WORDS - Matthew Rowan - Composer

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A short film about the tiny gesture that defines us.

Almost perched against the worktop in the familiar kitchen, the red-haired woman takes longer than usual to finish her cup of Bewley’s instant coffee even though it is one of the small ones, white with pink and green floral pattern, fragile silver leaf rim. Once the last tepid drop is swallowed, she washes the cup and spoon then scrutinizes her work before reaching towards the oven for the tea towel to dry them; today, it is the faded green one with the drawings of various horses. Inspecting her work a final time, she places the spoon neatly in the drawer and returns the cup to its designated space on the shelf. After the gentle smack of the cupboard door closing she hears his voice telling her that the cars are here – it is time to go. As she steps from lino to carpet, a sudden, dreaded thought strikes her and she scuttles back to the cupboard, opens the door, then rotates the cup so that all the handles are now aligned. Following a soft sigh of relief, she pauses, tilts her head slightly upwards, with a measured blink releases a solemn smile... and leaves a lifetime behind.


G. T. Four. T.


For. D. B. Five.

Hund – red. Five. Six.

Shhh! Ark knows

Vans, vans pass at El Camino.

In From The Chill

Tracy’s been, Charlie’s gone,
Red received new guests.
The hardest-working man in the business
No longer gets up to impress.

Drink flows like lava flowed,
A hotel’s left with fewer souls.
In a blaze of glory or in a blaze,
Fiery breath can be the end of days.
Bring them in from the chill.

The earth groans while plates are licked,
Nine-point-three and seven-point-six,
Tables and chairs, tiles and bricks,
Memories washed away like sticks.
Bring them in from the chill.

After seeking always to do some good
And realize His true worth,
A surgeon leaves the brotherhood,
Completing His journey from birth.
Bring Him in from the chill.

As glowing faces await warm embraces,
Take time to reflect on a past some try to forget.
In this season of peace and goodwill,
Remember a thought of those less fortunate,
Of those for whom life is still.
Bring them in from the chill.

They offered prayers, original in style

I’m going to take some aspirin now. Make sure you take lots of pictures and send me some more postcards – and if you don’t get this, I’ll try to remember and tell you everything when you come back – if I remember – if any of it matters at all – or if any of it seems at all interesting to you, after you’ve been in Europe for six weeks!
Text from The Voyage to Europe, copyright © 1995 Paul Attinello.

We walk inside huge jewels, ropes of
white tourmalines, square-faceted;
we straggle, silent, lonely, lost –

The varied forms of faces thaw
from fears or sudden loves, melt with
unwelcome passions, freeze again;

Then, waiting in black fields of chairs,
we dream of those we nearly knew:
we breathe the sun, we feel the air.
Airports (Rilke’s Last Flight), copyright © 1993 Paul Attinello.

They crossed the borders step by step,
miles won toward safer lands, and miles
away from home. They offered prayers,
original in style, to all
the muses and the rebel arts,
in hope of reaching safety...
Text from The exodus: XII The Last Wave, copyright © 1995 Paul Attinello.


On the label, in big letters: NOT TO BE OPENED BY CHILDREN.

Carrying it home safe in my grip, I would tread with a mixture of pride and fear. What if I should slip in the snow, and the bottle were to break? Then home again; the hearth prepared, my sisters crowding round as Mother took the bottle, ordering us to keep back in case anything went wrong, and she would stoop beside the fireplace with the precious flask held level in her hand. Slowly, carefully, she would unscrew the lid, and out would trickle a single golden bud of fire, its scent exactly like our medicine, gathering and swelling on the lip then falling into the dark nest of coal and waste papers.

At first nothing, as if perhaps it had died, and we would wait a moment holding our breath until there it was again, leaping out from its hiding place and skipping around the tinder, leaving flames wherever it touched, and soon it would all be going, a regular fire, you could feel the warmth starting and my sisters’ faces would be red and smiling with delight, and Mother would take the bottle and put it in a special cupboard high on the wall, the only one in the house you could lock, and I would look up at that cupboard and long – how foolishly I would long – for the day when I would be tall enough to reach it.
Text from ‘Water Of Life’, copyright © 2008 Andrew Crumey.
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