Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 28 June 2010

Heart of the holiday

Sonnet – The pool, again
In Languedoc we ploughed this turquoise field
Then left our sillons, those seductive forms,
Transformed into a glaring sine-wave yield,
Transformed again as Hockney’s charm disarms.
Again we dive, drop, ease our bodies down
Churning the water into frantic dance
Destroying patterns from which rules have flown
Delighting in the molecules of chance.
It’s evening now, and symmetry’s in place,
The pool’s a solid, plane-smoothed block of blue
Swallows and martins, unaware of space,
Pluck tunes that spread as circles touched anew.
The circles widen as the maths decrees
The birds fly curves of consanguinities.

LANGUEDOC RELEASE The others, who’ve occupied the pool much of the afternoon, discreetly retire to the loungers and I’m in the water alone to swim my thirty, fifty, hundred lengths. An untrammeled kilometre without the fret of having to compete for a lane, of worrying what a stray hand may touch.

But my orange tee-shirt, worn as sun-protection, is starting to stretch and billows up at the turns. Hardly hydro-dynamic. I buy another at Hyper-U, size XXL, and make four small slots in the bottom hem. Sweat accumulating in my eyes I edge-stitch these slots and then pass two lengths of tape into the tubular hems. The tapes are long enough to encircle my barrel-like thighs and are secured by bows. The tee-shirt cannot now ride up my body and I am able to do one of the things I came to France for

7 comments:

Julia said...

Clever! And I do love how the Hyper U tends to come through.

A pool must be useful for swallows and martins in their evening insect hunt. Did they ever splash in by accident?

herhimnbryn said...

As Julia says clever, indeed.

You have reminded me that I must start swimming again. But it is winter here and even though the pool is indoors, the re-entry into a cold day is putting me off.

Do you swim just once a day in your 'Hockney' pool or are you turning into a merman and taking up residence?

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia/HHB: Clever possibly, heartless probably, techically suspect certainly. It was an idea I couldn't wrestle free from its knotty language and eventually I slapped it down, closing my eyes to its defects, keen to get on with something else.

About 90 percent of the time the birds pick off the insects with great precision leaving the delicate set of concentric circles. But occasionally they dip in a little too deeply and the beauty of this cause and effect is lost.

Away from the Languedoc I no longer swim for the psychopathological reasons posted a couple of months ago. I await the Lottery win that will allow us to buy a house with a pool.

Hattie said...

The Hypermarche. How that takes me back to the days when we would stop on our way through to Spain and buy rubber sandals and cheese and take note of all the grumpy French consumers, who seemed to hate shopping.
One of those endless pools would be perfect for you, such as I see advertised in the New Yorker.
I'm hoping to swim today in "my" endless pool, the Pacific Ocean.

Rouchswalwe said...

I don't know how you did it, BB, but this sonnet has haiku qualities. An image was immediately brought into my mind's eye. Reading it aloud, it flowed wonderfully. Yep, I really like this one. And not just because you featured swallows!

Plutarch said...

I enjoyed the sestet in particular. Your description interlocks in my mind with D H Lawrence who wrote of "Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together" The poem is set in Florence, where, as it gets darker, the swallows give way to bats. The title of the poem is in fact Bat. To my mind the poem is better than any of Lawrence's novels. Chalk and cheese though, I suppose.

Lucy said...

Handy with needle and cotton too, is there no end...

But no pictures of yourself in this most certainly fetching garment? Alas.

(I'm with Plutarch on many of Lawrence's poems being better than his novels. A bit like Hardy in that regard.)