All At Sea

All at Sea – by Russell Whitehead
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The archboard with fading words ‘Felicia’ adrift in the darkening sea without a notice of land. The small fishing vessel has seen its age in all waters with weathered encrusted barnacles smothering it’s bow. Faded red paint flaking with each voyage as the stern takes beatings against forbidding sea pressures. The crashing of the waves repeatedly thunder under familiar ears. Crushing sways in strenuous motions wherehence the tide drifts.

A great figure, stern at the afore draped in a strong dark green coat, twice his size. His wide over aged eyes, light blue, stare towards the infinite ceasless horizon. His face has the strength of a sea bearer. the spray embraces his tough skin though welcomes it. Nothing can faze this deeply carved barrier which has fought long seasons untamed, hardened indestructible. The apparent wind whirls through the vessel calling it’s ghostly continuous chant knocking his white long hair against his whiter beard. Yet his coat hood remains in place. Only does it stay in place through years of attempt made rigid, unmovable until tide over. His hands are as large as sandpapered clubs, stronger than the helm it keeps steady. He’s fought these moments throughout life, searching hard and fast. Never has he searched for aslyum harbour or yeilded much time among land for seeds to be sown. “Hold avast” Breathing shallow, sighing wearily as he does on land following as the crows fly. Land is to him is too much, unforboding, ceaselessly still, unpredictable.

In the helm there are others remaining in shadows shilloetted against dim lights. Fishing nets hang empty, planks lie worn trodden. Compasses swoon, radars flicker. Some peer back from where they came as if in secret between the devil and the deep blue sea.

There is a younger weathered face further at the fore peering over into the dark black blue. Excesses of white ferocious froth. Innocent eyes that are lighter than the other giant figure that almost over shadows anything fore. His slight hands grasp the edge of the ship less securely, often slipping with wet trepidation. His facial stubble is the dark of his hindesight, his hood often falling revealing his full brown wavey head of hair. The younger constantly forbodes the mal del mer* which is not only from rough tides thrown. He is helpless, eyes staring into the infinitely weighted existence caressing it’s power with tides fluttered, tsunamis thrown.

The stars are breaking through the clearing. Constellations that sea bearers live and desist by, pin holes in black, mirrored by melting erratic reflections below.

*mal de mer – seasickness