Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hong Kong Bound

Dark ship on a dark sea. Lighter lines scratched into umber...reeds on a marshy shore. Banks of the River Plate. El Río de la Plata--River of Silver--with waters wide enough to be unending, invisible, all the way to Uruguay.... And every other ocean as well--in a storm, off the coast of Sicily, for instance (Mike Richardson's story), sailing in a worn Greek fishing hull, running close-hauled between the capes, unable to make headway, too near the cliffs... But here we're well offshore, in the calm of a winter fog, harbor bouys far behind... Heading out for Hong Kong, Singapore, points beyond. My library books, in Oceanside, as a boy--sea stories, working ships just like this: the engine-room, a wiper... Reappearing again just last month as a photograph in the hands of a Chinese girl at Berkeley--her grandfather a Shanghai sea captain. Picture of his steamer--around the time of the war... His jaunty pose, leaning against the rail...

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