Download PDF Here Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two Sept-October 2022.
The Beauty of Silence, poems by Raine Geogehegan
Chaplin walks onto the set. He sits on the director’s chair. A single pool of light falls across his body. He leans forward, rests his head in his hands. Taking a deep breath he looks out into the empty studio.
‘They want to use sound. They are ruining the great beauty of silence. ‘The little fellow’ doesn’t speak. He’s not meant to speak, that is the point. It is his face that speaks. The audience are free to imagine his voice; they then become part of the creative act. Take that away and they are bereft.’
‘Imagine how it will fill the picture houses, destroy the intimacy. Everything the audience needs is right there in front of them, not booming out from a speaker, somewhere at the back of the picture house.
Chaplin looks around him, sighs.
My brother and I sit on the old red sofa, leaning our heads back, pretending not to look at our visitor. Our Mother fidgets, looks worried. The man doesn’t stay long. He tells us he’s our uncle, a Romany chal, come all the way from Birmingham. He drops some coins into our clammy hands and speaks in a strange language. When he leaves, our Mother kneels in front of us and say’s ‘Now, Charlie, Syd. You’re not to tell anyone about him coming here. You keep quiet, alright? Now then, let’s have some dinner. Pork chops is it?
We sit there and wait for our dinner, but we don’t get pork chops, we get bread and dripping. Our Mother goes to bed. When I tiptoe into her room, she says ‘Be quiet Charlie boy, I’m done in.’
A short while later, we hear our Dad’s footsteps on the stairs. We pretend to be asleep. He doesn’t like us; we have the marks on our legs to prove it.
Maybe that’s where it started, the turning inwards. The danger of making noise. When I’m in front of the camera, I feel it, the hurt; the pain; the fear. Ahh, the beauty of silence.
Chaplin stands, picks up his bowler hat and cane, puts the hat on his head, swings the cane round in his hand, does a funny walk and shouts. ‘Cut’
© Raine Geogehegan
Raine Geoghegan, M.A. is a Welsh born poet, prose writer and playwright of Romany descent. She is a Forward Prize, twice Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net nominee. Her work has been published online and in print with Poetry Ireland Review; Travellers’ Times; Ofi Press; Under the Radar; The Clearing; SkyLight47; Fly on the Wall and many more. Her essay, ‘It’s Hopping Time’ was featured in Gifts of Gravity and Light (Hodder & Stoughton, 2021). She has a Highly Commended Award for poetry from Winchester University’s Reaching Out competition and was long listed for the NHS Poetry competition in 2019. Two pamphlets, ‘Apple Water: Povel Panni’ and ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog’ are by Hedgehog Poetry Press. Apple Water was listed in the Poetry Book Society Spring 2019 Selection. Her play ‘The Tree Woman’ was featured in the online festival with the Same Boat Theatre Collective based in San Francisco. She is the Romani Script Consultant for the musical ‘For Tonight’ which will be performed in the UK later this year. Her third pamphlet ‘The Stone Sleep’ was published in January 2022 with Hedgehog Poetry Press. ‘The Talking Stick: O Pookering Kosh’ was published in June 2022 by Salmon Poetry Press.
Website: rainegeoghegan.co.uk – follow Raine at twitter.com/RaineGeoghegan5