White Stripes

White stripes extend to the vanishing point where darkness swallows the headlights. In nighttime’s cocoon the world shrinks to dashboard dials, Coldplay and the intermittent flash of high-beams. Rhythms of the road seduce his eyes. Roll and flick… refocus – sharp breath.

Already he’s at home, his mind previewing the warm greeting from his father, the welcomed cheer of his friend. He knows where he will drink on Saturday night and who will stay on till Sunday dawn.

A late run home is one more deadline to meet, a challenge to the capability of youth. But as white stripes creep closer, he drifts further away. Cosiness is for the inexperienced and ill-fated. Grinding corrugated lane markers warn of transport’s delicate ecosystem.

He saw the tree, but its placement didn’t register logically. Roll and flick… refocus – sharp breath. Wrench… break.

Squealing overcorrected on two wheels, the metallic shell lifts and sparks across the bitumen, roof forgiving the convex of a second tree.

His right ribcage bears seat-belt abrasions where he had allowed it slip, but more notably, the windscreen’s fragile glass proved stronger than his fragile skull.

Breath is forgotten in the forest’s reverent hush. Only the radiator dares hiss, joined by the distant cries of the ocean.

Hours later I travelled his last white stripes on foot. It was a long walk – traffic jam on my left, youths heedlessly playing cricket on the vacant right. But as I reached the red and blue, the mood grew sombre, I was asked to wait. The chopper spotlight rose like a UFO above the highway crowds and slipped into the heavens. The cricketeers returned to their vehicles and I hurried back to mine as traffic cranked up once more.

Work lights exposed a twisted underbelly, as broken as he who once drove it. I shrank down behind my wheel as I passed, for fear the workmen may see my guilty lurking yawn, and focused especially hard on the white stripes ahead.

The Bower Bird Call

The bleeding, dying, dripping, drying
A cry to wash the wind away
Falling left while floating right
The moon won’t slay the sun tonight

You have left me empty-handed
Stranded by the darkest way
Without return but lost for future
Waiting for a newborn grave

So I sit here, in your eyes
Depleted, defeated
Wrapped in storm and needy
Bright vanity rusted seedy

A mild winter the hardest
Your laughter but an echo
Laid low on the Bower Bird call
Mocks my winded fall

It’s a tumbling personality
Rock-bound glamoured pad
False impressions shattered
Splattered on the Truth

Lingering on the midnight dream
The world was mine and time would lean
To meet the steps I chose to tread
All desired within my means

This has been the longest day
But still the night hides away
Come close to climb within
To dream again, to rest my limb

Affections For You

Affections for you creep up slowly. Like a dream where the roller-coaster falls from its tracks then reappears on course without reason, so my heart explodes without release. Pressure builds and builds, frustratingly so.

To pluck the flower before it blossoms would kill the very beauty it promises. It breaks my heart to leave it there, exposed to the world. Someone may steal it; assuming it were mine at all. Someone may trample it, without me on guard.

When the wind blows my direction, I can sense it’s fragrance… a present reminder of distant travels calling. One midsummer I may return. Amongst the seasonal daisies, my flower will stand tall. 

And now, fully grown, I will take you with me. 

All his own work

Original article >

A Little Bit of Magic stillCharles Sturt University graduate David Ford has won the Great Australian Story Challenge with his short film, A Little Bit of Magic. David graduated this year with a Bachelor of Arts (Television Production), and will now spend three months working with Australian Story at ABC TV. “I have a lot of respect for both the program and the ABC. I feel I have the capacity to make good stories, but it is also knowing how to work within a particular production environment. I don’t know where it will take me or what it will hold but it is looking optimistic.” A Little Bit of Magic tells the story of Cliff Armitage, who had an amazing career change since being involved in the gun control policy formation after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. David says making the film was a challenge “because I was doing the lighting, sound and camera, as well as producing and directing and researching”. Last year David filmed a travelogue documentary about his time spent at an African AIDS orphanage, which airs in July on cable TV in Australia, and later in New Zealand and Indonesia.

Media Note: David Ford is available for interview. Contact CSU Media. The Great Australian Story (GAS) Challenge celebrates 10 years of Australian Story. The major prize is a three-month internship with Australian Story. A Little Bit of Magic will be screened during NSW Stateline program on ABC TV on Friday 2 June at 7.30pm. You can see the five finalists’ work at http://www.abc.net.au/austory/gas/

The Great Australian Story Challenge winners announced

29 May, 2006

Australian Story Banner

After a national search, Australian Story has today announced the two winners of the Great Australian Story (G.A.S.) Challenge.

The major prize of a three-month internship with Australian Story has been awarded to David Ford for his story ‘A Little Bit of Magic’ about the career change of one of the senior figures involved in the gun control policy formation after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

Following thousands of online votes, Lisa Maksimovic was chosen as the clear Viewers’ Choice winner for her story ‘Nick’s Gift’, about the fatal shark attack on 18-year old South Australian Nick Peterson. The Viewers’ Choice prize is a $200 ABC Shop gift voucher.

The G.A.S Challenge celebrated 10 years of Australian Story by encouraging the next generation of Australian Story producers and researchers to adopt the program’s personal approach to story telling that has been so well received.

You can still view the entries from the six finalists by clicking on the video links below.

A Little Bit of Magic still

Julianne Deeb – “A Shared Path” (Vic)
Kathleen Dyett – “For Love of Country” (ACT)
David Ford – “A Little Bit of Magic” (NSW)
Harriet Gollan – ” A Burning City Glows” (NSW)
Lisa Maksimovic – “Nick’s Gift” (SA)
Kelly Perks – “Random Acts of Kindness” (Qld)

Original article >

All I Can See

For all I can see
The epitome of me
To release control and cast to the wind
The pressure to understand

Unrest swirls
Twirls and whirls disrupting
A night that could lay still

Aching like a rib-caged dog
Hunger grows and knows no abate
Persistent in its cause to claw
The final grain of hope

Breathe outwards and float inwards
Close my eyes and sigh
Fly in realms not weighed down
By sucking sight and stinging sound

That is hope.
A picture-future
Possible to reach

A tear, unseen, exists nonetheless
Rolls from my gut and rolls
And falls
And when it passes through depths my conscious cannot fathom
It appears once more,
Rolling from my gut, and rolls
And falls

I have tried and fallen through
Took the risk the jump the fall and all
That was promised… was dashed

When You Have Hope

When hope breathes in you
You can open up your window in midwinter
The cold that once ate at your uncovered toes
Now refreshes your lungs

Outside the snow remains deep
But I burn deeper

A Cry For Deeper Love

[I feel like] I was fooling around
With a tattered cloth in the dark

Then someone shone a torch on it
And the media frenzied over it
While I held my breath, hoping
No one would make the obvious statement
‘Look! It’s only a rag!’