Irish Artist Neil Shawcross on his weekly dip in Strangford Lough
A weekly sojourn To catch his bliss
Determination In a clenched fist
Strides in with purpose And submits to the Sea
Tense for one moment Then exquisitely free
Maureen McCoy July 2011
Under The Waterfall
Sunlight dances on the surface, golden leaves circle, caught in soft currents, drawn ever closer to the edge. They spin faster and faster finally to be swept over the rocks as the water gushes to the next pool.
I watch all this, my feet dangling. The leaves have moved on from their dance around my toes but I shall remain. I slip into the pool, my skin warmed by the sun, quivers as the cold touches it. A sharp intake of breath and I stretch forward, gliding to the centre. The deep water is soft on my skin. I turn onto my back and look at the blue sky, sun glints on the surface and sparkles on wet rocks. The fall, behind me, silver and white, I swim into its waves, my skin tingles as the water spins and rises. The fall now pounds down on my shoulders and head, numbing, a cold shower forcing every inch of my being awake and alive. I move behind the curtain, the rush in-front and here is a hidden place, cool and separate from the world. Will I break out, through that curtain to rejoin the sunlight?
Instead I slip quietly under, deeper, below the force of the fall, chaos diffuses and all is silent. Shafts of sunlight streaming down, golden on my skin, this muted world is mine alone. I swim close to the floor, beneath, on to the middle of the pool where finally, reluctantly, I have to surface. I glide up and up, looking at the sky through a clear window in the golden haze, and then suddenly break into the air. I take a breath and roll onto my back to gaze at the sky once again.
Maureen McCoy May 2011
What simple pleasure I gained from the Sea
A weightless, more supple, version of me
She weaves through the sea-weed, exploring the rocks
Beneath the waves where time seems to stop
Pulled by the currents, the tide makes her sway
Caressed by the water, she’d like to stay.
But soon she must rise and return to the land
Then I walk from the sea – contented and calm.
Maureen McCoy August 2010
I promise to kick off my shoes at every opportunity, run barefoot in wet grass,
Paddle at the shore and squidge my toes in the soft sand.
I will pull socks on over sandy feet and feel the tingle all the way home-
To leave sand on the bathroom floor –
(Maureen McCoy – excerpt from Feet June 2011)
Water Of Life
From dark tannin ores carving the rock
Travels down hillside
Filling the Lough
Reflecting the heavens in the dark and the deep
Who can tell
The secrets you keep
I venture to trespass in this other world
I float and am carried
My senses are stirred
In softness and strength, a power pure
At ease in the water
Graceful and sure.
Colours now changing, caught in the sun
From copper to silver
The journey begun
Whispering, chuckling, now hidden from sight
To spring forth again
A childish delight
Gather momentum, now rush under trees
Watch the water of life
On it’s way to the sea.
Maureen McCoy Nov 2009
I let the water slip over my head and beneath
I find a new world
Where the colours are changed
More muted when the sun is bright,
Yet, when the sky is dull and cloud covered,
They take on new dimensions and smile at me
Daring me to explore, whispering,
Search, I have secrets to tell.
Shall I tell you what I find?
Through forests of kelp I meet others,
Jellyfish, their slow and rhythmic pulse
As they glide silently by.
Industrious crabs scuttle across the sandy floor
And fish swim alongside.
We do not speak or wave or shake hands
We are simply, Here.
Maureen McCoy Sep 2012