MORRIS--
Lewes Yacht Club Pool
by Alice Morris

stroke after stroke I swim
through rainbow patterns twisting, bending

through water eyes I watch
often headless bodies at play

today
a twelve year-old boy pirouettes, sashays

conducts an underwater orchestra, pointy finger for baton, then
with head submerged, he hums – long, haunting, humpback songs

human creatures together, swimming in this aquamarine glow
some with bodies young, some old, some shapely, some not–

the fat man gliding by, certainly–
a manatee

sleek, adolescent boys–the sharks–circling, circling
bronzed, bikinied girls, they–the dolphins of this sea

brightly suited children–the tetras, angels, corals, clowns–torpedoing
about this very leggy reef

and I wonder
what kind of fish am I– walleye, sea bass, flounder, trout? A carp?

I think a sea bass would be fine, and on and on–through spindrift,
          sea smoke, ocean, sky

I swim

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The Lewes Yacht Club Pool where my kids learned to swim with great confidence, and where I became a regular in the lap lanes.  This photo was taken on my iPhone 6 as I ascribe to the philosophy that the best camera is the one you have with you. Understanding that these are not super high pixel, tripod, darkroom photos, I take what I am given, and in the case of the pool photo I began with a good, descriptive image of the pool and its beautiful surroundings. I ran the image through two simple editing apps directly on my cell phone, then on my laptop, then back on my cell phone, etc., knowing I first wanted to reduce the people to shape-images rather than have them clearly identifiable. There were also many good, colorful details throughout the picture that I did not want to lose, so I kept making adjustments until I thought I had pulled out the best for these opposing objectives. Along the way, the background, and the picture as a whole took on a painted quality, which I loved. Often I fuss with a picture for many days, sometimes over time. When the new edits surprise and please me, I keep those pictures. I have come to believe that my photos can be like found poems. I see such a connection between editing photos and editing poetry, and I spend much of my time doing both.  (Photo 2014, by Alice Morris.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As a child, I was not a confident swimmer. As a parent, I wanted my two kids to be skilled swimmers in clear or murky water, so I put them on a swim team, which they did not appreciate. To make things fair, I told my children that in the afternoons I would swim the same number of laps — plus a few more, as they had put-in during their morning team sessions. Having never successfully completed more than two full laps, I knew I was setting myself up for quite a challenge — one I soon came to thoroughly enjoy.

Morris– 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alice Morris, a Minnesota native, earned her BS in English Education from Towson State University, and her MS in Counseling from Johns Hopkins. After applying her training as an educator, counselor, and later, as a real estate agent, Morris continually found herself returning to her passions of building, art, and writing. Her art has been published in a West Virginia textbook, and The New York Art Review. Recently, her poetry has been published, or is forthcoming in three issues of The Broadkill Review, included in a chapbook, two poetry collections, two anthologies, the Weekly Advocate, and the “Starting to Ride” and “My Imaginary Skill” blog series by Silver Birch Press.