Thursday, June 16, 2011

55 - the short life of swans

at eight,
she already measures
the distance,

life & death,

the board where she stands, to
splash when she lands

all knees &
elbows, waving hands
at pressures in line
behind

& those that coax
below, she
steps out, off

feet first & flies
eyes wide

& when re-surfaces,
smiles, sun

warm
on our faces.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see G-man.

88 comments:

Daniel said...

At first I read this with a more literal eye based on the title and was looking for a melancholy tone. But I read it again and I think your intention of something light and beautiful and in the moment spoke to me instead.

ayala said...

smiles...very nice :)

nance marie said...

splash!

Sue said...

Very nostalgic. I think I WAS this girl, once.

=)

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Well, this poem is very well-written, very descriptive, and for some unknown reason...While reading your poem I was thinking Of the word (s)..."Olympic(s)" or diver?!?
Nice use Of 55 words and Thanks,for sharing too!
deedee ;-D

KB said...

Cute!

Monkey Man said...

That first step is sooo hard, but the flight is exhilarating.

Kate Hanley said...

I still am this girl! So hard to go off the diving board but I do love to watch the other kids do it.

Kate Hanley said...

I still am this girl! So hard to go off the diving board but I do love to watch the other kids do it.

hedgewitch said...

Some nice subtle rhyme in this, aas well as a nicely laid out look at the tentative but confident beginning and the smile in the sun of childhood.

Heaven said...

What a challenge.... you are so versatile as a writer.

I hope to improve myself in the coming days and weeks. Thanks for sharing and spreading your kindness around the blogs, including mine.

Margaret said...

...she already measures the distance ..

Loved that. I saw this two years ago when we moved to a neighborhood with a pool. Confident swimmers and jumpers now. No diving allowed, though...

Cloudia said...

the short life of young girls...




Aloha from Waikiki :)

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Steve Isaak said...

Excellent, intimate, perfect.

Teresa said...

Very nice. So wonderful to see a young one spread their wings and fly!

Jannie Funster said...

This totally makes me think of some waterpark slide, things which scare me the first time down, but I get back on 'em for at least a few more rides. :)

xo

Pat Hatt said...

Playing off the ugly duckling and swan
Although forgetting the first sacrificing the pawn
Very delicate way with your words today
As this day in age youth find less and less time to play
Taking the dive
Most do in the moment feeling alive

Bonnie said...

Courage.

Tara Miller said...

ahhh that wonderful feeling of sweet success after pushing through fears and pressure! SPLASH!

Betsy said...

Oh, sweet! Bet she was fun to watch.

Lolamouse said...

It may be a short life, but it's graceful and lovely! Myself, bellyflops.

upinthecosmos said...

I need to take a leap of faith myself sometimes, great write!

sage said...

Nice, I remember coaching my daughter into jumping off the diving board (she still won't dive).

5thsister said...

The high dive always frightened me but I sure could "fly" off those low ones! I loved this piece of summer, especially the sun warm faces full of smiles!

Fireblossom said...

Aw! Geronimo!

Elaine said...

Swan Lake. Like a ballet. Beautiful expression here. Love this 55.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, beautiful -- such a wonderful unselfconscious age.

Mama Zen said...

Of course, this immediately made me think of my little girl. Can you believe she turns eight tomorrow?

Beautiful piece, Brian.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Refreshing on a hot day. I'd have to stay in the shallow.

lori said...

A sweet story tonight. Nothing wrong with that. I pictured my daughter, already feeling pressures, but we're keeping them at bay together. And, her smiles are like the sun :)

Margie said...

I bet she's a sweetie!
This takes me back to memories when my son about that age.
He was so afraid to go off the diving board.
But he managed to do okay in the end.
And what a smile he had to share.
Love this poem!

Margie :)

Eva Gallant said...

I loved this one. I could see the little mermaid!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

A fearful jump but so joy filled.

yellowhousecafe said...

Bravo ..swan song, naw, never over, it just get's more sophisticated... be warned.

Pheromone Girl said...

I'm not fond of taking that leap - seems very brave to me.

G-Man said...

CANNON BALL!!!!!!

Great 55 Son.
I had a little girl once...

Thanks for playing, and have aq Kick Ass Week-End

TALON said...

This brought back a vivid memory of my first jump off the "big board" and my older brothers cheering and jeering me to jump, my little sister full of worry. Pure fun, Brian. And, yeah, I jumped and I felt soooo brave :)

Christine said...

That sweet innocence and view of life, jumping into the unknown with absolute curiosity. When did that all change?

kkrige said...

love those warm summer days & splashin in the pool. See and none of your other characters at all! Yippee, pool time. :)

David Allen Waters said...

splash....delightful :)

adeeyoyo said...

Aah yes, lovely. Such a challenge to step out into space, but such a high having done it and re-surfaced! Beautifully written, Brian.

CM said...

More poetry born from an afternoon at the pool with your boys, I'm guessing. Nice interpretation, I can practically see this little girl trying to get the courage to jump!

Matty said...

I wish my first time was as fun. My dad grabbed me kicking and screaming and threw me in, and said "now swim". LOL True story.

Stranger said...

Perfect poem for a warm June day. Reminds me of my sister who was afraid to swim until she was seven and then still too timid to dive - but once she jumped, that look on her face was priceless.
This also reminds me of the transitions in life that we have to just jump into.
Great poem, great 55.

Zuzana said...

Beautiful piece about overcoming ones fear. About facing an abyss and daring and pushing the line between life and death a bit further.;)
Have a great Friday and weekend dear Brian, I am heading up north again for three days.;)
xoxo

Shadow said...

childhood memories, how nice!

Alice Audrey said...

Awwww. Seriously cute.

Valerie said...

I, literally, never took the plunge but I often wish I had.

joanny said...

Brian

This poem reminds me of the amazing possibility of each moment.

joanny

ladyfi said...

Marvellous sense of jumping into the water!

Claudia said...

there seem to be much more in this like just a jump into the water or is it just me? reminded me of my son when he was about this age and he was climbing up the ladder, jumping down, up and down and up and...after like watching him doing this for the 30th time i stopped him cause i thought he would drown...he was totally exhausted but thrilled beyond measure...the magic of flying...and you captured it well

Belinda said...

Sweet! Love the fearlessness at that age. By pure coincidence, I also wrote about a girl who's almost 8.

slommler said...

"feet first and flies...eyes wide open..." Boy do I remember this moment. I have seen it six times at least. My one son and my five grandkids! All special moments for sure!
Hugs
SueAnn

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Very Nice...!

magiceye said...

this is lovely

magiceye said...

this is lovely

the walking man said...

Never saw that hesitation in my kids. That probably accounts for the fins they have instead of feet.

Chef Kar said...

Having been a swan diver myself and then reliving it through my son, I throughly enjoyed you bringing back the memories. "life & death"......in the beginning, it felt like that!

Thanks for visiting my little place too :-)

Daytime Mask

brenda w said...

I'm up at my folks' place in the mountains, in the rain rain rain. I remember hot summer days when my daughter was young....diving in(there's miracle on their faces when they rise). Oh it's cold today...thanks for the taste of summer.

Lorraine said...

they are so beautiful, their lives surely must be magical

autumnraven said...

So sweet.

ds said...

Ah. A swan dive. Beautiful--you captured the grace of the moment & I can feel the sun on my face, too.
Love swans--was completely taken in by your title. Which fits in so many ways. Thank you.

ScottF said...

nice, man... much is contained in this little darlin' piece

Magpie said...

"at eight,
she already measures
the distance,

life & death,"
Brian, you are so blessed with insight and empathy.

Mighty M said...

I love this - we start summer swimming lessons next week and I can totally see Hannah doing this. :) Happy Friday!

Rebecca S. said...

You caught a beautiful moment there...familiar to all of us. Even though there were so few words I could see it all, the sun on the water, the girl hesitating and measuring, her smiles at her accomplishment, which is huge to her. Nicely done, Brian. It made me smile.

AmyLK said...

Its so wonderful to free fall into the water. But that first step can be scary!

tony said...

I Am jealous! I have no head-for-heights at all!

Akelamalu said...

Taking the plunge it's always a relief when one resurfaces. ;)

Linda said...

I just came from Nancy's where I found some of your words.
Love this one.

Cinner said...

Beautiful, Brian brings back memories.

PattiKen said...

Oh, I totally remember that moment, from both perspectives. Terrifying and thrilling from both sides.

trisha said...

amazing story in 55 words. :)

Maggie May said...

Graceful, beautiful creatures.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

happygirl said...

Most pools don't have boards anymore. This is lovely and nostalgic. thanks

Olivia said...

Flap flap flap...splash!
Flap..

Very beautifully captured.. :)
serene..

weekend hugs xx

RNSANE said...

This was so beautiful, Brian. I never was one to leap into the water, garnering loud yells and boos from those behind me on the low diving board and, of course, all I ever did was jump. I was so envious of those graceful beauties who came down into the blue in the most perfect dives.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Great images in here through out... I love the comparison of the swans to the leaping nature of life and its many directions. :)

Baino said...

Aw wish there was some sun on my face, won't be any diving swan-like into the pool for quite some time but the ducks seem to like it.

LauraX said...

love this one Brian!

haikulovesongs said...

tender and sweet... really lovely, Brian.

secret agent woman said...

I like that moment of anticipation of before a leap.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I wish I'd had such confidence at eight. Or at thirty-eight. Lovely.

Heather said...

aw, sweet! yes, sweet smiles, sun! i like that!

Deborah said...

Beautiful ... you write brilliantly!

Linda said...

Breathtaking to be sure, but not something I would ever do, even when I was young and relatively unafraid.

Jeanne said...

Fabulous. Just fabulous.

Syd said...

Swans are beautiful. They mate for life, I believe.