A Good Drowning

 Melissa Gurdus Meiselman's  illustration


Melissa Gurdus Meiselman’s illustration

By the River Aniene, June 2015

It calls you in,
bottle-glass green and cool in summer heat,
but the current’s too strong:
before you know, you’d be floating unhurriedly
into the Tiber, forty miles downstream.

Not such a bad way to drown, taking it easy,
having everything you’ve experienced
click through your head like a slow movie reel. With time
for sightseeing – think – those twenty-seven centuries
from the founding of the city,
the emperors and the excesses,
popes, palaces and pleasure-gardens,
amphitheatres and aqueducts,
temples and triumphs, legions, Lingua Latina…
so much more than one’s own meagre existence,
a hundred generations roughly speaking,
surely enough to fit a million lives.

It seems almost a pity
to miss that.
I think I’ll dip my toe in now.

Donald Adamson

This poem was Commended in The Poems Please Me Prize 2015.

Donald Adamson: poet and translator, dividing time between Tampere (Finland) and Dalbeattie (Scotland); first prize Herald Millennium Competition; prize-winner McCash Scots Poetry Competition, 2014. His translations of the Finnish poet Eeva Kilpi were published by Arc in 2014. His new collection, ‘Glamourie’, was recently published by Indigo Dreams.

website: www.donaldadamson.co.uk
blog: www.donaldadamson.blogspot.com
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