “Are you hungry, or do you wanna go sailing?”  Hoping that it wouldn’t offend Betty I said, “Let’s head out now into the deeper water.” Ed said that Betty would be just fine, and that we could eat when we got back.

As I untied the bow and stern lines, I could tell right away that Ed knew what he was doing.  After traveling less than 100 yards to the main channel leading to the bay, he put the mainsail up and we sailed from that point on.  It was two miles out to the ocean, and he skillfully maneuvered the boat, using nothing but the tiller and mainsheet.  The mainsheet is the block and pulley that is attached from the deck of the cockpit to the boom.  It allows the boom to go out and come back, which controls the speed of the boat. The tiller then allows you to change direction.  With the mainsheet in one hand and the tiller in the other, the magic of sailing was hard to describe.

I was mesmerized watching Ed work the tiller and mainsheet in perfect harmony. The outboard was now tilted back up in the cockpit and out of the water.  “For many years before he bought the motor, Irv and I would take her out, and bring her back in with nothing but the sail, One summer we had very little wind, and Irv and I got stuck out in the ocean. Twice we had to be towed back in by ‘Sea Tow.’  After that Irv broke down and bought the long-shaft Johnson.”

In about thirty minutes we passed through the ‘Great Bay,’ then the Little Egg and Beach Haven Inlets, until we were finally in the ocean.  “Only about 3016 miles straight out there, due East, and you’ll be in London,” Ed said.”  Then it hit me.  From where we were now, I could sail anywhere in the world, with nothing to stop me except my lack of experience. Experience I told myself, was something that I would quickly get. Knowing the exact mileage, said to me that both Ed and Irv had thought about that trip, and maybe had fantasized about doing it together.

    With The Tenuousness Of Life, You Never Know How Much      Time You Have

For two more hours we sailed up and down the coast in front of Long Beach Island.  I could hardly sit down in the cockpit as Ed let me do most of the sailing.  It took only thirty minutes to get the hang of using the mainsheet and tiller, and after an hour I felt like I had been sailing all my life.  Then we both heard a voice come over the radio.  Ed’s wife Betty was on channel 27 of the VHF asking if we were OK and that lunch was still there but the sandwiches were getting soggy.  Ed said we were headed back because the tide had started to go out, and we needed to be back and ******* in less than ninety minutes or we would run aground in the canal.

I sailed us back through the inlets which thankfully were calm that day and back into the main channel leading out of the bay.  Ed then took it from there.  He skillfully brought us up the rest of the channel and into the canal, and in a fairly stiff wind spun the boat 180’ around and gently slid it back into position along the sea wall behind his house.  I had all 3 fenders out and quickly jumped off the boat and up on top of the bulkhead to tie off the stern line once we were safely alongside.  I then tied off the bow-line as Ed said, “Not too tight, you have to allow for the 6-8 feet of tide that we get here every day.”

After bringing down the mainsail, and folding and zippering it safely to the boom, we locked the companionway and headed for the house.  Betty was smoking a cigarette on the back deck and said, “So how did it go boys?” Without saying a word Ed looked directly at me and for one of the few times in my life, I didn’t really know where to begin.

“My God,” I said.  “My God.”  “I’ll take that as good Betty said, as she brought the sandwiches back out from the kitchen.  “You can powerboat your whole life, but sailing is different” Ed told me.  “When sailing, you have to work with the weather and not just try to power through it.  The weather tells you everything.  In these parts, when a storm kicks up you see two sure things happen.  The powerboats are all coming in, and the sailboat’s are all headed out.  What is dangerous and unpleasant for the one, is just what the other hopes for.”

I had been a surfer as a kid and understood the logic.  When the waves got so big on the beach that the lifeguard’s closed it to swimming during a storm, the surfers all headed out.  This would not be the only similarity I would find between surfing and sailing as my odyssey continued.  I finished my lunch quickly because all I wanted to do was get back on the boat.

When I returned to the bulkhead the keel had already touched bottom and the boat was again fixed and rigidly upright in the shallow water.  I spent the afternoon on the back of the boat, and even though I knew it was bad luck, in my mind I changed her name.  She would now be called the ‘Trinity,’ because of the three who would now sail her —my daughter Melissa, my son T.C. and I.  I also thought that any protection I might get from the almighty because of the name couldn’t hurt a new sailor with still so much to learn.

                                  Trinity, It Was!

I now knew I was going to buy the boat.  I went back inside and Ed was fooling around with some fishing tackle inside his garage.  “OK Ed, how much can I buy her for?” I said.  Ed looked at me squarely and said, “You tell me what you think is fair.”  “Five thousand I said,” and without even looking up Ed said “SOLD!” I wrote the check out to Irv’s wife on the spot, and in that instant it became real. I was now a boat owner, and a future deep-water sailor.  The Atlantic Ocean had better watch out, because the Captain and crew of the Trinity were headed her way.

                 SOLD, In An Instant, It Became Real!

I couldn’t wait to get home and tell the kids the news.  They hadn’t seen much of me for the last week, and they both wanted to run right back and take the boat out.  I told them we could do it tomorrow (Sunday) and called Ed to ask him if he’d accompany us one more time on a trip out through the bay.  He said gladly, and to get to his house by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow to ‘play the tide.’  The kids could hardly sleep as they fired one question after another at me about the boat. More than anything, they wanted to know how we would get it the 45 miles from where it was docked to the boat slip behind our condo in Stone Harbor.  At dinner that night at our favorite Italian restaurant, they were already talking about the boat like it was theirs.

The next morning, they were both up at dawn, and by 8:30 we were on our way North to Mystic Island.  We had decided to stop at a marine supply store and buy a laundry list of things that mariners need ‘just in case’ aboard a boat.  At 11:15 a.m. we pulled out of the parking lot of Boaters World in Somers Point, New Jersey, and headed for Ed and Betty’s. They were both sitting in lawn chairs when we got there and surprised to see us so early.  ‘The tide’s not up for another 3 hours,” Ed said, as we walked up the drive.  I told him we knew that, but the kids wanted to spend a couple of hours on the boat before we headed out into the bay.  “Glad to have you kids,” Ed said, as he went back to reading his paper.  Betty told us that anything that we might need, other than what we just bought, is most likely in the garage.

Ed, being a professional maintenance engineer (what Betty called him), had a garage that any handyman would die for.  I’m sure we could have built an entire house on the empty lot across the street just from what Ed had hanging, and piled up, in his garage.

We walked around the side of the house and when the kids got their first look at the boat, they bolted for what they thought was a dock.  When they saw it was raw bulkhead, they looked back at me unsure of what to do.  I said, ‘jump aboard,” but be careful not to fall in, smiling to myself and knowing that the water was still less than four feet deep.  With that, my 8-year old son took a flying leap and landed dead center in the middle of the cockpit — a true sailor for sure.  My daughter then pulled the bow line tight bringing the boat closer to the sea wall and gingerly stepped on board like she had done it a thousand times before. Watching them board the boat for the first time, I knew this was the start of something really good.

Ed had already unlocked the companionway, so I stayed on dry land and just watched them for a half-hour as they explored every inch of the boat from bow to stern. “You really did a great job Dad cleaning her up.  Can we start the motor, my son asked?” I told him as soon as the tide came up another foot, we would drop the motor down into the water, and he could listen to it run.  So far this was everything I could have hoped for.  My kids loved the boat as much as I did.  I had had the local marine artist come by after I left the day before and paint the name ‘Trinity’ across the outside transom on the back of the boat. Now this boat was really ours. It’s hard to explain the thrill of finally owning your first boat. To those who can remember their first Christmas when they finally got what they had been hoping for all year —the feeling was the same.

                            It Was Finally Ours

In another hour, Ed came out. We fired up the motor with my son in charge, unzipped the mainsail, untied the lines, and we were headed back out to sea.  I’m not sure what was wider that day, the blue water vista straight in front of us or the eyes of my children as the boat bit into the wind. It was keeled over to port and carved through the choppy waters of ‘The Great Bay’ like it was finally home. For the first time in a long time the kids were speechless.  They let the wind do the talking, as the channel opened wide in front of them.

Ed let both kids take a turn at the helm. They were also amazed at how much their father had learned in the short time he had been sailing.  We stayed out for a full three hours, and then Betty again called on the VHF. “Coast Guards calling for a squall, with small craft warnings from five o’clock on.  For safety’s sake, you guy’s better head back for the dock.”  Ed and I smiled at each other, each knowing what the other was secretly thinking.  If the kids hadn’t been on board, this would have been a really fun time to ride out the storm.  Discretion though, won out over valor, and we headed West back through the bay and into the canal. Once again, Ed spun the boat around and nudged it into the sea wall like the master that he was.  This time my son was in charge of grabbing and tying off the lines, and he did it in a fashion that would make any father proud.

As we tidied up the boat, Ed said, “So when are you gonna take her South?”  “Next weekend, I said.” My business partner, who lives on his 42’ Egg Harbor in Cape May all summer and his oldest son are going to help us.  His oldest son Tony had worked on an 82’ sightseeing sailboat in Fort Lauderdale for two years, and his dad said there was little about sailing that he didn’t know.  That following Saturday couldn’t come fast enough/

                          We Counted The Minutes

The week blew by (literally), as the weather deteriorated with each day.  Saturday morning came, and the only good news (to me) was that my daughter had a gymnastic’s meet and couldn’t make the maiden voyage. The crew would be all men —my partner Tommy, his son Tony, and my son T.C. and I. We checked the tides, and it was decided that 9:30 a.m. was the perfect time to start South with the Trinity.  We left for Ed and Betty’s at 7:00 a.m. and after stopping at ‘Polly’s’ in Stone Harbor for breakfast we arrived at the boat at exactly 8:45.  It was already floating freely in the narrow canal. Not having Ed’s skill level, we decided to ‘motor’ off the bulkhead, and not put the sails up until we reached the main bay.  With a kiss to Betty and a hug from Ed, we broke a bottle of ‘Castellane Brut’ on the bulkhead and headed out of the canal.

Once in the main bay we noticed something we hadn’t seen before. We couldn’t see at all!  The buoy markers were scarcely visibly that lined both sides of the channel. We decided to go South ‘inside,’ through the Intercoastal Waterway instead of sailing outside (ocean) to Townsends Inlet where we initially decided to come in.  This meant that we would have to request at least 15 bridge openings on our way south.  This was a tricky enough procedure in a powerboat, but in a sailboat it could be a disaster in the making.  The Intercoastal Waterway was the back-bay route from Maine to Florida and offered protection that the open ocean would not guarantee. It had the mainland to its West and the barrier island you were passing to its East.  If it weren’t for the number of causeway bridges along its route, it would have been the perfect sail.

When you signaled to the bridge tender with your air horn, requesting an opening, it could sometimes take 10 or 15 minutes for him to get traffic stopped on the bridge before he could then open it up and let you through.  On Saturdays, it was worse. In three cases we waited and circled for twenty minutes before being given clear passage through the bridge.  Sailboats have the right of way over powerboats but only when they’re under sail. We had decided to take the sails down to make the boat easier to control.  By using the outboard we were just like any other powerboat waiting to get through, and often had to bob and weave around the waiting ‘stinkpots’ (powerboats) until the passage under the bridge was clear.  The mast on the Trinity was higher than even the tallest bridge, so we had to stop and signal to each one requesting an opening as we traveled slowly South.

All went reasonably well until we arrived at the main bridge entering Atlantic City. The rebuilt casino skyline hovered above the bridge like a looming monster in the fog.  This was also the bridge with the most traffic coming into town with weekend gamblers risking their mortgage money to try and break the bank.  The wind had now increased to over 30 knots.  This made staying in the same place in the water impossible. We desperately criss-crossed from side to side in the canal trying to stay in position for when the bridge opened. Larger boats blew their horns at us, as we drifted back and forth in the channel looking like a crew of drunks on New Year’s Eve.  Powerboats are able to maintain their position because they have large motors with a strong reverse gear.  Our little 9.9 Johnson did have reverse, but it didn’t have nearly enough power to back us up against the tide.

On our third pass zig-zagging across the channel and waiting for the bridge to open, it happened.  Instead of hearing the bell from the bridge tender signaling ‘all clear,’ we heard a loud “SNAP.’ Tony was at the helm, and from the front of the boat where I was standing lookout I heard him shout “OH S#!T.”  The wooden tiller had just broken off in his hand.


Tony was sitting down at the helm with over three feet of broken tiller in his left hand.  The part that still remained and was connected to the rudder was less than 12 inches long.  Tony tried with all of his might to steer the boat with the little of the tiller that was still left, but it was impossible in the strong wind.  He then tried to steer the boat by turning the outboard both left and right and gunning the motor.  This only made a small correction, and we were now headed back across the Intercoastal Waterway with the wind behind us at over thirty knots.  We were also on a collision course with the bridge.  The only question was where we would hit it, not when! We hoped and prayed it would be as far to the Eastern (Atlantic City) side as possible.  This would be away from the long line of boats that were patiently lined up and waiting for the bridge to open.

Everything on the boat now took on a different air.  Tony was screaming that he couldn’t steer, and my son came up from down below where he was staying out of the rain. With one look he knew we were in deep trouble.  It was then that my priorities completely shifted from the safety of my new (old) boat to the safety of my son and the rest of those onboard.  My partner Tommy got on the radio’s public channel and warned everyone in the area that we were out of control.  Several power boaters tried to throw us a line, but in the strong wind they couldn’t get close enough to do it safely.

We were now less than 100 feet from the bridge.  It looked like we would hit about seven pylons left of dead center in the middle of the bridge on the North side.  As we braced for impact, a small 16 ft Sea Ray with an elderly couple came close and tried to take my son off the boat.  Unfortunately, they got too close and the swirling current around the bridge piers ****** them in, and they also hit the bridge about thirty feet to our left. Thank God, they did have enough power to ‘motor’ off the twenty-foot high pier they had hit but not without doing cosmetic damage to the starboard side of their beautiful little boat. I felt terrible about this and yelled ‘THANK YOU’ across the wind and the rushing water.  They waved back, as they headed North against the tide, back up the canal.

      The Kindness Of Strangers Continues To Amaze Me!

BANG !!!  That’s the sound the boat made when it hit the bridge.  We were now sideways in the current, and the first thing to hit was not the mast but the starboard side ‘stay’ that holds the mast up.  Stays are made of very thick wire, and even though the impact was at over ten knots, the stay held secure and did not break.  We were now pinned against the North side of the bridge, with the current swirling by us, and the boat being pulled slowly through the opening between the piers.  The current was pulling the boat and forcing it to lean over with the mast pointing North. If it continued to do this, we would finally broach (turn over) and all be in the water and floating South toward the beach towns of Margate and Ventnor.  The width between the piers was over thirty feet, so there was plenty of room to **** us in and then down, as the water had now assumed command.

It was at this moment that I tied my Son to myself.  He was a good swimmer and had been on our local swim team for the past three summers, but this was no pool.  There were stories every summer of boaters who got into trouble and had to go in the water, and many times someone drowned or was never found or seen again.  The mast was now leaned over and rubbing against the inside of the bridge.  

The noise it made moving back and forth was louder than even the strong wind.  Over the noise from the mast I heard Tommy shout, “Kurt, the stay is cutting through the insulation on the main wire that is the power source to the bridge. If it gets all the way through to the inside, the whole boat will be electrified, and we’ll go up like a roman candle.”  I reluctantly looked up and he was right.  The stay looked like it was more than half-way through the heavy rubber insulation that was wrapped around the enormous cable that ran horizontally inside and under the entire span of the bridge.  I told Tommy to get on the VHF and alert the Coast Guard to what was happening.  I also considered jumping overboard with my son in my arms and tied to me hoping that someone would then pull us out of the water if we made it through the piers. I couldn’t leave though, because my partner couldn’t swim.

Even though Tommy had been a life-long boater, he had never learned to swim.  He grew up not far from the banks of the Mississippi River in Hardin Illinois and still hadn’t learned.  I couldn’t just leave him on the boat. We continued to stay trapped in between the piers as the metal wire stay worked its way back and forth across the insulated casing above.

In another fifteen minutes, two Coast Guard crews showed up in gigantic rubber boats.  Both had command towers up high and a crew of at least 8 on board.  They tried to get close enough to throw us a line but each time failed and had to motor away against the tide at full throttle to miss the bridge.  The wake from their huge twin outboards forced us even further under the bridge, and the port side rail of the Trinity was now less than a foot above the water line.

              Why Had I Changed The Name Of This Boat?

The I heard it again, BAMMM !  I looked up and saw nothing.  It all looked like it had before.  The Coast Guard boat closest to us came across on the bullhorn. “Don’t touch anything metal, you’ve cut through the insulation and are now in contact with the power source.  The boat is electrified, but if you stay still, the fiberglass and water will act as a buffer and insulation.  We can’t even touch or get near you now until the power gets turned off to the bridge.”  

We all stood in the middle of the cockpit as far away from anything metal as possible.  I reached into the left storage locker where the two plastic gas containers were and tightened the filler caps. I then threw both of them overboard.  They both floated harmlessly through the bridge where a third Coast Guard boat now retrieved them about 100 yards further down the bay.  At least now I wouldn’t have to worry about the two fifteen-gallon gas cans exploding if the electrical current ever got that far.

For a long twenty minutes we sat there huddled together as the Coast Guard kept yelling at us not to touch anything at all.  Just as I thought the boat was going under, everything seemed to go dark.  Even though it was early afternoon, the fog was so heavy that the lights on the bridge had been turned on.  Now in an instant, they were off.

                               All Lights Were Off

I saw the first Coast Guard boat turn around and then try to slowly drift our way backward. They were going to try and get us out from between the piers before we sank.  Three times they tried and three times again they failed.  Finally, two men in a large cigarette boat came flying at us. With those huge motors keeping them off the bridge, they took everyone off the Trinity, while giving me two lines to tie to both the bow and the stern. They then pulled up alongside the first large inflatable and handed the two lines to the Coast Guard crew.  After that, they backed off into the center of the channel to see what the Coast Guard would do next.

The second Coast Guard boat was now positioned beside the first with its back also facing the bridge.  They each had one of the lines tied to my boat now secured to cleats on their rear decks.  Slowly they motored forward as the Trinity emerged from its tomb inside the piers.  In less than fifteen seconds, the thirty-year boat old was free of the bridge.  With that, the Coast Guard boat holding the stern line let go and the sailboat turned around with the bow now facing the back of the first inflatable. The Captain continued to tow her until she was alongside the ‘Sea Tow’ service vessel that I hadn’t noticed until now.  The Captain on the Sea Tow rig said that he would tow the boat into Somers Point Marina.  That was the closest place he knew of that could make any sailboat repairs.

We thanked the owners of the cigarette boat and found out that they were both ex-navy seals.  ‘If they don’t die hard, some never die at all,’ and thank God for our nation’s true warriors. They dropped us off on Coast Guard Boat #1, and after spending about 10 minutes with the crew, the Captain asked me to come up on the bridge.  He had a mound of papers for me to fill out and then asked me if everyone was OK. “A little shook up,’” I said, “but we’re all basically alright.” I then asked this ‘weekend warrior’ if he had ever seen the movie ‘Top Gun.’  With his chest pushed out proudly he said that he had, and that it was one of his all-time favorites.

            ‘If They Don’t Die hard, Some Never Die At All’

I reminded him of the scene when the Coast Guard rescue team dropped into the rough waters of the Pacific to retrieve ‘Goose,’ who had just hit the canopy of his jet as he was trying to eject.  With his chest still pumped out, he said again proudly that he did. “Well, I guess that only happens in the movies, right Captain,” I said, as he turned back to his paperwork and looked away.

His crew had already told me down below that they wanted to approach the bridge broadside and take us off an hour ago but that the Captain had said no, it was too dangerous!  They also said that after his tour was over in 3 more months, no one would ever sail with him again.  He was the only one on-board without any real active-duty service, and he always shied away from doing the right thing when the weather was rough.  He had refused to go just three more miles last winter to rescue two fishermen off a sinking trawler forty miles offshore.  Both men died because he had said that the weather was just “too rough.”

                     ‘A True Weekend Only Warrior’

We all sat with the crew down below as they entertained my son and gave us hot coffee and offered medical help if needed.  Thankfully, we were all fine, but the coffee never tasted so good.  As we pulled into the marina in Somers Point, the Trinity was already there and tied to the service dock.  After all she had been through, she didn’t look any the worse for wear.  It was just then that I realized that I still hadn’t called my wife.  I could have called from the Coast Guard boat, but in the commotion of the moment, I had totally forgotten.

When I got through to her on the Marina’s pay phone, she said,  “Oh Dear God, we’ve been watching you on the news. Do you know you had the power turned off to all of Atlantic City for over an hour?”  After hanging up, I thought to myself —"I wonder what our little excursion must have cost the casino’s,” but then I thought that they probably had back up generation for something just like this, but then again —maybe not.

I asked my wife to come pick us up and noticed that my son was already down at the service dock and sitting on the back of his ‘new’ sailboat.  He said, “Dad, do you think she’ll be alright?” and I said to him, “Son, she’ll be even better than that. If she could go through what happened today and remain above water, she can go through anything — and so can you.  I’m really proud of the way you handled yourself today.”

My Son is now almost thirty years old, and we talk about that day often. The memory of hitting the bridge and surviving is something we will forever share.  As a family, we continued to sail the Trinity for many years until our interests moved to Wyoming.  We then placed the Trinity in the capable hands of our neighbor Bobby, next door, who sails her to this day.

All through those years though, and especially during the Stone Harbor Regatta over the Fourth of July weekend, there was no mistaking our crew when you saw us coming through your back basin in the ‘Parade of Ships.’  Everyone aboard was dressed in a red polo shirt, and if you happened to look at any of us from behind, you would have seen …

                               ‘The Crew Of The Trinity’  
                         FULL CONTACT SAILING ONLY!
Akemi Aug 2019
at its own axiomatic level
we begin a dance
a dance
a dance
and there are shades

fly off from the other?

a spindle


we make ourselves a difference
a complexity
an intricate form that spills over and everywhere
and is alive
apart from itself
as if this difference making
were for itself, for our own ego
rather than to pull the other
the other’s difference
pointlessly intricate
motionful machines that well up beyond their own depths and
but the content

a meaningful making
and on and on and

turns on it urns iand urns un n uwuw uwuw uwuuwu wuuwuwuwuwuuwuw

the measure of a drop
is in

everyone dances in their own light

what if satire is all you see!

everything ive ever wanted to say 12 yr old has already fallen out a tree

everybody hold themselves so high and precious
but their own being is only meagre pitiful one space arrow

there is a being
that we strive for
but only ourselves feel
and only others know
yet so many want the other to feel
what they can only know

come grieff and grief and grif

i dont get why anyone cares
we do what we do
and it stupid

why you wanna
let the other in ?

only reason u think they smart
is they aint let u in

so i says let em be  .

everyone all love precarity
cant love themselves
sothey strike out when the other they want to love them for themselves dont love them for themselves

thats an impossibility !


whys all the
make all lie and

why do you care so much about yourself
that you desire the other to see?
you are meagre
you are petty
and that’s all you are.

resentment is thinking otherwise.

nobody cares about your drives!!!!!!!!!!
and the more you think they should
the more they wont!!!!!!!!!!!silly!!!!!!!!!
the togetherness of not-

let people sweep and slide
then drift n loop!

everoy !
neurotic big

t­hen why are peopplr loenly?

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

cherished being in a bridge of light

its own singular yearning
pulls back
the body of marx
and the whole black moon

black moon! black moon!

howls the end
howls the night
simpering spat spat spat spatchooey! cross yarn and tip a spews the thunder
and the back back back of
no where
curses like a shut down whine

are you perfectly everywhere not
this is the only series of questions
in philosophy senpai desu desu bakkkooou!!
goodbue canafly
Our heart burns broken at the ends, they fail us, keep building
my lungs are wax inside my ribs, you’re burning, well I’m breathing
this back breaks walked on from carrying friends, can’t stop now, still working
your life’s like rain drops on my tongue, I believe you, keep raining
and it’s alright, it’s alright, we are not right now complete
and I’m alright, you’re gonna be alright, we might never be complete
but the water keeps rising, it’s rising, everybody get into the water
and hold each others hands and lives, let’s all push our hearts together....
we’re gonna leave these shores right now, be everything we’ve never been
but you gotta swear to promise that we’ll never go back again, ever again
and we’re not just islands lying beside each others shorelines
we’re all bound with veins and hopes, we are not each others ghosts
our hearts are abridged, let's build bridges to each other
so this river won’t take us under
filled with monsters and goblins, they keep dragging the bottom
our life is a bridge, let’s build bridges to each other
and pray we don’t go under, oh these careless waters

I’m trying not to confuse: being used, with giving all I am
by: being used, and giving everything I have, all I am
so I’ll build a bridge with hollow bones filled with hollow teeth
inside a hollow heart, with the insides carved
and let the blood in these veins freeze
let the water in these veins freeze and break and flood the dam
we are all we have, this is all we need, hold on it may never end
and I might have to drink my teeth again if I wash up on the coast
so I’ll build a bridge with all that’s left, & not make any more new ghosts
show me your life, wide and bright, I hope that patience fills the seams
keep what’s inside, dry and right, you arch the frame I’ll span the beams
our lives are a bridge for us to give, I want to build a better bridge
from every wrong we’ve done to each other, if I forgive will you forgive?
cause one day we’re gonna close our eyes for death or rest
and abandon ourself, this weak mind and breath
and the columns we made, and roots we grew down deep
will be pulled and gathered in to firewood, and burnt for heat
but when the tension shifts, and these braces turn
I’ll try and build a better bridge
and when all our piers burn, and the hinges miss
I’m gonna build a better bridge
our hearts are abridged, let’s build bridges to each other
so we don’t take ourselves under

Our heart burns broken at the ends, they fail us, keep building
my lungs are wax inside my ribs, you’re burning, I’m still breathing
this back breaks walked on carry friends, can’t stop now, still working
your life’s like rain drops on my tongue, I believe you, keep raining
our lives are a bridge for us to give, I want to build a better bridge
from every wrong we’ve done to each other, if I forgive will you forgive?
our hearts are abridged, let’s build bridges to each other
so this river won’t take us under, so we don’t take ourselves under
our lives are a bridge, let’s build bridges to each other
and pray we don’t go under, oh these careless waters
our lives are a bridge for us to give, I want to build a better bridge
from every wrong we’ve done to each other, if I forgive will you forgive?
our lives are a bridge for us to give, I want to build a better bridge
from every wrong we’ve done to each other, if I forgive will you forgive?
our hearts are abridged, let’s build bridges to each other
so this river won’t take us under, so we don’t take ourselves under
Mateuš Conrad Jan 2023
there might have been perhaps two other New Year's Eve
to match this years,
of these only one was actually magically youthful,
between 2004 coming to 2005 or perhaps it
was 2005 coming to the year 2006...
i was still studying at Edinburgh (Promis, Alicia),
that's when Promis lost her virginity
to me after Hogmanay, becoming irresistible...
seeing Fiona slobber me...
at the same time "drink me, eat me"...
**** drink to puncture her virginity while
Alicia was left cold, Lebanese reading that book:
The Hours... leftover in the communal room...

i didn't have any fun with these girls that time round...
what i had fun with was... my flatmate...

with Tristan from Bristol,
running around the streets breaking car side-mirrors
reenacting scenes fro Fight Club...
Bruce decided to become this middle-aged
man aged 18...
he bought a "bucket" of golf clubs...
one night we took them out...
we took out some golf clubs...
a few golf *****... and a few glasses...
we stood in the middle of the street...
pretending to... AIM... at... ha ha.. AIM...
we missed all the golf *****...
but! we managed to hit all the glasses!
it was... spectacular...
we were golfing in the proper Scottish sense
of the origin of golf...
       we had golf-clubs... we had golf-*****...
but we weren't hitting golf-***** with golf-clubs...
we were using golf-clubs... to... aim at imaginary
pint-glasses... sitting on top of...
shot-glasses... or... perhaps the reverse...

then that one terrible one circa 2003 or 2002...
going back to Poland, back then trying to romance
Katie (Kasie) - being invited to a house party...
being surrounded by teenagers hornier than me...
small-town mentality of getting hitched-early
and i was having trouble to breathe and find out
anything about whether i was already
the foreigner that still spoke his native tongue,
smoke, ****** music,
   the past part of the house party was helping with
the preparations with the host i only met that

this other New Year's Eve i was sitting alone
in my grandparent's house... alone in the kitchen...
both of my grandparents decided to go to bed early...
i watched the fireworks alone and felt
a solid stone of melancholy: a reflective sadness that
is not some reflex-depress or deflect-impress...

before today i promised myself change my habits,
how i would change everything,
quit smoking or at least cut down: i would most certainly
not smoke in the morning and on an empty stomach,
i would cut down on the heavy bourbon or whiskey
*****... why?
  heavy ***** has ****** up my digestive system a little...
irritable bowel movements and...
sometimes the inability to take a **** in one go...
rather... having in splintered...
   in sections... well... easily prone to sometimes vomiting
or rather: needing to ***** to feel at easy...
that was three days ago...

      i just wanted to stop feeling the also hightened
blood pressure...
             these "headaches" that weren't headaches but sort
of pulsations... as if my brain was dehydrated,
spinning, almost feeling death-tickling...
squeezing of the throat...
i told myself that i would stop drinking the heavy
duty liquids even if that meant i would have more sleepless
nights... well... new year's resolutions begin
two days before a new year's eve...
but the old ways have to come around for just one
last time on new year's eve and then:
with the intended plans...

    prior to the 30th... on the 29th i said to myself:
promise me this you-i, you will follow-through...
so i drank four ciders, took some generic painkillers
to ease me sleep and hey presto...
perhaps not a healthy 8 hour lapse into the Land
of Nod - but at least i woke up relaxed at 10am...
i had 5 hours spare until the shift would start
at the London Stadium...
                       i ate enough food smoked a cigarette
starting puking... right... you're not taking an cigarettes
to the shift... on my way there these
high-pressure "headaches" kicked in...
again i thought i was constipated but i had already
taken a shift before leaving...
no... these were not high-pressure "headaches"
anymore... excitement was kicking...
    i was again promoted to a supervisor: **** it...
here's me taking care of the east-wing with 15 stewards
under me...
i was excited... why? West Ham fans have the worst
reputation of all the clubs in the Premier League...
27 arrests in the season 2021/22...
i was excited... i was expecting something to happen...
i had 4 stewards on their ****** shifts...

in the middle of the match where West Ham was losing
to Brentford 2 - nil, Martin on gate 141 started gesticulating
with his hands in the middle of the second half...
i walk over... he tells me something is going on...
i look up... oh ****... about 12 guys, some of these guys
were fathers who brought their little boys along...
haggling with punches and grabbing and ferocious
tongues, children crying... a woman in the audience
starts glaring at me with hysteria and screaming
at me: do something! do something!
        calmly i turn on the radio and communicate
to Head Control: Control, this is Papa 2.3 -
i need a response team to be at gate 141 immediately!
the woman is still screaming,
the situation is escalating.... the children are even more
distraught, the blokes are more ferocious
(and the funny thing is, it's West Ham fans
fighting West Ham fans and not Brentford fans...
because the team is close to relegation
and i guess one fan knows better than another
fan about how to turn the situation can be
overturned) -
                           so as the pitch-side manager
Joe once said about contacting Head Control:
'i try getting through to them, they ignore me...'
well... i go at the radio again...
    'Control! this is Papa 2.3 - i need a response team
at gate 141 of the Billy Bonds stand! turn your cameras
onto what's happening! the situation is escalating!'
hey presto... persistence paid off...
    in about 20 seconds about 10 bouncers (SIA licensed)
rush in and break up the crowd... take some guys out,
comfort the children... i'm just happy the hysterical
woman is not looking at me eyes of scorn as if i'm
some impotent radio-holder...

the shift finishes at around 10:30pm...
   i still manage to catch the tube to Gants Hill and the 66 bus
to Romford, the petrol station near the police station
is still open so i buy three ciders...
    get home just after 12am, drink two ciders smoke two
cigarettes, take some painkillers and try to sleep...
oh ****... oh right... no chance of that happening...
i'm already sweating from alcohol withdraw...
cider can't replace bourbon or whiskey...
                   but excitement turns into post-panic control:
the situation was contained...
but that's not why i couldn't fall asleep...
i tried to... maybe i did for about 30 minutes in between
listening to Heilung's album Futha...
   i must have snoozed off for about 20 to 30 minutes
maybe less... turning side to side...
                                       but i knew that there wouldn't
be any point given i finished drinking the cider at
around 1:10am and i had to get up at 6am...
               to eat some porridge, shower, get dressed...
which i did... weird... ever see a fly casually flying
in a kitchen during December? heat makes flies crazy
during flight... in the "cold" of December (13 degrees Celsius
is cold for December... i experienced about
a week of promising,, authentic cold and snow
a week or two ago) - now this stinking damp and mediocre
cold... ate the porridge standing up contemplating
the lazy flight of the fly... so big... so juicy...
thank god it was one of those black ones and not
those green-belly that **** out dormant larva so quickly
the larva that turn to maggots so quickly...
black flies don't have that capacity...
because black flies... well... you associate black flies
with pestering cows... ergo? they feed off ****...
the blue-belly flies feed off dead meat... cat food...

6am wake up, wash, get dressed, and *******
to Putney Bridge for a 9am shift starts at Cavern Cottage:
Fulham vs. Southampton... New Year's Eve...
i have done a shift on Boxing Day last year...
double pay... but doing a Boxing Day shift is not the same
as... doing a New Year's Eve shift...
      it's like that W. H. Auden quote about
New Year's Eve:

the only way to spend New Year's Eve is
either quietly with friends or in a brothel.
otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off,
someone is bound to be left in tears.

ha! i have a third option!
so on my way to Putney Bridge, since the Elizabeth
Line is on strike until the 2nd of January...
****... this complicates my travel in London a little...
i can't take the simple option of taking the 103
bus to Romford Station and head to Paddington
and then a short walk from one Paddington (train)
station to the Paddington (tube) station and
like... 6 stations from Paddington to Putney Bridge
(Stamford Bridge, if you're interested?
that's at Fulham Common, or Broadway,
one of the two) - i could have complicated matters
by taking a longer walk from Hammersmith...
but i like walking through Bishop's Park...
as i was once reminded by one co-worker...
that's where Gregory Peck meets the priests
who gets killed in the film Omen...
it's a beautiful park: it's right next to the Thames...
so the route changes... i have to get the 103
bus to the A12 and then get on the 66 bus to
Newbury Park... then the central line to
Holborn, then the Piccadilly Line to Earl's
Court and then the District Line to Putney Bridge...
i truly tried all the alternatives...
e.g. central line to Oxford Circus -
Victoria line to Victoria and the district line
to Putney B.
     or... central line to Notting Hill Gate and
district line to ditto B....
     but i found that... there's too much walking
          the shortest route is the one i found out...
sure... it's a bit long changing at Holborn...
but changing at Earl's Court is the shortest...
plus Earl's Court is the interchange
between Edgware Rd, Richmond, Wimbledon,
Upminster and Ealing Broadway...
and the station is almost open air... so sickly sweet
underwear drying in the underground
during the Blitz sort of sensation association
with waiting...

                          ah... well... i managed to get in
to the sign in area for the shift early, i was probably the first,
said hello to the owner of the company,
who's name i always forget... an imposing figure...
former-military... but i still forget his name...
Scott... Scott... hello hello... i didn't shake his hand
this time round because i'm not left-handed
and i noticed he was holding a cigarette in his right...
signed in...
   ooh... the grand comedy of being early...
some perks come with that...
between Putney Green and Putney Bridge i realised
that my halting my drinking and elevation
of insomnia left me without any of those
high-blood pressure headaches... no excitement...
not this time round...
               i was cool as a cucumber...
i didn't feel any constipation... but then after signing
in... ooh... that porridge really helped...
as did that ****** chicken, sweetcorn mayo and
salad sandwich and Monster watermelon drink
did too... sign in at 9am... shift starts at 10am...
irritable bowel-movements...
    the staff toilets sub-standards... i tell someone:
if anyone asks... i'm going to the public toilets
in Bishop's Park... but there are toilets for staff?
you see the cubicles mate? cubicles without doors...
i'm not here to ****... i'm here to take a dump!

fidgety i'm walking back to Bishop's Park...
i enter the toilets... i enter the toilets... then the cubicle...
i peer in... wow! no animals were (yet) here!
the toilet seat is clean! it's left down!
there's toilet paper! there's a coat hanger!
wow! wow! am i just about to "******" as if seeing my
favourite ****-star from when i was 15?!
i take my coat off and all the elements of accreditation,
high-viz. and stadium passport...
undo my shirt a little at the collar and sleeves...
undo my zipper and clip pull down my trousers
down sit down and: PHOO! i **** out both
a gold nugget of firm shirt and a subsequent
waterfall of the looser stuff... my god...
i know that i'm supposed to find some sort of relief
in *******... this... this is better than *******...
ejaculations happen in private...
this is inverted *******: taking a **** in a public
toilet is more of a relief than ******* in private...
after all... it's pretty much the same, isn't?
i might not be looking someone in the eyes...
my member might not be in someone else's body...
but... Bishop's Park was organising their annual
run around the park for jogging enthusiasts...
i was already done when this one jogger ran
into a cubicle next to the one i was sitting in
finishing off my "taking a ****" counting time
solving a Mahjong... when i start to hear him puking...
i just took the most glorious Hiroshima ****
and here's next to me separated by a flimsy screen
that can't sort of discriminate the existence of sounds...

we waited for the shift to start for so long...
Stephanie pulled out... i saw her at West Ham and she asked me
whether i'd be with her in the Bishop's Park...
she turned in sick... so... i was back with Toni...
on the Hammersmith end of the stadium...
well... Thames-side and Hammersmith end...
i just implored her for a favour... i'm tired Toni...
can you put me on the outermost position...
last time i curated this position the weather was beautiful...
i spotted the bridge after Putney Bridge and
i thought: oh... the Kew Bridge...
what a glorious sight... but no...
the bridge that comes after Putney Bridge is
the Hammersmith Bridge... but that's when the weather
was good...
i just didn't want to work with Mark...
    citation needed: 'with my 12 years of experience
as a steward...'                      the ****-joke of the profession...
it was barely a year since i worked this job
and i was already supervising and yet he...
yeah...                               i can understand flies...
more than these busy-bodies of deluded semi-half A.I.
projects of hurt humans...
Francis Bacon paintings are grotesquely beautiful...
but this? this is reality-par-excellence...
interacting with it is: this incomplete human sort
of a joke... that can become a sly group-think of
being comfortable with a specified discomfort...

so i asked her... stand me there... next to ol' Father Thames
and let me admire that bridge i'm not sure about...
so she did...
     what i wasn't actually expecting was the weather...
i took the ******* position...
but as i soon learned... the best position...
the wind came with the rain and the rain came with
the wind...
                      there was this dog-walker with 4 dogs
with one being a terrier ADHD prone spaniel...
running rampage as if having seeing the godhead
of Anubis...
          i was directing Southampton fans to the Putney
stand to avoid the Hammersmith stand...
just talking... hello, how are you, good afternoon...
smile... more smile... choke on a ******* biscuit
and a peppermint...
                   old men telling you: you're not getting paid
enough... lovely weather, oh... not as lovely as if...
it might be staged in the dark...

more about Mark with Lyndon and Toni...
pestering three women Chill (that middle-aged Turkish
woman... oh names... apples: Melanie... Nile? pears?
verbs?!) talk gets lost... on details...
joking about jumping the tide-out Thames...
i was just looking at how crows scared the seagulls...
one swan swimming alone...
metal-pickers in the mud...
                         i'm not myopic or the antagonism
of myopia... L.S. Lowry's stick-paintings...
                                 sure as **** metal-pickers...
in the mud i noticed what i first thought was a treasure
chest... turns out it was an old computer disk...
what was that even called if it wasn't a monitor?

oh and the weather truly broke me...
the rain came at an angle...
i smarted myself up by asking for a second... water resilient
jacket to put... i wasn't going to put on a flimsy potato-starch
but that didn't stop my trousers getting soaked...
then once the rain stopped and the wind resumed:
getting dry... then once the rain came back getting soaked again...
but my socks were already soaked beyond getting dry...
walking the pavement in wet socks in leather shoes
is like... skinning an alive pig...

soaked feet.... although my upper body was kept warm...
talking with Toni about the proper attire for
winter... waterproof overalls... from Sports Direct...
and combat shoes: Magnums, used by police officers
and the army and all manner of security forces...
she asked for a cigarette, i gave her one,
she wasn't expecting a Camel... we walked...
looking each other in the eyes and subsequently
at each other's shoes...
in that instance she told me about her life...
she was living with her father and her stepmother...
how he biological mother kicked her out...
i just forgot which of her "mothers" was
the bipolar one... oh, right... her stepmother...
so i inquired about her stepmother's bipolar disorder...
so is that like manic depression?
no? split personality disorder? what's that like?
are all her personalities integrated or are they,
each to their own, loose canons?!

but there were these other two girls... Naomi...
who looked like a more pristine version of Will Smith's
wife... Jada Smith... i was... looking at Jada Smith...
with more hair... a nose piercing and a piercing
like a freckle where my moustache would cover it:
to the side... two kids... living in Richmond...
totally irresistible... this is how i always wanted
to spend my New Year's Eve... stoically...
at first in a gradation of pain...
pain from feat turning into the flayed beast
revealing nothing but bone, prone to accepting
the elements...

           this other girl... nice... cannibal looking teeth...
bound to braces... plump in the face... wearing a beany hat...
also mingling with Mark, the negate,
she touching him teasingly... once ***** was mentioned
i gave her some advice... oh... but you do know that
the only way to drink ***** is to drink it frozen, right?
so it resemble a sickly sick syrup... no ice, no mixer...
at best a chaser... she peered at me as if i belonged to
an ethnicity of a people that knew how to drink the ****
stuff... quizzical eyes... i forgot to tell her about
spending some time with the Russians:
being myself of a Slavic origin: ABSOLUT VANILLA...

i already knew it was the sort of New Year's Eve i was waiting
for when the shift was coming to a closure...
i was back in position admiring the Thames...
admiring the fading dark Green of Hammersmith Bridge
when the supporters were walking out...
one recognised me saying: so, you're been here,
all along? pretty much...
more passed and i just started spewing the casual:
have a good night, safe journey home,
and then the seemingly comical:
happy new year!

                 happy new year echo!
happy new year! happy new year!
            this precautionary tale of when Gandalf inquired of
poor Frodo: will it be?!
what? a happy new year?!
am i wishing a happy new year to you in advance
hoping, or perhaps wishing, or perhaps knowing:
that it might be... a happy new year?!
the phrase itself is about as meaningful or... meaningless
as licking a post-stamp and sticking it to
a postcard... wishing or not wishing: a "you"
to be "here"... no?!

                                   how about... happy new year
could be replaced with: MAYBE NEXT YEAR...
i.e. when i and you, are still alive...
we'll see each other again... i think that just might be
the summit of what happiness entices mortal creatures
such as ourselves to, from time to time: actually: believe!

the shift ended, i was soaked from feet down...
the trip back from Putney Bridge back to Romford was
sort of... giving CPR to octopi and walking on borrowed
legs... and less than sleepy eyes...
i got off at Gants Hill... ordered a spicy chicken burger
and three hot wings... gulped them down...
went into a Tesco Express... bought myself
a 70cl bottle of Jim Beam, a bottle of Pepsi...
3 cider bottles...
                     got home... said hello to my parents...
sorry... i'm ******* off... climbed into bed...
pretended to sleep, or rather, relaxed with naked feet
under the bed-sheets from them not being soaked...
"woke up" after about 2 fours... hours...
greeted them... sorry... i'm not into St. Sylvester's
but i sat down with them...
as i have done for the past two or three years...

Jools Holland's Hootenanny has become sort of:
10pm ITV news in the household come this time of year...
what wouldn't i do without it...
Cat Burn's song Go... i never heard of it until then...
i ate some traditional tripe broth...
to warm the stomach up...
i hanged the bottle of Jim Beam and the bottles of cider
on the garden fence before coming home...
i was going to pick them up later...
to drink... well... at least half...
but it was so worthwhile to be so physically exhausted...
wow! these notes i wrote about that month
last year where i spent almost spent £1000 of prostitutes
and in the meantime lost two of my greatest
lovers... of 30 minutes' worth...
i.e. Khadra and Mona... who... the Madame of the brothel
told me would never return...

we watched the ******* spectacle of the fireworks...
wow! great! crowd!
i just retorted... if i were the people between
Westminster Bridge and the Embankment Bridge...
seeing the fireworks... i'd save up on t.v. memory...
i'd record the collective spectacle...
but got before the massive wheel
and stand there and stare... oh... but look...
who what or when Londoners? Chinese tourism...
the inescapable flu: chick or flex pork chop infections
but no rats and flies are the wholesome friends?!
standing there... with technology spread-out *******
third-eye non-experience...
the technology saw it first...
                                ugly humans non-humans
robots seem lovelier...
                     that's how i learned about Cat Burn's song Go
thinking: didn't Ed Sheeran write this?!
doesn't matter...
once this supposedly spectacular night ended
when i heated up my feet and regained some flesh
in them...
                  i started drinking with my usual standard
of toxicity... looking through old notes...
ooh! an unfinished joint! wow! i had a premonition!
i will not want to go to a brothel i will not want
to go to a depressing house-party...
i will want to go inward...
into myself and starve anything already established...
i think i must have met about 3 girlfriends
tonight... possible...

now i'll finish a bottle of 70cl of bourbon by myself
while writing and smoke that joint...
finally! a new diet of music!

and the odl rekindling of an alliance....
perhaps placing conkers might put off spiders
from aligning a household with a disapproval for housing
spiders... but flies... that's a different matter;
i'm going to smoke this joint
and dream my hazardous of this years first and last

where is that ******* fly...
i hope it's still alive while i'm alive... if i swallow it in
the night... i'll pretend to be a Pontus Pilate...

no other New Year's Eve has been so benevolent to me...
i was fudge packed between commuters not trying to
entertain the fireworks on the Thames...
me? go home...
       tired old young man....
                         why are there suspicions of me:
by simply being punctual as having any sort of association
with any nation's army?!
i like sunsets... i like sunrises... i adore the aloofness
of the aloneness that's: otherwise missing
in the claustrophobia of interaction with the other...
            this has certainly been the best New Year's Eve
to meet all others...
before me stand's King Lear and Lot's Wife...
i wonder... who is... the Pillar of Sugar?!
Sugar = Salt + Water... no?!
so who is... the pillar of Sugar?!

   ah... ha: hermeneutics contra etymology!
          there's only one history for me...
   that being etymology: the origin of words from words:
to use words is not to use anything beyond words themselves...
which excludes my original assumptions that
letters or geometric shapes akin to letters or vice versa
could ever be utilised...
verba ex verba - non verba ex figura, numerus vel littera:
verba ex et enim verba!
meaning for meaning...
not meaning borrowed from either the associated
or dissociation...
or dissociation and a(n) association...

   well... it just so happens that i have... something of a...
half-wit... canvas of artificial-intelligence
to work with... it's basic intelligence...
                           just what i need.
Mateuš Conrad Apr 2022
title: scandal tilt
body: porous: per & marie 2019:
simultaneously: preserved...


on my way back from a shift at Craven Cottage... walked through the park with great haste, sweat like a pig prior to slaughter when sitting down on the District Line from Putney Bridge to Victoria... still wearing my jacket... upon disembarking the train, took the jacket off... breathed... allowed my sweaty back to breathe, took off my clip-on tie, undid about three button from the collar down... well... i've been told before that i'm as hairy as a monkey... hairy face, hairy chest, hairy stomach... a Turkish ******* would never mind... we only travelled two stops from Victoria through to Oxford Circus... i have to write the following word in katakana... what... a *******... スカ - SUKA... *****... a female-dog... what's the ideogram of that katakana? no... it's not that simple... SUKA... thank god i was wearing my sunglasses... the Thames bore these two holes for my eyes with the glimmer of the sun being reflected come sunset... i asked my co-worker: Putney Bridge is not the last bridge of... the first bridge of London? he mentioned: isn't there one at Hammersmith? isn't there one at Richmond: i replied? favourite bridge? oh... you that film: from the 1990s... Sliding Doors... the Battersea Bridge? no no... not the Battersea Bridge... that white one, with all those Christmas Lights... it's the Albert Bridge... sure... we know the last Bridge of London is the Tower Bridge... but what bridges are there after Putney?! oh... we're not going into Oxfordshire or... Kingston-upon-Thames... **** that... London, proper... **** me... the map on google reads like some Arabic text: right to left... weird... what comes after Putney... see... when i was living in Edinburgh... at least i knew my bearings... there it was... the shining emblem of the compass... the Firth of Forth... down in London? it's a ******* Bermuda triangle! the ****** just spins and spins... people come from all other i'm like: yeah... "that"... that's not supposed to be there but... "there"...  clueless... sure as ****... after Putney Bridge you get the Hammersmith Bridge... then the Chiswick Bridge... then the Kew Bridge... then the Twickenham Bridge... that's the last proper bridge on the map... London will forever be too disorientating... at least Edinburgh is facing north... London isn't facing any direction on the compass... it just... spins out of control... so i got on the Victoria line at Victoria... two *******... one looking somewhat tame... the other... ooh... what a treat... we were only going as far as Oxford Circus... red hair... some of her's some fake... tattoos on her hands and fingers... she looked like she had piercing in her cheeks in the past... just my type: crazy... unhinged... daddy issues: whatever... and i''m standing there, tired... dead-beat... i just want to get home and drink some whiskey and scribble... about my triumph while helping a few boys sell cookies and brownies for charity by changing around their stall arrangement... because i wasn't put into the stadium to shove a lot of lard around... i'm peering through my sunglasses... oh... wait... she's digging me... oh right... she's one of those girls into the Scandinavian look? oh god, one of these ones... only hours prior i was talking to this Finnish grandfather about sports in general... i'm giving off these whiffs of Viking "beauty"... **** me: and i know what i'm goign to say next: that sort of physiognomy always attracts the happy-tattooed-hands and fingers red hair types of *******... right? where they **** is my ******* Mohawk then?! where the **** are my tattoos... i mean... i've seen dogs with eyes like these... eagerly brown and blooming with joy... any other scenario... we got off at Oxford Circus... i waited a little... she just about ****** off down the North Bakerloo route... i spotted her... obviously... she tried to give a shy glance back: would i follow her... ask her for her number... she had the most amazing: inquisitive eyes... i know... she wanted me to approach her... one of those... magical movie scenes... two strangers on the tube... blah blah... if work didn't **** me off... if i didn't have to make up for it on my own crowds from something within like: self-initiative... just my-******-up-type... no... i went down the Central Line route... travelled to Stratford... got the train to Goodmayes... bought a bottle of 200cl of brandy... some pepsi... some cigarettes... and walked past Chadwell Heath... thinking... about absolutely nothing... well... the "one that god away"... sure... it's not even whether i have the patience... i obviously have the charm... but i know how the conversation would have started and ended... so... you still don't live alone? you don't have a place for me to crash... bring all my belongings to? guess... what... what she said with her eyes... perfect! what she would later say with her tongue? no, i don't want to hear it... beccause i'd be her stereotypical loser... so... why... ******* bother? with those eyes of hers i also received: twice-more with the eyes of the boys i helped to collect more money from selling charity cookies in the park... oh **** me: more! because it was selfless! there was no ******-friction involved!  sure, i could try to rekindle my self (in the reflective, not the reflexive: myself... sense... no... that's long gone... i've aged, i've learned some pretty good lessons of reserve) with a teenage boy i used to be, who would fall asleep listening to Roxette... fading like a flower, watercolours in the rain, blah blah... but this... what's that film? Happiness of a Spotless Mind? Jim Carrey... crazy free spirited girl with red or purple or blue hair... sure... and if, myself, didn't go mad aged 21... entering a church... hearing a choir and then hear a great wind disperse the singing... sure... right now... aged 35... i'd be a proper career-boy... not caring about the lesser people in me... status-orientated... i would easily pick-up these wacko girls left right and centre... and give them a month's worth of... living out the Pretty Woman fantasy... no.. instead i have a personal library in my ivory tower of a bedroom in my parent's house filled with Heidegger's black notebooks... oh man... but this one... she had prettier eyes than an Alsatian's... she gave off whiffs of surprise... could she love me, like i am? torn? perhaps... i forgot to make a reality-check-cheque in my head... better this fleeting interaction... she... infatuated: me indifferent... at least in the moment... obviously now i think about it... sure... some, "alternative" universe... where... we might live an affordable living in... the ******* Shetland Islands caretaking a lighthouse! but my life hasn't been all that predictable to find more unpredictability all of a sudden... some exercise in a vitality for / of life... i just need little pockets of being acknowledged by the other as being recipient of existence... that usually comes along with children and handicapped people... or animals... these three categories always spot me... if i were ******* rising in the hierarchy of the truly insane-sane folk... i'd have to be as mad as a poodle-or-a-toddler's-worth-of-Mozart! ****'s sake... no no no... i'm not buying that trip! **** that... i'm going my own way... to a place where the moon is a skull in the coldness of the night, and come April... there is a whiff of a Magnolia scent in the air! i call it trans-temporal pairing to some cue to a clue to this puzzle... but this one... my god... eyes like a properly bred Alsatian... so endearingly brown... she looked like a teenage girl for a second's worth of flash of time... she just looked so ****** up... like a puzzle box... and with all that make-up she slapped up... Madam Tussauds' replicas saw less... what's the retrospect? i? i'm scared of reality? last time i heard: i've been the one most detached from it... why would i be afraid of reattaching myself to it? the only reality i find comforting is... when i'm surrounded by children, retards or animals... i consider plants as inanimate objects, so no... other thoughts... mother's arthritis... a father coming to the conclusion of this career... nearing retirement... their mortality... my mortality... cinema movie love stories are sort of gone... reality doubles-down... no one was truly with me when i needed help... ergo? i helped myself the best i could... and... i don't need loved-up pretend hitch-hickers... how authentic it might seem... at least when i visit a brothel... no ******* is going to say: oh... another loser... how are losers treated in those Japanese love-hotels because of over-crowding, no-house-building "claustrophobia"?

on my way back from a shift at Craven Cottage...
tired... left the house at quarter to 9am...
came back.. at 8:30pm...
and did what? only a 6 hour shift... got paid...
hmm... good idea... i don't even know...
capitalism... whoever defends it ought to know
that there are rogue companies out there...
the current company i'm working for...
i'm supposedly an employee...
   but... they have... since November of last year...
yet to issue me with a statement to clarify
how many hours i've worked and what i'm to be paid...
they just... transfer money into my bank account:
without any: black on white clarification...
i've already heard stories about the owner and co-owner...
how they profited from the pandemic...
little pawn me... a year... i just need a year...
to get those references... even today i started talking
to this guy about joining another company...
at least that company has an online rubric in place:
where you can book in electronically
rather than rely on some bogus whatsapp messaging...
******* cowboys... meat-heads... the whole lot
of them... no logistical sensibility...
but i've done it since November... i'll wait...
i'm patience... i'll play nice... but today...
oh today was coming... they're behaving like it's
a ******* schoolyard... i'm being punished for having
mentioned already having a university education:
oh god! and a degree in chemistry!
some are studying pretend-law... or whatever *******...
or they have known each other for a bit longer...
or that i'm not talkative: professional... while they
stab each other in the back... or...
i fancy this one girl who started work...
rumours spread that a supervisor is ******* her...
but i approach her with flowers on Valentine's day...
she gets fired... i get sidelined...
          oh i know my place... it's a place that's
called the waiting game...
         but today i was *******... less capable people
were put into positions within the stadium...
me? again: to the ******* park with you...
some might say: oh... he's ben given the easy shift...
yeah... the ****** shift...
   i made due counters... i had to...
by the end of the game a ginger colt that was
ejected during the game... drunk... had nothing better
to do than to sleep in the park... i tended to him...
woke him up... waited with him for his friends to rejoin
him... so half-asleep... i comforted him with:
you team (Coventry) beat Fulham 3 - 1... happy?
he replied... why do all the best games happen when
i'm asleep? well... this must have been the first
in a park in London... you're lucky it was a gorgeous day...
but my pinnacle came when i helped these boys
who were selling homemade bakes for charity...
NSPCC... £1 a pop... but they weren't selling them...
because they position their stall right behind a tree...
so i walked up to them... listen...
you're not going to sell them... you're hiding behind
a tree... here... let's move this stall of yours...
away from the tree... and closer to the route of leaving
fans... and let's also twist the table a little so...
your BAKED-GOODS for CHARITY is facing
the people walking out of the stadium...
    i finished my shift... would you know it...
             from about 30 unsold pieces of dough...
the boys had only 2 left...
           and how they thanked me...
   fine... FINE... if this steward contra SIA hierarchy
is in place... ******* wanks...
i'll do a better job elsewhere... pacifying people...
after all... all those with those SIA badges... licenses...
oh... they know **** all of judo...
they just rush overpower: art of ****...
   first comes the art of reason...
much much later comes any physical interference...
but i'm working with half-wits...
  just because some are bulging... have a voiced-prowess...
gorilla-mating-call-warfare i call it...
they think they have a license to: attend to doors
they build up this superiority-complex...
which is great... i might therefore ask:
not that i have a PhD... but... if you're going to belittle me...
do you have a degree in chemistry?
just today... i picked up a high-viz. orange...
later it was changed to black... i picked up one with
the word: supervisor on it... because it fitted me:
2XL... oh no no... one of the other pawns inquired...
you can't wear that... but it's black...
i was told to change from orange to black...
but this one has the word: SUPERVISOR written on
it... my god... how people have learned to overvalue
themselves... or rather: how have become become
undervalued that they have to have these little battles...
the war is already lost...
whatever ******* Einstein figured this one out...
so at the end of the shift we're about to stand down...
me and my "mate" are park 3... we're looking for park 2...
right... and we're all wearing black vests... black trousers...
black coats... the crowd that's leaving?
well... you know how the English dress...
hardly in the United Colours of Benetton...
or the old way that GAP used to attire people: colourfully...
so... i'm looking for a black moth
among a cloud of dark grey moths... great!
******* genius! like i said:
i'm working with ******* meat-heads...
i'd like to say retards but they are too bulky and too angry
and too ready to stance themselves as BIG
rather than arm themselves with cunning...
o.k. o.k. work... but i got the upper hand...
i helped those boys sell those cookies... cakes... whatever...
out of their stash... we just moved the table away
from the tree... shifted it so the sign was more apparent
and... hey presto! NSPCC got its fair share...
and... my reward? the sweetest thank you any man
can receive... the outstanding look on a young boys face
that a stranger is capable of helping (him)...
that's ******* priceless... i'm writing about all those
petty squabble prior... but... that thank you:
that look of longing for hope in the future...
that's mine... i own that... or that tenderness of
the drunk boy who was sleeping in the park
waiting for the game to finish... while i gentle touched
his leg to wake him up... that too...
i don't need physical confrontation when i can:
appease... comfort... all those adrenaline junkies...
those... amphetamine-anabolic-steroid: former prison
guard types... whatever...
i know one decent move that could floor anyone...
you make a cross with your thumbs... while pretending
to pray... with these hands... you grip someone
by the knuckles... pressing the thumbs into the hand...
and twist... i forgot martial art i learned that from...
i left the classes after i was kicked in the *****...
and curled into a foetal position: after i refused to:
shout HA-YA! when pretending to punch and throwing
kicks while marching forward...
****** lessons in martial arts... getting kicked in the *****...
but... i write this... like...
like i will never go to the gym and pump weights...
just give me 2 hours on a bicycle...
doing some press-ups...
and once the shift it gone... having being paired
with this "mate" of mine:
he'll reply: it was nice working with you...
and you sort of know it's almost...
when he tries to sell you an alternative
job to the current you're working at...
because... it's "CAPITALISM":
   i too heard... didn't you hear?
if you have the right sort of a microphone...
and you put it up to a dog's *******
when the dog's running...
you can... hear... ******* the tune of:
didn't you know?!
   esp. that version from Lethal Weapon...
      one ****, count one two...
two's a ****'s worth... three and four and by five:
grr... what's not to love about
life and all the arguments for the status quo
of all those people that always go ahead
and gear up the tide of: away away we go:
leaving the rest of the idiots behind...
           tear-jerking psychologists with an audience
of soft-cookie:
those types that ought to be hard-on
digestives... instead... they get dunked into tea...
i burp... what... a cushion my crap and crab
on the inside out...
rather than harden it with the exoskeleton
of the outside in...
            little ******* London adventure of... perhaps
Romance... but... most probably:
probably not.

i mean: you know how the joke goes?
when you diagnose someone as having lost touch
with reality?
and then... too many people have lost touch with reality?
the supposed loss of reality of the individual...
transpires like a phantom: clout...
why were people supposing that, "i" became detached
from reality?! huh?! why are these people
wearing pseudo-niqab nappies on their faces
when almost pretending to be: trainspotting?!
           i'm schizophrenic... what about all these...
covert... hidden... undiagnosed hyperchondriacs?
i thought i was just a bilingual...
oh... right... the mono-lingual normies of England...
sure... "we" can follow-up with that...
"you" try to destroy "me"...
"we'll" come after "you":
gender neutral? one's a ROYAL:
one and we...
                anything to: bypass the ******* rap!
investment from years... years ago...
always invest in children...
you never know when they'll come around to
protect you against the elders
or... more importantly...
your contemporaries...
                always invest in children...
         their presence is a future forward:
      immer invertieren im kinder...
   ihr(e) gegenwart ist ein zukunft: ein fließen!
i'm guessing...
unlike in Deutsche...
a(n) apple... savvy?

           i truly wish... i truly... want to believe
beyond the told ties of the heart to:
all the discomforts of reality checks...
that i could possibly come to the splendours of
illusion on a whim:
and keep such whims within the confines
of illusion... without having to have to reality
check them back with...
items of "reciprocated" gratitude...
for the "good life"... oh what a sweet little whisper...
and... if i were a painter...
what a Francis Bacon horror i would possibly
conjure with the aid of cubism...
such trivial times are beyond us...
dog have eyes and the levelled certainty as such...
women just have the spontaneity...
there's no Bonaparte behind them...
no suicide quest for Moscow... no... chains and harship...
believe whatever psychologists you want...
pop, piquant... whatever... piquant: i.e. niche...
whatever... no one helped me through my 20s...
now in my mid 30s...
i've finally reached a pinnacle of being attractive...
during transit... but i know it's all a veneer...
behind my visage there ought to be some
******* miraculous story where...
i'd probably invite her back to my flat...
where i live alone... blah blah...
                i own too many books...
   i prefer the safety net of prostitutes...
at least they love me for the way i **** them...
with the intensity of the moment...
i posit: carpe diem... and make an hour last
a certainty... i don't need this *******'s worth
of timid courtship... no thank you...
i waited long enough... i waited too long...
no more...
              i'm done... i'm going to brush my "Greek" nose
up a little more... with arrogance and say...
when i needed you? you weren't there...
now... that you might, perhaps want me?
no... i don't need you...
           you know what i really need?
strangers! i need to interact with as many people
as possible! i can't be bothered with living a life
for some... exclusive relationship!
i need... the most inclusive: selfless relationship!
a... motto akin to:
liebe für das volk!
               if not in Deutsche... then in Latin?


who else? who else can one love?
if one has been denied the excusive rights to love a woman
in one's youth?
as one ages... being denied such a right?
one can only grow to abound in loving:
the people! how else is one to survive?
   what? the same old: "missing"... "mythological":
"exclusive": female?
learn from Adolf ******! LIEBE DAS VOLK!
                  you haven't been given exclusive rights
to counterpart individual...
and... to be honest... inclusivity is stressed by both
status of wife / bus-driver in terms of how
universality is to be expressed on the ground:
all are to be treated equally...
alles ar zu sein behandelt gleichermaßen,
id est: gott! mit! uns!

             i have no one to love... i truly do, not,
so why... keep myself deluded in some...
waiting game of exclusivity?!
   why not freely pass into a medium of selfless
inclusivity?! why... not love: as freely...
and as painfully... as a sparrow might...
the dawn of spring... and the midnight or some:
forgotten hour(s): to come...
    i'm too old to find exclusive love...
to pair-bond... i'm too old... i know the frosty bite
of reality... but at least i can love inclusively...
like a Jesus Christ... like an Adolf ******...
what?! they're... that ******* far apart?! i don't...
*******... ****-ing... think so...
       i'm more comfortable with inclusive love-affairs
where i can be forever pillar... cold...
less-spoken that could be expected...
    my 20s... i never had them...
                    my 30s just about returned...
and now i'm interacting with people in their 40s
and 50s... and all i have in my mind is...
a cat... in musketeer type of boots...
kicking a rat into a sewer... why?
because... that's seems... just about... GERECHT!
Morning Star Aug 2016
Our Bridge.

Into darkness once again but now it's different 

Because I've learnt to fall a little way

See a little of what went before but never be dragged with in its claw

As now a bridge I see is there it's wobbly yes but still secure

It's made of rope, it swings and rocks 

Even if  I let go it holds me firm

So I can see what lies beneath 

But never again will I fall so deep

For now I choose if I let go 

You see I built a bridge I know

I'm still aware of the void beneath, the loss , the pain, the endless sleep, the fear

But now i can choose to look I can choose to see or even feel

But never again can I fall in

You see

 as I built a bridge for my child within

She cannot live in fear now 

She has my love tied in its secure enough to hold us both 

Entwined together our bridge

Is love

Yes the void is deep and dark 

But the fear has gone now the bridge is there it's so strong it can not break 

You see its made from strength I found one day 

It was buried inside too scared to try to scared to climb

But as an adult I entwined it with love it grew

Now my child has the strength to climb 

She is with me now safe and dry 

She does not need to hide or cry or remember the fear

She only has to walk along side me holding my hand ever so tightly 

The love I have for her is the bridge that can never break it's strong and yet it can swing so we still get to have childish fun 

it has beautiful flowers it has strong arms it can lift us up so high 

It's our bridge so high above 

Above the fall 

The past is left the pain has gone

The fear is dropped into the void as its to heavy for our bridge 

but the happy memories fly with us above 

All we have to do is walk along our bridge.

Yes this time it's different I can only look over and down but I cannot fall now as fear has gone and our love is one me and my little girl 

Our bridge

By Fallen Angel 

19th February 2016
Lawrence Hall Feb 2017
A Burner on the Bridge

A burner on the bridge.  A human burns,
Trapped in technology and beer and fire
We hear the cold dispatch, the desperate call
To go, to see, to mend, if possible
We drive.  The flashers, blue and red, rotate
In the startled faces of those we pass
At speed, Hail Mary speed, surreal speed
Time, motion, space, and light obscure the night

In a pattern tail lights wink dim, then bright
Stalled traffic makes a long glowworm in reds
Boats, trailers, trucks, tankers, Volkswagens, Fords,
People in shorts drift around, slug Cokes, laugh
Unshaven men smoke cigarettes and swear
Blue-haired killers in Chrysler New Yorkers
Blink blankly through bifocals in the glare
Of flashers and flashlights, flares and taillights.
A burner on the bridge.  A Human burns.

We drive slowly through the curious crowds
Who mill about and stare and point and laugh
They consider a charred corpse fair reward
For being delayed on their trip home from the lake
When they ‘rive home they’ll hoist stories and yip:
“I was there; I seen it, man; it was gross!”
But some already are anxious to go
They honk, and pop a top, and cuss the cops.
A burner on the bridge.  A human burns.

Below the bridge, old, silent water lurks
Oozing warmly, fetidly, in its drift
Slithering blackly in the warm spring night
A silent observer of fire and death
A carrier of beer cans and debris,
Radiator coolant, plastic, and blood
Concrete pylons pounded into the mud
Where once were trees.  And now the water sees
A burner on the bridge.  A human burns.

The bridge is an altar.  The wreckages
Are vessels sacred to our gods, the dead
Are sacrifices to our gods, an incense of death
Our offering is broken flesh, and blood:
“The is my body, burnt on this spring night;
This is my blood, shed on the center stripe.
A burner on the bridge.  A human burns.

A shapeless hat among the smoking ash,
Old clothes, a shoe, cans of beer, fishing lures:
The sad trifles and trinkets of the dead
Now, firemen in their yellow rubber suits
Climb slowly through the tortured, broken steels
And gently stow a man into a bag
Ashes and smoke, green radiator fluid
The old river flows, wherever it goes.
A burner on the bridge.  A human burned.

Hours later: coffee at the Dairy Queen
High school baseball players yelp cheerfully as
They wreck fast cars in a video game.
Under the fluorescents, the flashers seem
Still to turn, endlessly turn, in the night
Hamburgers, possibly char-broiled, are gulped
Sloppily, laughingly, as cleated feet
And deep-fried breath cheer a video death.
A burner on the bridge.  A human burned.

A burner on the bridge.  A human burned.
KMD Oct 2016
Right now I am on this strange bridge.
A bridge in between adolescence and adulthood.
The bridge is long, but I walk fast.
Even when I demand my feet to slow down, they keep moving forward with a quickened and frightened pace,
as if they were being chased, but they are not.
You see, no one is on the bridge but me.
And that makes me lonely.
I have friends on both sides of the bridge,
but they don't seem to walk with me.
So I walk by myself.
Sometimes when the loneliness becomes too much to bare,
I turn around to look at where I came from.,
to make my heart warm with the memories.
With just one turn of my head I can hear my Dad's voice on Christmas morning, yelling that Santa came.
I can remember the satisfaction of running through the sprinkler on a warm September school night.
I can taste the hot chocolate marshmallows on my lips, the way it warmed my body on the first snow day of the year.
I can feel the grass underneath my bare feet as I weave in and out of laundry hung up on a line.
I can see the fireworks light up the July night sky as I lay on a riverbank with my best friends.
I can hear James Taylor's sweet voice flow freely though the kitchen as my mom makes dinner.
And I can remember, I can so vividly remember how it feels to lay down at night knowing that on the other side of my poster plastered bedroom wall, were people who would always and fervently protect me.
How infinite I thought those feelings would be.
But most times I can not afford to look back for long.
I must keep walking, so I turn and face the other side of the bridge.
I have no memories there.
Only my own fears,
My own expectations.
My own hopes.
I imagine what that side will look like.
A good job. Bills, savings. Responsibility.
A swanky city apartment, plane tickets to pretty places.
Wanting to make some difference but not quite knowing how.
Phone calls to catch up.
Visits twice a year.
A nice boy, a happy girl.
Something blue, something borrowed.
More mouths to feed, more souls to love.
Coffee and wrinkles.
Fighting to stay in love.
Fighting to stay alive.
These thoughts overwhelm me.
Thinking of the other side places a weighted and anxious ball in the pit of my gut.
So today instead of looking back and instead of looking forward, I choose to look down.
I see the wooden beams of the bridge, smooth and nailed carefully together.
Through the cracks of the wood I notice the raging river below.
The water looks so cold. The movement looks so violent.
I am overcome with a feeling of relief that I am not in the river.
I notice again the wooden beams of the bridge, constructed so carefully.
I bend my knees and my feet feel the sturdiness of the bridge.
I can't help but smile.
And for the first time since I have been on the bridge,
I feel so overwhelmingly thankful that I even have a bridge at all,
that I have something to walk on during this journey.
I guess sometimes it takes looking down,
to realize what's lifting you up.
Stephan Cotton May 2017
Another shift, another day, Another buck to spend or save
A million riders, maybe more, delivered to their office door
Or maybe warehouse maybe store.
Or church or shul or city school, right on time as a rule.

Clickety, clackety, clickety, clee,
I am New York, the City’s me
Come let me ride you on my knee
From Coney Isle to Pelham Bay
From Bronx to Queens eight times a day.

Ride my trains, New Yorkers do
And you’ll learn a thing or two
About the City up above, the one some hate, the one some love.
On the street they work like elves
Down below they’re just themselves.

Through summer’s heat they still submerge,
Tempers held (though always on the verge),
They push, they shove – just like above –
The crowds will jostle, then finally merge.

Downtown to work and then back to sleep
They travel just like farm-herded sheep.
In through this gate and out the other,
Give up a seat to a child and mother,
Just don’t sit too close to that unruly creep!

With these crowds huddled near
Just ride my trains with open ear,
There’s lots of tales for you to hear.

Dis stop is 86th Street, change for da numbah 4 and 5 trains.  Dis is a Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.   77th Street is next.  Watch out da closin dowahs.

     I’m Doctor Z, Doctor Z are me
     I’ll fix your face or the visit’s free.
     Plastic surgery, nips and tucks
     You’ll be looking like a million bucks.

     Looka those pitchas, ain’t they hot?
     You’ll look good, too, like as not!
     Just call my numbah, free of toll
     Why should you look like an ugly troll?

     You’ll be lookin good like a rapster
     Folks start stealing your tunes on Napster
     Guys’ll love ya, dig your face
     Why keep lookin like sucha disgrace?

     Call me up, you’re glad you did
     Ugly skin you’ll soon be rid.
     Amex, Visa, Mastercard,
     Payment plans that ain’t so hard.

     So don’t forget, pick up that phone
     Soon’s you get yourself back home.
     I’ll have you looking good, one, two three
     Or else my name ain’t Doctor Z.

Dis stop is 77th Street, 68th Street Huntah College is next. Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Watch out da closin dowahs.

     It was a limo, now it’s the train;
     Tomorrow’s sunshine, but now it’s rain.
     The market’s mine, for taking and giving
     It’s the way I earn my living.

     Today’s losses, last week’s gain.
     A day of pleasure, months of pain.
     We sold the puts and bought the calls;
     We loaded up on each and all.

     I’ve seen it all, from Fear to Greed,
     Good motivators, they are, both.
     The fundamentals I try to heed
     Run your gains and avoid big loss.

     Rates are down, I bought the banks
     For easy credit, they should give thanks.
     Goldman, Citi, even Chase
     Why are they still in their malaise?

     “The techs are drek,” I heard him say
     But bought more of them, anyway.
     I rode the bull, I’ll tame the bear
     I’ll scream and curse and pull my hair.

     So why continue though I’m such a ****?
     I’ll cut my loss if I find honest work.

Dis is 68th Street Huntah College, 59th Street is next. Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Watch out da closin dowahs.

     He rides the train from near to far,
     In and out of every car.
     “Batchries, batchries, tres por un dolar!”
     Some folks buy them, most do not,
     Are they stolen, are they hot?
     “Batchries, batchries, tres por un dolar!”

     Who would by them, even a buck?
     What’re the odds they’re dead as a duck?
     “Batchries, batchries, tres por un dolar!”
     Why not the Lotto, try your luck,
     Or are you gonna be this guy’s schmuck?
     “Batchries, batchries, tres por un dolar!”

Dis is 59th Street, change for de 4 and 5 Express and for de N and de R, use yer Metrocard at sixty toid street for da F train.  51st Street is next. Dis is a Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Watch out da closin dowahs.

     “Dat guy kips ****** wit me, Wass he
     tink, I got time for dat ****?  Man, I
     got my wuk to do, I ain gona put
     up with him
     no more.”

          “I don’t know what to tell this dude. Like,
          I really dig him but
          ***?  No way.  And
          He’s getting all too smoochie face.”

     “Right on, bro, slap dat fool up
     side his head, he leave you lone.”

          “Whoa, send him my way.  When’s the last
          time I got laid?  I’m way ready.”

          “Oh, Suzie,..”

Dis is fifty foist Street, 42nd Street Grand Central is next. Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Watch out da closin doors.

     Abogados es su amigos, do you believe the sign?
     Are they really a friend of mine?
     Find your lawyer on the train
     He’ll sue if the docs ***** up your brain.

     Pick a lawyer from this ad
     (I’m sure that you’ll be really glad)
     You’ll get a lawyer for your suit,
     Mean and nasty, not so cute.

     Call to live in this great nation
     Or if your bills got you in a rut

     We’re just three guys from Flatbush, Queens
     Who’ll sue that ******* out of his jeans.
     Mama’s proud when she rides this train
     To see my sign making so much rain.

     No SEC no corporations
     We can’t find the United Nations.
     Just give us torts and auto wrecks
     And clients with braces on their necks.

     Hurting when you do your chores?
     There’s money in that back of yours.
     Let us be your friend in courts
     Call 1-800-SUE 4 TORTS.

Dis is 42nd Street, Grand Central, change for the 4, 5 and 7 trains. Dis is a Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Toity toid is next.  Watch out da closin doors.

They say there’s sev’ral million a day
From out in the ‘burbs, they pass this way.
Most come to work, some for to play
They all want to talk, with little to say.

Bumping and shoving, knocking folks down
A million people running around.
The hustle, the bustle the noise that’s so loud
Get me far from this madding crowd.

“We can be shopping instead of just stopping
And onto the next outbound train we go hopping.
Hey, it’s a feel that that guy’s a-copping!”

They want gourmet food, from steaks down to greens
Or neckties and suits, or casual jeans,
It’s not simply newspapers and magazines
For old people, young people, even for teens.

Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Dis is Thoidy toid Street, twenty eight is next.  Watch out da closin doors.

     “So what’s the backup plan if
     He doesn’t get into Trevor Day?
     I know your
     heart’s set on it, but we’ve only
     got so many strings we
     can pull, and we can’t donate a
     ******* building.”

           “Hooda believed me if I tolja the Mets
          would sail tru and the Yanks get dere
          by da skinna dere nuts?
          I doan believe it myself.  Allya
          Gotta do is keep O’Neil playin hoit
          And keep Jeter off his game an
          We’ll killum.

               “My sistah tell me she be yo *****.  I tellya I cut you up if you
                ****** wid her, I be yo ***** and donchu fuggedit.”

     “I wish you wouldn’t talk like that.
     And we can just **** good and
     Well find some more strings to pull!”

          “Big fuggin chance.  Wadder ya’ smokin?”

               “Yo sitah she ain my *****, you be my *****.  I doan be ******
                wid yo sistah.  You tell her she doan be goin round tellin folks
                dat ****.”

Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Dis is Twenty eight Street, twenty toid is next.  Watch out da closin dowahs.

     Do you speak Russian, French or Greek,
     We’ll assimilate you in a week.
     If Chinese is your native tongue
     You’ll speak good English from day one.

     Morning, noon, evening classes
     Part or full time, lads and lasses.
     You’ll be sounding like the masses
     With word and phrase that won’t abash us.

     Language is our stock in trade
     For us it’s how our living’s made.
     We’ll put you in a class tonight
     Soon your English’ll be out of sight.

     If you’re from Japan or Spain
     Basque or Polish, even Dane,
     Our courses put you in the main
     Stream without any need for pain.

     We’ll teach you all the latest idioms
     You’ll be speaking with perfidium.
     We’ll give you lots of proper grammar
     Traded for that sickle and hammer.

     Are you Italian, Deutsch or Swiss?
     With our classes you can’t miss
     The homogeneous amalgamation
     Of this sanitized Starbucks nation.

Dis is Twenty toid Street, 14th Street Union Square is next. Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Watch out da closin doors.

     “Ladies and Gentlemen, I hate to bother you
     But things are bleak of late.
     I had a job and housing, too
     Before my little quirk of fate.”

     “There came a day, not long ago,
     When to my job I came.
     They handed me a pink slip, though,
     And ev’n misspelled my name.”

     “We’ve got three kids, my wife and me.
     We’re bringing them up right.
     They’re still in school from eight to three
     With homework every night.”

     “I won’t let them see me begging here,
     They think I go to work.
     Still to that job I held so dear
     Until fate’s awful quirk.”

     “So help us now, a little, please
     A quarter, dime (or dollar still better),
     It’ll go so far to help to ease
     The chill of this cold winter weather.”

     “I’ll walk the car now, hat in hand
     I do so hope you understand
     I’m really a proud, hard working man
     Whose life just slipped out of its plan.”

     “I thank you, you’ve all been oh so grand.”

Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Dis is 14th Street, Union Square, change for da 4 and 5 Express, the N and the R.   Astor Place is next.  Watch out da closin doors.

     The hours are long, the pay’s no good
     I’m far from home and neighborhood.
     All day I work at Astor Place
     With sunshine never on my face.
     Candy bar a dollar, a soda more
     A magazine’s a decent score.
     Selling papers was the game
     But at two bits the Post’s to blame
     For adding hours to my long day.
     All the more work to save
     Tuition for that son of mine: that tall,
     Strong, handsome, American son

Dis is a Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Yer at Astah Place, Bleekah Street is next.  Watch out da closin doors.

     Summer subway’s always hot, AC’s busted, like as not
     Tracks are bumpy, springs are shot ‘tween the cars they’re smoking

     To catch the car you gotta run they squeeze you in with everyone
     Just hope no body’s got a gun 'cause getting there is half the fun.

     Packed in this car we’re awful tight seems this way both day and
     And then some guys will start a fight.  Subway ride’s a real delight.

     Danger! Keep out! Rodenticide! I read while waiting for a ride.
     This is a warning I have to chide:  
     I’m very likely to walk downtown, but I’d never do it Underground.

     Took the Downtown by mistake.  Please, conductor, hit the brake!
     Got an uptown date to make, God only knows how long I’ll take.

Yer ona Brooklyn Bridge bound Numbah 6 Train.  Dis is Bleekah Street, Spring Street is next.  Watch out da closin doors.

     The trains come through the station here,
     The racket’s music to my ear.
Images, overheard (and imagined) conversations.  @2003
I walk on your bridge
I walk on your bridge
I wanted to cry
I walk on your bridge
I walked on your bridge
the wind blew i knew you were there
I walked on your bridge
I walked on your bridge
I  remember your kiss
I walked on your bridge
i walked on your bridge
i wanted to jump
I walked on your bridge
I walked on your bridge
to say i love you
I Walked  on your bridge
There’s I place I go to
When you cross my mind
It’s almost as if your still there
By my side
Whispering in my ear
Caressing my palm

We called it the bridge to nowhere

I remember meeting you there
Sitting near the end
Staring out towards the water
You approaching me

I remember looking up
At your perfect tanned face
Your messy dark hair
Your mesmerizing gold eyes
Casually wearing your football jersey.

I remember your simple hello
Your nervous chuckle
Your silly smile.

I remember smiling back
And inviting you to sit.

Our first meeting on the bridge to nowhere

I remember sneaking out after dark
To meet you there
Just to lay on the bare wooden boards
Staring at the moon

I remember the smell of flowers that spring
branches blooming nearby
The smell of smoke and spices
Forever embedded in your clothes.

I remember your singing
Sweet nothings
in Spanish
Softly in my ear

Entwined together on the bridge to nowhere

I remember your high school graduation
Your mother so proud
Your sister excited
Your father crying

I remember your first game in college
Your running onto the field
Pride and joy in your eyes
Though you didn’t play
Because of that sprained wrist

I remember your sweaty embrace
And your ramblings
of the game
Reviewing every play
Your eyes shimmering with excitement

Racing to the bridge to nowhere

I remember that call
Which changed my life
My heart stopped
I couldn’t think

I remember rushing
to the hospital
Crying with your little sister
Collapsed on the floor

I remember your bloodied face
Wrapped in linen
Tubes bursting from your chest

I wanted to race to the bridge to nowhere

I remember spending my nights
Curled by your side
Willing you to stay

I remember that endless tone
That said you were gone

I cried at the bridge to nowhere

I remember curling up in your hoodie
Smelling you
Pretending it was you
Your arms surrounding me

I remember lying by the stone
That recalled your name
Talking to you
Burning letters by the small candle

I remember cleaning out your room
With your mother and sister
Finding that little box by your bed
Your final gift to me

I opened it at the bridge to nowhere

I still go there sometimes
With a letter filled
With promises to you
And a flame by which to send it.
Morning Star Apr 2020
*** Fallen Angel ***

Into darkness once again but now it's different

Because I've learnt to fall a little way

See a little of what went before but never be dragged with in its claw

As now a bridge I see is there it's wobbly yes but still secure

It's made of rope, it swings and rocks

Even if  I let go it holds me firm

So I can see what lies beneath

But never again will I fall so deep

For now I choose if I let go

You see I built a bridge I know

I'm still aware of the void beneath, the loss , the pain, the endless sleep, the fear

But now i can choose to look I can choose to see or even feel

But never again can I fall in

You see

as I built a bridge for my child within

She cannot live in fear now

She has my love tied in its secure enough to hold us both

Entwined together our bridge

Is love

Yes the void is deep and dark

But the fear has gone now the bridge is there it's so strong it can not break

You see its made from strength I found one day

It was buried inside too scared to try to scared to climb

But as an adult I entwined it with love it grew

Now my child has the strength to climb

She is with me now safe and dry

She does not need to hide or cry or remember the fear

She only has to walk along side me holding my hand ever so tightly

The love I have for her is the bridge that can never break it's strong and yet it can swing so we still get to have childish fun

it has beautiful flowers it has strong arms it can lift us up so high

It's our bridge so high above

Above the fall

The past is left the pain has gone

The fear is dropped into the void as its to heavy for our bridge

but the happy memories fly with us above

All we have to do is walk along our bridge.

Yes this time it's different I can only look over and down but I cannot fall now as fear has gone and our love is one me and my little girl

Our bridge

By Fallen Angel

19th February 2016
*** Fallen Angel ***
Written by
*** Fallen Angel ***
Morning Star Feb 2022
Aug 2016

Our Bridge.

Into darkness once again but now it's different

Because I've learnt to fall a little way

See a little of what went before but never be dragged with in its claw

As now a bridge I see is there it's wobbly yes but is still secure

It's made of rope, it swings and rocks

Even if  I let go it holds me firm

So I can see what lies beneath

But never again will I fall so deep

For now I choose if I let go

You see I built a bridge I know

I'm still aware of the void beneath, the loss , the pain, the endless sleep, the fear

But now i can choose to look I can choose to see or even feel

But never again can I fall in

You see

as I built a bridge for my child within

She cannot live in fear now

She has my love tied in its secure enough to hold us both

Entwined together our bridge

Is love

Yes the void is deep and dark

But the fear has gone now the bridge is there it's so strong it can not break

You see its made from strength I found one day

It was buried inside too scared to try to scared to climb

But as an adult I entwined it with love it grew

Now my child has the strength to climb

She is with me now safe and dry

She does not need to hide or cry or remember the fear

She only has to walk along side me holding my hand ever so tightly

The love I have for her is the bridge that can never break it's strong and yet it can swing so we still get to have childish fun

it has beautiful flowers it has strong arms it can lift us up so high

It's our bridge so high above

Above the fall

The past is left the pain has gone

The fear is dropped into the void as its to heavy for our bridge

but the happy memories fly with us above

All we have to do is walk along our bridge.

Yes this time it's different I can only look over and down but I cannot fall now as fear has gone and our love is one me and my little girl

Our bridge

By Fallen Angel

19th February 2016
xxxMorning starxxx
Kimberly Clemens Jul 2013
I burnt a bridge that didn't have any water under it.
No numbing temperature to shock you.
No tormenting waves to annhilate you.
No angry current to pull you under.
The bridge let across all the danger that I wanted to avoid.
But now that I burnt it down to the ground all that danger
came crashing down into the safe haven
that was protected by my bridge.
I was told to never look down when you feel inferior.
There was grass under that bridge but I was too blind to see it.
I was too busy looking up at the speeding cars crossing this turnpike.
I was suffocated and transfixed by the high beams of my problems.
I was so busy facing my problems head on
That I never bothered to look down and find the strength in giving in.
I didn't realize the bridge was what was directing the negativity away from me.
I listened to them. Society, that is.
And what a stupid idea that was.
Because they told me to burn my bridges.
They told me to strike a match to them
And watch it settle into an unforgiving blaze
Before walking away without looking back.
But they never told me some bridges were meant to save me.
They never said the real danger could be what was beneath the bridge.
They never warned me about the dam underneath that was ready to burst.
Karma is crashing down onto me like baseball-sized hail.
It's not the boomerang effect coming back around to hit me in the face
But instead the avalanche I created from throwing it too far.
And hitting a wall that was too fragile to be played with.
The worst part is I have no bridge to take cover under in a hailstorm anymore.
And no bridge to cross to get away from the incoming avalanche.
All I have are the ashes of what I thought was hurting me.
But it was actually what was saving me.
J H Webb Nov 2017
(from my hospital bed – Nov. 14 2017)

Over the bridge of friendship
How many time I've gone
Sometimes I'm met in the middle
Sometimes there is no one

Sometimes I am too weak to cross
Sometimes I am too strong
But crossing the bridge of friendship
That never can be wrong

Over the bridge of friendship
I've learned to heal two hearts
I've been the one most giving
And I've played the other part

I've been rude and selfish
And I've been loving and kind
But the bridge always reminds me
That I'm not alone this time

Over the bridge of friendship
I've travelled many times
Sometimes I am accepted
Sometimes I am declined

I'm not saying that I am perfect
I've had my share of pride
But I never would refuse you
On this bridge of yours and mine

So when you feel too sad or lonely
Just stop and turn around
And cross the bridge of friendship
Where you know I can be found

And I know the bridge of friendship
Will outlast me in the end
But when you take that last walk
I'll be waiting for you my friend

James H. Webb
Jimmy Hegan Apr 2016






marriegegirl Jun 2014
<p><p>Vous ne seriez pas normalement penser à un jour du mariage de l'Alabama dans un 30 degré cadre hivernal rapide .Mais je vous assure .cette soirée douce de couleur simple est chaude comme ils viennent .Enveloppements Pashmina pour les « femmes de ménage .les liens de la laine à la main.une cérémonie et la  <p><a href="" target="blank"><img width="240" height="320" src=""></a></p>  réception éclatante à Stone Bridge Farm鈥c'est une galerie que vous aurez envie de s'acoquiner avec n'importe quel moment de l'année !\u003cp\u003e<p>ColorsSeasonsWinterSettingsFarmStylesModern De la belle mariée .J'ai épousé mon mari douce journée d'hiver le plus parfait à Cullman .Alabama à Stone Bridge Farm .Alors qu'il était un frisquet 30 degrés le jour de notre mariage .la chaleur de nos amis et de la famille ( et beaucoup de danse ! ) Nous a empêché de congélation !Mon inspiration pour le mariage était tout confortables et élégantes .Je voulais aussi de lier des éléments de Noël sans trop le thème des vacances .Lorsqu'on pense à la demoiselle d'honneur les couleurs de robe .je voulais éviter rouge ou vert .j'ai donc choisi une palette neutre .J'ai donné mes demoiselles d'honneur des options d'habillage et leur a permis de choisir leurs propres robes .Je voulais qu'ils se sentent à l'aise et très beau!Je leur ai aussi donné pashminas et robes crème pour les aider à rester au chaud tout au long de la journée.Ma robe de la collection Anne Barge Blue Willow a été faite d'un matériau de point suisse que j'ai tout de suite tombé en amour avec .Le matériau unique.doux complété le thème du mariage .<p>La cérémonie a eu lieu à la chapelle en bois magnifique à Stone Bridge Farm .Arbres de Noël et de cyprès ornés de la chapelle .ce qui porte à juste la bonne quantité de touches de Noël .Les bancs en bois et des bougies dans les fenêtres ajoutées à l' agrément !La musique de Noël douce a été joué par le pianiste et violoniste comme invités étaient assis .Mon pasteur nous a mariés avec les douces histoires personnelles sur Tyler et moi dans le sermon .<p>La réception a eu lieu à côté.dans leur belle salle de réception.Tout <b>robe ceremonie fille</b>  sur la réception dégageait une ambiance chaleureuse et confortable .Mon mari .Tyler .était un ancien mascotte de l'Université Auburn .si naturellement .Aubie Tigre dû faire une apparition à la réception.En outre.le gâteau du marié sélectionnée Aubie assis sur le dessus de l'enseigne Auburn University .un monument bien connu dans la communauté Auburn .Nous avons tous dansé toute la nuit de la musique fantastique de Az Izz.who dansé tout autant que nous avons tous fait !<p>Mes choses préférées au sujet de notre mariage étaient les contacts personnels dispersés dans la journée.Maman super talentueux Tyler fait arc les liens des garçons d'honneur de laine gris .En outre.son cousin  <a href=""><b>robe ceremonie fille</b></a>  en fait le gâteau génial Aubie !Mon meilleur ami .et dame d'honneur .esquissés toutes les images pour le programme de mariage .mon mari et talentueux conçu le programme lui-même.Le pianiste qui a joué lors de la cérémonie a également joué dans le mariage de mes parents .Toutes ces touches personnelles ont rendu notre journée encore plus spéciale .Au lieu de regarder en arrière et de voir un jour froid d'hiver en Alabama .nous sommes remplis de souvenirs chaleureux de notre famille et les amis qui nous entourent sur ​​le plus beau jour de notre vie Photographie <p>: Couleur Brandon Gresham - Simple | Fleurs : . Avagrâce Designs A Stone Bridge Farm | Robe de mariée : The White Room | Invitations: Frappée | demoiselles d'honneur robes : ASOS | Restauration : Stone Bridge Farm | Cheveux Et Maquillage Bretagne Benton Massey | Calligraphie : Sarah Tate Designs | Band : Az Izz | Bridegâteau : Gâteaux créatifs de Cullman | demoiselle d'honneur Robes : Cible | Cérémonie et réception Lieu: Stone Bridge Farm | marié et garçons d'honneur Tenue: M. Burch Tenue de soirée | gâteau du marié : cake Creations Hannah Whitner | Robe de Réception : BHLDN | planification de mariage et conception:Stone  <a href=""><b>robe de soirée grande taille</b></a>  Bridge FarmBHLDN est un membre de notre Look Book .Pour plus d'informations sur la façon dont les membres sont choisis .cliquez ici</p>
Louise Oct 2017
I wondered how long it would take me to muster the courage to mention this bridge.

Guess now is the time.

I cross this familiar bridge whenever I go home from work.
It was a long bridge hanging just over a busy avenue with high-speed vehicles on a constant city rush.
It was long enough for me to have time to contemplate how it feels like to be gone in this world forever.
A bridge rarely crossed by pedestrians, a solitary place for an emotionless soul.

There was one night I stopped walking at the middle of that bridge.
With my detached eyes looking over the passing lights of the cars,
I thought maybe I could fall from this height and get hit and dragged by a truck.

I could die on the spot.
Beautiful, I thought.
This place could be such a beautiful place.

To be gone.

The thought enticed me like the aroma of my favorite food.
And at the same time, it sent shivers down my spine
Until soon enough, my mind was clogged by the guilt caused by my thought of wanting to leave the world for my own selfish desires of escape.

I refused to be that coward.
I still remember how I desperately sobbed my way down the bridge.

From then, it was very hard for me to cross the bridge without getting panic attacks.
Nights weren't chilly, but my legs can barely stand straight,
Knees shaking nonstop.

But there's no other way for me to get home and I badly want to bury myself in my sheets.

I have to cross the bridge.

I have to face this path.

I have to endure the heavy weight on my chest. Every single day.

I have to fight these crippling thoughts.

At all costs, I have to get home.
Autumn Sep 2014
Often times upon hearing that somebody is sick, we assume that means that they are physically ill with the flu, the common cold, or some other virus going around. What we don’t realize is that people can be sick in the mind as well as in the body. I watched a young girl jump off of the 25th street bridge in the fall of last year, and that’s when I came to understand the true impact that mental illness can have on an individual. Only after witnessing this tragic event did I really start to grasp that mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few, are just as real and draining as physical illnesses can be.
I was planning on having a fun night out with my sister. It was a couple of weeks after my eighteenth birthday and my older sister Charlotte was going to take me out for a girl’s night. Our plan was to go to Lawrence since I would be able to get into concerts and such after turning eighteen. I was really thrilled, I got ready swiftly, and I headed over to my sister’s house. I was soon disappointed though because once I arrived she didn’t want to go to Lawrence. I was of course bummed but we decided to go get pizza instead. It was on our way back from picking up pizza that we both witnessed this tragic event.
As we drove across the 25th street bridge it was rather dark and I was not paying much attention, however, Charlotte thought that she saw somebody standing on the other side of the bridge. At the time I thought for sure that she was mistaken, but she turned around the car and as we drove slowly back across the bridge, I was horror struck upon seeing that there actually was a young girl probably about my age standing there on the other side, grasping the ledge with a pale face and wide eyes.
My sister stopped the car in the middle of the road and yelled to me, “Autumn, call 911 right now!” It took me a moment to realize what was actually happening. Even as it sunk in, I did not ever imagine that she would really jump. As I fumbled with my phone trying to call 911, I could hear my sister begging and pleading for the girl to come down. At this point I was still not convinced that she would jump so I did not realize the urgency of the situation. I explained to the 911 operator that there was a girl threatening to jump off the bridge. She kept asking what street I was on but I did not know the street and I had become side tracked by listening to my sister try to coax her down. I just remember being very appalled by the girl because she was being extremely rude. I of course did not understand what would cause her to be so rude to people that were trying to save her life. At this point in my life I definitely did not think of depression as something so serious. I of course knew about it but I had never come to understand it before. I knew I had to find out the name of the street so I peeled my eyes and ears away from my sister and the girl and started sprinting down the street. I could feel the cool fall air on my hot flustered face as I was running. I know it sounds crazy but my adrenaline was rushing and I became detached from the situation during those 30 seconds of running. It was such a lovely November night and exhilaration was running through my body like a steady current. I felt like I was in a scene from a movie. I was not really that scared yet because I had already played it all out in my head. The way I pictured it, Charlotte would convince the girl to come down, cops would come and make sure that she would come down safely, we could all go our separate ways and that would be that. I’d never experienced any sort of situation like that one, so of course I had envisioned it would play out just like it would if we were in a movie.
All I remember next was being pulled out of my run by a piercing scream from my sister. I stopped and looked over and the girl was no longer standing on the ledge. It had occurred to me that she had jumped but for some reason I was still convincing myself that she was fine. Even though I knew logically that the likelihood of surviving after that kind of a fall was not of any percent, I couldn’t help but think that she might still be okay. I just had not played out that scenario in my head, so therefore it was unreal to me.
I stood there in complete and utter shock. It was as if everything around me had come to a standstill and all I could hear was the operator on the other line “Ma’am…ma’am? Are you still there? Do you know the street name ma’am?” I simply hung up. It seemed as if in a matter of seconds 12 cars were surrounding me and sirens were going off and people were shouting and I still to this day have no idea how that bridge went from being such a quiet empty place to being filled with dozens of people within seconds.  My sister was not in an emotional state to deal with what was happening so I quietly moved her car, called her husband, and talked to the cops.
For some reason I never got emotionally upset about the event. My sister to this day is dealing with PTSD and still has vivid flashbacks and reoccurring nightmares. It was only after witnessing this event and seeing the dramatic effects that it had on my sister and still continues to have on my sister, that I realized the importance of dealing with mental illnesses on the same level of urgency that we deal with physical illnesses. I have never had many mental health problems so therefore I can look at things from a broader more logical perspective. I often times learn a lot just by evaluating other people’s experiences rather than experiencing things on my own.
I can now see that when somebody has a mental illness we need to help them and we need to be patient. I think the most important thing to do is to remain kind and open minded. We need to realize that when somebody is dealing with a mental illness they do not always realize or understand that they may come off as rude or angry. What I have learned is that getting angry with somebody who has a mental illness will only escalate things further. I did a lot of research into mental illness after this event and I think the most important thing to remember is that just because you don’t understand mental illnesses from a personal viewpoint, does not mean that you can’t be knowledgeable about such illnesses and learn to deal with them in a helpful and compassionate way. I think another important thing to mention as I bring this story to a close is that there may not be a logical reason as to why horrible things like these happen, but that doesn’t mean that we have to create one. By this, I mean we should not place the blame on ourselves because that is just as illogical as jumping off of a bridge.
Eryri Sep 2018
Standing straight in the swirling straits,
A bridge - now outdated - whose chains bear great weight and history,
Bejewelled with diamond raindrops that glisten in the winter sun,
Lending the old bridge the look of a semi-submerged crown.

This bridge is a source of pride to the islanders,
Many stories are told of it,
Some are true and some are legend,
But one tale lies inbetween:
That of a giant King chased from the island.
Forced to leap across the boiling straits,
Barely making landfall,
Falling backwards as he did so,
Watching in horror as his crown tumbled to the ground,
Falling into the grey waters.

Many years went by,
And modern ways demanded a bridge.
As foundations were laid a discovery made!
Upon the shore, deep in ancient mud,
Poked out a colossal rusting iron crown,
News broke!
Everyone spoke!
The story was true!
A giant King had once ruled!
So, in honour of this ancient King,
The design was amended to honour this crown,
And that is why this bridge, in profile,
Resembles the ancient coronet,
Found on the shore of the waters that the Romans failed to cross.
Of course, naysayers claim there was no crown,
Merely publicity seekers who found an old iron fence,
And who contrived a tale with willing locals.
Whichever is true,
The bridge is part of a glorious view,
And stories abound of its construction,
Like the man who walked the length of the chain,
Stopping halfway to take in the view whilst making a shoe!
Or of the maiden who swore that all who crossed would suffer a loss,
As great as they could ever imagine.

This bridge, whose beauty is unsurpassed,
Is now part of a glorious past of truths, lies and legends.
But forever it will stand,
And many more stories it shall inspire,
For it no longer simply links lands,
But now links truth and myth...
Am byth.
"Am byth" Welsh, meaning "forever"
Anonymous Freak Jul 2016
Signaling smoke
In the summer sky,
You could've seen the signs
Miles away.
My parents' marriage
Went up in flames.

I wasn't afraid of fire
When I was a child.
I was brought up
Under the black locust trees,
With dirt paths
Beat with bare feet
Into the woods.
And the smell of smoke
Was normal on my clothes,
I could start a fire when I was so young,
I don't even remember my age.

I wasn't afraid of fire.

So when it
The bottoms of my feet
As I sat on the wooden bridge
Built across the battle trench
Between my parents
I wasn't worried,
Not really.

When it collapsed
Every child ran to what looked like
The safer side,
Which we each had different
Opinions of.

I walked out
With white ash
On my eyelashes
Like delicate, fluttering snowflakes.
My nose burned, and it sometimes
Hurt to breathe.
My body was covered in soot,
It blended my skin into
The night,
And I felt safer there.

I am building a bridge now.

It's a work in progress,
It will be years before it's done,
But we're building with steel
Not wood.
And I'm slowly
Washing my body
Of the black powdered residue,
And breathing out the smoke.

The only problem is,
First I have to cross the bridge
I lived on
As a child.
See the brittle places
Where it caught flames,
And repaire the flaws left by it
In my head
So that our bridge binding
Him and me won't ignite.

I was never afraid of fire.

But I'm afraid of what it does.
Try walking on a charcoal bridge,
A burnt up marriage,
Still smoking.
Tell me
That isn't terrifying...
It's hard to know
Where to put your feet
So you don't fall.
And I'm not past that bridge yet,
So sometimes
I forget
That I'm not her,
And he's not him.

I have parts of her face,
I have features that are his.

I have some of their problems.

But I'm crossing that bridge
After they burned it.
Amitav Radiance May 2014
There is a bridge across the raging river
Bridging the gap from between destinations
As if the river is conquered to submission
The thick pillars taking the onslaught
Of the strong undercurrents underneath
People from all walks of life, walk across
Creating bridge among people’s life
It’s an exchange of ideas and skills
Between the two separate destinations
As successfully bringing the society together
The bridge stands strong and allows a free passage
Bearing no discriminatory thoughts
Building bridges, to reach out to each other
Acting as the lifeline for so many people
In times of eventualities, happy or sad
The bridge is testimony to so many occurrences
Patiently serving the multitude
Cushioning them from the fury of the river
It’s concrete in its resolve to protect
To bridge the differences in people’s hearts
Build new bridges to reach out to everyone
Mend the cracks in time, to take care of the bridge
For, it will withstand all the fury and help bridge the gap

© Amitav (Radiance)
Nicole Bataclan Jul 2013
It is the bridge
Now and forever
The bridge of fear
And are we crossing over?
It is the bridge between
Possibility and doubt
Will we stay stuck
Or are we willing to try?
It is the bridge between
Who we are and
What we could be
Will the distance
Or will it be us
Are we ready
To venture
Cross this bridge
To our future?
Hold me tight
Let us take a chance
And bridge the gap
I am inclined
If you are
To cross the bridge
That leads to
You and I.
Joel A Doetsch Jul 2012
I walked to the place today
the place where our bridge
   used to be.  
It's still hidden
deep within my mind.  I
know the way to the spot
all too well.

I stand and look across the chasm

The structures that anchored our bridge
to the canyon wall are now overgrown
  with ivy and vines.  The once
mighty body of the bridge itself
   lies a thousand feet below, slowly
eaten away by the river of change.
The river that also eats away at our
canyon walls, pushing us ever further

I remember when we built that bridge.
I saw you across the ravine.  You didn't
notice me, you were too busy smelling
the tiger lilies.  I was in awe.
I felt like a fool pretending to be wise
I felt like a boy pretending to be a man

I yelled towards you, hoping you'd notice.
You did.
You smiled.
I almost died right there.

I sent you love poems on kites
You always blushed as you read

Then one day I threw over a line.
It was just the beginning.
Over the months, I built upon that
line, until I had constructed a
mighty bridge to
Span the gap

I was finally together with you
Everything was right.  My life
was filled with a soothing light.

I remember the night our bridge collapsed.
I remember the hateful words and venemous,
acidic thoughts that became kindling.
We spit bile and gasoline soaked barbs at each other
soaking the bridge with discontent.
We hurled insults at breakneck speeds, creating
sparks with the collisions.  The result was a towering
inferno between us.  It was fueled by contempt and

Still we shouted, unaware of the permanence of what
we were doing

By the time we came to our senses, we were too late.
The bridge creaked and bowed as the fire consumed
it.  I remember the last thing I saw before it fell.  I saw
your eyes staring at me through the flames, your
beautiful eyes lit up by the moment.  The tears
reflected off of your face.

The bridge finally plummeted into the abyss below.  It
was a falling star of potential energy.  What we could
have had. I cringe when I think of how black the river
looked that night.

Now I'm standing here at the spot that it all
started.  I look up, and I see you on the other
side again.  You're wearing a white dress and
a smile.

I smile back.
My heart glides.

Ready to begin anew
Mitchell Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
The path to your own heart has a bridge that you built, but can't cross
The river flowing underneath strikes up currents in your mind that cause you to feel lost
These wavelengths of confusion **** you right in
You forget about the bridge in the first place, and start swimming against them
In perfect theory you just want to reach the other side,
But nothing's ever perfect, right?
Especially when this is something you started yourself, and backwards seems like down and confusion takes you south
For the winter, and now you're in freezing water
[This is dangerous ground]
If the ice freezes over
You will be held captive under
There are equal people on the other side of the bridge you built
Asking for your hand
But you won't reach out
You doubt the help that the ones who love you offer
They're right in front of you,
But you don't even bother
"I can do this alone"
"Everyone look at me"
"I'm the King of my bridge"
Wait, did you forget you were drowning?
A potential King, maybe
But for now that's a fantasy
If you reached out your hand
You might find fellow company
Of people who are riding the exact same wave
Of people who also are lost in the game
We all built a bridge, and it's hard to get over
Think of how much easier it would be to get across it together
Two is better than one,
And that's why we are divided
Take pride in your individuality
But don't be mislead by it
The currents are only as strong as you want them to be
If anything I'll tell you, I found this in me
I believe it so much
It's why I am writing
This isn't just a poem about a boy and a bridge
This is my vision, and I want to actually teach it
And I will, absolutely nothing is in my way
I'm still crossing my bridge to this very day
It's all part of this journey,
And I didn't get where I am alone
We are equal parts of this river
And I want to help sail us home
Kalesh Kurup Dec 2016
I again got stuck in the bridge today
In the Upper Plateau bridge-
The bridge  across  the lagoon.
Stuck, with no breathing space to manoeuvre
All three lanes facing forward, chock a block
Cars of all sizes and costs strewn around

It's always like that, faced ahead on the wheel
Neither space to turn left to see anything right;
Nor to the right, for anything left...
When on the steering wheel
You are responsible, not just for your actions;
But the whole world around.
For the car in the front, back and the
Sides, who cannot move until you move.
Slowly you realise, 'it was never a
Bridge across for ever"

There has been this urge,
Many a time, to break out and run, though
You are stuck in the bridge, no room to
Often it's like a circle eating itself;
Beginning losing the end and vice versa!

But then comes the thoughts of the school fees, the maintenance, the rent and the upkeep
You are stuck on the bridge, mate
Stay put, until the snarls open its own

All rights reserved (c) A K Kalesh Kumar 2016
Concept of left without anything  right and right where nothing left is borrowed from a friend.
Kathleen D Weibe Feb 2010
Alone once again on the Lovers Bridge in Cheshire, Mass. Looking down some 30 ft above a small narrow stream. Remembering the time my love and I holding hands sitting on the old bridge.  He carved our names at the 15th tie.  Looking at it as the weather and time nearly worn it away. This is where my love had proposed to my heart as we were on a path to live for one another.   I said yes with tears in my eyes my soul leaping for joy.  The old bridge barley stands today, but the day he was taken from me; I never returned to old lovers bridge that he had named.  It wasn't till years and years later when I gathered the strength and courage to walk those lonely steps with out him by my side holding my hand.    I sat in the same spot the day he asked me that meaningful question.  I heard his tone, and saw his handsome face in my head smiling at me. He was so nervous he almost dropped the ring.  I can not forget the times we had picnics on the old bridge laughing and just being ourselves.  Today I wonder if he knew how much I loved him and wished he didn't have to leave. In my hand I held the ring that he nearly dropped some 20 years earlier.    With a kiss and my prayer to him hoping God kept him safe.  dropped the ring and walked those lonely steps across lovers bridge that he named.
Hal Loyd Denton Nov 2011
A Bridge

As a teenager we lived on a rented farm just one hill over we started down the property of the adjacent
Farm at the bottom of the hill we came across the remains of a bridge nothing was left but the steel it

Was rusty and there was so much undergrowth it would have been missed if we had been walking
Fifteen feet to either side it created a mood the knowing that at a time in the past others commonly

Traveled this as a road of necessity now I think of the pastor’s words when he spoke my mother went
From the horse and buggy to the space age yes what a trip in this hidden now forgotten bridge and road

The weeds and nature reclaimed what man disturbed the life once lived now lost and forgotten a finality
Of crossing a bridge a future layered with progress change a different order for sure idyllic days the

pace slower more deliberate harder because modern conveniences were still in the future but there is
A raw connection when you work closely with animals put the harness on the team of horses the barn

A few bins of grain a hay mount with fresh hay how the ladder is worn from use smooth and shinny we
Will tone it down the slight hint of manure straw in the stalls mix it all together it makes up the whole

Farm with a theme of richness and then the memory of their voices even some conversations are
Remembered it can involuntarily bring stillness to today’s hustle and bustle of speed and their white hair

Wasn’t a point of disdain but one of honor you looked upon them as heroes hanging on each word they
Spoke slow and even recounted earlier days times and there content held you spell bound and it wasn’t

Just because you were young and easily impressed you stood in the middle of the bridge of time you
Flowed back and then they would shift and speak of the future then you flowed on this wave of

Expectation of what the future would hold guarding your mind from the awful truth that you would be
Alone because their journey as glorious as it was had the markings of coming to an end but in the mean

Time they filled your world with thrills and contentment and for the rest you looked forward to the day
When you would meet them on the bridge that started in time and the far end was eternal never would
You know separation again
Ria Nagpal Jun 2013
The heavens were an infinite expanse of mourning veils,
Untainted by a moon;
Or possibly even by the stars.
The air was frosty,
And hard-hearted,
Gnawing at my flesh.
But yet I simply had to proceed.
I was feeling trapped and helpless,
But yet I saw certainly no other possibility.
I realized I had to pass The Black Bridge,
To seek the blessed springs,
That possess miraculous powers to alleviate
Just about all afflictions, torments and woes -
Which drown human conscience and faith,
Further and further,
Into an abyss,
Deeper and deeper,
Where they are seized by devils.
I had to pass through hell,
To get to heaven.

The Black Bridge was somewhere no soul ever wanders,
Somewhere that has been lost,
Somewhere that has been silenced and suppressed,
Victimised by the murderous evil.
Will the path I have chosen,
Devour me completely and make me lifeless once again?
**** my grandmother,
My only hope in this chaotic world?
Why should I have faith in the cursed tongue,
Of those who have never crossed,
This saintly white yet black bridge?
Maybe, just maybe..
The Black Bridge could possibly lend a hand in my quest,
By keeping me safe and out of harm's way,
Banishing all who embraced sin and depravity.

The wind howled in despair,
And the oceans crashed violently upon the shore,
As a storm began to brew.
I could hear every footstep of mine,
Every anxious beat of my heart,
Every breath I took.
No demons had crossed my path.
A ray of hope flickers in the sky.
I am not the Shade.
I walk on the path of enlightenment.
The tale of The Black Bridge was a lie.
Never have I seen such ignorance or contempt
For somewhere so innocent and kind.
Never shall I make this mistake again.

The Black Bridge was heaven in disguise of hell -
A disguise blackened by the sin of lies,
And unveiled by the illumination of goodwill.
All that seems dark, dire and deathly,
May not be so bitter after all.
I had to pass through heaven,
To get to heaven.
Pure white in flight
brown rivers rush
a seagull

Swooping under the bridge
a pure white flash

Brown river flowing
under the dark bridge
white gull

Seagull swoops
under the bridge of brown
pure white flash

White moment
an arched shape of pure white

White flying flash
in the shape of an arc
a seagull

Under the bridge
one white flower blooms

Below the dark bridge
an anemone flowers
full moon

Brown waters
the river flows fast
one wood anemone
I caught sight of a seagull swooping under the bridge, the moment I leant over to look down into the brown water flowing fast, it seemed a moment I wanted to record somehow, so I thought the short haiku-like poems would do. Do you have alternatives?
Simon Apr 2021
Once a bridge was nothing more than an abstract tool for reasoning. But one day, this very abstract tool for reasoning became the literal direct opposing opposite to this very operation.
(The operation that was meant to be disposed of from the very get-go!)
But something stopped that from becoming a seamless reality...
After all, seamless is nothing more than predictable tension in the right places that don't normally fit into the very crowd of normalities itself.
But the universe is connected by such truths that don't normally (either), point its own self in the right direction full of directionless odds that don't poke and **** your very potential progression forward...if it wasn't truly for the very bridge that again, (as an abstract took for reasoning), points these very directionless odds into a newer meaning than ever before. Hence, an abstract tool (obviously) when dealing with such tension involving the universal boundaries and conditions and features and traits and meanings and properties that surround itself among many other things in its general surroundings that bear itself too much for an actual correct dose of conquest to deal with all at one single time.
Basically, because if that was the actual case (all at one single time...) Then it'd be a non-localized protocol that would pave the way for ALL such manufacturing projects in one single action!
(And non-localized making such advances in the very field of study, for the very meaning that happens all at once, not within the same boundaries from one another, length and size wise.)
Seeing as how big the universe really is, with still too this very date is filled with such EXTREME (unknown sizes and expectations of it, regardless of its own such limits regulated by the very anticipated push for discovery itself). There wouldn't even be a certain timeframe for things to have its own say (in for how ever long they want to take). Instead, you have something happening all at one time, where everything is truly about one thing, and one thing, ONLY...
Nothing is about progression (or even the very process of actually getting it done) when it's all about the bridge that reasons out the very different areas and points of many likelihoods that don't limit its own variety to its own protocols...when their own hunger is trying to go about achieving one's own aim, or goal of precipitation...
When it's entirely longer than the standing idea...that nothing is without flawless results, if and ONLY make it or break its very abstract tool for reasoning itself!
If and only if you do, then you’re looking at yourself as nothing more than the very truthful meaning for "treason."
Once you commit treason... You’re also breaking the connection with the bridge who's meant to connect everything in one single action for conquest. (And not the misguided mindset for simply achieving a consequence full of such disorder.)
If that were the actual case, then everything isn't as connected as one would previously think.
Especially when your very abstract tool for reasoning is the very reasoning for shame in the face of such irrational thinking.
Hence, when different mixtures of fate and probability confront the very limitations (upon their own such instances full to brim of primal instances and events...)
That's when the bridge that is meant to connect an entire universe together.
Becomes the greatest story ever told about a bridge who also...became the abstract tool for reasoning.
A bridge is a tool for building the different gaps in both space and time. However, that doesn't take the very such elongated gaps into account, when dealing with the rough exteriors of just how long they really are...until you limit yourself to the very surroundings of how a real universal bridge connects an entire universe together before your very eyes could limit itself too such incomprehensible facts.
bee Aug 2014
the bridge says no,
wishes you cross it now

just talk about the bridge
share your feelings about the bridge
communicate, inform
relate and connect
(get it across)

because that bridge would rather it burn
and you take that step
and get across
Kj Kennedy Jun 2016
Green chain fence on either side
Concrete path for bikes to glide
Rapids churning far below
****** Bridge is were we'd go

Spray can pictures on its span
'Ozzy' spelt in mangled plaid
'Iron Maiden' painted red
To ****** Bridge and then to bed

Tired laughing, crying fits
Flashing censored body bits
Gladiator crayfish fights
****** Bridge on summer nights

On this bridge all kids would go
To feel the sun and swim below
Now it stands all alone
To ****** Bridge I'll always know
Aaron LaLux Jun 2017
London Bridge Is Falling Down

“London Bridge is falling down,
falling down falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
my fair lady.”,

nursery rhymes,
don’t seem to sound the same anymore,
are changing like the changing of the guard,

another terrorist attack today,
as hatred continues spreads like a disease,
the Devil’s in the details see 3/6 was the date,
and 6 killed wait 3 6 6 must be the mark of The Beast,

and they say the 6 were innocent,
but no one is innocent,
and I’m sorry I’m not sorry,
I mean what I said,

and this isn’t to disrespect the dead,
or the loved ones they left behind,
because we all have people that love us,
and we all mourn when someone we love dies,

so no I don’t mean any offense,
I’m just trying to get you to see the big picture,
thousands of civilians have been killed in Syria and Iraq,
by UK and US coalition forces,

but where’s the outrage on that,
there is none we all just  stay silent,
we go out to bars and party like it’s 1999 2 years before 9/11,
but Prince is dead as is MJ and no one’s saying stop the violence,

and no man is an island,
just like no one is innocent,
one side just has more money to **** with,
that’s the only difference,

and please don’t take this the wrong way,
I mean I am just as guilty as the rest,
I am a white American male,
I am an unapologetic NWO Capitalist,

I love the system,
and I reap it’s benefits,
but I know where my tax dollars go,
and that’s to bombs and jets,

have you heard enough yet,
are you ready to accuse me of being insensitive,
that’s fine throw your stones,
blame me for the hatred because we all need an enemy,

we all want to point the finger elsewhere,
no one wants to blame themselves,
but I tell you what dropping more bombs,
or retaliating in any way isn’t going to help,

and this is a warning to the terrorist too,
you keep attacking us we're gonna keep bombing you,
and we do keep bombing them but it hasn't helped yet,
I mean how do you threaten someone with nothing to lose?

How do you threaten someone with nothing to lose,
how do we stop the cycle of violence by being violent,
extremism isn’t the root cause it’s just the symptom,
terrorism didn’t start with ISIS,

I just,
want world peace nothing less nothing more,
it seems we’ve seen this all before,

Roman Persian British,
I’ll tell you again,
no one is innocent,

and I’m as scared as anyone,
because I know it’s only a matter of time,
our Empire’s moment of truth is coming,
like the punchline in a nursery rhyme,

and nursery rhymes,
don’t seem to sound the same anymore,
are changing like the changing of the guard,

“London Bridge is falling down,
falling down falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
my fair lady.”…

∆ Aaron LA Lux ∆

— The End —