A Silent War - Asclepeion (I.S.L.)



Belfast, University of Atypical





03min 52sec







Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive


Hands That Sign, Jane O'Brien, Ross Thompson

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Northern Ireland Screen, Ross Thompson

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Asclepeion by Ross Thompson, written in Bangor during 2020 Lockdown

And yet, so grateful for the winding down
      of this clock: 
a chance to stop, pause, reflect, convalesce
      and take stock 
of how we all ended up so cutthroat
      and cut off, 

to unyoke our heavy burdens, to walk
      out of step 
with jittering rhythms that rendered us
and propelled us to be competitive,
      so entrenched 

in our busyness - the constant drumming 
      of sword duels 
and dogfights - to see how far afield, how 
      out of tune 
with the true line we were, how foolishly
      we refused 

to concede our need for solitude,
      an armistice, 
a truce, a ceasefire with those who harmed us, 
letting go, a humble acceptance of 

a tending to our wounds in these houses
      of healing, 
a moment to halt our faltering hearts
      from beating 
quite so quickly, some time out, a respite 
      from feeling 

so paranoid, sickly and tearful for
      no reason, 
a need to relinquish, to embrace this
      strange season 
wherever it may lead, that we would all
      agree on 

letting ourselves be cupped, like fallen birds,
      in the palm 
of slowness, the curative spa water
      and the balm 
of stillness. Check in to this hall of sleep
      and be calm. 


Asclepeion by Ross Thompson

ISL translation and performance by Jane O'Brien

Filmed in University of Atypical by Stuart Calvin

Produced by Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell for Northern Ireland Screen

A Silent War Creative Producers: Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell & Ann Donnelly

Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen



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