Breaking the mould
In the box-van back a mirror cabinet
trembles leafy outer worlds under
a roller-back gate of steel, half open,
like the cloth-bound shell of my father’s desk,
a sticking portal to cryptic drawers, tiny shelves,
to faint unsmoked tobaccos of before.
Ahead, and through my windscreen,
outside inside, green shimmers framed
by the mover strapped hardwood mouldings,
whisper hints of a remote Narnian spring.
Breaking the Mould grins in lean sans-serif,
strap-line wry beneath the tailgate logo.
I pray granny’s paper-lined display case
will pass Dens Road’s potholes un-cracked,
that still somewhere seven more years’ luck,
or even fair Cair Paravel, might be found intact.
This post is a bit of an experiment! The idea had a couple of starting points…
I was looking at some Lady’s mantle flowers in bright sunshine. This started off a chain of thought which had a lot to do with the process of branching – how we see it in natural growth, echoed in man-made patterns, and also in mathematics.
Not long after I read about a free piece of software for game developers called Ink. This is a lightweight tool aimed at authors writing stories where the reader gets to make choices. Ink is made by an award winning Cambridge based game development company called inkle. If you’re interested you can find out more about the company and download ink software from their website.
I decided to try to make an interactive poem, where your choices can affect the flow of the poem. To begin with I chose something quite simple, and fairly structured. I wrote three short threads of poetry about my Lady’s mantle ideas, then developed a page using Ink that allows you to choose how the poem branches as you read. So in the end I had a poem about branching … that could actually branch!
I’m not able to embed the resulting poem here on the blog, but I can host it on my website, so I’m going to add a link to show it in a new window, but if you’d like to come back here and like this, and/or leave a comment about it, I’d love to hear from you…
Click to open a new window with the interactive poem ‘Branching’
a field poem
(like field notes, but y’know – poety…)
I saw a bare-armed man
who flailed and capered,
turning unexpectedly about,
beating air like a conductor of elements,
until in a final spasm he flailed a stick
with great vigour,
up and into the sky.
I guessed at an unseen silent dog,
Chuffed to have a wee poem (it’s sort of a diptych) in this excellent ‘Landscape and maps’ edition of The Writers Cafe Magazine…
via The Writer’s Cafe Magazine – ISSUE 16 “Landscape and Maps”
Federation of Writers Scotland have a feature called ‘Blog of the month’, and I’m delighted that this month’s blog is Subjects, objects, verbs. FWS’s editor asked me this:
“… you have provided a brief note on the blog’s genesis, I wonder if you could expand that a bit – what your aim is in creating the blog, how do you hope it might affect readers?”
That’s an excellent shot across the bows, I thought! Straight to the heart of the matter – just what am I doing here, friends, and what are you getting out of it?
I had a long think, and tried to write a reply that was honest, and as b.s. free as I could manage. You can read my reply here…