Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day 2011

It's been a while since I wrote about swimming, so for International Women's Day let's celebrate Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003) first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926.
And here's an atmospheric poem with a sea theme by Marion Lomax

Beyond Men
Through the shrunk boards
water strokes itself:
dives at the end of staves.
Her eyes are out to sea:
she's gardening the waves,
weeding out boats before
they can put down roots.

Off the beach, women
bob like seals in their
round red caps - climb out,
and dance with strangers.

Under the pier, where
the sea has slipped back,
the wet sand is coldest.
It sucks her shoulders,
makes her shiver.
Arms, legs, breasts, slip
under: she struggles
out of the strong embrace.
Sleek, salt tongues of weed
lick neck and nipples -
waves return her hair,
a tangle of black lace.

Dancers on the pier
drift home to their beds,
refusing late drinks
or a possessive caress.
Tonight the sea's moans
make women yearn
for something beyond
the love of men.

Marion Lomax 
in Sixty Women Poets 
ed. Linda France, Bloodaxe

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