The Bridge

I have existed since 14th century France when I was built for safe passage over this stream which flows from the adjoining river where fish, escargot and other delicacies are found.

In those days long past as you crossed toward the east over my cobbled, curved path, you would find the outdoor market where bread, cheeses and sweets were sold as well as the aforementioned foods from the waters nearby and dried meats. You could also shop for fabrics, millinery items, and other necessities of day to day life. Following main street, past the market, were the settlement’s church, cemetery and the vicarage.

If heading west as you traversed, you would come upon the village square with outposts of dwellings, the pub and the colony’s town hall used for meetings and celebrations.

This town has come a long way since the time when I was first constructed. It has survived the days of serfs, famine, epidemics and natural disasters and has managed to maintain its charm that involved the preservation of many historical landmarks, including me.

ancient, medieval
arched bridge serves as passageway
between then and now

Photo credit:  Gabriella Skriver, all rights reserved

Join us at dVerse Poets where Gabriella hosts Haibun Monday.  The pub will open at 3PM EST Monday.  She shares several of her own photographs to inspire our poetry. http://dversepoets.com/2016/02/01/haibun-monday-6/#comment-106261

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51 Comments

  1. Suzanne

     /  January 31, 2016

    The old bridges of Europe do feel like they carry the weight of history in their bricks and mortar.

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  2. So often I wish things like your bridge, or houses, or any structure could tell their story. Yours did.

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  3. Bridges really do have an ageless quality & are witness to so much history. Their lifespan is often centuries. The passing of time means little to them. They stand….a connector between yesterday and tomorrow.

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  4. Your words transported me back in time and I could feel the vibe and smell the scents of the fish, meats and breads all mingled together. Very nice writing.

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  5. I think if we could just hear the voice of cobblestones we would hear all those histories… a great thing to preserve them.. really very good.

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    • Yes, it is a good thing to preserve them, if we can. It’s amazing that many structures from those days are still standing and being used. Thank you, Bjorn.

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  6. Interesting that you located the bridge in France, which is where I too the photo, as it made me think of Ireland then. Bridges are indeed keys to communication and exchange and would have many stories to tell.

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  7. Oh wonderfully your bridge speaks! I love the poem at the end – the bridge between then and now. When in various places in Europe, I felt I could just place my hands upon the stones and listen and hear their stories. I love what you did with this!

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  8. Those old bridges are so inviting. The begged to be crossed and to be included in literature of all kind! Beautiful!

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  9. Glenn Buttkus

     /  February 1, 2016

    I chose the stone bridge as well. Bridges of all sorts fascinate me. I shoot a lot of pictures of them myself. This piece touches on so much that any structure over a hundred years old could be testament to.

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    • I’m fascinated by bridges too, just the structure of them is amazing, and ones that are centuries old are even more so.

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  10. Bridge.. concrete passage
    way over living stream..
    paths infinite..
    bridge one..
    Stream
    flows..
    Bridge
    sTiLL

    Single file
    human
    Bridge now..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

     /  February 1, 2016

    I am reading “World without End” by Ken Follet. There is a big part about a bridge being built.In the 14th century. Weird, I read, you write. You mentioned many of the things mentioned in the book about the importance of a bridge. Well done. However, there is no mention of vicarages, just priories and nunneries, churches, cathedrals and hospitals that were also used as inns for travelers.

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    • That is interesting, Barbara. I just threw that vicarage in there because I thought the vicar needed a place to live. 🙂

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  12. I really like how you described the past, contrasting with how it is now. As long as it maintained its charm, the bridge is indeed a passageway between then and now ~ And I am smiling at the inclusion of me in the landmark (maintain its charm that involved the preservation of many historical landmarks, including me) ~ 🙂

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  13. “passageway/between then and now” — LOVE this.

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  14. Oh, goodness…I was about to quote the same as De!! I love that and the entirety…you paint the scene and time so well.

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  15. ShirleyB

     /  February 1, 2016

    A vivid scene. History encompassed. Beautiful.

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  16. What a fascinating POV to capture!

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  17. lovely and I want to go to the outdoor market

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  18. A conversation with a medieval French bridge – now there’s an intriguing thought. You have whetted my appetite!

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  19. A charming haibun and I love the persona of the bridge.

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  20. A passageway between then and now….how perfect!

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  21. You’ve penned a beautiful picture of times gone by, when this ancient bridge was the connection for many a person travelling to the vicarage, to market, to town hall, and of course, to the church. I am taken back in time and then I am you, and feel the footsteps over my ancient stones. I am a bridge between then and now. A very nostagic piece. I am quite comforted by your words.

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    • I appreciate your lovely comment, Lillian. I’m glad my words could comfort you; I know what you mean. Just the fact that a structure can stand the test of time for centuries brings a sense of continuity and stability.

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  22. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)

     /  February 3, 2016

    Beautifully imagined.

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  23. What an imaginative and moving haibun .. living in Europe I know that bridges, stones and villages all have a voice and a story … which a fine ear like yours can capture as we saw here..

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  24. Wonderful personification!! 🙂

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  25. A lovely description of days gone by and I loved that it came from the perspective of the bridge. This was topped off with the perfect analogy of bridging the past to present in your haiku. I really enjoyed this.

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    Reply

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