The footbridge, or: Overarching

Poetry Partners #4

‘The Footbridge’, a poem by Michael L. Utley of ‘Silent Pariah’

That derelict footbridge
Has finally failed
Stranding us on
Opposite shores
Of the abyss
Like rotted planks
Litter the gorge
Desires and dreams
Upon indifferent rocks
Silence is all
I hear from you
Subdued echoes
Of regret
In opaque mists
To starlight
And hope
The absence
Of closure
Rooting me
In place
Heart seized
By fear
And uncertainty
Did you turn
And walk away
Or did you
Like our words
Into the
Sepulchral gulf
And must I
Remain here
Waiting for
The answer which will
Never come

A poem by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

A poem in ‘The Bridges’ form

Our answers, flighty dancers, playfully flitting;
Those who wait forever can oft be found sitting
At morrow's edge;
Yearning for comforts, illusions desirable,
P'raps suspecting they're unreliable ~
That there's no ledge;
Wooden planks plunge away through thick mists to the ground,
But noticing ~ oddly, splintering with no sound ~
They are not real;
Come, let's fill the silence, create reality;
We're rendering, in actuality,
The cards fate deals;
So, do not fear your power; speak your truth aloud;
Never let uncertainty leave you rooted, cowed ~
Your soul endures;
Answers shall prance past you ~ go grab one and tame it;
Sepulchre or trampoline ~ you name it!
This life is yours.

Rules for ‘The Bridges’

  • Stanzaic, written in any number of sixains;
  • Metered:
    • L1,L2, L4 of each stanza is iambic hexameter;
    • L5 iambic pentameter; and
    • L3 and L6 are dimeter;
  • Rhymed, rhyme scheme aabccb, ddeffe, etc.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

List of Poetry Partners

19 thoughts on “The footbridge, or: Overarching”

  1. What a wonderfully delightful and uplifting poetic gem you’ve composed in response to my solemn ruminations! Sort of like god-beams breaking through the dark clouds, reassuring us hope still lives. This particular line really stood out to me: “Answers shall prance past you ~ so, grab one and tame it…” It’s difficult to realize sometimes answers will never come no matter how long we wait, but waiting for what will never arrive is futile and only bogs us down in the morass of sorrow, fear and depression. I’ll never know what happened to the girl in my poem. Perhaps that’s the only answer I’ll ever receive, but perhaps it’s enough. And as long as I keep staring down into that misty abyss, I’ll never see the clouds parting above and those gilded god-beams and the alpenglow on distant peaks. Your poem is hopeful, David. Thanks for this. I’m honored and humbled for this collaboration. And thank you to those leaving kind comments in this thread. I truly appreciate it. *tips cap* 😉

    1. 💖 Mike 💖 ~ your poem is really powerful and moving ~ I thought so even when I read it on your blog, before you submitted it for Poetry Partners… It touched me deeply.


  2. Again, you are out of my reach technically. I suppose it’s because, as I’m often chastised, I’m “too black and white” and many poetic forms are so foreign to me they interfere with my understanding what the words have to say. The first entry in this post is beautiful, describes perfectly situations in life with which I am familiar. The second even better, delivering its message, comes with sparkles of poetic music throughout. Yegads! Am I beginning to understand? Thank you, Ben. Pleasant afternoon to you.

  3. Two forms – both bent to the need of the topic. The first does read as if carefully picking the way across a bridge that fails. The second is a perfect paring with the first – giving a more proactive response to the broken bridge. This pairing is perfection as the poems on their own are powerful but together are amazing!

  4. this one is so beautiful David and Michael! Both pieces were wonderful! and the partnership works in good tandem!
    The starting of the first poem reminded me of something.. nevermind/ but your response was gracious!

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