Opening day

Needles from the low off Antarctica
spun from a face of angry ice
spray snatched into the sky
this mighty engine.

the water’s green and planktonic
no line or floor 
humpbacks below
sailing a darker green. 

out of options, breathless
a man decides happiness.


Image: Vincent P. Taylor [in inflatable rubber suit] floating on San Francisco Bay, Sept. 29th, 1926 / Taylor Family photographs and State Library of NSW on Flickr. Opening day at my local swimming pool was a bit blustery. A quadrille for Dverse where Lillian is hosting and asks us to use the word ‘happy’.

And since we’re talking about it, here’s my happy place – Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Here’s the Aria by piano superstar Lang Lang (just ignore the cheesy camera work — maybe close your eyes for five minutes.)



25 thoughts on “Opening day

      1. I missed the tragedy, I’m afraid. He sounds like a right nutter who put a lot of people to a lot of trouble to rescue him. Then he died. I don’t understand people like that. It makes a fun read though 🙂

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  1. I love how you weave words, and this poem is no exception to that. Your poetic abilities often amaze me and I love this magical essence of this piece regarding happiness. I agree with you that we can decide happiness, we can choose happiness at times. Not all the time, of course, but we can see through a different lens moments that have happened, along with moments that make us truly happy.

    I love the imagery in this piece as well. Beautifully written.

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  2. Well this is an interesting tale! A daredevil in this suit with his paddles….deciding to brave the elements and thus show his bravado. Alas….only the humpbacks come out of this tale victorious.
    Isn’t it amazing what people will do? Whether it’s in 1926 or 2020!

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  3. This is gorgeously timely and poignant. An individual must decide where happiness lies and what to do in order to achieve it. 💝 Especially love; “the water’s green and planktonic no line or floor.” 🙂

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  4. Taylor is like Houdini of the air. Funny you compared your taking a cold plunge on opening day at the pool to his daredevil act and deciding you’re having fun. I’ve done that with plunges in Lake MI a time or two and it’s true, once you acclimate it is a lot of fun. Bach’s Goldberg Variations — and Bach in general — are also a happy place for me, but I have the Keith Jarrett disc.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So
    Much in this. I like the Aussie weather report, the sky as an engine. Planktonic is a great word! Conjures up so much from a friendship to a drink for boards! Then of course it comes down to that choice. May we make that choice before there’s no more options

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  6. As I commented to Ron, happiness is relative. The opening stanza gave me the child, Peter, with the excellent use of sibilance to convey the icy spray, and I love the use of colour in the second stanza – and the humpbacks ‘sailing a darker green’. Your quadrille left me breathless.

    Liked by 1 person

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