you knew what kind of suit life wears, right–?

the Rhine in Basel

the Rhine in Basel


we sit in the shade,
eat falafel, time floats slowly,
swimmers in the Rhine, neon colored sacks in tow,
(to keep their stuff dry),
g l i d e with the stream,

from the 19th century bridge,
Life (in a bright, red swimsuit) head-jumPs,


out s t r e t c h ed wiNgs, wooOOO

BaM/SpLasH, cRashes,
sucked up, hair, legs, limbs, sWirls
in a loop of vorteXes,
(behind the pillars),
blaZeSpiN(s) , FliPs
tOPDowN// FaStSpEEdS

eXit(s)– at the ground,

(it’s cool down here//

i lean back, gasp for breath,
afternoon sun touches little waves
with tender fingertips,
boys & girls with towels ‘round their hips, wet hair
“how’s the water?”
an old man silver-rolls his wife (dotted dress,
curly grey hair) in a wheel chair
along cobble plastered paths,

&i type up a poem, swim through it a bit,
let my hands glide along gaps&crevices&

crawl back into bed, sun not up yet,
dressed already, kiss him (with the stream
gurgling on my tongue, still),

& he’s waving– slow/ly

————from the edge of sleep

since we’re still celebrating 2 years at dVerse, we have a collection of all the MTB and FFA prompts and you’re free to choose one and write a new poem for it.. i chose anna’s prompt from july 4th, atmosphere/creating a mood for mine…. tony will swing open the pub doors at 3pm EST


52 responses to “you knew what kind of suit life wears, right–?

  1. I’ve suddenly realised (thump – a sack of coal dropping and spilling realisation out all over the carpet) how privileged we are to sit and write/read poetry.

  2. Swimming is a fun thing. It’s also recommended as a good exercise to reduce the tummyI It’s not too exhaustive just nice and leisurely! Great take Claudia!

    Btw, is it the 2nd or 3rd year. You’ve mentioned 2nd and some others said it’s the 3rd. Just a moot point though!


  3. As ever, this evokes a vivid sense of place and action within it. I like in particular the elision of waking experience and the onset of sleep.

  4. Really cool atmosphere .. swimming in the Rhine.. I didn’t even know it was possible… but that diving is done so vividly so at first I thought you were there.

    Love the old-postcard look of that picture. I leaves me in a state of lingering memories…

  5. ha i like the energy and motion in this…the whole leap from the bridge, the sounds…i could be there easily through your words…we used to cliff jump in college…then the move from it back into bed and him waving from the shore…smiles…you def set the atmosphere in this one…

  6. It all moves so fast–but more exhilarating than scary as you describe it–the leap and turbulence and red suit of life–typed into a poem fingers swimming. A great mirror in your hands!

  7. atmosphere is very attractive, starting from pic. Contrast of things on different levels – people around, dreams and reality…- like dynamics in music…Love this piece very much…congrat. 🙂

  8. Claudia, you definitely made the beach scene come alive in a vivid sort of way. I enjoyed seeing it through your eyes. I could picture the towelled youth and the old man with wife in a wheelchair. I could see you sitting and writing a poem, and oh I could go for some falafel. A wonderful atmospheric piece!

    I spent a week in Basel once…back some years ago. Nice city.

  9. The atmosphere is always just right, reader-welcoming in your poetics. This scene is as smooth as river flows, and isn’t it strange that rivers remain cold, like the sea, during summer; only the lakes warm up a bit. A great pick, a wonderful piece; thanks.

  10. I love the contrasts of pace in this, Claudia; the slow flow of the river contrasted with the speed of the dive; the business of one of Europe’s busiest waterways contrasted with the old man slowly pushing his wife’s wheelchair; the energy of the swimmers and the stillness of the slumberer – beautiful.

  11. Very pretty and certainly very atmospheric – a kind of gauze over it all, like the veil of sleep or the distance of an observer over there. Thanks for all you do. k.

  12. It’s fun to read this weeks entry and try to decide which prompt drove it. And yes, though I didn’t figure it out, definitely full of atmosphere. I thought it might have been a sense of place, which you also created.

  13. That afternoon sun touching the waves with tender fingertips–that sets the perfect atmosphere for me. Very nice work, beautifully written!

  14. You certainly did create a mood and a moment – a dream, and a reality. Sometime I fancy you as that Lorelei. I dream of coming and seeing you in that dreamland one day, hopefully one day not too far away! Loved this. G.

  15. Oh yes. I felt the descent, the sun, the sand and him waking up. Great little trip. Happy anniversary. How wonderful to celebrate with you.

  16. Just a ‘heads up’ to let you know that due to some glitch I’m no longer getting email alerts when you post anything new. I’m taking it up with WordPress.

  17. Like the rhythm you create of sleeping/waking, and how each is one with the other and swimming seems to stand in for the whole of life’s activities. With the mercury reaching 90 that appeals very much.

  18. it’s all about the frame of reference you choose… some people are inside life and some people choose to be poets and sit outside of it

  19. Lovely pic of Rhine there 🙂

    Life does wear suits of different styles..
    different one for different occasions… as always the imagery in your post was amazing.

  20. needless to say…this was breathtaking !
    There’s just something about this poem that made me feel so much…of a rush! It’s amazing how you manage to make your words create such vivid images and emotions in those who read them.

  21. I love this:
    “an old man silver-rolls his wife (dotted dress,
    curly grey hair) in a wheel chair”
    … and from there right on through to the ending. Wonderful piece.

  22. Here’s LIndy Lee, at last commenting without a convenient “Like” button to click,
    Liking “you knew what kind of suit life wears– right?”…