Poetry Film


the one about the bird

trees seq film pro and clip 2_Snapshot

A poetry film


And the birds    the one about the birds

All you needed was a camera and you could shoot a film noir

hardly moving    boiled down to two rooms, already rendered

in black and white    at least it seemed that way


the unbearable tension andoppressive stillness of a Clouzot film

this is how they ended    all the other players having left the scene

locked in and nowhere else    to go

and they weren’t giving in to any other view than that of enemy,

contender, and combatant this is how it starts,

this is how you tear apart

025_Snapshot (5) (640x360)then comes  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and before you know it

you’re watching Horror

it’s ‘Straightjacket’ and Joan Crawford’s wigging out

and coming at you    with an axe

and then the birds start singing and picking     at everything   

and how relationships as flimsy as ticker tape won’t stop


anything    it wasn’t like you could tap

them on the shoulders    in cinematic strokes

with low key lighting and a confusion of angles

And the one about the bird    mashed in black and white,

you know the one – kids circling    round the playground

wounded bird and kids not knowing what else to do

when life and death mattered/didn’t so one threw the first stone162_Snapshot (2)

then another the next    faster and faster until    every child  

all little girls and boys    were throwing stones at the bird

and the weight of death    is pressing us immeasurably to the screen

this is it, this is how it’s done    this how we die and kill

in one scene    and it occurs to me    maybe we want to be that bird

beyond Joan Crawfords, Clouzots and playgrounds003_Snapshot (3)

and a call too late to call for help

because the story ends    it ends

and just begin again





Screened at the BELFAST FILM FESTIVAL 2013

One of the finalist at LA PAROLA IMMAGINATA – TREVIGLIOPOESIA 2013 in ITALY                                                                                                              


Screened at FILMPOEM 2013 as part of a selection curated by Swoon, Dunbar, Scotland.

Screened at TIMELINE 2013 as part of BOKEH YEAH!, with the best of the recent inaugural FILMPOEM FESTIVAL, curated by its founder and director Alastair Cook, with guest programme by Swoon, Manchester, England.


A poetry film based on the poem, the one about the bird, written by Melissa Diem and filmed in Ireland. It explores the human attraction to horrific events through the medium of film. And the idea of the desire to stop and begin again when a situation, an experience, humanity… seems to have gone so horrendously wrong that it is beyond the point of return and can never be undone.

The poem and the visuals were influenced by a black and white film (source unknown) in which children stone a wounded bird to death. I saw this clip of film at a young age and the scenes and all they implied were so startling to me that I have never forgotten the images. Other cinematic influences include the film ‘Don’t Look Now’ in which images suddenly surface in a fleeting glimpse like repressed memories shifting through consciousness.

Visuals by Melissa Diem
Poem written and read by Melissa Diem
Sound production by Colm Slattery

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