Big Lift Ferry Poem F001

Turbulent ocean –
Beneath a calm moon –
Around me and within me




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

This is the first of what I hope to be many poems I will compose over the next 18 months or so as I ride the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry during times of bridge closure.

Since July 2015, the city of Halifax where I live has closed the bridge that joins Halifax and Dartmouth across the harbour on most nights of the week. Playing tennis after work, I’ve often returned by ferry rather than by bus which I would normally do without the bridge closures. It’s faster that way, even though not as scenic.

The ferry ride has an upper deck that is quite a nice ride, unless in bad weather, when I wouldn’t normally be playing tennis so I pretty much only have nice rides home. During the 12 minute ride or so, I don’t do much except enjoy the beautiful scenery of the harbour, city skylines, sometimes sunset and just a gorgeous moonset the other night. Until tonight, though, I had not thought about how natural the setting would be for me to compose some quick poetry on each ride. With the inspiration tonight from the moon, ocean and some mixed feelings inside described in the haiku above, I will try to remember to compose a poem on each ferry ride. Unfortunately, with much of summer gone, the majority of my ferry rides this year might have been in my past. However, there is always next year!

As for this poem, a bunch of events in my life just turned a bit to my unliking in the past few days. That ranged from football game results for my football pool, to work, to someone that did something that earned them a spot on my “Prove You Wrong” list. But while I’m feeling a little turbulent and dark inside, I’ve got a calm mindset about it. It’s nothing that will last long and I’m not sure from where it all suddenly arose, much like the mysterious waves in the night on the harbour during my ferry ride that was not the natural state of the harbour tonight. I just need to keep my mind calm and distant from those emotions, but control them like the calm, distant moon in the sky influences the tides… and it’ll all pass soon enough like the night and moon into what should be a nice day tomorrow.

The F-series poems are part of a collection composed on my ferry rides across Halifax Harbour when the buses aren’t crossing the MacDonald bridge due to the Big Lift bridge redecking. This should keep happening until at least December 2016.


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