Life-long Aquatic Dread


Neither parents present at first swim,

pale-pathetic, goose-bumped skin,

life-long aquatic dread quickly set in.


Arm motions awkward, geek-clumsy,

turbulent limb-thrashed pool sudsy,

lungfuls of salt-water, Louis unlucky.


Myopic, un-muscular, aged merely six,

middle-class, very un-virile, a bit thick;

nude-nervous, fearful, in-and-out quick


from showers, menacing macho laughs:

swear-shouting sneers, working class lads;

cold brutal bulk, hated Blackrock baths.



Final failure at boarding school,

dog-paddle pupil sank like metal tool,

panic-paralysed at bottom of pool.


Flailing futile – is drowning my end?

Fully-clothed poolside form friend

prepared to jump… but slowly I ascend.



Fifty years on, feet still stupidly flap,

short-sighted blur, tight swimming cap,

infrequently visited, deep-end death-trap.


Pool-roof echoes, potent chlorine smell

nauseated ninny, tiles echo Hemmings hell,

relief when heard end-of-session bell.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s