Friday, April 13, 2007

NaPoWriMo 11: Breathless

We've had a sudden cold snap here in Wellington. Overnight our late summer turned into mid-winter. It's been so long since we had any serious rain that the downpour and accompaning Southerly gales kept me awake all night. At around 4.30am a car alarm went off, causing me to then lay awake even longer, wondering whether our car had been broken into (again). Thankfully Piglet was intact when I eventually made my way up to the road the next morning. I can't say the same for my poor frozen hands...

Oh, and our central heating was turned on for the first time this year, blew hot air for a minute, then sputtered out and has not worked again since. Thankfully we have some back-up heaters!

In any case, the artic blast got me thinking about mid-winter Christmases, and then other mid-winter activities, such as mid-winter swims. This was initially a much wordier work. I tried to par it back a bit to its barer essentials (no pun overtly intended).

We are sitting on
the window seat
at the beach house
in towelling robes,
drinking Milo.

Outside the day is
sharp and hard,
light bouncing
off shards of grass.

Surf breaks on
beach like the
edge of a glacier.

Round hairless
forms assemble
on the foreshore.
A gathering of
goose pimples.

With a bracing cry
the pack turns
imaginary ice picks
to the tide.

You watch the
launching of
shivering waka.
Something stirs.

You throw off
human attire,
run barefoot and
buttocks bared,
plunge into doused
Scorching Bay.

Later you tell me
the shock of
impulse and elements
left you

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