Faraway Chorus; The Seasons Change

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

Note: I wrote a poem that covered all three photos; I struggled. Finally I realized it wanted to be split into two. All right, I said. I can change the project rules if I want to. So, here are fraternal twin poems, the photos divided between them.

Faraway Chorus

Summer and
people go to the swimming pool.
The lifeguards whistle out
the teenagers doing splashy cannonballs
off the diving board
spraying the old ladies sitting in strappy chairs
who complain
that the water spots their playing cards
and makes it hard to shuffle.
The kids run on the pool deck
getting sunburns
their bathing suits bleaching out day by day
combination of chlorine and sunshine.
The water settles into itself
at night. The first swimmer dives in
each morning
cutting through the solid blue
to release the mist
that rises above the water
Every day in summer.

The Seasons Change

The house is sold
after the owner dies.
The orange bottle cap
lies in the gutter
waiting for the next rainstorm
to sweep it into the drain.



14 thoughts on “Faraway Chorus; The Seasons Change

  1. oh, and i really like these lines:
    who complain
    that the water spots their playing cards
    and makes it hard to shuffle.

    so real, a moment in time,repeated over days each summer… as is, too:

    at night. The first swimmer dives in
    each morning

  2. Thank you. I was a competitive swimmer in my childhood and then a lifeguard/swim coach in college. The pool and swimming is a central source of memory for me and some of my most vivid and deep-rooted.

  3. Your pool poem is very sensory and evocative. I like its sense of the repeated cycle too. And there’s a cycle of sorts in the partner poem too: people die and things get washed away but life goes on and the house gets a new owner who some day will depart and be washed away for another starting over.

  4. Thank you. As you know the pool is such a motif for me and so many very clear memories. I’m glad I broke this photo group. Originally these poems connected and I didn’t want to give up on the ideas but they did not mesh. I like them both now even though breaking my rules.

  5. Thank you. To me, they both are about times that are not coming back, but the tone different (which is why I separated them). Happy memories vs a sense of missed opportunity or a past that upon looking back was sadness, and the realization that, that’s what you were dealt in life? Looking back, good and bad intertwined?

  6. Yes. I felt the same way. When I wrote these they were originally part of the same poem but somehow it did not seem to fit – though the idea of memory and time passing was in both of them.

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