Tag Archives: photo

2234. Grandma’s photo album

A lot of photos in my late grandmother’s photo album have some person cut out with scissors. I asked my mother about it and she didn’t have a clue why. She said she thought the pictures were complete when she got the album when grandma died.

I went through the album carefully trying to find two photos the same or similar; one with a person cut out and one with the whole photo intact. I couldn’t find any. And then I found two that might be of help. It looked like they were both taken on the same occasion. It was someone’s birthday because a man was blowing out candles on an outside table. In the first one the figure standing behind the chair of the candle blower had been cut out. There are four other men in the photo counting the candle blower. In the second photo they are standing in a row. I can be certain that four of them are the same because of their hats and scarves. The fifth person could be the same as the one cut out but I can’t be sure. I didn’t know who any of them were. The one cut out is the only one wearing a hat without a noticeable hatband.

I showed the photo to my mother and asked if she knew who they were. She looked at it and said she didn’t know.

“Where did you get that photo from?” she asked. And I said it was in grandma’s album. Later when I went to look at it again the fifth figure in the photo had been cut out. It could only have been cut out by my mother because grandma is dead. I didn’t like to ask my mother about it because she sometimes gets quite cranky when I ask too many questions. She brought me up on her own. Apparently I was an “accident”, but I’m certainly pleased I’m here! I often wonder who my father might have been. A picture would be nice.

2066. Maisie smiles

Maisie wasn’t a fusspot, but she liked things nice for other people. If visitors were coming, she’d make sure all was dusted, and the carpet vacuumed, and perhaps even fresh flowers in the vase. Even if her daughter was to call in she would make sure she had done the dishes otherwise her daughter would start doing them! So all in all, yes, she wasn’t a fusspot but liked things nice.

Maisie’s daughter’s wedding was happening tomorrow. Such excitement! Who doesn’t want to look nice for a daughter’s wedding? She had a brand new dress with matching hat and shoes. She would wear the brooch her late husband had given her on their wedding day. In fact, Maisie had wondered if she shouldn’t give her daughter the brooch as a wedding gift. But in the end she thought it was too dated, too old-fashioned. It would carry a memory but did not serve any usefulness.

Apart from feeling rather grand in her new outfit Maisie thought it important to look good at the wedding to help make the day lovely and to look pretty flash in the wedding photos as well. After all, she knew her outfit matched the colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses. Wedding photos were a permanent reminder of that happy day, so it was good to look ones best!

That night Maisie slept like a log. She didn’t think she would, but she did! That is until she fell out of bed. She knocked her eye socket on the corner of the bedside table and cut open her lip. She spent the rest of the night dabbing the flow of blood. It was made doubly worse by the blood-thinning pills she was taking.

That is why the wedding photos show Maisie with one huge black eye and a gigantic swollen lip. Maisie seems to be smiling. It was a happy day!

2039. A newsworthy photograph

What a conundrum for Haydn Rex Pratt. He had just published his fourteenth novel and the local newspaper needed a photograph. What photograph should be used? He had a substantial collection of self-portraits but it was a question of selecting one that verged on the academic.

For example should he supply a photograph of himself sitting engrossed at a desk with a pen poised between his thumb and forefinger and the other end of the pen just touching his lips? It was reflective and almost professorial. No, it would not do. What writer these days would be seen dead holding a pen? Hadn’t they heard of computers?

His snapshots sitting at a computer were humdrum. Many of them had the camera flash reflected on the screen. It was so amateurish. Besides, most of these photographs were several years old and the style of keyboard and mouse (not to mention the clothes he was wearing) had quickly become dated and unfashionable.

Then there were several to choose from that were taken outdoors. One of these in particular was his favourite (people said it didn’t look like him but he absolutely adored it). He was standing in front of a date palm. Everything in the picture was so natural. He was smiling. He knew exactly why he was smiling. His time in North Africa had been one of the most enjoyable vacations he had taken. That gladness was clearly reflected in the photo. But what did smiling in front of a date palm in North Africa have to do with his novel? And he couldn’t remember the name of the woman who was standing next to him.

There were several photographs that were unmentionable. He kept them hidden at the bottom of the pile. They were inappropriate of course, but he looked at them for some time as if they could serve some use to the local newspaper.

In the end, Haydn Rex Pratt selected a photograph of himself that didn’t seem to place him in any context or setting. It was a full-length photograph, but it made him look particularly handsome. Not that he wasn’t naturally handsome, but this photograph captured him perfectly. Perhaps it was the quality of light or the precise angle that encapsulated his fetching masculinity. Who knows? It was this photograph that he always thought should be used as a basis once the town decided to erect a statue of him; the resident famous novelist!

Haydn Rex Prat tucked the photo into his inside jacket pocket and set off for work. It was a busy life being the editor of the local newspaper.

1854. Lone tree

I was walking through the fields quite casually, just looking. I had my digital camera with me. The local Photography Society was holding a competition. The prize was a super-duper digital camera. The subject was “Trees”.

There were a number of categories, all to do with trees. There was a category for forests, one for lone trees, one for native trees, one for introduced species of tree, one for dead trees. There was also a category for a video of a tree, which I wasn’t going to enter because although I’d had my camera for quite a while, and the camera had the facility to take videos, I’d never got around to learning what buttons to press. The capturing of a video was beyond my technical ability!

I wasn’t having much luck photographing trees because there really were no interesting trees about. Suddenly, just above the gnarled top of an old cedar, as I was focusing, a fleet of alien space craft appeared. They were in convoy. I suppose there were six of them. I took as many photographs as possible; after all, my digital camera can take hundreds of photographs without getting full. The experience was thrilling!

That is the last thing I remember of that incident.

I awoke in the same field, in the same place. When I got home I discovered that a whole two months had passed; I had missed two months. Clearly I had not been lying unconscious in the field the whole of that time. The experience was disorienting; kind of wonky. I really didn’t know what to do; who to tell. If I told anyone of the experience they would smile and say “Yeah right” meaning I was talking nonsense. So I kept quiet about it.

When a little later I downloaded the photographs on my camera onto my computer (it was now too late to enter the competition) there were the photographs of the alien convoy I had seen. They were blurry as photos of alien craft always are. But as well as that there were seventeen clear photographs and a video that I had not taken myself.

Oh my word! Oh goodness gracious! I have never seen scenes so breath-taking. It was sheer beauty. It was indescribable. Here was my chance to show other people, and then perhaps my strange experience would be believed.

The first time I went to show the photographs they were no longer there; they had disappeared, on both my camera and computer. I can still see the wonder of those photos in my mind’s eye. Extraordinary! There can be no doubt that I was abducted. The aliens had clearly fiddled with the camera in perhaps a futile attempt to understand what the contraption was for.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the Photography Society asking when was I going to pick up the digital camera I had won? I can tell you, as honestly as the day is long, I never entered that competition. Ever.

1677. Stopping to recharge

When a fleet of alien spacecraft appeared over a hill outside Marco’s window, he was lucky enough to have his camera handy. Strangely, his camera jammed after the first shot was taken. It had never jammed before. However, all who saw the photograph agreed; it was the clearest snapshot to date of alien space craft.

These craft were more like flying bubbles than flying saucers. Extraordinary! One by one, in turn, each space craft settled on the electricity cables that swept down from the hilltop. Each craft would nestle on the wires for no longer than ten to fifteen seconds, and then would move to the side to allow the next bubble to, presumably, recharge.

When all was done, the fleet of craft came closer to Marco’s window, and while each bubble seemed to spin on its axis, the whole bunch twirled around like planets encircling a sun, and then… disappeared. It was as if they were saying goodbye to Marco. He was both excited, and more than a little bit moved, to have been chosen to be the witness to such an event. And, he added, they made a gentle whooshing sound.

Marco showed the photograph to his local member of Parliament who assured Marco it would be passed on to the appropriate experts. In the meantime, the photo on social media had gone through the roof.

About a week later the experts made an announcement: the photograph was fake. It had been tampered with by some graphics program. The bubbles were the result of manipulation. It was not a photograph of alien craft at all, but a humdrum picture fiddled with by a mindless idiot. Case settled.

Such an outcome was exactly what the aliens had intended.

1387. At the ready

It was a silly thing, but Talia always kept her cell phone charging on the ledge above the kitchen sink. This was just in case (and of course it would never happen) an alien space craft suddenly appeared over the horizon.

AND IT DID! IT DID!

Talia grabbed her phone to take a photo and, with slippery hands from doing the dishes, dropped the phone into the boiling hot soapy sink water.

The next thing the space craft landed on her lawn just outside the kitchen window. An alien stepped out. He handed Talia a brand new phone.

“This is to replace the phone you just dropped into the sink,” he said.

As she stood on the steps to wave goodbye to the departing space craft, Talia though, “What a nice alien. I should’ve offered him a saucer of milk or something.”

Poem 65: Chagrin and bare it

(A nonsense poem!)

God blessed me with bad teeth,
a whole mouthful.
That the few left are good for chewing
is somewhat douthful.

Shut up and look at the camera!
Watch the birdie! Smile! Say cheese!

I shall chagrin and bare it.

I s’pose I could suck soup
up through a straw.
That way there will be no need
to gnaw at awl.

Shut up and look at the camera!
Watch the birdie! Smile! Say cheese!

I shall chagrin and bare it.

The thing about gaps in the gums –
One can’t eat steak,
but then again there ain’t
no toofs to ache.

Shut up and look at the birdie!
Watch the camera! Smile! Say cheese!

I shall chagrin and bare it.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 9: Back then

© Bruce Goodman 1 May 2015

9backthen

When I see a photo of me as a boy
I think
if only I’d thought differently

back then

I could’ve studied physics or french or latin
or other stuff for example
and played the violin or oboe or ukulele
or other stuff for example

apparently two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and maybe if I’d taken a more divergent trajectory
my poems would rhyme prop’ly
and scan

anyway if I had taken a contrary course
I’d probably see a photo of me as a boy
and think
if only I’d thought differently

back then

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.