[ssf] [RFC] The Lightning Tree : Act I

cacophonix adam at diamat.org.uk
Thu May 11 16:40:23 BST 2006

A long time ago, a man, an alchemist,
Grew a large fortune by trading a tool he had made
Inside an existing kingdom ...

He dual marked the tool,

  First, with his own brand, and
  second, with the king's cyphers ...

  He was obliged, if not encouraged,
  to demark his tool thus by the king's numerous clerks ...

As the man's fortune grew,
He gathered clerks around him too,
And dressed them in his livery.

His brand of clerks
Spent their days in constant debate
They thought brand new
With clerks of the king's livery

  A constant designed to evaluate their relative brand values

The man had many brothers who
Learning from their brother's tool
Worked to build their species tool
Fit for market, dual branded tool.

His brothers traded and won fortunes too
As well as branded followers

One wise, bearded brother,
Amongst a group of academics,
  More interested in their society,
   The abstract but tangible values of their kingdom,
    Decided to intervene:

   "I will build a tool that enables better tools to be built !"

   "... and i will help my fellow man !"

   "Indeed this is my kingdom's core
    and i will seed this tree once more !"

Many moons pass and the bearded brother's tool blooms ...

   "Brand my tool clearly
    with this kingdom's golden cyphers only !

     We shall trade our tool in joint tenancy !

    Attach no personal branding save some herbivore
    Grazing in our "new" common majesty

Many moons pass once more,
The bearded tool it roams a far,
Across many kingdoms and pastures new

The bearded tool maker as now
Bearded and unbearded followers alike
That sow their seed and common graze
Some are clerks that debate brand new
With clerks of each king's livery

   "One day soon" believes the bearded men

   "Our king will recognise our tool's truth
    demarked by our own golden cyphers ...

    One day soon, our time will come
    and our kingdom will be born brand new"

The bearded man, however
Confident in this prophecy
Does not rest but herds his clerks in brand debate
Denoted by his tonalities, until, until ...

   One of his unbearded clerks draws his attention two ...

Spike Island

A spiky hill:

Here grows another tree
that has a certain industry

   "Yes that is a noble tree
    but there are few things about it
    that should worry us:

    i. It is a hybrid of our tree
       and alloys the gold of our majesty

    ii. Its maker appears stark and dark
        and rigid yet, he bends his single member ?!

    Oh, but I've just remembered
    a brand new debate with the king's men ...

    On again, on again"

The bearded man leaves it there
and rest his brow within his lair

But dreams about the spiky tree
and bends it with his imagery

    "It grows ...

     it grows !

     But where ?!"

Then a lightening flash:

  The tree's alight
  Ripped asunder

    "No ! It grows no more !"

Awake now, the bearded man fumbles for his lenses
one in front of the other
he peeks again at Spike Island

   "No ... the tree is there

    ... twas a dream no more"

Yet the bearded man remains disturbed
and decides to visit
one day before dawn ...

[ knock, knock on the front door ]

               "The door is open"

               Says the occupant,

The bearded man remains outside

               "The door is open"

               Repeats the occupant

The bearded man remains outside

   "Yes, but it is free ?"

   Says he

               "It is freely hinged ...
                and when ajar,
                it is not a door"

               The occupant smiles at the bearded man
               and aerosols the word "free" on the door
               in rainbow colors

               "Come in, come in"

Inside, are book cases stacked high with junk ?

               "Ring o' ring o' roses"

               Says the occupant pointing to Pocahontas

The bearded man does not know whether he less or further disturbed

There is a clatter at the windows

               "Oh ...

                i wished i'd not told you lot about that now ...

                let me have those walnuts back ...

                and can you play quietly
                for a little while please"

               The occupant gathers the walnuts from a bunch of youths
               and addresses the bearded man:

               "Did you ever watch Goodbye Mr. Chips ?

                Remember the colour of the Danube ?

                Well, i told those youths
                  about a time when some other youths
                  overheard a story a mate was telling
                    to some other youths about walnuts !

                And the second set of youths
                started throwing walnuts at the windows !"

The bearded man appears perplexed and ventures

   "Why ?"

               "Oh ... to find if they were in love or not
                it depends upon whether the window brakes or the walnut
                i forget which way round it goes ...
                i forget the story ...

                But this lot aren't bothered about that
                they're just after the nuts
                have you ever tried to heard squirrels ?

                Do you want a glass of water ?"

The bearded man, confused replies

   "Yes, thank you"

               "Take a pew"

               The occupant goes through a door
               to fetch a pale of water

The bearded man scans the room,
his attention caught by a VDU ...

   Film : Blowup : 7 Minute Loop

   Here is an island in the fall,
   erect with towers in the sky
   A women screams, her time has come
   people stare to where she points:

     "That's low !
      No ! No !"

   She screams once more,
   too late, the burning towers disintegrate
   the camera zooms, people jump

     "My fate, my fate"

   Too close, the burning image pixelates ...

   and is replaced by a suited man whispering
   secrets to his seated king ...

     The king is in a kinder garden,
     counting out his pennies

     A book upon his knee unfolds
     and tells a fairy story:

       Once upon a time,
       a handsome prince was told by his king
       to visit a wizard,
       an ancient relative
         a well smoked bottle
         with a youthful wizened face

       "You have no meaning to your life,
        you can't take responsibility"

        Chastised the king

       "Go and see the wizard,
        and listen to him carefully"

        So off galloped the handsome prince
        to do has the old king wish'd

       "Ah, young man" says the wizard

       "Your father sent you,
        I understand ...

        Listen to me carefully
        I have a special power,
        I can grant your dreams

          tell me of your dreams ..."

     The handsome prince describes riches beyond compare,
     and the wizard says

       "Think so, think so
        but where would you put these all riches ?
        you would need bigger and bigger containers ...

        I need to tell you how my power works !
        because you will only see me twice,
        once now, and a second,
        at some later time ...

        And at that second time
        if you are searching
        for bigger and bigger containers
        I will take this to be your real dream
        and use my power to make it real
        for all your seconds !

        Is there nothing you like doing more
        than gathering bigger and bigger containers ?!"

     The handsome prince left
     his ears ringing ...

     Well, back at the ranch
     his da and his jokers
     kept up the wizard's trick

       "When will he return ?"

       Queried the handsome prince

       "Who knows ?" was the flat reply

     Many years passed,
     the prince as most princes do
     oscillated between angle and devil
     until he gained some kinda spirit level

     Sprinting was all the rage in their kingdom
     and kingship came with a baton pass
     to the handsome prince

     The prince remembered the words of the wizard
     and thought

       "You old joker ...
        come fix my dream now ...

        I am in the best of health
        I have doctors in helicopters

        I am well loved by my country

        Those subjects that do dissent
        Do from petty jealousy

        My seconds do my beck and call
        I am the way, the truth, the all
        come fix my dreams old joker "

   The suited man appears once more
   and whispers secretly

   The camera too close to the king's chin
   the picture pixelates ...

   Focus, focus,
   Remain focused ...

   The tape rewinds
   Granddad's last stand erects the towers

   Overlain now with engineering interiors
   why build this house of cards
   Concertina, concrete flooring
   gravity calling, steel bends,
   glass shards

   Here's No. 7
   in the middle,
   zooms closer
   unpick the riddle,
   beams and columns different pattern
   wind back, wind forward,
   in out in out
   now a different angle
   in out in out
   is that dust, or smoke
   in out in out throw the windows in blows
   zoom in, zoom out
   watch it pixelate
   finite element
   fine grained ...

   Focus, focus,
   Remain focused ...
   Rumble, rumpole ...

     "We must remain focused"

      Snaps the king's second

     "There's a game a foot without a doubt
      and we know the many players

      Our clerks are of the golden suit
      We are the way, the truth, the all

      Go get me those containers !"

[ Pause ]

               "I'll pause that there ... "

                says the occupant

               "Here's your water"

                with ice pinging the glass

               "Thanks for coming here

                You here about the tree

                or is it me ..."

    "Thank you ...

     Both actually

     Can I see the tree please ?"

    Asks the bearded man.

               "Sure follow me"

The occupant leads the way outside
to the morning crepuscule
to the south east facing garden
to the back of the frazzled tree

   "It is only half a tree !"

   Exclaims the bearded man

               "Yes ...

                It is a lightning tree

                For many moons a lightning tree ...

                Listen ..."

                Says the occupant

                "... it still sounds healthy ?"

The occupant produces a stethoscopes
and hands it to the bearded man

The bearded man listens to the tree's
wizened naked fibres ...

         "S.O.S. won't somebody help me
          I need a rhyme for chossudovsky ..."

"Singing ?!"

Frowns the bearded man

"I don't like the sound of that ..."

                 "Each to their own, i suppose

                  Variety is the spice of all live and all that ...

                  Here ... there are many channels"

"No thank you

  I have my own taste ...

  And I travel with a purpose ...

  And I doubt whether I'll find it here ..."

         "Ah ..." Slurs the tree

        "Diogenes to Wittgenstein ...

        They made a barrel out of me ...

       I am all that I contain ..."

The tree
is conscious

The bearded exclaims out loud

     "Yes, I live upon the sea"

               "You live here dafty"

               Says the occupant to the tree

               "But I take your point ...

                We did prefab a hull out of part of you

                Of that there is no doubt"

      "I'll name this ship after me
       I think I'll call it palliative care"

      Sings the tree, and the occupant giggles

  care ?!"

Enquires the bearded man

                  "Yes, palliative care ...

               Don't be like that ...

                   The tree's thinking of names

               Hows about ...

               'I think I'll name her after me

                I think I'll call her Appetite' ?"

                  Responds the occupant

"Appetite !?
  Call whom Appetite ?!"

Enquires the bearded man

              "Don't mind him ..." Replies the tree

              "We're justen thinken about names ...

               But he knows pure lust ...

               And he's in a daly dialectic ...

               Erm ... mary and salvador, me thinks"

    "This is quite absurd !

     It's like talking to Cheshire cats !

     There is nothing for me to see here !"

The tree catches hold of the bearded man
from below,
with its root system,
and sighs ...

   "Oh ... mammals
    Give me something to breath !"

The bearded man gasps,
the roots are strong and fibrous

        "Erm ..." Begins the occupant

         You've made it cross now,
         It's only half a tree
         But it's still got all of his roots

      Tree .. tree ..
        Look at me,
         I'll do another dance for you
         Go search an extremity
         and find something for our bearded friend
         to see and hear here"

    "Oh mammal, ..." Intones the tree

    ".. you poison the earth, the air and the seas
     You poison me ...

     Misery, misery
     You've made a coffin out of me
     Dance mammals dance
     The piper calls
     Dance your destiny ...

    ... but your dance is not for me
   Armadillo, armour, a'm a'geddin out of here ..."

     "Tree tree tree ...
      listen to me ..."

     Entreats the occupant

     "... We are the survivors tree
      Go search your roots"

"Do not

  Myth me


  Or I will surely myth you !

  I have owls visit me
  Birds' eye
  Fish fingers !

  Sentiment !

  There is a mare called bentham
  That did still fertilise me !"

Barks the tree,

     "Tree tree tree
      listen to me ...
      We did survive
      We are here are not we

      Go search your roots
      Your rhymezone
      Find something for us mammals
      To see and hear here ...

      Whatever hear here ...

      But we did survive ...

      We are here hear ...

      Let your roots to the darkness go

      But we are here hear

      Let me awake your shoots
      And dance once more ...

      A prime mate dance of foreign soil
      That grows rice and wheat and wild herbs
      And bread when fresh is june ?"

"Ah mammals, mammal

  Your appetite mammals ...

  It will be the death of me ..." groans the tree

    "But i am a tidy dancer,
      i clean up after me,
      i clean the land, the air and the sea
     And i tend to you
      As you tend to me"

     "True enough mammal,
     Go sing to my shoots and leaves
    Whilst another part of me
   Roots in my other extremities
  Sing mammal, dance
Bend your single member"

The tree relaxes its grip on the bearded man,

  The occupant dances to the front of the tree

          From the front,
    the tree appears whole and healthy
       and has a certain majesty
          it has greened,
      and is just about to flower

   The bearded man now recalls his dream

   The occupant sings ...

      "One fine day in the middle of the night
       Two dead men got up to fight

       Back to back they faced each other
       Drew their swords and shot each other

       The blind saw it,
       the deaf heard it,
       the ones with no legs went off to fetch the fire brigade

       The fire brigade came,
       pulled by two dead horses
       tripped over a dead cat
       and nearly killed it"

       ((( The leaves and shoots
           begin to quiver      )))

      "That's woken 'em up"

      The occupant beckons for the bearded man to follow

      And once more the dance begins ...

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