The Harbour

Image Credit: Philip Milne – Flickr

So it has been a year and two months since I posted up here. By December 2015 I was just finished my Christmas exams in UCD. I was in my final year of my undergraduate degree and a Co-Editor of the OTwo magazine for the University Observer. What followed was me actually being studious and a good student.
It is now February 2017, I am currently attending a Creative Writing MA and it’s kept me busy. So no excuses for the absence bar a bit of laziness. In the MA we get prompts and certain types of writing to do on a weekly basis.

This piece here is supposed to emulate Chekhov’s atmospheric style(i.e The Lady with the Dog) in a waterside scene. The following text is my attempt at this, in Howth harbour as the sun sets.

* * *

The odd remnants of sunshine left the water glowing and rippling with life. A great streak of life carved the sky in two and the further down the eye went, the more the colour changes. Clear, golden light gave way to darkened skies until the darkened clouds and sky became a soft red. The red fingers of the sunset reached across the clouds and seemingly corrupted the white light. The horizon sat as a black line between the clouds and the calm waters of the harbour. There were a great many ships moored and tied here. They listed gentle on the current, riding the red and golden mirror in the water. One of the boats that moved, small but wide, rocked the stationary boats as it passed. It rode the reflective glass world, trailing an expanding wake like a dancer in a long, flowing dress. The trawlers in its wake barely noticed its passing. It cut a clean, terrible wound, staining the world red.

The crowds that populate the harbour are long gone now, too cold and late for most. A few lone souls march and scurry their way up and down, or place themselves down to watch the scene. I wish I could speak of the roughness of the sea, of the unrelenting force and power of the oceans. Instead the water sits calm. So calm the boat interrupting it all seems more an attacking force than anything else. The wind picked up momentarily, dragging at my clothes, forcing those still moving to huddle and clutch their coats about themselves. But it passed just as quick as it arrived. Forgotten in an instant, replaced by the view. Not much was taken in while gazing into the long, reflected double world. The golden world that was being consumed by the encroaching crimson. Watching it all, one couldn’t help but assume that the world was a chosen battleground. A split in the world, the horizon marking the meeting of these two glories. The ship that interrupted the glass world was gone now, leaving only echoes in its wake. Barely a memory now, its influence already forgotten. What seemed such a prominent thing was now an afterimage of a past that may not exist. Had anybody else seen it? It may not have happened at all.

And the thought makes me sad. I leave the harbour behind, as the red and orange engulfs the white.


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