This page is about process. Ever now and then I’ll update it with something I’m working on right at this very moment and try and explain a bit about the process. Exciting eh!…
This weekend I’ve been writing a poem about a modern day Icarus. I woke up on Friday wondering about how ordinary people deal with the extrordinary. That’s become my starting point. That and a bit of research into the Greek myth and a bit of thinking about neighbours and how we live side by side with people and may see them everyday and yet never realise or see who they really are. I liked the idea of a character who caught of glimpse of the life of someone amazing and accepted it in a very understated ‘British’ way. That’s what I’m exploring. Below is a very unfinished very first draft:
It was reported on
In a small column
In the free weekly paper
‘Birdman flies too close to the sun’
Was the seven word headline
Dead matter of fact like
No talk of the extraordinary
Or the magic
Or the beauty to be found
in embracing a destiny that could only bring pain.
For those of us who knew him
We were not surprised
He had tried lying on sun-beds
In the tanning shop on our parade
But it didn’t give him the exhilaration he said
That he got from being so close up to the real thing
And he begrudged the £8.50 fee
And the orange afterglow it left on his wings.
I remember the first time I saw him
Me stood wiping at the kitchen window
He on top of the shed next door
Just about to launch off.
I’d have assumed it to be a ‘party trick’
For his wife
But he wasn’t one for showing off
And his wife to my knowledge
Was no longer around.
I found myself staring at him
Recognising someone familiar
Not being exactly sure what.
It wasn’t so much the wings
But the suit that threw me
It was navy pinstripe
A bit too formal for flying I’d have thought
I’d wondered if linen would have been more apt.
Later on lunar evenings
I would watch from the garden
As he flew above our street
Practicing techniques in turbulence control
Reaching ever higher
As the rest of the world watched
‘Britain’s got talent.’
When things turned bad
Children threw stones at him
Screeching ‘birdman’ into the sky
As if it were a crime
And he should be ashamed.
Their parents were even less tolerant.
He took to covering his wings
with a big overcoat
when he nipped out to the corner shop
for a paper or a pint of milk.
Sometimes I walked with him.
When we talked it was of bigger risks
The threat of global warming
And the ozone layer
The dangers of sun damage
And the need for wearing good sunglasses
With a proper U.V filter.
One morning I had woke
To find a note stuck to my window
‘Tomorrow I am flying to the sun’ it said.
He signed it Icarus
Even though the paper had said his name was Alan.