Jan 10th – The boat was empty, except for one lone fish

January 10th – The boat was empty, except for one lone fish.



The evening light painted
the mountains in pink and orange
and deepening red, staining the snow
on the tops. A lone bird cried
its evening song, unanswered.

Darkness crept from the west
across the mirror surface,
drawing curtains across the remains
of the day; clouds ghosted
vague vapour shapes behind.

One rod jutted out from the side,
resting on the gunwale,
its line unhooked, unbaited;
almost as still as the sky.
Nothing stirred. There was nothing,

or no-one. No voices cut
through the chill of the air.
No breath steamed.
the boat was empty,
except for one lone fish.


Inspired by a prompt from here

The boat was empty, except for one lone fish

The fish flopped about for a few seconds. Then it flapped about for a few seconds. Then it flopped and flapped about for a few seconds more. It lifted its head slightly, making that gulping fishy type gulping thing that fish do, as if it was making one lust gasp to fill its lungs with air. This, of course, is nonsense, well, partly. Fish don’t have lungs, although, unbeknownst to most folk, it was trying to breathe. If a fish has trouble breathing due to a lack of dissolved oxygen in water due to there being a deficiency of aeration or poor water quality, it will rise to the surface and gulp and gasp for air. I only know this as when I was a child I had tropical fish given to me by a co-worker of my mother, his name escapes me at the moment, I think it may have been Steve Something, although I can’t be sure. He gave me all that was needed, a tank, that looked a bit like a giant lava lamp, a heater, food and a variety of tropical fish, although after a few months all I seemed to have was a tank full of guppies and snails.

Anyway, I digress, the particular fish in question, that was lying in the bottom of the boat was, you see, trying to breathe, through its mouth. Fruitlessly, of course, as it would still need to get itself into water to survive and breathe properly. Besides. A few seconds later, it had stopped flopping and flapping and gulping and gasping for air through its mouth as it was dead. Not because it had finally succumbed to the lack of oxygen flowing through its vascular system, but because it had been ripped in half by two herring gulls and was now split between the stomachs of said birds.

Prompted by this page

One Lone Fish – Dead Deer

One Lone Fish

Waves gently lap against the side of the stationary boat. The kind sound of the water, the insistent screech of the gulls, other boats passing by. These noises of the dock reach me as if through a fog. They do not penetrate me, I do not, can not, consider them of relevance to me, nor I to them I would imagine, should I be inclined to. I am neither inclined or able to. The boat is silent, and all I hear is this silence.

This boat. We have travelled so far and for so long on it. A quarter of a century since first, excitedly, boarding it. Spartan on supplies to begin with, but buoyant with joy and expectation. Over time – moving from port to port, always forward, always new – we filled it up, with such precious items! The things we saw, the things we had, and finally the two greatest treasures of all, discovered six thousand miles apart. Glittering and astonishing these two items gave us fresh purpose, and they are what keep us now, entwined, neither of us could ever part from them. But we know; one day we must.

And then, and then, we dropped anchor in this God-forsaken port. What is it now? Seven, eight years? How do people who stand still know where they are? I never understood that. And now I see why. There is no surer way of getting lost than standing still. And now the boat is empty, but I am not ready to leave it, not at all. The boat should be full and rushing along, there is a fair wind to be had, I am sure of it.

But for now here I lay. Cold, lost, unmoving and scared. A lone fish.

2018 Boats second time.jpg

Today I wrote from 11:25 to 11:35. I was prompted by idea “The boat was empty, except for one lone fishhere. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here