Thursday, 13 January 2011

Get Back In The Pool

Yesterday entries opened for the Great North Swim -  Windermere on 18/19 June 2011. Before I went to bed last night I looked at the pool timetable for the aquatic centre. This morning I had some work to do, but beforehand I packed my swimming bag and put it by the front door. 'Hmm,' I thought. 'It looks like I'm intending to go swimming.' 
Sure enough, I did. First time since Sunday 26 September. I swam 16x50m lengths and came out buzzing, and buzzed for the rest of the day.
Although my swim bore no resemblance to this one described by Vicki Feaver, the title is just right.

Swimming in January
Because, like every new lover,
I want to enter the underworld
and take you with me, I lead you 
into the sea in January - naked into a sea
that flows round our calves and knees
like green fire: deeper and deeper -
feet off the shingle now - gulping half air,
half salt-water, drifting almost to the edge
where there's no returning
before we strike back
to the beach - past windsurfers
sealed in rubber wet-suits, struggling
to lift orange sails, past wading birds
dipping yellow beaks into a film
of mirrored cloud - emerge,
white legs moving like sticks over
oil-blackened sand, at the breakwater
where we draped clothes and towels,
rubbing each other back to life.

Vicki Feaver
(ps. she didn't select any of my poems in Mslexia's competition in 2010, but I bear her no malice.)

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