Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Ship in a Bottle, the Return of the Light

A tiny ship alone on a shelf finds itself
once again born from shadow’s
memory of a time where his hands

longed to reach up hold this miracle
a ship in a bottle forever encased
with masts raised in the night

under a dusty desk lamp.
Rough hands made tender by delicate
placements in glass.

On the floor with clunky wood trucks
and trains he was silenced
by the weight of the moment

when masts were raised
gently tugged by a thread
between thick fingers.

Then slowly the ship set sail
in his imagination
and in his hands now rests.

Hands smooth and used to
keeping books, not sails and ropes
and nets, holds this treasure.

The sun begins to move up. Within
that tiny glass bottle his heart rides
the waves, feels the wind

knows him who now sails the seas
outside time and memory. Stares into
early morning rays. Remembers

harrowing tales of ghost ships
and crushed limbs. Becomes
lost in the swells lit with the light

returning to the dark ocean waters
shining on the early morning calm
bringing him back from the storm.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott


  1. A lovely interplay of time lines around the ship in the bottle. So many images are evoked as the ship is launched, sets sail, becomes. The Makes looks back and relives each moment. Beautiful.

  2. I agree. The imagery you invoke is truly lovely. I could see the string being gently pulled so the sails stood up inside the glass, then the child's fascination at the tale. A really lovely read.

  3. Lovely sense of the moment captured--the string pulled--the heart set free--Lovely write!


  4. i will never look at a ship in a bottle the same again joanne...could feel its yearning for the sea..beautifully done

  5. wow this is a magical write...i was right there, the man making this ship...which is something have always wanted to do but never done...i like the fixed thing he can hold to bring calm..real

  6. I like how that ship came alive with his memories...giving him calm from the storm ~ nice one ~

  7. "Steve reporting...Request permission to come aboard!"

    You captured it, Joanne-Girl! Nice one!

  8. The ship sets sail, and you are the captain.

    And you are the sailor.

    And you are the wind.

    And you are the everything.

  9. A ship in a bottle is always a wonder to me, the little details, how delicate and skillful one's hands have to be to make one of these. Love the connection to the imagination, of the ship sailing on an ocean in the mind. Enjoyed reading this. :)

    - Ravenblack

  10. An excellent capture of idea, the power of mind, imagination, in your metaphor, Joanna. Enjoyed it much.