A Swimming Poem by Paul Goodrow

A Swimming Poem by Paul Goodrow

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Blog

A Swimming Poem by Paul Goodrow

I Learned to Swim in Gulliver’s Lake

I was learning how to swim, but most of my time had been spent in a pool, swimming laps. You could easily touch bottom if you needed to, and it was easy to hold on to the wall and take a “cheater break”. But I needed to be able to swim in a lake where you couldn’t stand, or rest …. or cheat…

So off I go to Gulliver’s Lake All angst and nerves.
Can I do this…..
Or am I a pretender?

No warmth this summer’s day Clouds descend upon the earth. Light diffuse and soft, Enveloping and surreal.

The lake all calm and smooth as glass. Not a whisper of a breeze.
Gentle rain not falling
But alighting softly upon the surface.

There are no crowds today
No tanners sunning on the rafts, No children running on the beach, No divers exploring depths below.

The lake is left for only me Alone with all my doubts. Can I do this….
Or am I a pretender?

I ease myself
Slowly into the water,
Not wanting to upset the mood, Lest the lake punish the intruder.

But I feel the waters beckoning. “Be calm” she soothes.
“Give me your trust, and
I shall reward it a hundredfold”.

How can I resist
In such a setting?
Amid such beauty and serenity? And a wonder begins to unfold.

I swim.
Quiet and effortless. Reach…glide…breathe… Reach…glide…breathe…

I experience the marvel of the lake – Grasses reaching for the light, Rolling undulation of the bed,
Fish unmoved by one above.

A body floating
As a child flying in a dream. The lake caresses –
She eases my soul.

I swim the length of her. Again…
And yet again. Reach…glide…breathe…

The lake and me.
Alone and together.
As one. Reach…glide…breathe.

In time I stop.
Arms leaden…exhausted.
I lay in the shallows
Not wanting to break the bond.

Throughout the summer
I return to her as often as I can. But never again
Do I have her to myself.

Still, she greets me,
Asks me for my trust,
And rewards me a hundredfold. Reach…glide…breathe.

Never will I forget the day When magic came,
And I learned to swim
In Gulliver’s Lake.