No more foghorns

I remember foghorns, scent of salt and how the wind was soaked with rain. In my hometown we knew from childhood that umbrellas are useless in the wind. I remember how the drizzle soaked my face and how it didn’t matter when I met my wife.

I remember summers working in the shipyards, removing rust and painting steel. I remember how I had to enter manholes where others could not go. I remember scent of oil and how the harbor water swallowed sound. I remember verdigras on brass.

Now the foghorns have gone silent and the shipyards have been replaced by offices, but rain still comes with wind, so whenever I go back to Gothenburg I bring my raincoat and let my umbrella stay behind.

fading in the fog
memories and seagull call —
last ferry leaving

Image from here

Once again haibun Monday at dVerse. Mish is hosting and the theme is “Hometown”, tell us a memory and give us a story from your hometown.

February 05, 2018

25 responses to “No more foghorns

  1. You were lucky to grow up near a harbour, Bjorn, an exciting experience when you’re young, but I imagine foghorns can be annoying.I can smell the ‘scent of salt’ and he wind ‘soaked with rain’ – I know something of it from living on the North Norfolk coast. I love the little touches in your prose, such as ‘scent of oil and how the harbor water swallowed sound. I remember verdigras on brass’, and the haiku is wonderful – there’s a seagull in it!

  2. This is a wonderful peek into your history, the prequel to Bjorn the poet and physist. I like the scents of the sea nd the sound of the foghorn, now faded away into the past. The haiku at the end is poignant.

  3. This is so atmospheric. There is something sad about that heavy industry moving away, even though it was hard for people working there. I enjoyed your descriptions of the weather, too.

  4. How different your memories from mine. We were miles from water! I loved your description. I could almost hear the forhorns and smell the salt.

  5. I feel the depth in this line…”I remember how the drizzle soaked my face and how it didn’t matter when I met my wife.” …and I’m embarrassed to say I was so wrapped up in your prose, I almost forgot to read your haiku….another lovely layer.

  6. It sounds wonderfully nostalgic…the sounds and tastes are key to those memories. Nothing stays the same. The part about your wife and the rain is wonderful.

  7. Ha, I can imagine that constant rain penetrating your every pore and sinking right into your bones. Unsentimental look at a lost industry – the good and bad.

  8. how poignant that smells take us back to different times and bring back memories tucked away deep. such an interesting youth and I love the line “scent of salt and how the wind was soaked with rain”, I can smell the rain coming here on the equator and you described that so perfectly.

  9. …wind soaked with rain…& …harbor water swallowed sound…
    love these descriptions. I could feel that rain whipping my face before I even read it. Working in the harbor sounds like a facinating experience. for a young person. A nice write.

  10. Umbrellas are useless here too because of the wind. Doesn’t keep me from trying. Most likely though, you end up with an inverted umbrella at the end. Aside from that, a very lovely piece.

  11. I really like the way you’ve incorporated the scents of things in your memories. We don’t often think of them, but they can really conjure a time and place. (K)

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