Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rhymes of Ancient Mariners . . .

Years ago from the Port of Morlaix
In the far western reaches of France
Two sisters set to sea together
Sailing out the estuary to the bay
Avoiding the rocks in the shallow waters
Heading for the deeper blue
Where longer nets could be cast and towed
And the bountiful silver clad denizens of the sea
Could be hauled aboard by fair or foul weather
Oft sailing off the coast of Ireland
Perhaps half the way to Iceland
Brave mariners manned the decks
Never doubting the graces of the sea
To carry them home again
Never doubting
The infinite supply of proteins
Destined for all of Europe's dinner plates
Never suspecting that one day
The nets would come up empty
Never imagining that one day
The government would pay them a pittance
To stay home
To set sail no more . . .

Simple controls to motor forward or reverse
To set the rudder for graceful changes of direction . . .

The Shepherd's Star, the Pen an Dour
Now destined to a watery grave
By the harbor side
While their very planks and ribs and keel
Dream of riding once more the breaking wave
Mounting the looming swell
Smelling the salt wind . . .

Meals once prepared in this most rudimentary of kitchens
The pots braced to keep them from pitching
Their contents down the legs of the galley mate
Now rusting, rusting . . .

I think the only lights still capable of shining a light
Are the "Feux Detresse" . . . the distress lights
The fuses all blown, blown away, man overboard . . .

Who will climb down once more into the belly of the boat
A boat just barely able now to float
The heart of the ancient mariner now a whisper
A barely audible whisper
Of battened hatches and mackerel and cod
Of dire storms and prayers to some unseen god . . .

Immatriculations MX 195135 & MX 430050


Arnaud said...

Whaouh ! Magnifiscent !
Rythm, photos and text are all great. Those ruined boats are real pieces of memory.
I'll now avoid reading your posts at the beginning of my work day. You almost got tears out of me !

English Rider said...

Strange, this world in which we live.

Nevine Sultan said...

Those are some sad photos to look at. I loved your "Rhyme of Ancient Mariners."


Anonymous said...

And then I realized there was more...

Jill said...

These boats may be still, but Owen's imagination is running Full Steam Ahead! (as always)...You're a rare one, Owen...Thank goodness :)

I especially liked the shot of the buttons and lights. Eyes must have been directed their way many a time.

French Fancy... said...

Is this an Owen original It's very good - very Al Stewartian (which is my supreme compliment)

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Hey Owen..

Greetings from San Diego!

Lynne with an e said...

Fine work. Depth of colour, clarity, and meaning in photos and text. A very personal expression of universal themes.

J said...

I love the colour contrasts and the imaginative way that you present the awful situation a lot of fishermen have found themselves it.

Also, gave me a flashback to tedious English lessons reading the Ancient Mariner in high school, slowly day dreaming the hour away until realising the teacher was addressing me, and been doing so for a few seconds..

coolboy said...

that's nice post i enjoyed reading this

Amy said...

You realize these are just the kinds of discoveries I go crazy over? Look at all the beautiful textures and patinas. You explore the neatest places!

Beautiful rhyme as well.

Did you go below decks?

jeff said...

Hey Owen ! T'as une fuite aux cagoinces que tu as mis en photo !...
Tu as décidé de nous en faire voir de toutes les couleurs et là, on en prend plein les mirettes ! Quels beaux bateaux, décolorés, rouillés, usagés... Où se trouvent désormais leur port d'attaches ?...
Loin, dans les pensées des marins, oubliées sur une ligne d'horizon où flotte encore la brume du mystère de la haute mer....
C'est un régal pour les yeux tes superbes photos, tes panneaux rouillés avec leur dizaine de boutons qui ne servent plus à rien... si ce n'est qu'à un photographe en mal de clichés pâtinés, usés, chavirés...!

Un pur régal ton, tes deux posts owen !...
Tu vois... quand tu t'éloignes des cimetières, tu fais de belles rencontres ! ! ! Non... Ne le prends pas mal !
Tchin amigo !
A la tienne !... Ressers-moi donc un verre de rhum de ce tonneau oublié au fond d'une câle !

Ciao Potpix !
A bientôt...
On a tous un grain de grenade ! ! !

Karen said...

Lovely photos and lovely words to accompany them.

Tiedupmemories said...

Loved all the photos! Awesome details and colors!The storyline too!

The Sagittarian said...

Great that you were able to get so close to this rustic beauties (see what I did there? Rust-ic?..) anyway, great photos and prose again. You're setting the bar even higher for the rest of us bloggers and you know about me and bars!!
In our harbour there are some old Russian fishing vessels, they have been here for years after the crew were repatriated owing to a pay dispute. The Port Authority has also shut down various parts of the wharves now and we can't get as close to them as you have been able to here. Your post makes me want to climb over the barriers...

Catherine said...

what wonderful ruins... ps as an expert on this subject, I have to submit a photo under the category of "damaged" - just a little competition amongst friends... any interesting suggestions for an approach???

@eloh said...

Touching to the soul.

Owen said...

Bonjour Arnaud...
Well, I guess I'll have to keep trying harder then... maybe if I can find some abandoned boats up on the Causses ? Many thanks my friend...


Dear ER, Strange indeed... that is putting it succinctly. And what was the title of that old sci-fi book, I sometimes feel like "a stranger in a strange land"...


Hi Nevine, I hope not too sad, change and evolution are a process, all related. Birth, life, descent, death, re-conversion... I just happen to focus on the descent part at times, as the textures and colors of decaying objects tend to fascinate me for unfathomable reasons... but no doubt somewhere out there is another blog with the flip side, showing brand new solar-powered sailboats heading out to sea...


designsligner, yep, a whole 'nother section. I split it into two pieces because I'm tired of cleaning up the page layout after blogger so generously inserts automatically a ton of linespaces that I didn't want or ask for when too many photos are posted at once in the same post, and then one has to go back and laboriously delete them all so as not to have big gaps between each photo on the page... grrrr... I can't imagine that no one has complained to blogger about the problem, yet it persists... you'd think they could fix it...


Hi Jill, yeah, on Owen's imagination running full steam ahead... I've been looking for the "slow ahead" or the "off" button for years, but just can't find it, that's why I keep searching in odd places like this, hoping I may stumble on it in an abandoned corner somewhere... Me too, the panel with the labels and buttons for the various electric lights and radar and what not is a favorite for me too, a simple tool laid out clearly for use in all conditions...

Owen said...

Dear FF, Al Stewartian... is that an adjective ? I stand complimented then, as I've loved Al Stewart's work for years and years and years. One in particular comes to mind... "The Dark and the Rolling Sea"... which imho is one of his best, along with Roads to Moscow, On the Border, News From Spain... and on and on and on... oh yeah, not to forget The Year of the Cat...


Hey Harry Mojo, thanks my friend, as far as brilliance goes, reminds me of the song from Timbuck 3... The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades...


Hi Lynne, Did you ever work as a teacher in college literature classes ? For some reason your comment took me right back to college and notes from professors on term papers or other creative assignments... short, pithy, and to the point... in any case, I am grateful for every word you write... I will continue to try to mine the universal themes and accompany them with personal illustrations...


Hey J, glad to take you back to the classroom, even if you were daydreaming... that's not always a bad thing I think... As for the fishing industry, I get the impression it is on the brink of collapse, after having nearly emptied the oceans of salable fish in just a couple of centuries... and I'm not sure if mankind is smart enough to give the oceans a chance to re-generate fish populations... imagine ten billion people all wanting a tin of sardines every night for dinner...


Naveen, many thanks... glad you enjoyed...


Hi Amy, glad to know this made you a little crazy there ! The textures were wonderful, this is just a sampling of the photos done there. I love old paint and rust... Umm, no, I didn't go below decks, it was dark and hideously filthy, and I didn't want to plunge through a rotten floor with a broken leg and then starve to death down there... not to mention a slight fear of rats, roaches and other denizens of the dark... Maybe next time, with a miner's lamp...


Salut Jeff ! Une fuite aux "cagoinces"? Mon dictionnaire grand format petit Robert passe de "Cagnotte" à "Cagot", alors... c'est quoi des cagoinces ? Et que se passe-t-il quand elles ont une fuite ???? Tu m'inquiètes mon ami ! Bon, visiblement l'effet d'une telle fuite n'était pas dramatique, pour l'instant...

Sinon, merci pour tout cela, je suis comblé... comblé... en fait le cale était bourré de vieux tonneaux de stocks de boissons pour l'équipage... mais il aurait fallut une grue pour les sortir... tu viens avec moi la prochaine fois ???


Karen, merci beaucoup, je suis content si cela t'a plu... well, I hope after the trip to Paris your French is about fluent now, right?


TiedMemories... many many thanks, I really appreciate your kind words here !


Dear Saj; Old Russian trawlers ??? I'm on my way... there must be a way around, over, or under the barriers... if we have to we can always swim out there, throw a hook on a rope over a bow rail, and clamber on up. As for rust-ic, I am groaning out loud, and as for people who fall on the floor by the bar, no wonder the bar looks so high ! Just kidding, I'm sure you've never fallen on the floor... maybe just staggered a little when getting up off the bar stool, but then who hasn't ???


Hi Catherine, many thanks... hmmm, let me think about the second part a bit... if I gather you're looking for suggestions on subjects to illustrate "Damaged" ? How about heading for the local car junkyard ? That's where I'd start... but then I've always been a bit of a "junkie" in that respect...


@eloh, a hundred thousand thank yous... your three words have in turn touched me deeply...

Owen said...

@eloh... and I need to learn to count, should say, "your four words"... do you think there is still room in any kindergarten classes for me this Fall ?

jeff said...

Owen ! Quand tu parlais de grue pour sortir les tonneaux... à qui pensais-tu ?... Non, je dis ça...

Ciao amigo !