Messing About in Boats

Dancing Souls  Cats Paws 

San Juan Island sketches

West Wight Potter Sailing

"Rigel" Signet 20 Sailing

Notes written at Hope Island in Skagit Bay

The beauty of this area, the fringe of lights and homes and evergreens, and the islands and tidelands all around, is just impossible to describe adequately in words. It is a feeling of the mind and the heart that grips deeply and tightly.

I sit among great blue herons, an indignant kingfisher, and a cove full of driftwood swirling in a great lazy circle around Rigel at its center. There are driftwood trees 75 feet long awash in a confusion of small stuff, wheeling and bobbing in the gentle tidewash. Earlier on, I paddled my kayak along the edge, and played with the tide eddies and runs, paddling hard and joyfully while stately old herons, those great graceful grouches resentful of being disturbed, scolded me with raucous squawks.

One enterprising heron is riding the drift logs, peering down for unaware fish in the current eddies. I marvel and laugh that the heron has learned to use a floating platform for his fishing. Another heron is resting in a madrona tree angled out over the cove, and I see the distinctive shape, reproducible in three or four inked lines that trace the unmistakable heron outline, like a Japanese calligraphy stroke, so elegant and evocative.

This nature is truly the work of the Master. The textures and colors, the incredibly integrated chaos of the island fringe luminous in the incident grey light along the north edge, presenting an infinite arrangement of greens and greys, vibrant and sharp-edged in its texture, soft and luminous in its hues. GrayByrd


Dancing Souls

Stand on deck at night.
Listen with your mind and you will hear
a universe of souls around you,
closer than your heartbeat.

Celebrate the joy of creation.

Look across the waters,
sparkling in the trail of light;
see the dancing tracks,
leading to horizon's edge.

See the dancing spirits;
celebrate your life!


GrayByrd © 1995


Cats paws tease across the water,
their lapping tongues of wind
whirl around in playful gusts
to lick against my sail.

Cresting whitecaps scatter apart;
the arching flights of spray
sprinkle on my boat like diamonds
and sparkle on her rail.

Rolling bow runs lifting, slicing
an endless march of swells.
Scrolling waves in aeolian-ordered
patterns subtly tell

Chronicles of great storms witnessed
in the vast Pacific;
footnote bits of flotsam faintly
hint of paradise.

Cats paws now belong to hunters,
throwing seas in heaps;
Growling cats in clouds come raging,
lashing spindrift tails.

Sea tigers prowl the watery jungle;
screaming winds and white fanged breakers
claw against my reefed-down vessel,
tearing at her sails.

Cats paws are the swiftly moving, circular-appearing patterns of wind moving across the water.

GrayByrd © Nov1995


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