Friday, September 13, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Garden Parties

There’s a party in the garden
Some secrets may be hidden
Will there be sun or will there be rain?
Will someone cry out in pain?
Afterwards there’ll be things to say
It should be a most memorable day

For creative writing I wrote a radio play called The Garden Party. With typical over confidence I set out to write it in verse, but swiftly stopped. There's a few rhyming lines here and there, and also this previous poem on the topic. Number 197.



The Garden Party, An Audio Play

WEATHERMAN SOUNDS TINNY AS THOUGH FROM A SMALL SPEAKER

Weatherman:   ...and as might be expected for weekends in May, expect sunshine and showers all                        through Sunday.

SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS

Bill:                        That’s why I’m wearing shorts and carrying an umbrella.

Angela:            But Bill, you look confused. Indecisive. Everyone at the garden party will ask you what you were thinking.

Bill:                   It’s something to talk about, rather than have an awkward silence. They might as well ask ‘Why is Angela wearing a pencil skirt? Has she escaped from the fifties?’

SOUND OF PEOPLE TALKING INCREASES FROM NOTHING AS THEY APPROACH THE PARTY

THERE WILL BE A BACKGROUND NOISE OF PEOPLE TALKING FOR THE REST OF THE PLAY

Angela:             It’s a poodle skirt1 darling. Fashion’s not really your thing. Here we are. Hello Mel.

Mel:                  Hello, hello. Drinks are over there. Bill, could you be a dear and help me with something?

Bill:                    Certainly.

Mel:                  Can you talk to John? I’m trying to have a word with Catherine, but he keeps answering for her and ignoring me when I try to get her to one side.
Bill:                   Well... okay.
Mel:                  Sorry to take your husband away. I’d get Alistair to do it but he’s manning the bar table.
Angela:             No, go ahead. I’ll be fine.

SCENEBREAK INDICATED BY INCREASED SOUND OF TALKING, AND GLASSES CHINKING

Angela:             Can I have another glass of the pink fizz Alistair? It’s lovely.
Alistair:             Of course you can. Here you go.

Angela:             Your early roses look gorgeous.

Alistair:            Thanks. Mel does all that. I don’t prune them back far enough apparently. Hello Bill.

Mel:                  I’m so sorry Bill, keeping you away from the drink for so long. Here, let Alistair help you.

Alistair:             Beer or wine? There’s a rather cheeky sparkling rosé.

Bill:                    I’ll have a lager for now. Help quench my thirst. I feel like I’ve been talking for hours.

Mel:                  It’s funny, John’s not taking any hints to go away with you. It’s like he and Catherine are stuck like glue.

Alistair:            Why can’t you just talk to her in front of him.

Mel:                  I wanted to discuss her pregnancy dear. Women’s talk.

Alistair:            Oh. Right. So Bill, I see you’re prepared for all weathers. Hope you don’t need that umbrella.

Bill:                  Looks like it turned out nice. Those black clouds seem to have gone. Never hurts to be prepared though. You’re lucky that storm last week didn’t wreck your roses.

Alistair:            Mel can take the credit for that, can’t you dear?

Mel:                I try my best. Oh, there are the Willetts. I think that’s everyone. Once I’ve said hello I’d better get the food out.

Angela:              Can I help?

Mel:                   An extra pair of hands is always welcome darling. Come through to the kitchen.

Alistair:            So what was going on with John?
Bill:                  I don’t know. I didn’t see anything out of ordinary. Not that I’d be able to tell. It’s not as though we’re friends. He didn’t seem to want to leave Catherine’s side.

Alistair:             Is she... I don’t know. Clingy? In her delicate condition?

Bill:                    Maybe. I don’t think she said more than two words the whole time we were over there. He kept answering for her.

Alistair:           Is he being over-protective perhaps?

Bill:                        Perhaps.

SCENEBREAK INDICATED BY INCREASED BACKGROUND NOISE OF TALKING AND EATING

Bill:                        This is an excellent cake Mel. So pretty, with all the fruit. 

Angela:                And stuffed full of chocolate. It must have taken you hours.

Mel:                 Actually Clara brought it. She said it was no trouble at all! Oh hold this for me can you darling.

Bill:                    I... where’s she going?

Angela:            I think Catherine just went to the toilet. She’s going to try and grab her before she gets back to John.

Alistair:           She really is relentless.

Angela:           Here, Bill let me put that plate down for you.

Bill:                 How are things at work? I heard you got a new boss.

Alistair:           Oh yes. He’s... unusual. Has his secretary print out his emails for him to read, then dictates his replies.

Angela:           Oh wow.

Alistair:           Still, at least he pays attention to what we have to say. Better than the last one.

Bill:                 Tell Angela about when he introduced dress down Fridays.

Alistair:            Well, the first Friday I wore dark slacks, a blue shirt and a blazer and he complained I looked too smart, and put everyone off. The second time I went in a polo shirt and jeans and he told me I looked unprofessional. The third Friday I worked from home.

Angela:            Sorry, Mel seems to be waving at me.

Alistair:           I suppose work stories aren’t that interesting. Looks like you were right to bring that umbrella.

A BUZZING SOUND INCREASES FROM NOTHING

Bill:                    That’s not a raincloud. It’s... no it can’t be.

Alistair:              A swarm of bees!

SCENEBREAK INDICATED BY YELLING, CRASH OF GLASSES, DOORS AND WINDOWS SLAMMING BACKGROUND NOISE OF TALKING LOUDER IN THIS SCENE

Bill:                 Well this is a turn up for the books. 

Alistair:           We prepared in case we had to come inside due to rain, but didn’t expect bees. Oh hello, what’s wrong with John? Hey! Somebody stop him! He’s trying to open the door.

Mel:                Bill, can you come quick.

Bill:                 Where did you come from?

Mel:                If you hurry, you can catch Angela and Catherine. They’ll explain. If you’ll excuse me, I have a party to salvage and a... man to delay.

The End

11      A pencil skirt is a long, straight, narrow skirt usually falling below the knee. It is often seen as office wear in films and TV set in the 50s. A poodle skirt is a wide, swinging skirt with a design, often a poodle. It can be seen in 50s set rock and roll dance routines.

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