The sea swimmer in winter – a poem by Jim Young

Beyond the breeze,
under the winter sun,
the sea is calling me,
calling me,
calling me.
Seething in the breath,
of the north wind’s spume,
in the push and pull of the tides.
That’s where my secret abides.

The blue jelly fish have pulled back
to where the cormorant stands on end.
As a grey seal bobs with ebony eyes,
and the snows press down the bay.
My knees compose some purple prose,
that will last me through the day.

Harder the winter,
larger the spring in my step,
where I see, in the icy briny,
that perennial phoenix of spring.
That frisson of flight,
born in the glassy might
of the quenching, churning tides.

Baptised, reborn, each shingle day,
in my way, in my bay, away
in the dappled waves of my sea,
my sea,
my sea,
my sea.
Away in the dappled waves of my sea,
my sea.

When I am dried by the sun and wind,
then, only then, am I alive.
As alive as live can be.
Alive as the roaring sea.
Alive as a swimmer in winter.
In the sea where he’s meant be.

In the sea where he’s meant be.


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