A Small White Boat

Drew Davidson


A small white boat at anchor. Thirty feet long with pointed bow and stern, eight feet wide. Two masts strike up out of a scalloped hull. Sea gulls wander around. A lighthouse at a closed mouth of an inland harbor, dark, sharp rocks with green grass tops, sly rays of sun over jagged horizon. A breeze blows in from asea. Tickling of a light sprinkling salt, invigoratingly fresh and refreshingly cool.
Splash. Into breaking water a gull dives. Cold fire of water engulfs, bird exploding out of icey inferno, fish in beak.
Tired sun gently sets. Rays of light paint faroff horizon purple and pink, a beautiful bruise darkening to a deep, dark blue.
Stars wink out. A clear sky, an endless expanse of profound black filled with sparkling spots; big, small, bright, dim, white, colorful rainbows, reds, blues, greens and more. Far below, a small white boat is lluminated by teasing flickers of dancing flames and warmth of a fire on chilled sands onshore.
Sloping shoreline slowly grows from nice, low beaches into high, rocky cliffs. A narrow path winds up rock face, twisting and turning upward. Rock stretches upward insurmountably high. Hardened indifferent rock, seeping with cold. Rough, abrasive, tearing at empty air. Rock protrudes out, an overhang not noticable from low ground. Cold, rough, resoundingly hard rock folds back, a ledge.
Healing dark bruise of sky fades, revealing tough, textured terrain.
Morning sun stretches out over rock. Cold rock seeps in soft warmth. A crisp breeze, a silly wind, playfully gusting, up for a fun day of blowing. Up higher in an encompassing blue sky, an affectionate sun is on hand to watch. A playful wind pushes a small white boat out into a broad open sea.
Sails buffet, catch wind on other side and slice across deck. Weight of tacking boat shifts, sloping, crashing through waves of white caps.
A pod of grey whales breaks briny surface. Shoots of water schwish skyward as whales exhale through blowholes. Topping surface, huge mountains slowly recede, eroding into water. About to disappear, tails break into air, working up to deep blue sky, a majestic waving tail. Bulk drags seaward, one by one slipping underwater, gone but for whirling eddies.
Night falls again, softly enveloping a round world, accompanied by rhythmic lapping waves. Night stretches darkness across a canvas of sky. Starlight streaks across infinitely unknown universe, hurrying from there to here. Reaching through night, curiously caressing world, exploring novel upturned curves and crevasses. Dancing on edges of shadows. Wondering what could be hidden behind. Night air cools, inviting a lethargic fog to form. A hungry fog swallowing everything in a sodden maw, voraciously moving over islands, water and more. Engulfing a small white boat, soaking starlight into grey. Boat floats sideways, swept up in furrowing fog. Feeling insistent pull of boat, a reluctant anchor digs in, holds, slips and slides free. Fog continues, boat in tow, out over empty ocean, leaving islands behind. Satiated, fog stops, settling to digest.
Dawn tries to awaken. Swift rays of sunlight shoot across space, push through thinning ozone, dance within wispy clouds and sink into dense fog, dispersed, worn out. A night grudgingly loses hold to a day sponged full of fog. A slight breeze trickles through wall of grey.
Visibility is ingested by thick murky fog. Everything is lost in fog. Wrapping around like a sodden blanket, unable to wriggle out. Tight and thick, trapping, constricting. Can't see out, can't get out. Suffocating, filling air full. Cold, wet and heavy, a permeating chill. Inescapably present, a part of everything. A soggy grey closing to black.
Opening to grey. Vague, darker blobs of grey. Islands. Undefined blobs get bigger. Biggest blob gradually solidifies. A large island.
Grey islands on grey horizon, soaked inside out. Nothing but grey. Time slows in thick fog. Each wet minute struggles, almost drowning, finally making it up.
A small white boat slides through a wild ephemeral grey forest.
A familiar schwish, followed by others. Dark leviathan shadows of a grey whale pod, disappearing blobs. Darkening shadows fade, blend away, leaving grey.
A deep resonant boom reverberates through surrounding fog, reaching out and into shocked air, ricocheting between here and there, bouncing out as painful noise runs away into grey.
Out of grey, a huge wall of dark grey. A new blast of noise, renewing rebounds. Frightened air cowers under thundering eruption. Blistering cacophony slowly recedes. A tanker quietly motors down a channel, leaving a small white boat in wake. A pale, white dot, lost in grey as fog swarms about.
Into fog, into nothing. Fog reflects around in infinite grey. Silence slips in between. Another mass of dark grey appears. An island gradually takes shape. A cove forms out of fog, a shore. An anchor is tossed from a small white boat wrapped up in fog.
Fog spreads from distant mainland, over scattered islands, out to sea. Deep and clinging, a part of air. Shafts of light diffuse through fog, beacons from above, separating fog and air. A shaft up, through layers of fog and up, breaking out to a cheerful shining sun above. Warm rays questing, caressing all sensual curves and crevasses of a vibrant earth. Pushing through fog to see what is hidden beneath. Pulling back a wet blanket, drying. A fresh impression of water, rock, air, a world with every atom glowingly alive. A small white boat at anchor.