She sat in the docks at the nearby industrial town, all tied up, the crew silent and still.  The cold February waters lapped at her hull, silent save for the call of the coastal birds skimming the water, intermittently casting shadows on the metal hulk as the last rays of the afternoon sun pierced the grey clouds.  I can see the seamen now, walking on the deck or talking in the control room, all able and ready to roam the ocean’s waves.  ‘Where are you off to and where are you going?’ I want to shout across the divide that separates us, the land from the sea.  ‘What do you do in your spare time aboard and where do you hail from?’  Those are the questions that plague me, make me desperate to jump aboard myself and skip abroad.  That great seabird, the silent albatross, could be my constant companion, my faithful friend as we roamed seas new and old, cold and warm.

Seventeen Fifteen

Raised up, head on pillow. Eyes closed and jaw slack.

Firelight creeping up the wall, midnight

falls across the land.  Tears stain each and every pillow.

One last year to see it in,

one last year to see it out.

A round white mint, given to both

child and animal alike.  Each drawing on the sugary

energy that bursts forth.

Closed eyes and a smile drawing across the lips,

that devilish chocolate kiss, which

flooded a child’s mind at Christmas time.

The wind that shakes the barley,

the heart that skips a beat,

knowing that you won’t be here today

or tomorrow,

to meet for one last treat.

Crystal Sea

We are firing shots across the crystal sea, our voices echoing from hull to hull.  We cannot change our course or diffuse our views, we are each lost to the winding road of the same lonely heart.

I refuse to call it a day though, I just know that there is someone out there, someone waiting, someone wanting to hold my hand in hand as we walk by the sea of silent sorrows together.

Instead I call you here on this cold and grey Satuday night, the table dressed for two.  I want you here by my side, the music is on and the feast is ready.  I can sense that you are leaving before you ever truly came though, that the door is ajar and the cold wind is blowing.  It is plucking silently at my skin.  Instead and only in my dreams you are giving me head on Sunday’s unmade bed.

The candle has given its last flicker, the flame has withered and died.  The cold covers are calling me, it is time I laid out my body and took my rest.  My lips have kissed their last and my fingers are curled and grey.  My hair is shorter than it used to be and my knees don’t bend as they should.  I have given it all that I could, but that was never enough.  I knew that life was tough, that we’d drink fom the lows as well as the highs, but this I know is the end.

Today becomes tomorrow, and that yesterday was but a dream.

Out In The Open

There is nothing better than reading in the great outdoors, even if it is just a park in the centre of a city or a cemetery in a small forgotten town.  It is the swaying of the branches overhead, the lapping of the water against the sandbank, the rustle of the leaves next to my ear, the invisible wave of the wind on my shoulder, the chill of an autumn day going up my spine, or it is the heat of a summer’s afternoon that cause me to perspire, that makes me feel physically connected to the landscape of where I am at that moment, at that time.

All in all the ever-changing outdoor world is a beautiful environment in which to become enveloped by novels and travel books.  For me it makes me feel as if I am taking part in the piece of writing that I am reading, the coldness of the winter morn draws me closer to the humanity that is expressed by the written word.  There is no other media quite like a good simple book, humble in its origin but irreplaceable by its loss.


The awesome outdoors. Photograph by the author using a Pentax S1a camera and black and white film. If re-used please give credit.

The Long Journey Beginning

He thought we would have changed ourselves in his years abroad, but we had not.  He had returned to a town that does not change, that does not forget who we once were.  In turn I had forgotten the intent beauty that accompanies a person who has changed their life and is willing to help others change theirs.

I am glad he is back.

He is my brother, my kin, my friend.

Slipstream Dreams

It’s true you know, the sea calls each wandering albatross home in the end.  They do not fly forever, sometimes they have to make landfall and other times they land in the sea and rest.  It is when they rest on the sea that the sea swallows them, lures them to duck their heads under the water with the gentle lapping of the waves and its promises of a fishy feast.  The albatross accept this as a part of their fate.  They are wise birds you know, elegant flyers, efficient users of the warm air currents.

I dreamt that I turned into an albatross once, that I took off from this scraggly patch of rock and fly out towards the sea.  I flew high, rarely beating my majestic wings.  I spied sailors from on high and followed in their slipstream.  They waved to me in turn and acknowledged my presence as a good sign.  They were often lonely in the southern sea, their sails furled out hoping to catch a push home.  In was in this way that I dreamt for many years.

Of course I cannot do that today.  Our attention is forever focused by other things.  The incessant beep of recognition from the outside world that clambers for our time and effort drains us of ourselves.  How I yearn to fly as an albatross again.  I will, no doubt, take my final rest in my later years, which are soon to become my present years.  Again I have no doubt that I shall spread my wings once more and scale the dizzy heights above the southern sea, that I will join my leviathan brethren and explore the ocean anew.  Remember though that the sea can swallow even us.


Photograph taken by author with a Pentax s1a camera.