Sunday, April 01, 2018




This morning I went for a swim in the ocean with Dianne, my poet-friend from Prince Edward Island. We got down there just after ten the new time; today is our change over to daylight savings time.

Dianne Hicks Morrow
Poet Laureate of P.E.I. 2013–2016
 I have not been swimming much this trip; when we arrived my hip was giving me grief and keeping me close to home. Then, when I started to walk the beach a little, there were jellyfish. Quite a few. With the odd sting ray thrown in for good measure.
And then the tide was red which meant an "algal bloom" was happening, and the water was icky and stinky and quite unwelcoming, but the bioluminescence display at night made up for it.

Last week, we went to Tenacatita with our friends Charles and Judith. It was Maundy Thursday which brought with it happy busloads of people coming to enjoy the beach for Easter weekend. I finally had a swim in the ocean! 

That's me on the right. Honest!

So where am I going with this? I know it's day one of thirty days of poeming, if I manage to negotiate all the travel and places and things to do around actually sitting my ass down and writing something. Sometimes poems that begin life during April on my blog end up sticking around for a while. Sometimes they don't. Some of them, revised a little, are in the poetry manuscript I'm trying to get published.

Today's GloPoWriMo prompt is to write about a secret shame or secret pleasure. Well, that put me into a bit of a spin. What secret(s) might I care to reveal? So I went for a swim, came home, did laundry, thought about what I could write about, and likely because of all the swimming prompts I've been giving myself, I ended up writing about the time my mom and I went skinny dipping (that being my secret pleasure) on a hot July day some twenty-three years ago in one of her favourite swimming holes from when she was a kid. Here's the work-in-progress, written mostly right here on the screen, for the record, and I have to remember it's okay to let it go because it's a damn first draft and that's the whole point of this exercise! (Already I can think of about a couple of issues I'd raise with my poetry group, if they didn't raise them first, perceptive bunch that they are).

Skinny Dipping With My Mother at Purdy's Point

It's hot, so hot     damp clothing hot
July, the end of
electric air     abuzz abuzz

in Trail, where it's even hotter 
I see a surgeon about my breasts:
yes, they're big     yes, he can reduce them

my mother (whose breasts I emulate) says
if she was thirty years younger she'd do it, too 
and it's hot, no air conditioning, sweat-pouring hot

so we turn off halfway home, walk the trail
to Purdy's Point, wonder as always
where the old cabin used to be, exactly

forty years ago when my father was alive
you could still see the footprint where walls were
I put my sunglasses on one of the decomposing logs

before dropping my pants and squatting to pee
without seeing the wasp's nest couched in bracken at my feet
and yes, they stung      and yes, it hurt

we laugh about that now     
follow the path to its end by the river
sit on the bank, our feet in cool water 

one of us wishes the obvious
should have brought bathing suits
both of us look around at nothing but trees     river     sky

and we're in, two weighty women 
four great breasts floating like planets 
on the surface of the water


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