Friday, 14 September 2007

Arranged in Feng Shui

Although I haven't written anything for a long time, I spend a lot of time daydreaming, which is especially true during the course of the last week. I often retreat to within my imagination where I'm slowly putting together ideas that are beginning to interlock. The ideas don't tend to be heavily narrative-driven, rather set-pieces or scenes, crystallising detail in a landscape on an imaginary canvas. Eventually I'd like to tell a series of tales, as opposed to a singular arc or epic, maybe in the form of memoirs provided by a central character. Perhaps one day everything'll come into focus.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Twenty-five dollars and pieces of silver

A few days ago, maybe even yesterday, it was suggested to me that I should try writing poetry. Poetry isn't really my thing, but the advice remained a presence in my mind, and I thought maybe I should make something of it.

This short piece was originally written almost five years ago, and was somewhat longer back then - I think about twice the word count. I've trimmed the fat and rearranged some elements. I'm not great at writing, so getting things down is an achievement.

Lotsa ideas, insufficient grasp of the language I guess...


Droplets formed and fell from an overhanging leaf, hitting the moist grass and adding sharp pitter-patterings to a choir of sounds: distant rain, buzzing insects, foraging fauna. The old man sighed and pulled back on his pipe. He felt his eyelids grow heavy under the serenity of the canopy, a calming peace causing him to nestle closer between ancient tree roots.

Tugging at the rim of his pointed travelling hat, he felt his ears prick at distant thunder. He looked up with bleary eyes. The woodland itself was a paradise. Rich greenery shadowed with shades of subtle brown, verdant vines on branch and trunk alike. Massive plants with leaves over a foot long and dripping rain water. Huge toadstools of swaggering magnificence sporting brilliant white stems and enticingly soft flesh. Small extended grasses bearing tiny buds that reached out and over the rest of their brethren as if stretching for Heaven itself.

Puffing out a thick and wispy cloud of smoke, the old man shuffled a little to encourage blood circulation. The coarse woollen travelling garb he wore hung close and kept his frail body warm, warding off the cool, wet rainforest air. He smiled, a slow movement that divided the long white beard around his mouth, his elderly lips parting slightly.

Soon his lids grew onerous once more, finally settling on a blue butterfly. Its fluttering, seemingly slow and haphazard, danced before his unfocused vision. He watched it as it flapped and flurried, fought air and droplets, struggling against the breeze in an attempt to breach the chasm from one flower to another. The wizened old man smiled again, sucking his cheeks in as he placed the pipe between his teeth. He was no different.