Large Bad Picture


Remembering the Strait of Belle Isle orsome northerly harbor of Labrador,before he became a schoolteachera great-uncle painted a big picture.

Receding for miles on either sideinto a flushed, still skyare overhanging pale blue cliffshundreds of feet high,their bases fretted by little arches,the entrances to cavesrunning in along the level of a baymasked by perfect waves.

On the middle of that quiet floorsits a fleet of small black ships,square-rigged, sails furled, motionless,their spars like burnt match-sticks.

And high above them, over the tall cliffs'semi-translucent ranks,are scribbled hundreds of fine black birdshanging in n's in banks.

One can hear their crying, crying,the only sound there isexcept for occasional sizhineas a large aquatic animal breathes.

In the pink lightthe small red sun goes rolling, rolling,round and round and round at the same heightin perpetual sunset, comprehensive, consoling,while the ships consider it.

Apparently they have reached their destination.

It would be hard to say what brought them there,commerce or contemplation.

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