Thursday, 18 December 2008


A swimmer so slow she hardly progresses forwards, gulps along the spa blue of the pool. Alone in the midst of the wavelets she creates, they wing out, lose interest and fade before reaching the edges. She wears a white rubber cap with a festive pink flower that drinks above her forehead as each stroke bobs down. The lulling rhythm of her limbs is all there is on this quiet morning, a consistent rhythm, digging out a groove in water quick to run back level.

Across the meadow, dark pools lie waiting for other arms to scoop and glide. Beneath the bone-like twigs of the Heronry and the cracked red lifebelt ring, only fish breath breaks the surface. This water makes for a strange soup. It's mirror is broken and steamed into clouds and speckles of mildew. The reflection it keeps is ominous and dark, but the red ring sings out, snapped in two beneath it's real self, it's block letters spelling out words too broken to read.

I once lay back there, floating, to escape the heat of July and gazed up to follow the paths of jumbos heading into Heathrow. Beneath the curving spiral stack of weight suspended and slowing, I touched a stillness so empty, so blissfully serene, that brown fish came to flip lazily over my feet and the Heron's gaze sharpened to a pinpoint of desire.