Big Lift Ferry Poem F010

Lighthouse on George’s island
Shows all paths to it –
Across night waters




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

George's Island Map (click to enlarge)

George’s Island Map (click to enlarge)

In the middle of Halifax harbour where I live is a little island called George’s Island. On it, there is a little lighthouse. At night, if you’re anywhere on or by the water, you can look to that lighthouse and there will be a reflection of its light on the water from you to it. It’s just the physics of light to bounce off the water at every spot off in every direction so that any point you look on the water between you and that lighthouse, there is light reflecting off that point in the water.

I had long made the connection that the light from that lighthouse off the water to the viewer seemed like a path on the water connecting the viewer and the lighthouse. What I realized tonight, on the moving ferry (Alderney ferry at right to Halifax at left on map), was that the light essentially showed all the paths leading to the lighthouse, no matter where you were on (or by) the water. I definitely could have deduced it if you had asked me to imagine it and describe it to you, but I never did. Only did the ferry ride tonight enlightened me to it because as I stood on the bow of the ferry making the crossing, that light path across the water continually stayed seemingly at my feet on the water and led to the lighthouse… all the way across the harbour from the point it could be seen part way on the trip.

Here’s what it sort of looked light, this lighthouse and the path on the water. This is a night vision style of photo, whereas in real life, it’s almost pitch black except for the bright light and path on the water. I’m shocked there isn’t a good picture of it online that was easily found! Maybe I’ll have to go get one myself!

Georges Island Lighthouse

The F-series poems are part of a collection composed on my ferry rides across Halifax Harbour when the buses aren’t crossing the MacDonald bridge due to the Big Lift bridge redecking. This should keep happening until at least December 2016.


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