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The humble man and a bridge

by Sazmac 

Posted: 13 December 2006
Word Count: 661
Summary: There are many ways and languages to describe a bridge...

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The humble man
wanted a bridge.

The Architect
A beautiful bridge of light and energy,
a shimmering statement of beauty.
A seamless white line
that flowed and streamed,
a landmark project,
an iconic structure,
to encast him forever in the landscape.

The Urban designer
designed an arc with the
principles of cable stayed compression, suspended;
a curved ramp sweeping elliptically to link two communities
on either side of the river. And in doing so;
created a catalyst for regeneration
that would enrich the whole,
the commercial
the residential
the industrial
the presidential
the visiting communities
the visiting dignitaries.
Rattling their chains and waving to their public
For the power and the glory and the good,
For the design and management of the streetscape…

The highwayman
Offered him:
An active response to across the board project issues, with
multi-discipline skills across all relevant fields.
And of course there would be innovative design and construction tangentially with
optimisation of whole life economics, notwithstanding the aforementioned
architectural and design excellence, of course the
leading-edge expertise in safety
through a thorough understanding of risk and value management
and a myriad wealth of technical expertise, with
proven successful delivery, time after time
and of course a bridge on time on budget on plan
with the biggest buck for the bang…..

The railwayman
To maximise the service benefits available to his customers,
network providers and operators,
depending on the integrity of their infrastructure.
Underlying the required dynamic network
are underpinned by specialist designed structures
that support a range of infrastructure elements, and
serve a variety of stakeholders.
He said that structure must provide a robust context,
responding to;
a variety of technical,
regulatory and
aesthetic demands (to placate the architect),
- as long as the parapet design could withstand;
a full impact risk scenario.
In summary he said,
it must of course produce a safe,
functional and attractive system.
And obviously a bridge

The programme managers wanted to apply
leading-edge techniques to the programme management environment.
The benefits would include;
increased visibility;
hierarchical mastery;
and control of all programmes, projects, personnel and paper clips.
Tasks and key issues,
dilemmas and risks will be matched and sorted,
with skills and resources with optimisation, and,
a clear structured framework within which to manage
organisational change and impact.
They organised an approach
to the streaming and prioritisation of the projects,
reducing duplication and wasted effort.
With just the one bridge.

The network man
provided the strategy and scoping work to define current and future IS service requirements for services shared by the transportcompany and the Infrastructurecompanies that would be subject to procurement from IS service providers. As part of the integration with Transport for Bridges, the scope of the project subsequently expanded to include the common ICT services that could be shared across the other TfB modes. The networkman supported the PE and ICT, including preparing material for DD and managing the take up of customer references.

The Batman

Was worried that he needed to protect his roost site during the bridge work;
for as we know, there are 16 species of bat, all protected
under the law!
Daubenton's bats,
Roosting for maternity in the abutment on the eastern side of the river.
in the deck joint situated
immediately below the central reservation in the split carrriageway.
And how they clung on.
A license was needed from the men in suits to oust the roost.
Poor bats.
Temporary accommodation for the bats was provided by erected bat boxes
made from a mixture of concrete and sawdust
on the sides of the bridge away from the work areas.
Poor bats.
The bat man pronounced that ecological issues now form a
considerable and
unavoidable part of any major project
and, as such,
early planning is vital to deliver schemes on programme and within budget.
And without Bats.
Poor bats.

The Humble man
Wanted a bridge
From A to B
For his bike.
A very shiny carbon bike.
That was all.

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Comments by other Members

Star at 21:37 on 13 December 2006  Report this post
Oh how I like this.


joanie at 08:53 on 15 December 2006  Report this post
So do I, Sazmac!! I adore the change in language, especially the change into that wonderful prose section!

I wondered what was coming with Highwayman and Batman - very clever!

I can't begin to pick out bits to highlight; I just think the different styles, form and vocabulary are excellent.

I like the pattern on the page, too; the line breaks, eg
And in so doing created a catalyst for regeneration
that would enrich the whole,
the commercial
the residential
the industrial
the presidential
the visiting communities
the visiting dignitaries.

The opening and closing lines say it all, obviously, and I have pondered why the preciseness of A very shiny carbon bike makes a difference; I think it does!

Great read!


Account Closed at 10:29 on 15 December 2006  Report this post
Lots of great energy in this - and love the concept too! I did wonder if the prose section could be omitted - though I know Joanie loves it! It's probably just me ...

Just a couple of things - in the first & second verses, you use the word "shimmering" twice, and I didn't know if you wanted to cut one of those? And towards the end, there's a couple of places where words are run together - though that might be deliberate??

Wonderful piece though! And soooo clever!!



Sazmac at 10:58 on 15 December 2006  Report this post
thanks gang - really really appreciate the comments. it was just an initial stab which came out of some discussions we were having at work about how different parts of our business (big engineering co) all spoke different languages, and I wondered if I could capture it somehow as an illustration.

It was quite a 'flash' poem i think, i used actual words and phrases that different parts of the business used to reflect their own languages, but then tried to develop and play with the rhythm and sounds. Given the positive response - and the detailed comments i think will go forwards with it and rework it starting with your as ever really helpful and detailed technical observations.

Anne - will rework the words - shimmering etc shouldnt be in twice. I am also not sure about the prose - will play around with some different forms that i think a bunch of systems analysts and computer geeks might use. The running together of words was an attempt to generate germanic technical forms - to generate new jargonistic words that these sorts use, instead of explaining themselves. I need to go back and look at this a bit more. It was also late when I wrote it!

Joanie - thank you for your comments about patterns and picking that up. I was trying to create a visual picture which was specific to each group of people - so urban desginers would use a much more visual artistic form than the sytems geeks who could only use prose......

Thanks all, will rework now.

Saz XX ;-)

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