Saturday, 10 April 2010

Holes in the Ground

I have been avoiding my blog because of the sight of that poor mermaid. I have to get another picture in quick, so here is the swimming pool poem that I found in Splash! Great Writing About Swimming
Our pond which we excavated about twelve years ago has sprung a leak and drained away. We are talking about filling it in, so I was thinking about that, and all the hard work and creativity that went into making it in the first place.

The Swimming Pool

Long after he'd wearied of the work
I recall my father sloshing in hip boots,
ignoring the mosquitoes on his back
to lay by hand, around the stone
swimming pool he'd built, this tile
drain to divert the brook when it
turned brown in thunderstorms, how
he grunted as he pried up each sucking
shovelful of muck, his face
a shiny little mask of wrinkled sweat,
hating every minute of it.
And I remember how, later, in July,
when the wet heat would make you
claustrophobic and despair
he'd step up to that pool -
shy almost - gingerly dip in a toe,
exclaim wryly, then begin the ritual,
first rinse the arms,
then wash the chest,
his legs meanwhile feeling their way
on tiptoe as he waded forward, becoming
shorter and shorter, the cold lip
of the water crawling up his stomach
until, ready to receive the cold,
he'd lie on his back and sigh,
then close his eyes as though
that pool could never give him back
enough or fast enough or long enough
all that he'd put into it.

Jonathan Holden


  1. Great poem.Love the ritual and the punch line.Deadlio. Ya gotta save the pond-Or turn it into a swimmo pool!

  2. swimmo pool - if only...!! but yeah I would hate to lose that little watery corner...thanks for your vote for keeping it...!!