Posts Tagged ‘buoyancy’

lyrics from "The Tide Is High" by John Holt, 1967
Something about the unsinkable reggae beat,
and in just three notes, I’m again my young self,
dancing alone in my bedroom,
singing as if I am one with the song,
as if it were written just for me,
I’m not the kind of girl
who gives up just like that, oh no, oh!
And singing it now on a Sunday afternoon,
I’m caught in a surprise riptide of joy
and start to lilt around the room,
though just moments ago I was weeping,
buried beneath the salt of worry,
but here I am, dancing alone,
hips rocking, my shoulders a rolling sea,
my voice surfing above the bright swell of trumpets.
The tide is high but I’m holding on.
Sometimes a song is a lifeline,
not because it pulls me out of the water,
but because it tosses me deeper in,
and I feel I’m no longer trapping myself
in a life the size of a teacup—
no, in this moment I am oceanic,
an Atlantic of joy, a Pacific of wonder
vast enough to hold everything,
and the tide is high
and all that salt only makes me more buoyant
as I play in the generous waves.

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Lap Lane

After the long limping spring

comes this clear June day

with its sun and its blue and

its outdoor pool. I slip into cool water

and instantly the gimpy foot turns to fin

and my legs move like nimble legs again.

The pool bottom sparkles and glitters

with noon beaming down in white

fractalled light, and I’m lissome

and lithe and slick and alive

with the pure sparkling yes of it,

drawing warm air into my chest

in huge lungfulls. For a moment,

I do not think in terms of damaged

or whole, I do not think of

this morning’s brokenness,

I do not think at all—

I am kick and stroke and pull

and sun-spangled shine, wild

in love with the dazzle,

the buoyant world that rises

in us, sometimes when

we least believe it can.

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just before I drown
I remember all those beautiful rocks
I put in my pockets

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