In rush hour on Thursday, June 1st, some unappreciative cyclists rode across the Halifax MacDonald Bridge on the main deck to protest delays in reopening of the bike lane due to the Big Lift Project. In response, Halifax Bridge Commissioner Angus M. MacDonald has announced the reopening of the bike lane will be delayed an additional two days from when it will be ready, to protest the inconsiderate cyclists’ protest. Meanwhile, the walking and running lane will be opened during those two days to show appreciation for walkers and runners who did not protest. Bikers utilizing this path illegally can be expected to be fined and have their bikes taken away for a yet to be determined amount of their bike’s estimated lifetime, in proportion to how far they got across before being stopped.
I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where one of our mile long suspension bridges is undergoing a redecking in an operation called The Big Lift. They are essentially replacing the bridge piece by piece at night and some weekends. It began last June and will continue until at least December 2016.
In redecking the bridge, the running lane across the bridge that I often use was also taken away. I’m also not a fan of taking the ferry compared to the buses because it is more inconvenient and time consuming. But life is what you make of it, right? So instead of just putting up with all this, I decided to do something to make the best of it.
Last September, I came up with an idea that any time I had to take the ferry to go between Halifax and Dartmouth that the bridge connects, I would commit the ferry time to compose poetry. Not going much during winter, I figured I wasn’t going to get more than 99 written, so I numbered them with two digits. So far, it seems that was a bad decision has I have already written 23, averaging between two and three per trip as they tend to be short poems. At that rate, next summer alone should see a couple hundred written! I’ll have to figure out what to do with this number, like renumbering while I still can correct past posts. Most poems written so far are haiku , with the rest being tanka and general one stanza poems with some rhyme scheme involved. They are rarely about the Big Lift operation itself, though. If they were, I wouldn’t bother telling you about it. 🙂
If you like short poetry, including those forced by circumstance, please do head over to see my Big Lift Ferry Poems collection. I don’t think anybody else is doing such a thing. Too bad most people in the area don’t know much about it, either. I don’t promote my poetry much so it’s like one of those hidden anonymous poetry collections. I’m quite OK with that, but sometimes, I don’t mind writing something about it that gets me excited. 🙂
Below are some of favourite photos among the many I had taken prior to 2010 of the Halifax Regional Municipality, mostly around the harbour close to which I live. Brief descriptions are below the gallery.
Please click on thumbnail you want to see a larger version. If the picture is cut off by the website layout, please click on it again to get the picture alone (then click the Back button on your browser to return to the site). Comments are with each picture.