Thursday, 13 August 2009

The swimmer

Wading in the shallows. Knee deep for thirty strides. Waist deep for many more. Far from the shore, he becomes a stick man with pixellating limbs. He kicks away into slick front crawl, cuts a line as straight as the horizon, out in the calm of a grey world where subtle shadows shift the slates and granites of a sky lurking with intent.

Monochrome. More so beside the gaudy brash of the pier. Seagull nursery, complete with a bossy, chunnering guardian. They blend into the sand today, mottled browns and greys on unsure legs.

I love the canyon carve of outlet onto sand, brought into sharp focus by this strange light. The gulls patrol these tiny cliffs, learn to drink from the splash of river without getting their feet wet, without causing a landslide. White water rapids play out into a raying bank of eddies that meet the sea like tangled ringlet hair.

The swimmer, a hundred yards away, fades into the mirage of sea and sky with plodding calligraphy like neat stitches.