This beautiful writephoto is the prompt for a blog item relating to Serenity. Writephoto is the brainchild of Sue Vincent, to whom I am very grateful for the reminder to get writing regularly again!

The picture took me straight to the Sound of Mull, and a trip on a friend’s small yacht. This event did not happen to him, as far as I know, and the friend did not have a poet in his soul. If he did, he kept it well hidden. The piece is around 400 words.

serenity, writephoto September


He stood on the rocky shore, stepping carelessly between piles of seaweed, sure he was in the right place.  

It was a beautiful evening.  Calm winds, sky-in-the-water sea with barely a wave except at the very edge, where it ‘filped’ as it turned over. Only the gentle swell like a moving body under an eiderdown gave any hint that it was sea, rather than a glass lake.

At any other time the poet in his soul would have had him composing a sonnet to serenity on the spot.

The turmoil in his mind was anything but serene. He knew he had left the dinghy here. He had tied it to the stanchion as usual.  The stanchion had disappeared. How?  It was fixed deep into concrete and firmly embedded into the rock. There was no sign of it.

He began to doubt his eyes.  He was in the right place, he’d been here dozens of times, sailing the small yacht from Dunstaffnage across to Mull, and nipping in here to keep the little village shop going through the off season.  It was a good anchorage. Just an easy row from there to here.

He stared at his yacht. ‘Serenity, Oban’ was clear on her stern in the early evening light. Where was the dinghy?

He turned back, checking his box of stores was still at the edge of the beach where he’d left it. Yes, safe enough. But maybe further along than he thought he’d come?

He made his way back to it and observed the rocks more closely.

The finger that stretched out into the sea was where he’d beached the dinghy, allowing for the tide to lift it as he came back. It should be floating. He should be able to see it.

Then he realised: a parallel berm of rock pointed out into the bay, about eighty yards further along. 

Doubt coiled in his insides. Surely he couldn’t have been that stupid…

He picked up the box of stores and walked to the other place.

No dinghy.

Then he saw it: slipped down between arms of the basalt that reached out from the prehistoric runnels of the Ardnamurchan volcano. The tide had gone out, not in.

All serenity vanished while he rowed back to his boat, berating himself for misreading the tide tables.

© J M Pett 2020

#writephoto early September | Serenity
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2 thoughts on “#writephoto early September | Serenity

  • 7 September, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Nice smile there. It’s a mistake anyone could make…

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