19 May 2014

Rocket Dance

All long night, rains lashed lands made grey plains of despair,
from sheep fields to town streets, howls and shrieks filled the air,
tired trees creaking sore limbs fractured close to split free,
yet come day, calmer skies above Gloucestershire sea.

So a clearing is readied beside beechwood place,
for two rockets to launch into star-speckled space,
filled with fuels mixing shapes taught by engineer Roy,
blue green rows and rotations learned fit to deploy.

Chambers crackle and thwack from propelling note sets,
fire weaves red orange yellow in billowing jets,
rocketeers basket tight and prepare to go zoom,
ten nine eight seven six five four three two one BOOM!

* * *

This is my first poem inspired by Happenstance at the Cheltenham Folk Festival earlier this year.

This poem is what I like to call a ‘waltzer’, as the rhythm takes triple time. However, online searching reveals that the correct term is ‘anapaest’, consisting of ‘two short syllables followed by a long one’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anapaest). I chose this rhythm as I wanted the final line to be the countdown of the dance, to capture some of the exuberance of the performance. As usual, I have the listening experience, more than the reading experience, in mind.

I include the weather conditions in mid-February to enhance the theme of rocketing and to situate the poem after the winter storms of 2013/14. For many people, it was an exceptionally hard winter, so the milder weather permitting the launch of the rockets comes as a bit of a celebration. Huzzah!

I researched Roy Dommett too and I enjoyed this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkWBZ1lU36g