Swimming in the Woods

Swimming in the Woods

Her long body in the spangled shade of the wood
was a swimmer moving through a pool:
fractal, finned by leaf and light;
the loose plates of lozenge and rhombus
wobbling coins of sunlight.
When she stopped, the water stopped,
and the sun re-made her as a tree,
banded and freckled and foxed.

Besieged by symmetries, condemned
to these patterns of love and loss,
I stare at the wet shape on the tiles
till it fades; when she came and sat next to me
after her swim and walked away
back to the trees, she left a dark butterfly.


from Swithering (Picador, 2006), © Robin Robertson 2006, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers

Recordings

Robin Robertson Reading from his poems

1Aberdeen

2New Gravity

3The Flaying of Marsyas

4Artichoke

5Static

6Five Views from the Camera Obscura

7The Flowers of the Forest 8Apart

9The Long home

10False Spring

11The Thermal Image

12Tryst

13Dream of the Huntress

14Asterion and the God

15Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

16Waves

17Hide

18Fall

19The Park Drunk

20Myth

21At Dawn

22What the Horses See at Night

23The Death of Actaeon

24Swimming in the Woods

25Ghost of a Garden

26Selkie

27Wormwood 28The Glair

29Entropy

30Entry

31Strindberg in London

32A Seagull Murmur

33La Stanza delle Mosche

34Lizard

35Manifest

36The Lake at Dusk

37Crossing the Archipelago

38Leavings

39Donegal

40Holding Proteus

Books by Robin Robertson