frozen moments

snap.
one moment shimmers
in the air.
time slows to a stop,
then is permitted to
resume.

click.
another moment
scooped from the camera.
watch it develop,
stick it in your pocket.

(collect them by the
handful
over the years)

jab.
driven to preserve this
but
the button is coming loose
from years of use.
one day it will be
unusable.

scritch.
a nail breaks
winding the film
onwards.
it takes far longer
than sleek digital counterparts.

(well, it does the job)

flash.
a flicker, not unlike
lightning.
this one is not once
in a lifetime.

swilled around in chemicals
or ink pressed into paper:
takes a lot of effort
to preserve
one moment.

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3 thoughts on “frozen moments”

  1. This is so awesome. There is so much to say about this poem but I will try to keep this short. One the impressive facets is how it expands the single act of an attempt to capture a moment and what it means to us. My particular The use of and expansion upon the words “jab” and “scritch” which are not something one normally associates with the act of taking a photograph. I had to look up “scritch” (I always like to come across new words, in part because it is reminder to be humble) and screech is so perfect of the traditional camera, and to counter that with the non-scritching digital cameras – have we lost something by removing the physical noise of moving operation?

    “swilled around in chemicals” underscores the ominous tone of the poem. And to end it with simply “one moment” sums up perfectly the contrast with all the doings that we do to capture that simple fleeting thing.

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    1. Hi! Firstly, thank you, and please don’t feel you have to keep things short. I love responses.

      I kind of based this off my own experiences behind a camera: winding on film never quite had a definable sound for me. As for the ‘jab’, I would sometimes press on the button with more force than strictly necessary. Maybe out of frustration, or excitement, or hurry, or simply that the button was stuck.

      Like you, I enjoy new words – I don’t think I’ve ever had occasion to use ‘scritch’ before. Also, I love your insight that we’re losing out something by removing the element of winding-on. I think there’s a certain nostalgia to it; digitals are very easy in that you don’t have to remember film. And I’m always in awe of photographers: some people have piles of equipment, books’ worth of knowledge in taking an image, and how they put so much work into a shot.

      You’ve piqued my interest; what was ominous, to you?

      Thank you so much for your kind words and insights!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know the jab (i’ve just recently begun to seriously delve in photography), just the other day trying to sneak up on a heron in a pond who visits from time to time. Even though I was like some cat moving slowly towards a bird, it sensed (saw) me and flew away. Jab is the best word to describe my actions as I tried to capture it in flight (a failure).

        I think the “ominous” feeling started with the word “frozen” in the title. then the first word “snap” by itself, like a branch like a branch with too much ice. The ominous feeling slows down after that but the “jab” “scritch” “flash,” there is certain violence (for lack of a better word) to these words. It seems that there is an undertow of frenzy in our attempt to stop time (impossible) and to capture the moment to relive it (impossible – and by that I mean what happened happened, the gazing at the photograph is something different, maybe positive, but not the same).

        Liked by 1 person

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