She had not seen his black face since they played with toys as kids
Then marched around the school ground –
White striped pants, with flags and booming drum.
But as his childhood pictures flicked to screen it all came back.
Soon pictures took a different path (she'd moved away by then)
They watched and laughed at stories – felt some pain
They heard of struggle, triumphs, joys
Of navy trips, and travelled distant lands.
And soon a room of strangers – pointed out, acknowledged,
Each for some key part, sprang forth to life for her.
And as she heard short thanks, saw tears
With gifts and warm embrace –
The highlights of a life-time tapestry
Became a film-scape there to her
Like products of her hours of making films.
She knew film’s sound was cut away – rebuilt on separate tracks
With ‘ambient sound’ reduced to background ‘air’.
Then bell is added, footsteps, shower, owl-hoot,
A rocket’s roar – alongside dialogue –
Re-taped, lip-synched to crystal clear.
Then comes the fun as multi-tracks are synched and tweaked
To build a sound-scaped world
Much stronger than the real –
As symbols rise to hook our hearts
And layers of meaning put new depths
To what apparent is.
A bell made distant to the steps that creep in sinister silence;
The shower’s flow and rocket’s roar moved up
To match the ‘heard before the seen’
Of real life;
The atmospheric owl-hoot deftly stroked unheard but strongly felt;
The music’s theme soft matched then swelled
To climax at the end.
Repeated times this rough cut’s played to tweak
And smooth – till all agree
And final mix-down’s ordered for release.
So now retirement’s quick review
In two short hours – she heard the settings
That he chose for each track of his life –
His love of kids, his care and craft,
Strong family ties,
And quick response as challenges arose –
Each separate track laid down and tweaked
In circumstantial days
When now played back – showed life's impact,
The shortfalls of his life now cut away.