Challenge of the Tunnel
Author: marshalg

Chapter 4
Wet Winter @ Vic Park Tunnel

Written in the language of the hard hats and dedicated to each and every one of us who have endured this horrible bloody Winter weather

Rain in gouts from June till now
There's blue clay mud forever,
Orange excavators ply
With sturdy tracked endeavour.
Lakes of water, turgid brown,
Are Swirling with the flow
Of four inch pumps in overdrive
With bugger all to show.

Streaming rainfall day by day
As dogged men press on
To concrete saw and generator's
Screaming, nearby song.
Welders, under shelter, flash
Their lurid silver light
And ghosts of reinforcing bars
Reflect like day is night.

Mightily the ironwork
Descends by crane to trench
And snaking snout of concrete pump
Disgorge their load to bench
The magic of the bentonite
Performs it's subtle dance
And the concrete locks for centuries
As thunderous skies advance.

Knee deep in the morass
With perplexed furrowed brow,
An engineer is pondering
A sticky problem he has now
How to isolate contaminants
From mud to water flow,
How to guarantee the purity
As seaward tonnes of it does go

And still the deluge thundered down
Relentlessly it poured,
Day to day and month by month
Despite the plea's implored.
Relentlessly the hard hats
Bent their sodden backs to task
And forged a mighty work of progress
.... More than anyone could ask!

Amazing the endeavor,
Just amazing how they work
How men can face adversity
And simply will not go beserk!
How bounteous camaraderie
Generates between ranks.
When the hardship is shared
And the boss smiles... thanks.

For the roof beams are settling
And those deep holes begin
The tunnel takes shape
As slanting rain whistles in
And the big trucks do loiter
To idle there for a bit,
As the loud water blasters
Clear the clogged wheels of shit.

And the public all clamoured
To wait and queue in the stall
To watch and to witness
A quite remarkable call.
For the old Birdcage tavern
On that grim cloudy day
Promptly lifted her skirts
And slowly scuttled away.

All the glue and epoxy
And the rivers of nails,
And concrete trucks queuing
As the vibrator flails.
And steel by the megaton
All rusted and twitched
And worriers worrying
Till the problems are fixed.
And the augers are drilling
In a great tandem arc
And nobody knows
Where the fuck they can park!!!

Then the bright sunshine breaks
And the smiles all appear
And the work rate accellerates
For the way is now is clear
To inter that dear old Vic tunnel
Down deep in the sod
Then you'll hear us all chortle
"We've bloody done it ...Thank God!"

Victoria Park Tunnel
3 October 2010


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