I swam into a school of anchovies,
a wavering dream of eyes
and silent parting bodies.
Sun hid, water darkened,
time hesitated in its beat.
We were like reeds reaching and
rippling, making swaying through
a large field of motion. Myself a big
fish out swimming with the little ones,
our tails and arms never touching,
our bodies waving.
The cloud went away and the sun came
back, water showed green again
clear through. I laughed and smashed
the liquid tissue, kicking out high
wheels of nonsense—the only splashing
in sight in the whole wide veritable ocean.
TILLY WASHBURN SHAW – (1930-2015), a native of Massachusetts, joined the Literature faculty at UCSC in 1966 and taught there until her retirement in 1993. One of the first among her peers at UCSC to embrace feminist studies and women’s writing, she brought her gifts for close reading—of people as well as texts—to her students, her fellow poets, and her own writing. She was both a serious poet and a devoted supporter of the arts, serving as an active founding member of the board of Poetry Santa Cruz. Her two books were published by Hummingbird Press, Swimming Closer to Shore in 2004, and Hanging Out in the Ordinary posthumously in 2015. Tilly was also a passionate ocean swimmer and an adventuresome traveler until the last months of her life.
ROSIE KING – is delighted to live close to a beach and in a house where poets like to meet, without which and whom her poems might never happen. Her book Sweetwater, Saltwater was published by Hummingbird Press in 2007 and she has another in the making.