Monday, October 18, 2010

Tuesday poem: Deep Sea Swimming

This is a teetering-on-Tuesday poem. It is in fact Monday evening here in nz, but I want to post this before that whale called work swallows me up. (Starting tonight, but not lasting forever).

Recently Claire beckoned us to the sea, and that trail of thought took me back to this poem which I wrote at 40 - one of the first I ever wrote. I would now describe my immersion differently, but this was how it was then ...

Deep Sea Swimming

I'm out of my depth here
Who would have thought it?

You walk the world for 40 winters
Have children who rise to meet you face to face
You expect by now to stand on sturdy feet
Calves like plaited loaves
Gleaming above the water line
Baskets of fish and tools to catch them
Fair and square on each bent arm
The fanciful high tide of childhood
Going going gone

But no
There's water
underfoot and rising
An ocean tilting
Holding me not quite firm
My basket tumbles
Fish turn and flick
While I, wrinkling
in my shimmery world
Roll on my back
Ease my limbs
With unusual grace

A middle aged mermaid
Out in the depths
Her heart on the horizon



  1. I adore that poem, and will read it again and again..

  2. Thanks fifi, I'm so glad you like it!

  3. yes...this is familiar, watery territory! thank you for posting it--it's hard to reveal early writing, i think....