The ore carrier is making a few knots out past the breakwater, moving like a slow cliff. Cranes and derricks, rust on rust from decades of mines to works — Gladstone, Whyalla, Shanghai, Brazil. The bridge is toilet bowl yellow chipped and stained, safety first in giant capitals.
The American composer John Adams dreamt of a giant tanker working slowly down San Francisco bay, silver spray crashing over its bow. Then from below the Golden Gate, in an exalted moment the ship left the waters and, like his chords, rose vertically into the sky.
Not much majesty here: Monrovia flagged, a filipino crew contracted on minimum wages who won’t see their families for another three months, diesel and overalls and knife fights over bad cooking. The bow walls through the oily swell and the tug nudges her a point further east then lets go lines. Black smoke coughs into the pastel sunrise.
Then a long moment when the ship opens its horn, a vast basso blaart going up and down these fibro alleys, these lean-tos, these bleary hung-over houses, rattling ornaments and bottles on shelves and waking dogs dozing on mats.
flying in long lines
birds in the darkening sky —
a winter apart.
Image: kmans via pixabay; Here’s a link if you want to know more about seafarers’ working conditions, and here’s John Adams’ dream-inspired piece Harmonielehre (Harmony lesson) with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (turn it up). Linked to Dverse open link night #217 where Grace is hosting.