Tag: bravery

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    After reading “Forte é…” (Portuguese, meaning “Strong is…”), written by a talented writer, lovely lady and good friend from Lisbon, Carla Milho – wherein she speaks to courage and the importance of perseverance over negative influences – I was inspired to write this poem…

    Writing of challenges
    Encountered everyday
    It’s one win at a time
    Each victory, her way

    Her strength through courage shines
    In wielding sword and shield
    To keep bad folks at bay
    Whereby their fates are sealed

    With black leather jacket
    Wrapped in faded blue jean
    Humble in her beauty
    She’s a warrior and queen

    She is also the star whose light illuminates the landscape of my dreams.

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Story: Wave Runners

    Everyone has a story of something they did once upon a time, which, in retrospect, was probably not a good idea. This is one such tale.

    Flashback to the 1990’s. At that time, I was splitting an apartment in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a friend named Ralph, who also enjoyed outdoor challenges. As such, every now and then, when the weather turned foul, we’d telephone a wave report recording, which detailed conditions present on Lake Michigan.

    One stormy summer day, this report cited waves near Holland, Michigan, as high as 8-12 feet, including a stern recommendation to avoid coastal areas. Well, that was exactly what we were hoping to hear, and so quickly jumped into the car on a road trip to the south pier, demarcating the channel between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Thirty minutes later, we parked and continued our trek on foot through strong winds and rain, toward the pier.

    This was a big storm, as whitecap waves crashed up and down the beach, surging far inland along the coastline. As we approached, it became apparent that roughly 20% of the pier was engulfed in waves at any given moment. This observation should’ve served as an omen not to proceed…

    However, after an extensive discussion it was decided that, though obviously dangerous, our individual attributes of bravery, keen sense of observation and quick reactions, respectively, were sufficient to undertake the challenge: which was, to see who could traverse farthest along the pier?

    Note: digital cameras didn’t exist on the market at that time, but I’ve included a few photographs taken many years later, which show the coastal landscape and piers:

    Relative to the second image – which is actually an aspect of the other pier, to the north – the storm we faced was significantly stronger and with much larger waves. In point of fact, unlike the common and predictably wind-driven pattern of waves rolling in uniform rows, what we encountered was less organized and wild, with waves crashing from both the front and side directions.

    Painted blue, bollards were positioned along the length of each pier. Were the situation to present itself where either one of us was unable to elude an oncoming wave, my friend suggested that the best course of action was to drop down onto the pier and secure oneself by clutching on to a bollard for safety.

    And so began the challenge.

    This endeavor was as difficult as it was foolish, as waves broke across the pier at essentially random intervals, all the time of which my eyes were glued on the water. Movement entailed both quick footsteps and brief sprints, scrambling on the concrete both forward and backwards in order to safely create space between potentially hazardous waves. It was a major adrenaline rush, to say the least.

    I’d estimate that I was approximately 50-60% of the way out on the pier when it happened. I glanced back to check on my friend, only to see Ralph hunkered down and clinging for dear life to a bollard…as he was swept away by a huge wave, washing him over the other side of the pier toward the channel, down into the rocks.

    I immediately moved back toward where he was, all the while watching over my shoulder to remain cognizant of approaching waves. From a distance of 15-feet away, I spotted Ralph among the rocks with only his head visible above water, and without a stronghold for safety. Glancing back once more, I then saw him suddenly disappear into a trough of shifting waters, sinking an estimated 5-feet among the rocks and vanishing, out of sight. There was nothing I could do to help him.

    Then, only seconds later, the water crested, lifting Ralph up and out of that den of death, tossing him like driftwood on to the rocks, where he latched-on and was able to dash up the incline to the top of the pier.

    We hightailed it back to shore as quickly as possible, never again to challenge such a storm as was experienced on that day.

  • Because It’s There

    Because It’s There

    Like the old saying goes about undertaking challenges: why did you climb the mountain? Because it’s there. You can go here – Redbubble, Society 6 and Pixels – to discover some great products and gift giving ideas for the upcoming holiday season, or anytime.

    Thank you!

  • Poem of Courage

    Poem of Courage

    After reading a friend’s writing, “The Hell’s Barge Self” – an inspiring account of ones fighting spirit to cherish life through surgery and not succumb to agents of evil – I wrote this poem in response…

    Facing the faces of many
    Disparaging people unkind
    A warrior of courage with faith
    Evil cast away – out of mind.

    Drifting on boat through a dark hell
    Operating to fight disease
    Veiled voices behind a curtain
    A lesson learned – not to appease.

    Emerging stronger than before
    Precious life held close to her heart
    Eyes opened look forward with hope
    Living life anew – a fresh start.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Beyond The Horizon

    Beyond The Horizon

    Without GPS, Christopher Columbus courageously traveled by wooden boat in 1492 across the Atlantic Ocean to discover America. Awesome! Today, you don’t have to board a sailboat to enjoy this scenery, simply visit my gallery at Fine Art America. There, you’ll discover a wide variety of print types and more!