The M.H.X. Chronicals
Author: marshalg

Chapter 4
Pier Five


Dedicated to the Steelers who do their hard work so well.



















The Pier five superstructure

Looms above the turgid waves,

Gothic cranes do hover close

To service needs of orange knaves

Who swarm to manufacture,

Who work to make complete

This massive bridging edifice,

This mighty engineering feat.


Cathedral like in grey austerity

Freezing zephyrs howl and blow,

Through the maintenance shaft tunnels,

Through the bridge's bowels go.

The catacombs are echoing,

Stark light's reflection deep

In corridors of baleful concrete

Through which angled cause ways sweep.


A forest of reinforcing rods

Stand starkly high and straight,

Atop adjacent pylons

Which arise from deep mud's gate.

Hazard lights are flashing

Amber, green and blue

As north east gales bring pelting rain

To obliterate the view


The tattooed hands of black skinned steeler

Twitch the wire to make the loom,

Lattice works of reinforcing

Blackened mesh of iron entombed.

Hard to fathom steeler's chatter

Bending low to twitch by feel,

Working fast in noisy unison

Twitching reinforcing steel.

Pliers flash in rapid movement

Wrist's convulse in rapid slap

Unintelligible chatter flows

But the job is finished, just like that.


Skill saw screams in echoed silence

Booming blows of hammers pound,

Pipe work's resonance percussion

Tempered by a sad song's sound.

Great concussions pound the air

As towering cranes do drive,

Enormous pylons into mud

And bedrock's solid hide 


The mighty form travellers moving

High above cold estuary waves,

Reaching forth for unbuilt mana

It's red extension arm enclaves

Providing for the next poured section,

Providing for the next steel work,

Reaching out for firm embrace

Where Pier four's form travellers lurk.


The pungency of solvents spread

Across the steel plate, made to last;

Barrier to adherence of

The sticky concrete's surface cast.

The form work archway's wooden shell

Adopts a high cathedral stance,

This bride in waiting nervous for

The concrete pumps lithe serpent dance.

An unyielding environment

A hard surfaced place to be

Where materials of venom

Are handled casually.

Where massive superstructures

Unforgiving in their stance

Lead the busy, ant like steelers

In their lofty, hard days prance.


To look across Pier Five's expanse

And view the surface cant,

And visualize the future motorway

With it's headlong traffic rant;

And look again at what is spread

Across it's surface now,

At the jumbled reinforcing steel,

The cables, tools and how,

Organizationally chaotic

The whole affair appears ???

Whilst in actuality, my friends,

This clockwork sequence has no peers.


With the swish of passing traffic

As the headlights zip on by,

And the Pier's massive cantilever

Looms so impossibly in the sky.

One must complement designers

And those with fore sight to see

This real necessity for progress

And the dire need, nationally.



[email protected]

Manukau Harbour Crossing

29 June 2009


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