SHOCK writer and columnist Nigel Parkin is also an accomplished poet. Here, Parkin lays a slew of sonnets on us, based on key moments from Steven Spielberg’s iconic1975 horror adventure JAWS.
We open with the Universal Earth In space, suspended in blackness, between Stars pulsing and singing with deep sea sounds. The alien world of the ocean, before The Abyss of Cameron a suggestion That what lies in that dark water is a Thing From Another World. Then fade to black. This is inner space now, with heaving bass Stirring something somewhere deep within. Fear. Cellos chop and slice as we surge forwards, Seeing through the beasts eyes, hunting, rising, Mixing fear with desire. Then faces. Fire. And at the end of the party, a girl Holds a mans gaze. Between them, the sea. Black.
The girl. The sea. We know the scene. The gentle tolling of the bell as she Swims further into darkness and hovers, Treading water, sweeping her heavy hair Away from blinking eyes, blurring the sky. Happy. Calm. Before the tug. Thats the true moment of terror. Right there. A pull from somewhere below, hidden, unknown. It comes again, with pain she cannot fathom. Soon this thing will seize her, drag her, tear her This thing unseen by all but felt as fear. And only we will hear her cries to heaven. Thrashing in darkness her question shakes us Death cannot come like this, can it? Can it?
You dont go in the water, do ya?! The old mans smile is gently mocking, bright With silly, thoughtless fun, just like his hat, Just like the boys now splashing as they throw Themselves into the blue, with innocent delight. But Brody looks beyond all this. Youre tight, His wife observes as she attempts to ease His stress with gentle, loving hands. But there, Out there, some thing is looking back, unseen, Yet holding him in thrall and rising to Its task. He senses it but cannot speak Until its all too clear. Hes shouting now But no-one needs to hear. The signs are there The lilo, punctured, drifting. Blood. The tear.
Freeze the screen on just that face, that pallid Moon in full dark sky, a shrimp emerging From the lunar crater that was once…yes! His eye! Freeze that shot. Go on. Hold it there. And stare. You need to look beyond the shock. There’s something greater working here, forcing Us to swim back down to this strange meeting With our fear. The thing that made us leap now Makes us think. We see with bulging eye and Gaping mouth that bloated face, that seems so Horribly familiar, a rotting mask Of terror hanging in this splintered frame. A picture forcing us to ask is this The glass? The mirror? God, are we the same?