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Pinhole Camera


The yellow tulips creep in through this pinprick
followed by a creosoted garden shed,
the overhanging trees, some background mountains,
sky and clouds. They all contract and squeeze
themselves into the darkness of my pinhole camera

Its aperture is tiny, barely visible, and yet,
even the half-moon in the sky will shrink herself
enough to pass through, then expand to take her place
in that soft-focus scene that paints itself upon my film.
And if you wish to join them there – the moon,
the shed, the trees and tulips – you’ll have to stand
quite motionless, becoming one with all around.
There is no use in jumping up and down
waving your arms and shouting “Here I am!”
You need to be stock-still and patient, waiting,
thirty seconds … one whole minute …
more … until you find

that you—a little blurred now—
have passed the pinhole too and stand
under a dim moon riding through clouds and sky,
before the mountains, underneath the trees
beside the shed, amongst the yellow tulips.


Alistair Scott
November 2009





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