Valentide. Part I.
There is a distance. A gulf. Water, water, everywhere…
Uncharted seas treacherous as tyrants clinging to power,
Or familiar shipping lanes, precious days, favourable winds.
We navigate small islands, atolls, pause to watch ancient, mystical whales.
We dive and weave with playful dolphins, float on our backs and listen
To tales of mer-people and sea-monsters and pirate-fleets
As told to us by wise old turtles.
Once we saw a ghost ship – its crew a band of bleached-boned skeletons,
They blasted us with spectral cannonballs
Launched from the rotting boards of their phantom galleon.
We fled those shrieking ghosts and sailed on by,
Sometimes calling on deserted islands of pure and absolute paradise.
It is here, once, I saw your soul. Did you see mine?
Then one night a storm, unbelting itself and lashing us with its wet black leather.
Plunging us below then tossing us in the air – three, four, maybe five times…
Until we sank,
Our lifeboats were poor yet somehow sustained us. And what happened to our crew?
Some deserted us and jumped overboard. Some died. Some remained faithful.
Ultimately it was just you and me. Alone. Alone we drifted. On two different boats no bigger
Than matchsticks in the grand sea of things. Did you think of me as I thought of you?
Parched, sun burnt, salt in our hair and eyes like apocalyptic dust. We survived.
God. How on earth (or rather, on water) when I am such a poor sailor, and your captaincy
Is sometimes questionable?
But survive we did.
And though there was, sometimes still is, and maybe will be for much a long time
An ocean of distance to separate us,
Tides will always bring us together again.
Valentide. Part II.
On a bench somewhere, sometime, not long ago, someone wrote ‘I love you’. It wasn’t me, and it wasn’t you, but we borrowed those words and made them our own for just a moment. On dry land we shake off water and tuck in our fins. Retract our tails. Fold up our sails. Moored. Docked. We traipse the city and village and town, lost among others, surrounded by concrete and stone and things made of metal. They say we look small here. Maybe we do. But to me you will always be a giant. Je t’aime. Words borrowed from a wooden bench that looks out to the sea and back again.
Words and photos by the editor.
Adverts scanned by TVTA and Jaltesorensen.
Boatniks. 1970. Denmark; Moby Dick. Pif Gadget. 1982. France; Playmobil. 1979. Denmark; La Mauny. Geo. 1992. France; Sea-Monkeys. Fix Und Foxi. 1984. Germany; Canon Noir. Pif Gadget. 1979. France; Weird War Tales. 1975. US; Lego. 1989. Denmark.