Charles Thompson

Commentary

Currently my poetry is finding its way through drama. Although none of you lay claim to any expertise about drama you always make fruitful comments. And you can comment on the poetry in the piece.

This excerpt is rom a play I have written 'A Weekend in the Country'. To explain the excerpt Michael is the father of Isobel's child. The child was born  when Isobel was 16 and taken away from her after two days. Responsibility for this lies with the nuns of her convent school and her mother.

 

Isobel is seeing a vision of Michael and hearing his feelings at the time. This is 15 years ago in the time present of the play. This scene represents her imagining Michael's feelings and it also represents her feelings. I am aiming to try to achieve drama that grips with poetic force.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from "A Weekend in the Country"

ISOBEL Michael - uncertainly. Michael!

MICHAEL: Hark

ISOBEL: What? What are you....?

MICHAEL: Sound of a baby crying There! Did you hear it?

ISOBEL: What?

MICHAEL: A baby crying.

ISOBEL: No. Nothing.

MICHAEL: Baby cries again And there again. Did you not give the baby milk?

ISOBEL: What baby? Michael?

MICHAEL: Our baby. A tiny baby. Not two days old.

ISOBEL: She's gone. A long time ago. 15 years.

MICHAEL: No. The baby cries again There a third time.

ISOBEL: There was no sound.

MICHAEL: An owl screeches And an owl screech.

Sound of sleeping and heartbeat. She's sleeping now. Her heart beats. Sweet heart. But.....it dies away.

 

ISOBEL: Michael

 

MICHAEL: They're taking her. Yes now.

Call her.

 

ISOBEL: But she has no name.

 

MICHAEL: Call her. Find her. Show me to her. Give her milk.

 

ISOBEL: There is no baby.

 

MICHAEL: Whispers of Sister Lucia and Mum talking They chuckle. They are dangerous. For the pity of God. Our little one. Don't let her go. Her future is here an instant and ….gone. Our mouths gape. Pity, like a naked new-born babe.....

 

ISOBEL: Is gone.

 

MICHAEL: Have we not all of us lost our babies? But in an instant – no! This torment shall breed in my soul and every day a black tomorrow make. And pain and loss shall blanket me to sleep. Find her Isobel and let me see her, your milk upon her lips. Your....This is where Michael exits.

 

ISOBEL So small. Vulnerable. The nurse put her in my arms. Sometimes I rage. Maria enters to listen ..'. Isobel presents herself smiling.

When in April the sweet showers fall/ and pierce the drought of March to the roots and all/ And bathed in every vein of green such sweet rain/ which through its power creates every brilliant flower.

'Shall we explore the bluebells?' asked Laila. and so to the woods we went to find the common bluebells - with their sweet scent and Laila raced to them to play. And screamed out 'Ow...ow...mum... there are nettles here. They hurt me. 'And raced out – tears – tears – tears – The vicious military of nettles. White beads on the skin. How did I not protect her? I slashed them all down – those nettles. There's a fault. She dislodges Maria's hand. I'll dry my tears … with seaweed. Isobel exits – Storm? Maria and Herman look at each other. Hold hands.

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