Monday, February 17, 2014

That laminated bridge of sighs that led to Angle Vale

The  bridge over the Gawler River at Angle Vale received $45,000 for the restoration of its laminated timber arch as an Australian Bicentennial project in 1986.  Local author and poet, Max Fatchen wrote this poem at the time.
More bridging finance
I like a country bridge like this though pocket-books may quiver
To fix a laminated arch that spans the Gawler River.
Old iron-rimmed wagon wheels will roll and rouse the stubble quail
When memory sends its ghosts across the bridge at Angle Vale.

The pigs that went to market with a sacrificial squeal,
The drovers on their horseback as they called their dogs to heel…
The varnished buggies glistening with harnessed, haughty steeds
And kids with bamboo fishing rods among the river reeds.
Old country bridges, serving time, with timbers warped and worn
Would tremble to the Model T with hoarse, asthmatic horn.
There came the rattling lorries with their driver’ dusty brows
And cream cans full of nourishment from cud-quiescent cows.

We saw the old fat harvest moon above the ranges rise.
How sweet the moonlight slept, my love, in your big country eyes.
The mopoke called our names I think across that splintered rail,
That laminated bridge of sighs that led to Angle Vale.
Max Fatchen


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