Archives for posts with tag: swimming

woman-floating-1997
How to Float
by Sara Lynne Puotinen

Try to
imagine you’re
light lighter the lightest
high higher the highest, the most
buoyant.

Picture
when your daughter
cradles you in the shallow
water. Carrying you like a
baby.

You two
laughing splashing
forgetting gravity.
Unburdened by weight, land’s logic.
Carefree.

Happy.
Pretend you are
sparkling grapefruit water
excessively effervescent
bubbly.

Barely
there. Only a
hint of flavor, mostly
fizziness shimmering at the
surface.

Do not
think about what’s
below or not below
you. In fact, do not think at all
just be

relaxed.
Calm. Not Heavy.
Almost bursting with air.
Breezy & Loose. Liberated.
Unmoored.

Flat. Stretched.
Reaching out. Be
the horizon that cuts
through sky water, above beneath.
Be the

big bridge
spanning the lake.
Delivering the goods.
Linking lands and worlds and lives in
between.

Believe
in breath and your
body’s ability
to not stay sunk but to rise up,
to float.

IMAGE: Woman floating by Jennifer Bartlett (1997), used by permission.

Lake_Nokomis_viewed_from_Lake_Nokomis_Pkwy_bridge,_Oct_2017

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Mid-June through the end of August is open swim season in Minneapolis. For two hours three times a week, you can swim back and forth across Lake Nokomis. I have been participating since 2013. I swim across the lake and then later, I write about what I remember doing/feeling/noticing during my swim in an online log. In 2018, I turned these log entries into a series of poems. This particular poem was inspired by a memory of swimming with my daughter, the desire to reflect on the joy of weightlessness, and my love of Adelaide Crapsey‘s cinquain.

PHOTO: Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, Minnesota (October 7, 2017) by Thomson200, used by permission.

Puotinen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sara Lynne Puotinen lives in south Minneapolis, Minnesota, near the Mississippi River Gorge, where she reads and writes and tries to be upright and outside as much as possible. She earned a B.A. in religion, an M.A. in ethics, and a Ph.D in women’s studies, which all inform her experiments in paying attention and her playful troubling of what it means to write while running (or swimming or moving), to run while writing, and to do both while losing her central vision from a degenerative eye disease. Her most recent project, Mood Rings, is a series of nine poems about her moods as she loses her central vision from cone dystrophy, using her blind spot and the Amsler grid as form. For more of her work, visit sarapuotinen.com.

st. joseph mo pool
Municipal Pool
by Mike Dailey

I remember my mother and her long auburn hair
She wore it in pig-tails way down to there
We’d head for the pool, my sisters and I
Along with our mother when we were small fry
I would turn left cause the boy’s locker’s there
The girls would turn right and they all had to share
I’d get my own basket to store all my clothes
With a safety pin numbered to keep track of those
I’d walk through a shower that I couldn’t avoid
I’d be cold and all wet and a little annoyed
Then I’d meet up with mom and we’d head for the pool
And hope that the water there wasn’t that cool
She’d jump in the pool then coax us all in
We would jump to her arms with a face full of grin
And if we were good and she thought it all right
We’d grab a pigtail as she dove out of sight
We’d hold our breath as she swam towards the drain
And then shoot to the surface like a runaway train
When your turn was up, another held on
And rode with our mother till her strength was all gone
Then we sit by the pool and listen to her
As she told us of stories before we even were
When the pool was larger, much larger by far
And she’d sit at the pool about right where we are
And the boys would show off on the high diving boards
And give her rides home in their Model A Fords
Then when we were tired and our strength was all spent
We get up, get our things, and back home we went
With the promise from mother we’d do it again
My sisters and I end the day with a grin

IMAGE: Vintage postcard of municipal swimming pool in St. Joseph, Missouri.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love a challenge. When I saw the call for submissions I was thinking this was one that I would have to skip as I had nothing in my archives that touched on memories of pools or beaches; at least none from my youth. But I sat here at my computer and thought back on the days when we would go to the big municipal pool in our town and the words just came to me. I hope my sisters read the poem and have the same memories and feelings of our days with mom at the pool. I grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri,  where the Pony Express started and Jesse James ended.  The pool was one of three or four public pools in town but by far the largest.  Even saying that, I have seen pictures of the pool when my mother was a young girl and it was about twice the size.  I guess it became too large to manage efficiently so they filled in about half of it.

dailey-20151

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Dailey lives in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. He is a teller of stories in rhythm and rhyme. He has been writing poetry most of his life and has three published books of his poems with a fourth on the way. He leaves the introspective, deep personal poetry to others while he concentrates his poems on the interesting and often odd happening stories that most people overlook.

Peipins- The Pool at the Temple
Diving into the Abyss
by Terez Peipins

It was big news when our new middle school installed a swimming pool. We all speculated about how it would look, what bathing suits we would wear, and what would happen if someone peed in it. Although I grew up next to a pond, I never learned to swim. So, in seventh grade the day finally came when our class went swimming. Our bathing suits were navy blue and baggy. I had to take off my glasses which meant I was in a chlorine fog. I joined the nerds in the shallow end and learned a strange frog-like backstroke. We had six weeks of a shallow pool experience where I could stand up at any time if my stroke wasn’t working.

The following year when our class’s turn came, I was sick with a cold for the first two weeks which kept me away from the pool. At the end of my first day back, the class lined up to dive. That was not something I could manage so I went to shower and change. The gym teacher pulled me out of the shower and made me get into line. I protested to no avail. I jumped off the diving board into the deep end. Sputtering I came up and had to be rescued by a pole.

All was not lost. The following year, understanding my fears, the new gym teacher (who, by the way, was hot) held my hand as I floated in the deep end. I’m still not a great swimmer but I can swim in the deep end of a pool with a minimum of anxiety.

PHOTO: The author in the pool at Baps Indian Temple (Atlanta, Georgia).

PEIPINS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The  poetry, fiction, and essays of Terez Peipins have appeared in publications both in the United States and abroad, including Anak Sastra, Barcelona Ink, The Barcelona Review, The Buffalo News,Conte, Creeping Bent,Hawai’ Pacific Review, Melusine, and Pedestal, among many others.  Her newest chapbook, Dance the Truth is published by Saddle Road Press. Her novel, The Shadow of Silver Birch is published by Black Rose Writing.

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THE WATER BIRDS
by Onitsura

The water birds seem heavy
But they float.

Photo: Nathan DeGargoyle

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A dog jumps into Lake Banyoles in northern Spain.

National Geographic photograph by Tino Soriano

This and other blue images appear in LIFE IN COLOR, a 504-page book of 245 photographs divided into color chapters. The book is available at Amazon.com. To view a range of blue images, visit the National Geographic Blue Gallery.

A person can learn a lot from a dog…Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things — a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” JOHN GROGAN, author of Marley and Me

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“Jumping Dog”

Photograph by Tino Soriano

A dog jumps into Lake Banyoles in northern Spain. The lake is the country’s second largest.

This and other blue images appear in LIFE IN COLOR, a 504-page book of 245 photographs divided into color chapters. The book is available at Amazon.com. To view a range of blue images, visit the National Geographic Blue Gallery.

A person can learn a lot from a dog…Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things — a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” JOHN GROGAN, author of Marley and Me

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THE WATER BIRDS

Zen Haiku by Onitsura

The water birds seem heavy

But they float.

Photo: Nathan DeGargoyle

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“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Illustration: “Sky and Water I” (1938), Woodcut by M.C. Escher

Note: I woke up thinking about this Escher illustration today and just had to find a way to include it. I often see Escher images when I have a migraine coming on — and hope that’s not the case today!