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June 17, 2024

In Imagination's Lighthouse

By Ian C. Smith

In Imagination's Lighthouse

Wind a heavyweight hullabaloo, surrounded by sea-surge, nothing dislodged on my reconnaissance, I stare back at a chill of harboured currawongs beady-eying me here in this receptor of my life's heat. I eat plainly, snooze through three-hourly blocks wrestling gothic dreams, jot notes of memories, some of venery, deceit, the sordor of trodden tinsel, consult an old Oxford dictionary, read. Welcome guests, a rhapsody of writers, Boland, Erdrich, Robin Robertson, conjure me to lower their thoughts to my heart recalling scenes from my kaleidoscopic past; seeing flying fish in calm conditions before later plunging through cavernous crescendos of swells coursing the Indian Ocean; collapsing in an Aden market, coming round to fanning by Arabs in an outrage of heat, gentle contrast with tempests girdling our globe here in this citadel at Forty Degrees South.

After the blow, then wreath of cloud whiteout, three small dead sharks in my kelp-covered cove, casualties of net fishing. I couldn't see the fish factory for its floodlights, heard its thrumming, an invasion force before the clamorous wind chased it off. Electronic communication limited to a forsaken spot away from comforts, also limited, sand, not sea-wyf, at scratch of day in my bed, I ritualize chores; bonfires of rubbish, smoke waft evocative, brew tea thinking of Alexander Selkirk, neither of us patient sufferers of fools. Seldom speaking, I sometimes shout, sing, trim wild whiskers, resemble a derelict castaway by Robert Louis Stevenson, that tubercular tale-teller who sought the faraway. The imagination in solitude salve wounds that can never heal, invisibly stitching emblazoned banners torn in battles past.

Article © Ian C. Smith. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-02-03
Image(s) are public domain.
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