Friday 18 July 2014


The photographs were taken at this year's 2000 Trees Festival where Juncture 25 went down a storm. I may have mentioned this before, but the secret is to revise and revise your work. It is that simple and that difficult. Here is a revision of the last post's poem:

Nineteen years ago it was different, alive.
The town then was all small shops, half this size, more real, authentic.
She watches the Catalans build a human tower in the square.
A knot of men the base, others will be flying buttresses,
as two women climb to stand on shoulders.

This town confuses, fast roads bisect her memories.
When she finds a place they remember
she embroiders it with significance.
The women have linked arms, the crowd cheers a young boy,
lifted above the press of men, he begins to climb,
to stand aloft, briefly atop this human pyramid.

Can any marriage survive the children leaving home?
The boy has climbed down, is lifted from the first tier,
the crowd's approval echoes around the square.
The once castell is now a confluence of individuals,
she wonders as to her place in the throng.

It is shorter than the last version. I have, with the help of the Secret Poets, reduced it. I think it reads better- what do you think?
Here is another revision.

Waking With Half a Dream in My Head

At the end of the story she planted a tree,
completing the circle with this tired metaphor.
I can recall the image - just,
radiance from the tree uplights her face,
gypsy caravans to one side,
the good people surround her.
A detailed engraving from a dreambook
is fading now my words have woken.
There is nothing for them to do,
a different reality imprints itself on my brain.

At the end of the story she planted a tree,
then climbed up its branches beyond my imagination.
This was not difficult, she tells
the glass magpie who nods.
They will dance a tango over mulberry leaves,
paint stars on the inside of a teacup,
then consult ceolacanths,
for whom water is but an abstract notion.
Hers will be an interesting life.

At the end of the story she planted a tree.
You can see it if you stand on tiptoe
and look through that wall,
it is a strong plant and will outlast my thoughts.
Perhaps it will be an extra in a drama
that is played out in your head.

At the end of the story she planted a tree, 
its absence in the sequel,
was commented on by at least three readers.
It appeared in the movie, an ill conceived affair,
designed to fly on the failing appeal of a tv actor 
whose voice was breaking.
The trilogy was squeezed into ninety minutes, 
and the lack of finance showed.

This is a less radical reworking. What do you make of them?
I leave you with Charlie Haden at his peak. I was saddened to hear that he had passed away this week. This is For a Free Portugal.

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