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Poems | Poems | A Summer Swim

A Summer Swim

A Summer Swim
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It is a hot afternoon,
after days of summer rain.
In the river we take turns
holding each other afloat,
spinning around our lighter-than-normal
frames as if they were children's bodies;
splashing and playing
in the water, half in jest,
half erotic undercurrent.
Walking up the trail toward home
I follow you, watch your back
as it moves ahead of me,
notice where your hips begin,
the red and orange bathing suit
a bright splash of colour
against tall grass and green leaves.
Your back assumes its own shape,
not necessarily young or athletic,
but the way your body is,
flesh making a bulge near the waist
to form 'love handles,'
your legs plump with muscle,
your back sturdy—
anyone else seeing you
might consider there is nothing
beyond the ordinary
but as I follow you
your back takes on
the appeal of the extraordinary,
your body the one
I love, desire, long for.
On this hot afternoon,
a man's body
seen as in a Colville painting
and in my mind
illuminated with love,
with the intensity (strange
as it is among the everyday)
of passion, felt just hours ago,
when night drew the cover
of darkness, drawing us close.
So between the form I see
walking a few steps
in front of me, and the form
I carry in the mind's eye
there is a moment of revealed
clarity: this man, the back
I love to touch, the hot
summer afternoon, the visual
element of love, the unseen
mystery of it all.


Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo:, 2004 | Poems | A Summer Swim
Wave Goddess
The Wave Goddess
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
Photo Gallery
CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
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