Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bummer: Swimmers ...

 ... Beached.

It doesn't look it, but the water in this section 
of the Riviera Club pool is three feet deep.
When I got off the bus at the club's entrance, I felt
light raindrops on my face. I looked west,
towards the Speedway area and the clouds were
dark, filled with rain. I remembered "Indy 500"
telecasts from years ago, when the announcers would
have occasion to say, "It's raining in Terre Haute,"
about 70 miles away, and know we had about 
an hour before the front reached us.

Saturday morning, as I walked up the drive,
the clouds were in Speedway, only about 
five minutes from the pool. The shower 
turned into a nice thunderstorm, 
trapping about a dozen people,
who're not ordinarily averse to being wet,
under the veranda, away from flashes of lightning
and thunder. For about an hour folks chatted, then went 
their separate ways, some to find an indoor pool, 
others to wait until Monday afternoon.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Days with IAM

With the Natatorium closed for the next two weeks
 due to meets held there, I swim at the Riviera Club. 
The sounds of running water and children's 
chatter in the background make the sessions more 
relaxing - for me, anyway. There are wooden lounge
chairs pool-side, occupied by middle-aged 
matrons, gossiping among themselves
as they basked in the late afternoon sun,
while a couple IAM members put in some
additional laps. Their fins and kickboard contrast 
with the pool toys left on a nearby bench.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Jus' Cain't Help It

I was idling this morning, sitting on a nice bench 
in the shadow of the Federal Court Building. 
I happened to look more closely at the facade 
of the building when I saw these curves,
setting their negative and positive spaces against
each other in a most comfortable way.
Then all the curls and ringlets set off
the straight lines, softening the severity of
the limestone facade.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rainy Day/Sipping Chai

I sit, sipping chai,
gazing out the window
at the gray, drizzly morning.
I think of you last evening 
as you strode across the room.
I caught a glimpse of your bare back
above the waistband of your jeans,
And longed to touch your smooth skin,
To feel its taut silk beneath my fingertips
where it curves along your spine.
So close. So far away, you may as well 
be walking on the moon.
But the warm smell of you,
Even in my imagination, 
brings comfort to the cold rain
of my days.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Kiss Under the Bridge of Sighs ...

A legend says that if Venetian lovers in a gondola 
were to kiss while passing under the Bridge of Sighs 
at sunset as the bells of St Mark's Campanile toll, 
they will be granted eternal love and bliss.

I don't know how that story applies to the bridge 
over the Central Canal at Michigan Street, 
but I'm more inclined to believe commuters driving
over the bridge would sigh in resignation
as they approached their cubicle jobs in downtown
Indy. That would be closer to the original story,
that said prisoners would sigh as they crossed the
bridge on their way to prison, knowing that the view
of Venice from the bridge would be their last.

A watercolor painting of the Bridge of Sighs
 by John Singer Sargent, 1904.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York 

The gondolas live under the bridge during the day,
then are available for rides along the Central Canal
during the evenings. I've seen them being poled
the along the Canal and tied outside 
nearby restaurants.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mermaid and Mermen

Early Saturday morning, I went to join other members 
of IAM for a swim practice at the Riviera Club 
on the near north side of Indy. I've been doing this 
for just over a year now. When I first went to Rivi, I could
not swim a full length of the pool (fifty yards)
without stopping about half way to catch my breath 
gather my nerve. On this day, I did most  of
the workout and was slightly chagrined
that the coach on deck did not ask me for more.

We began at eight in the morning and,
ninety minutes later, as I dried off in the spring-like
morning air, I looked over to see the little mermaid
floating in one of the kiddie pools. 
While a cartoonist's version of a female figure,
she nevertheless reflected the same version
of the body I still dream of attaining;
even in late middle age, I find myself affected
by years of social conditioning that
I need to look a certain way in order to
be attractive to men. What the hell?

This time a year ago, I could not swim 
seventy-five feet. I've since lost weight amounting 
to five dress sizes, I can swim over a mile 
without stopping, and I'm looking for more distance;
I want to swim three miles in the near future,
over six miles as the next goal, with longer-distance
open water swims as a main goal. 
 But, really, I still just want to be pretty

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Muted Rush

This is the introverted part of the day,
when the city's rush is muted by the rain, 
it's sound hushed by the spray
from tires on the pavement,
whispering their agreement.
Umbrellas, bright as flowers,
bob along the street,
Sprung from a garden of people
 cringing inside their coats. 
Heads down, strides choppy as they 
proceed to the day's work,
they rarely look around as they
"connect" with a disembodied other,
closer to voices than to people.