Some Seascapes by Helen Boden

Learmont_Emily_Sea_Voyage

Some Seascapes    Helen Boden

 

  1. Graphic

 

‘She gets so attached to things’

they’d say in other rooms, thinking,

or not, she was out of earshot.

It’s true she insisted on keeping

the wrappings from Christmas presents,

tried to hold onto holidays, clutching the rail

at the back of the boat as islands receded

 

1976

begins her newest fable

from this July’s fortnight

in a shore cottage in Sleat

 

1769

an inkblot cloud pursues the Ardvasar

                                                     

galleon         sail         cloud

all speech bubbles

flurries of vowels        morphemes       ideas

on a punctuation-flecked sea

 

swirls       whorls

of inverted commas

conversation billows

between  the Ardvasar and the Glenelg

 

a thought detaches from the former          memory sprays

a wake for the clearances

 

will they consolidate

into a skerry of memory?

 

night        nautical twilight       civil twilight       day

calm       storm      calm      storm     calm

 

plot the sound

 

I saw three . .

 

      2. Clearance

 

galleon parts the coasts

of Knoydart        Sleat

like a centrifugal force

pursued by inkblot clouds

 

funnels our thought

 

when the storm has passed

through the vessel

 

is that a second ship

or fata morgana

the soul of the boat

or its counterpart

inverted on the horizon

beyond         the end of the sound

 

are the ships    or weather    fugitive –

one vessel the other’s unconscious      or ours

 

galleon drops anchor in the sound

sets a nightlight

a thousand onshore lights

glow back          as the darkest hour departs

 

departs for Carolina

 

leaves a filigree wake

a waning moon

 

a morning sun like marbled paper

 

      3.

 

All skeletal-chalked –

fine lines of its rigging

fresh-vein the moon

 

 

 

 

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