Rohan Buettel: ‘The Kurilpa Bridge’, ‘The Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges’

The Kurilpa Bridge

it takes a postmodern view to rate
the sculptural form a path must take
a spiky crossing to a place of art
not erect spines of a porcupine
nor a chaotic game of pick-up sticks
but a mess of masts, spars and cable stays
has returned North Quay to the age of sail
the continuing canvas history entails

isolated components under compression
inside a network of continuous tension
a lightweight structure with strength and rigidity
an aesthetic quality of visual transparency
ground-breaking in its use of tensegrity
compression and tension in balanced synergy

Rohan Buettel


The Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges

A giant manta ray has breached
near the river mouth, basking now;
its pectoral fins resting wings,
pale flesh; box girders cantilevered
from pylons—celaphic horns that frame
an open mouth, a city gateway
cruise ships enter; gill arches filter
parasites the cleaner fish consume.

A bypass for farther journeys;
shaped to air traffic requirements
with upward lift, a steady climb
to views of factories and dredges,
the industry of a working port,
ashen smoke that dissipates in clouds.

Rohan Buettel

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