The Thing About Boats



What is it about boats? Why do I keep taking photographs of them?

Is it their relationship with water, tenuous yet stable,

Co-existent, but not permanent,

Defiant, nonetheless loving.

I really don’t know.


Maybe it’s the soft and the hard,

The fluid and the stationary,

The peace and the storm,

Perhaps just the ever changing nature.

Peculiar and hard to pin down.


Oh, I know, it’s the colors,

Something the salty platform does to the boat,

Changing the bright into the pastel,

Forcing an always new color to be fused,

Lest the sea take over with its encrusted white.


No, the colors aren’t it,

Yet they contribute,

Shimmering together when calm like a mirror,

In a way the water, the bride, can only do.

Showing the state of the relationship, frozen in a moment to reflect upon.


It might be man and nature,

Yes, I think that’s it.

The boat is the safety and the transport,

Winging man to new vistas, for trade or pleasure,

The little explorer in all is satisfied.


Waiting, patiently, boats sit quietly till the call is made,

Summoned by tides and weather reports, to make their way.

Otherwise sitting idly by, lapping the day away, dreaming of a new adventure,

For those who are willing to ride the waves,

Uneasy with risk, filled with supplies and a desire to travel.


The relationship remains a mystery to me,

But I will keep looking and loving the boats.

Imagining their trips and those who have lived in them,

Whether they are working boats, or just trophies for the weekend man who has achieved greatness on earth,

Boats have their story to tell.


I only have to look.

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