Film Photography > Poetry

I was reminiscing of the days when I would be on the rooftops;
Climbing the fire escapes for excitement.
When we were in that historical part of the city,
Where all the original buildings still stood-
Upright and as if they had never left their

It was expensive to live in the hotel rooms;
Fashioned from old apartments.
The lure of seeing them was almost too much for me,
I needed to see the rooms,
The early wallpapers and the fixtures
And the chandeliers.

I am brought in by a women that knows how to beat the system.
A fearless type of adventurer that does not lie but knows how to be persuasive,
With her charms and her intellect.

I say I’d love to photograph these places in the winter,
When the edges of the bricks are starker
In the cold and more isolated and warm in feeling.

In one of the rooms we find a stack of photographic prints,
All about 12x17 in size, wrapped in paper
And Protected by a large plastic bag.

The first print has my name forged by another hand,
Another imposter trying to take my artistic
The image is a photograph of wild sunflowers in the snow.

Even one image, almost has my shortened
Name in signature form
Verso perfected,
To my own eyes it’s very close to my
Own penmanship.

PART TWO- the casino

We go from room to room while I carry the
A bit bemused and distraught
we sit at a large oak
Table on the third floor, next to an Armoire
There is another name of a celebrity
Next to mine,
Lark Manor.

A co- creator
To let the viewer know we were
Perhaps together
Having an affair of sorts.

We go from building by building till we get to
An illegal casino,
But you cannot enter without a special
Barcode that a laser has to scan for entry.

One of the door security guards says let
Him in painting directly at me.

Smiles like he’s has had, some sort of deeper conversation at some point before now
A night of drinks or
He wept and dropped his

I wonder to myself,
Has time eroded my memories or has age
Blurred all moments into smeared ink
On images?
Like names and signatures
In stillness?

The slot machines glow
And the gamblers are transfixed

We all get in a black vintage sedan from 1940
And go down the alleyways,
4 of us
Till we find an Art Deco style European
Each curve on the facade
Is chrome and has tiny statuettes of mythical
Women with bouquets
Of flowers
As ornamentation.

I could stay in this part of the world
Each turn of the narrative
Weaves a road to happiness
Nothing is lacklustre.

No disaster or mastering of anything
A easy turn of the page
But the intrigue keeps your
Heart riveting,
No deriving a source
The photographic prints keep rubbing against
Each other
The essence of the nostalgia
Fills your lungs.

Like purple smoke lingering in a fantasy forest.

There’s a black bag on a chair
And my guide says
This is a gift for you.

For your travels
It has two handles
And it’s oblong and stylish.
I read the designer name
And remember seeing a
Runway show.

We are all on the stages of our life and the curtain
Call keeps repeating,
The cinema reel
Sound is echoing in the empty
Theatres of our minds.

Blinded by the lens flare
Before this moment is burned away;
Forever by the heat of the projectors

It’s the final curtain call now,
And the luxurious red velvet
falls heavier than the snow
On the floorboards.

Where you once stood magnificent,
A perfect composition in full resolution.
It’s another dream sequence with the
Symphonic closing credits

You close your eyes
Before the Hurricane lamps
Blow out
But do they?

Francis A Willey
September 4th 2022

My signature forged on a photograph of wild sunflowers in the snow