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By Bobwhite
Sketches from Mangrove Cay

- Hazy
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Hung over, unwound, sun burnt, and stiff.

A deep good tired.

Strong coffee and a breakfast I wouldn’t normally eat, and strong coffee.

The water is hazy and flat, with no horizon.

We fly on turquoise and blue.

Balanced and ready, fly in hand, gritty with mud, my line loosely coiled.

Eyes straining, wanting to spot the fish.

Before the guide.

Disconnected and floating, in slow motion.

A silent push.

Anticipating my back cast, the bow moves slightly.

I shift my attention between one and two o’clock.


Something. Maybe.

“Hey, you see dem?”

“Yeah,” I lie. “At two-o’clock.”

“Yeah mon, sixty feet.”

He knows.

I find them.

“Moving left to right,” I say. “Almost at three-o’clock.”

“”Yeah mon.” I feel him smile. “Now you got dem!”


Shimmering ghosts, betrayed by their shadows.

One false cast for direction, two more for distance, and another to settle my nerves.

A long pause.

A loaded rod.

The fly lands where I want it.

“Let it sink.” Turning.

“Strip now.” Convergence.

“Long and slow.” Closing.

“Stop” A pause.


A tight line, hisses through the guides.

Fingers burn.

Long runs turned into shorter ones, and finally there’s fish. As difficult to photograph, as it is to see.

A mirror held in the sun, blinding and invisible.
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- The Lord Provides
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Long shadows cut the beach.

A big man, cracking conch stands black in the white light.

A pile of shells as old as the island.

Gulls circle and scream.

A boat beached and rusting, lists in the sand.

The scene is a painting.

A Winslow Homer interpreted by too many others.

Done before.

The name on the transom is a message that resists.

The Lord Provides

I laugh, and decide to make it my own.

The Lord Provides
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- Island Time
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Let down, unwound, sun burnt, and tired.

On the short ride to the airstrip we stop to pick up friends.

On the island everyone is a friend.

“Flamingo or Le Air?”

A smile and a name is all I need.

No identification is requested, no boarding pass issued.

On the island everyone is a friend.

The plane comes out of the haze and drops through the low sun.

Hanging on the horizon.

As it lands, I take the small book I always carry.

My personal Tao te Ching.

“Stone and Sky”, by the poet Larry Gavin.

It falls open to page twenty-two.

“Where the Bones”

I begin to read it again, wondering if I’ll divine a new meaning from the words.

Where the bones come out of the earth,
at the intersection of longing and desire;
they don’t look like bones at all at first,
but on closer examination they measure
the stories we hope to tell in some future.
They embolden lightness like leaves
tossed by wind against sunshine.
Where bones come out of the earth,
all the stories are possible. All characters
are you - like in a dream. Flesh is not
necessary for the imagination. It is superfluous.
It is unintended like a sudden rain -
the accident of atmosphere – the way
water seeks a path of least resistance
down the valley. An accident too, of gravity
and whiteness, and the dark passages
where bones come out of the earth,
and sing bone songs, hard, and strong, and bright.

I imagine Larry sitting next to me.

We are hung over, unwound, sun burnt, and tired.

He stands to leave, and I am alone, and the engine of the plane I haven’t heard, stops, and the woman who didn’t ask for my I.D. or give me a boarding pass smiles.

Does she know that I’m the only one leaving who wants to stay?
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A record of the trip
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Morning sun on the lodge
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Tied up and ready
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First fish
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Say... blow job!
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Big-ass watch
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Gheenoe stashed on a lagoon
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Light shrimp
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The bar
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Early morning dock
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Last edited by Bobwhite on Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By Hogleg
Take note:

That.... how it's fucking done.
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By SouthFork

Pictures were really just a bonus.

Thank you.
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By jdub
Bobwhite wrote:
Now that is roughing it!

Damn, nice trip Bob! Nice distraction from a rainy Saturday afternoon at work.
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By DeShootnestGent'man
"Submit polished manuscripts via email to our editor, James R. Babb (, and state “gray’s manuscript” in the subject line. Please direct your photo queries to our art director, Wayne Knight (, and state "gray's photography" in the subject line."

Please, Bob… please. Regardless, that's some whipsong 'suckage just there.

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