Thursday, 4 February 2016

POEM - Learning to Swim

As part of the Thursday Lates Quiet Compère session at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester that happened earlier today, our host Sarah L Dixon asked each of the performers to write a poem based on one of the artworks on display.

There are loads of beautiful pieces in the gallery's collection, but Aquarelle by Sue Palmer really caught my eye.

Courtesy of the Whitworth Gallery

 What at first looks like a photograph of water is actually a beautiful swirling design printed onto glazed cotton, and the artistry of it really took my breath away. It also reminded me of a conversation I had overheard at the swimming pool recently...

Learning to Swim

It's not that I'm scared
Or under-prepared –
It's just that I don't have the gear.

I need armbands and goggles
So my eyes don't get soggy;
You swim, and I'll wait over here.

No, I'm not frightened.
It does sound inviting!
I can't think of anything better.

I'm sure it's not cold,
And I'm frequently told
It's like walking but just a bit wetter.

Before we get in
Did you see that grey fin?
I'm positive it was a shark.

I know we're indoors
But that didn't stop Jaws.
Let's ditch this and go to the park.

All right, fine, okay!
You can have it your way.
But I'll blame you if I die of shock.

I had a big lunch
And now I've got a hunch
That I'll sink to the depths like a rock.

Okay, if I agree
Not to go near the sea
Then maybe I don't have to learn?

I feel really sick
So we have to leave, quick.
I can't swim when I've got heartburn.

When I see my friends
In the pool's shallow end
I'm suddenly not quite so scared.

"Get out of here, Mum
"I'm off to have fun.
"I'll swim, and you wait over there."

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