The feel of water

I pause awhile from swimming and play with water:
feel its slight resistance, let it run between my fingers –
softer than silk, smoother than finest pale blue silk.
I think of other times.

Blue canvas lair, blue canvas espadrilles, blue Breton sky;
an on-shore breeze flicks spray from wavelets’ crests.
‘The last one in’s a sissy!’ Our splash disturbs a shoal of little fish.
They dart ahead, flash silver in the sunlit foam.

Down from the fells, we scan the beckside for a rowan tree.
It stands above a rocky pool, a little beach, a mini-waterfall.
You don’t stay long! Three strokes, a douche, then three strokes back.
Refreshed, re-booted… never more alive.

Down sloping sand to that particular place.
Two waves break and play me like a puppy; the next
surges strongly on. I count: one, two, three –
turn, leap and am aboard and carried to the beach.

In estuarine waters I feel the mad moon’s pull,
its force redoubled in a rocky channel,
and am afraid. Ashore at last
I think of those in fear of mad men with water.