The call of the void they call it,
That feverish urge to just jump,
Take a one way flight, from a dizzying height,
Sometimes it’s like falling in love.
It’s the imp that lives in your head,
That wants to let go of the railings,
Sees red lights as green and thrives off the scream,
And the thud when you land arms a’ flailing.
Sometimes you see flashes before you,
And everything goes in slow motion,
You leap down a mine, plummet through the vast sky,
Then you land with a splash in the ocean.
I’ve chucked masel off many a building,
Pictured leaving a plane with no ‘chute,
I can’t even drive so I’m still alive,
Fae wrapping trees wi’ imagined car boots.
L’appel du vide is right there in ma heid,
Whenever I think of your face,
I see blue sparkly eyes and forget your disguise,
As a wolf wi’ sharp fangs in sheeps’ clathes.
It’s a glimpse, just a daydream, a vision,
A scene with an ending most vile,
There’s nothing as bad, as holding your hand,
As we lovingly walk down the aisle.
I would rather get lost in thick jungle,
Into the arms of a cannibal tribe,
Or self destruct off the back of a truck,
Than end up back on your merry-go ride.
There’s far better ways to finish masel off,
Fulfil that sweet call for release,
Without you there’s more happy endings galore,
I am free, vive l’appel du vide!
About this poem
Hugh McMillan says, ‘Celia Donovan is a young performance / video poet who lives and works in Dumfries, predominantly sharing her work through her Facebook page (Girl_Interacting) and at spoken word events. Without much support and with a great deal of determination she has begun to build a body of work that is highly accessible, engaging, funny, and presented with a great degree of technical skill. She has taken on a series of topics, personal and contemporary, and has also tackled, as all proper Dumfries and Galloway writers have to, the issue of Robert Burns in a video poem which combined warmth and cheeky elan in a manner completely appropriate for the subject. She often regards her work as “wee ditties”, playfully underscoring the popularity of accessible and empathetic poetry among the public at large who at times of crisis turn to poetry they can understand, cry or laugh about. Her commissioned poem – ‘L’appel de vide’ – is a cautionary but ultimately triumphant tale about the survival of self.’
Celia Donovan says, ‘The idea that we can visualise ourselves in these impulsive, destructive situations on a daily basis and not follow through with them is a testament to both our survival instincts and our temptation to knowingly self sabotage. Equally we can be drawn to people that we know aren’t good for us….’