He talks of art in a turbine’s blade,
Of the poem in a jet of steam
Says beauty’s about in the pulsing flow
That powers the electric beam.
Insists there’s room in a craftsman’s kit
For the spanner and the dream.
He’s dared wax lyrical about
A dam. With great bravado
Lobbed Stephenson and Faraday
Up there with Leonardo.
Turned down the tired old Hobson’s choice
Of chips or avocado.
That autobiographic mix
Of early scouse with geordie,
Has charmed the technologic socks
Off Chinaman and Saudi.
Won unique honours from Korea,
All maxima cum laude.
He’s tramped more bridges round the globe
Than seconds in the hour,
From Sidney to Millennium,
Hong Kong to Tyne and Tower,
He’s made the bridge our metaphor
For mixing sweet and sour.
He’s seen, rewritten in the runes,
What energies flood forth
When sculptor crafts with engineer
Some Angel of the North.
Just as when science, craft and art
First jointly bridged the Forth.
Where Parsons, Royce and Reyrolle trod
He’s been and doffed his hat,
But ‘best’ means always yet to come
In Hawley’s habitat.
Only Connect’s his arbiter
Of where our future’s at.
(From ‘Profiles of Our Business Greats’)