Friday, 3 May 2013

When The Boat Comes In

It rained all day.
By 2pm the water climbed the kitchen table legs,
Cotton stripy apron wet and dripping from a peg.

It had happened again.

House by the harbour wall,
waves to crash the very door,
sea and sand and salt and surf and solid things no more.

No. 2,
front lawn, pretty view,
blowing gale and need for nets and spotted welly boots.

And salt made a mess of the floor,
skirting boards and cottage door,
worn and rough and by their best and these days looking old.

Rather like your boat.
Mend the deck and patch the holes,
rum and buoys and threadbare sofa, sprung and soft and torn.

Three years dead and gone - final ship set sail from home,
"Get me outta here my lass and let me back aboard,
water, waves and fishing nets and deck are all I know."

Bless you Dad you loved to sail but never liked a storm.

So I'll put the kettle on - tell the neighbours stories when they ask what caused the flood,
mop the floor and pour the tea and leave it to get cold,
catch a fish in plastic pail and fling it out the door.

I know that you'll be coming every time the heavens pour.

And you are welcome home - nice to see you standing there you didn't knock the door,
tell me sea-dog stories of a life spent on the boat,
bring the water, wind and rain and bring yourself of old.

But mind my floor - spare the wood and sodden core,
where you come from now you needn't worry for the storm.
Sit yourself and dry your boots and tell me how is Mum?

Those we love and lose live on forever in our home... x

Today I'm linking with Magic Moments.

N.B. My 'Stories Of The Sea' posts are entirely fictitious and are my current, early attempts at story telling. My own Dad is fit and well and is very much a lover of dry land!

I'm so proud to have been shortlisted in the BIBs Fresh Voice Category. 
If you enjoy my writing please take a moment to vote for me via the link below...


Today I am linking to the wonderful Magic Moments.


  1. I know you've just published this, not stalking really! Just happened to be reading your blog on my reader. Beautiful words, your dad sounds like he was a great character

    1. Thank you! Its just a fiction really. My Dad is fit and well and doesn't have sea legs at all! My little attempt at a friendly ghost story :-)

  2. Glad to hear your Dad is alive and well! I did wonder as I read the post. Can't believe these are 'early attempts'. Your writing has an almost magical, other worldly quality to it. Can't wait to read more.

  3. `...Bless you Dad you loved to sail but never liked a storm...'
    As always, love your phrasing.
    You have a special gift for touching imagery.
    Cheers, ic

  4. You must have been a sailor's daughter in a past life, not quite forgotten. What a gift with words you have, what a picture you paint with them x

  5. Thank you! I love the idea of ghosts and memories being all-encompassing. A sailor who loved the sea... so he brought it back with him and flooded his daughters floor :-)

  6. Gorgeous post, as always. You are so talented Helen!

  7. Phew, glad your Dad is okay. :) Great story, I love the casual way in which the daughter just accewpts her Dad's ghostly visits and just gets on with mopping up afterwards.

    1. Yes I love the matter-of-factness too. She just gets on with it. A bit like me :)

  8. This is beautiful! I love reading your posts, they tell such vivid stories :)

  9. Helen i so love your post, your writing is so so beautiful! I am honored you have linked up with #magicmoments x

  10. I completely believed it! I have no imagination at all so am completely in awe of anyone who can magic up such wonderful tales.

  11. You have a beautiful way with words xx

  12. I love it Helen, I really thought it was your dad and was getting a bit EMO!, until I read the small print :)

  13. This is very beautiful, although I was worried that this was real and you had lost your dad. I adore the mug of tea made and left to go cold - so descriptive xx

  14. Lovely, so evocative and compelling. Glad to hear it's a story :)

  15. Gorgeous words. Lovely to find your blog.

    Katie x


  16. Great story, very thought provoking. I love the west coast of Scotland. I climbed Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran for my stag do! Gorgeous place.

    1. Oh that's wonderful! Yes we are near Arran. I'm lucky to live in such a beautiful corner of the West Coast x


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