Poetry

A number of swimmers I know compose verse, or haiku while swimming, or about swimming, the water and whatever comes to mind that is water related. This section honours some of them, while also showcasing some eminent poets who have written of the water. Christina Rossetti's 'Ferry me across teh Water' in memoriam Caroline Harris

Mike Harris

Serpentine Swimming Club

and year-round outdoor swimmer

Sixty-Five swims, all

New seas, pools, lakes and rivers

Stanley's done LXVs

 

The Serpentine Pond

Is missing its swimmers but

Soon we will be back

 

Where's the Ice Machine?

We need a cool place to swim

With floating sauna

Brisk misty morning,

Serpentine Swims invigorate

Salmon pink torsos

Damp December Morn

Serpentine beckons

so does The changing room

Hawaii Five O

Waiting for Sheila, cool clear

Water swim today

 

Swimming under the

Sun and the Moon,

delighted By the Serpentine

 

Magnolia flower,

Last one to bloom, delicate,

The future assured

 

Last swim of the year

With Dames and Olympians

Darling Serpentine

"Bloody cold in there!!"

Sunny Serpentine swimming

Also lost dog found!!

 

Serpentine swim with

Swans, perfect temp, rewarded,

Spicy cheese flapjacks

Nippy Dippers in

The Serpentine today, sun's

Golden rays shining

 

Sixty-Five swims, all

New seas, pools, lakes and rivers

Stanley's doing LXVs

 

I was hoping to

Swim tomorrow conference

Beckons, no swimming

Christina Rossetti

Poet, 1830 - 94

Ferry me across the water

 

Ferry me across the water
Do boatman do
If you've got a penny in your purse
I will ferry you

I have a penny in my purse

and my eyes are blue
So ferry me across the water
Do boatman do

 

Step into my ferry boat

Be they black or blue

And for the penny in your purse

I will ferry you


By the water

There are rivers lapsing down
Lily-laden to the sea;
Every lily is a boat
For bees, one, two, or three:
I wish there were a fairy boat
For you, my friend, and me.

We would rock upon the river,
Scarcely floating by;
Rocking rocking like the lilies,
You, my friend, and I;
Rocking like the stately lilies
Beneath the statelier sky.

But ah, where is that river
Whose hyacinth banks descend
Down to the sweeter lilies,
Till soft their shadows blend
Into a watery twilight?—
And ah, where is my friend?

Eeva Kilpi

Finnish writer and poet

Nukkumaan käydessä ajattelen:
Huomenna minä lämmitän saunan,
pidän itseäni hyvänä,
kävelytän, uitan, pesen,
kutsun itseni iltateelle,
puhuttelen ystävällisesti ja ihaillen,
kehun: Sinä pieni urhea nainen,
minä luotan sinuun.


As I'm going to bed I think:
Tomorrow, I'll heat up the sauna,
I'll treat myself kindly, I'll
take myself for a walk, a swim, I'll wash myself,
invite myself for evening tea,
I'll address myself fondly, with admiration,
I'll praise myself: You little, courageous woman,
I trust you

Joline Gordon

Poet, California 

 

It is an ocean
And it is mine
Somewhere in its depth lies my beginning
A love that has no end
For this I must swim

Through the darkness of the waters
A light shines through
The beginning of something beautiful
But then it disappears
I feel alone and lost
But I keep swimming

It's been a lifetime of comes and goes
It slowly fades or vanishes suddenly
Or it was never really there at all
I could drown in the hurt
But I keep swimming

It is always different yet the same
Always beautiful
Same falling, same love, same end
Always an end
But with an end will come a beginning
One day I'll find my beginning with no end
So I just keep swimming

Helen Edwards

Dodo and Oxford open water swimmer, swimming everyday in open water now for more than three years

The exquisite time of the setting sun
Opening the space between sky and ground
So life is even more than before
Port Meadow

 

Rising dark of sky

Dust of sun in air's memory

Birdsong like honey

 

Halcyon Days
Go gently
As Solstice approaches
To return the light

 

Peace, joy and happiness to all
The sound of thousands of wings
Belonging together
Opening to nature
Otmoor, Oxford

Missing the Thames
As my water journeying unfolds
In Indonesia.....

Spring emerging on the river bank
Growing in colours and compassion
Every year reminding us
We are not separate from nature

Jeremy Wellingham

Chief Dodo and Oxfordshire open water swimmer

sunrise solstice dip

goose beach on far side of isle

devil casts his quoits

flower moon ladder

shines on lake – swim at sunset

cygnets re-united

 

dark michaelmas swim
raison d'etre birthday cake

lit spire between the trees

 high tide, high summer

orange floats swept to kew

run red – name taken

 

flag claims territory

european picnic food

dappled lakeside shade

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