Bridges of HOPE
Someone is doing it, but no one knows who
And no one knows how – or least of all ... why.
Someone is painting all the bridges in South London
With the single word – HOPE.
And everyone is up in arms, some more than others.
Whole councils are demanding investigations into
This lunacy.  A man called Des at the council says it depresses
Him just thinking about it, let alone looking at it.
(He lives under one of the bridges )
Two girls who work at the Library say it’s the only thing that
Keeps them going on a Monday morning, knowing that
HOPE will be there.  In purple and in gold.
But no one knows who is the phantom scribbler, he is
Never caught on camera, or seen balanced on his ladder.


Could it be the corn circle folk – from the Planet of Zog ??
Could it be Arthur down the chippy , or Arthur’s wife Maeve ??
The letters are the same on all nine bridges, bold and large, curving and rich.
Perhaps its Da Vinci come back from the grave??
People are lighting candles and keeping vigil by some,
People are leaving flowers – roses, camellias.
Children are allowed to stay up late, just to see HOPE
By moonlight – and dogs are allowed to bark and run free.
The word on the street is that there is still hope – but
Not done by any human hand.
As fast as the men from the Council erase it – the word
Springs back – bigger and brighter than ever before.
People are buying houses that look right onto it – it's
Begun to feature in Time Out and the guide books.
Last night – the Queen and Philip  came down to have a look.

Nine bridges given the scale of things as they stand in the world … – isn’t a lot.
But right now – lets face it – its all we’ve got.

Helen Burke

If you have any comments on this poem,  Helen Burke   would be pleased to hear from you.