Bathing strictly prohibited
‘Bathing strictly prohibited,’ it said
on signs along the shore.
He felt his skin lighten beneath his shirt
and one toe touched bare rock.
The landscape shimmered, floated in the waves,
coots ascended lapping hills;
the sun watched, with patience, from behind clouds
and the earnest sparrows sang.
A solitary fishing boat stood out,
holding the world at bay.
He loosed his belt and let it drop – it fell;
his thighs embraced the air.
The brutal wind, which had been waiting, woke;
ospreys rose and scanned for prey.
May blooms shivered and scattered in the breeze
and wide-eyed lambs looked on.
Around the bend, a gang of cyclists came
brakes screeching, making hay.
He unbuttoned his shirt, drew one deep breath,
and plunged into the bay.
I’ve been walking and cycling around Rutland Water, and imagining a first act of rebellion maybe (for Poets United).