Phil Perkins Photography

Tag: story time

  • Into the Light

    Trapped behind the collapsed entrance of a cave and without food, my limited rations of water were bone dry after 25 days. I was starving and stranded in the middle of nowhere, where calls for help were both futile, and strained my painfully parched vocal cords. I’d lost weight and prayed it was enough, that I might now fit between the thin sliver of rocks defining my captivity and illuminating my escape. It was now or never, and there was only one way out – into the light.

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    If you’d like to enjoy a change of scenery, then my photography may lend itself as being the perfect accent piece for a wall in your home or workplace. You can visit my gallery to see more, selecting from a variety of print types: framed, canvas, metal, art, poster, wood, acrylic and tapestry. It makes a great gift idea, too.

    Song for the Day

    The Caves of Altamira, by Steely Dan (1976) – see lyrics here.


  • 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.


  • Shoutout to a Friend

    Shoutout to a Friend

    Creativity may be expressed in content which is cultivated, or that which is spontaneous, including through conversation…as follows.

    Flashback September 25, 2021

    I had just finished reading “Heart Beats on a City Street“, written by Michele Lee Sefton – a lovely author and poetess hailing from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona – when I saw a picture of her taking a photograph at night in the city.

    Having observed images posted on her site, Michele looks wonderful wearing blue jeans! I alluded to such in my comments responding to her cited writing, above, to which she noted, “Maybe Levi’s will endorse my site.”

    Her remark inspired me to write this storyline for a hypothetical Levi Strauss blue jeans commercial, subsequently pitched to the company:

    Imagine…it’s nighttime on a poorly lit street, with a steady pulse of background sounds from the city and steam wafting from manhole covers. The camera pans left, stopping to focus on the shadowy silhouette of a beautiful blonde woman wearing a cowgirl hat and boots, black top, and, yes, a pair of well-fitting Levi’s. She slowly saunters forward under a dim streetlight, when suddenly – the crashing sound of a metal trash can lid hitting the pavement! She makes a quick quarter-turn, drawing her DSLR camera as if it were a gun from a holster, and snaps a shot of a cat racing away with fish bones clenched in its teeth. The camera zooms in for a close-up scene of her face, as she remarks, “Here’s looking at you, cat”. She raises her camera, winks to the TV camera, and, resembling a gun having been fired, blows the smoke away from her lens. Then, Levi’s runs their slogan on-screen, perhaps in conjunction with the camera maker.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photos from unsplash.com – jeans & street (Phoenix sidewalk at night).


  • Short Story: The Time We Met

    Short Story: The Time We Met

    On an old cobblestone snickelway, a mild-mannered woman from the village happily daydreamed as she went about on her way to market.

    Often overlooked by passersby, she was a humble and quiet woman of slight stature whose clothes were second-hand, though very well kept. Her gait was graceful, and she carried herself with confidence.

    I’d seen her shopping before, filling her wicker basket with produce, sharing a shy smile though never conversation with others present.

    Sometime later, while reading a newspaper on a bench aside the street, I observed her walking in my direction, returning home with a stock of food.

    Soon, our eyes met and we shared a pleasant smile. She had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen, and I promptly stood to introduce myself. However, before I could speak, she reached forward towards me with her hand clasped.

    I watched as she slowly unfurled her palm, revealing a small analog timepiece and a tattoo, reading; “The best is yet to come”. Nodding in affirmation, and, with time to spare, I grinned while asking if she would allow me the privilege of carrying her groceries home.

    That was the first of many days that followed, during which time we spent countless hours together sharing experiences and happiness.

    Behind those big green eyes and shy smile resided a strong woman with a courageous soul, and a heart full of love – a kind, gentle spirit.

    She was truly one of a kind and it didn’t matter to me that she was mute – oftentimes, the most meaningful exchange between people who care for one another doesn’t require use of words to speak volumes.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • Short Story: She’s A Dream

    Short Story: She’s A Dream

    Based on a recent comment I made on the web site of a friend, I wrote this short story this morning. Entitled, She’s A Dream, I hope that you’ll enjoy reading it.


    I rested on a tropical sandy cay, comfortable in a low seat with my bare feet in warm, shallow water. Small waves carried the tranquil and continuous rhythm of ocean currents on shore, breaking into sand and drowning in retreat.

    With a cooling but mild summer breeze rustling palm fronds through the trees on shore behind me, I dreamed I heard a British woman from the past – Clementine – sounding a conch shell from a hillside in the distance.

    I was at peace as the sun grew old, slowly dropping from the sky, setting colors of gold, orange and peach in brilliant illumination across scattered clouds on the horizon. Then, on the edge of time, sunlight refracted through a level plane in the ocean, casting a bright, blinding green flash!

    Moments passed into minutes, until my sight returned. And, then I saw her – the silhouette of a beautiful woman slowly walking along the shoreline in my direction. Long, flowing hair wafting on thermals, hips swaying slightly with each casual step, I could tell that she wasn’t very tall, and watched closely as she approached.

    She was barefoot with a lovely figure, suntanned, wearing a bikini top and fishnet skirt, and also wore a small diamond piercing on her nose. Immediately, I was drawn to the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I’d ever seen…she was a goddess!

    I was captured by a vision of her beauty, when suddenly she spoke –

    Hello my dear friend, Phil. How are you today?

    What?! I’d never seen this woman before – though very much wish that I had. Who was she? I was on a remote tropical island in the Caribbean… At that moment, a small coconut detached from a palm tree, dropping on my head and knocking me to the ground.

    When later I regained my senses, I was alone and realized that she was only a dream.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    Modified header photo from unsplash.com.