Thursday, January 21, 2010

In this post, I wish to share a poem and to shed some light on its inception. I imagined a situation in which there was a swimming pool for children, and another one for older people. The narrator gets into the children's pool and describes its sweet noises and joys. He remembers suddenly that at fifty plus, he is no longer a child, though he could almost see the child in him. In the midst of this thought, a life guard asks him to leave the children's swimming pool and go to that for grown-ups. At that point, he feels the water is getting rather cold. He goes to the shower to warm up a bit, and then, goes out into the street.

As I jumped into the pool
The life guards didn’t see me.
The water was uterus-warm
Children’s voices filled the air
They hovered and flapped their little wings
Splashed water with their feet
And threw drops on each other’s faces.

At fifty plus
I didn’t have the feet of children
I couldn’t afford to tie swimming aids
Around my waist to keep me floating
But my heart hovered
I could nearly hear the child in me…

From her promontory
A life guard whispered to me:
“Please proceed to the pool for grown-ups,
This one is only for children”.

The water turned cold
I retreated into the shower
And soon out into the street.
January 19, 2010


Abigail Blue Jay Stone said...

I have to say this wonderful piece sounds like a dream of rebirth... almost reincarnation, where you have grown up and yet return to the beginning, even describing it as uterine warm. And yet you were caught there and sent back, maybe because it was not your time yet. Did you ever have a near death experience?

Ali H. Raddaoui said...

Thanks Abigail. It's a nice dream, sort of the antithesis of what you wrote about in your post of today, Jan. 31, 2010, when you mention the creams people use to make skin look younger and where you observe that it's a journey of disintegration that can't be helped. The culprit, if any, may be society, which expects people of all ages to behave in circumscribed ways, and so when you wish to revert back to that young state, eye brows are raised, and you are led to the understanding that you should know your own place. As you say, there is a moment in the poem where the narrator gets banished from a place he likes, and that moment can be kind of harsh. But like all things in creative writing, this may be just another metaphor.

Re your question on near-death experiences, I must say I have never had any, nor ever lost physical consciousness of the world. So, though there is this wish for rebirth, I think it's more like a desire to counter time and preserve the child-like heritage in all of us.

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