Notes From Yesterday

I thought I might share with you the rough, and I do mean rough, poems that came from the Write Wild workshop I took part in yesterday. The workshop was great fun and quite moving at times to be discussing what wild swimming means to people, in so many different ways.

Here are the words I wrote.

Feet at the Shoreline

Split of bone, spread of skin

shaping over rounded rock

toes gripping then unpeeling.

I imagine my feet as suckers

like limpets to their stones.

Sharp edge, feet flinch,

draw back, recoil and hide as

snails into shells.

Fumble stumble

sucker stretch

until smooth sand brings relief.

Softness flatness painless.

With water now to chill the skin,

a new shock to think about.

Thoughts no longer fixed on feet, but

on the icy swell lapping higher.

They feel it all on the way in.

Each crispy crinkled ribbon of weed,

each rock, pebble, grain of sand.

The squelch of rotted briny sludge.

The warmth, the cold, the softest of dry dust,

the clay-like mud from who knows where.

Swirl of descending depth.

When they next touch ground

they feel nothing.

Numb stubs that bare my weight.

Sensitive to all and none.

Mottled blue and pink,

like a marble cake

or water upon ink.

Summer Swim

Drifting there

lazy breathless air.

Beneath the sun,

fat sun

hot and white and bright.

Soft on shoulders

soft slack skin

Air soft

sun soft.

No battle with an icy wind,

harsh biting sea

that chews on bone tight skin and sinew.

No low light, winter light,

molten lead or pewter flow.

No "to go or not to go".

Slow time,

peering time,

soaking up the heat time.

Soft sea

flat sea

not a ripple nor a wave sea.

But all dazzle and dance.

Play of light in turquoise trance.

Lazy swim

laying about swim

deep contented breath swim.

Facing down below,

the other world.

A running crab,

an "I'm bigger than you crab" pinch pinch.

Silver flash fish draws the eye to

creeping periwinkle,

the golden jewel on a green-weed crown.

A busy life

their summer life,

my summer swim.

Slippage of Time

Let tide sidle by

and drift my thoughts out with it.

My troubles, like grinding teeth

angst against themselves

and bubble deep beneath.

With slippage of time

sea smooths the sand,

the soul, the breath. And

I watch hopelessly as lacy edge

disappears to leave me sitting here,

my thoughts to trudge and dredge.

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