Aerial Manoeuvres (Film-Poem)
In dreams, I am convinced
I have always been able to fly--
the updraft from the cliff
will catch me like my mother
when I launched from the stairs
on a bird-brained impulse,
avian memory, invincible faith.
Airline rituals reassure me--
the act is routine ad tedium--
tyres drift up off the tarmac,
metal wings skate the air.
"Falling doesn't hurt," we joke,
"it's hitting the ground."
So I fall, and fall into myself,
gasping awake on a feather bed.
Larks slice through the dawn,
and part of me goes with them,
diving toward the updrafts,
hoping, mid-air, to be caught.
I had a feeling of the kind of film-poem I wanted to create here, something about flight. I used Blender
to render a flock of birds and then composited them together with historic aviation footage from the Prelinger Archives
. The poem wrote itself after that, and Valerie's piano accompaniment followed. We also recorded birdsong on an H1 Zoom and looped it to create a backdrop of sound.