The Dhow

The island where I am residing  is a wade  through waist high water to  mainland Sri Lanka.  Before  setting out for the island I watch drift wood limbed fishermen drag a dhow down the beach to the waters edge. One and pull and two and pull and three and pull and  rest. The stubborn boat grudgingly shuffles closer to the waves.

The fisherman talk for a minute resting their elbows on the bow and stern and then all six of them with three on each side and having given oxygen time to refill their muscles grip the lip and pull and brace and pull and brace and pull. Soon enough the dhow bucks on the waves like a snooty seahorse as if the ignoble tussle had never happened.

They will return with fish as clear eyed as the sea with Gills as red as the blood shot in a cows eye.  A month ago I saw precisely the same action by fishermen off the coast off west Africa.  Those men who clamber the dhow while it charges and leaps after dragging it to the waves they are more spirited  than any poet at the literature festival in Galle, including me.

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