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This Island of Pan




(NB: not public domain)

The Coral Sea shimmered with the tropical heat in the late afternoon as I sailed into view of several islands.  My compass reading placed me fifty miles due east of Mackay, Queensland as I appeared to be drifting south. I decided to drop anchor in near one of the smaller islands deemed to be safe according to the charts. I lowered my dinghy into the turquoise-hued seawater and climbed down the ladder to start the outboard motor. I was glad to reach the shore because soon it would be nightfall with just the light of  the stars sparkling like bright jewels. I collected the bone-bleached driftwood to use as fuel. I watched as the flames licked at the foil-wrapped fish which was caught earlier in the day for my evening meal.  The flesh was succulent with just a hint of the lemon juice and the billy tea was just the right beverage to end the day on. I am lost in thought as the embers of the fire were dying and suddenly there was a movement in the scrub beyond the coconut grove. In this moment that seemed like eternity the eyes of what appeared to be in a goat's face stared into the depths of my soul.  I remember on hindsight the shape of white and tan goat-like creature.  Just as suddenly this apparition disappeared with an unworldly swiftness into the jungle leaving me with the sense of the uncanny.

I  just dismissed the incident as a figment of my imagination as I took out my farewell gift  an amazing vintage hand-carved pipe. I packed the briar of the pipe with dried tobacco leaves with such tender care. I strike a match to ignite the tobacco so I can experience the aroma of my first smoke a calming sensation for a man alone on an Island known to be overrun by wild goats.  I started to feel enmeshed within a reverie of times past about my life in Spain and Morocco.  There is the realization that I could almost touch the faces of long-lost friends in the darkness surrounding the blazing fire that I have refreshed with additional driftwood.  ... to be continued



This Island of Pan 
© Keith Hansen 2015 
All Rights Reserved

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