It looks innocent enough, this pool, yes? A little untidy perhaps and in need of some work to vacuum the ‘floor’ of it. And perhaps that lawn could be gotten rid of. That chair over on the right could be stood up properly too maybe. But pool of death? Really?
This is a pool in a small township, the photo taken before the summer season starts, when the necessary work will be done more often, and the pool will be kept shiny blue, with no dirt left on the pool bottom. Yes it looks untidy and maybe a little unkempt, but just a few hours before this photo was taken, for dead bodies were removed from the pool water.
The day began as another ordinary day, sun came up, cool and pleasant breeze was blowing, and I was enjoying a little time wandering around on the back veranda enjoying it all. Then I looked over at the pool near the veranda and saw something dark floating on top of the pool. In the interests of tidiness I went and took a look, prepared to scoop up what I thought might be a cluster of leaves.
Closer inspection though, showed the awful truth of it. The ‘cluster of leaves’ was actually a dead starling floating on the water. I looked around for the leaf scoop device and noticed something dark in the pool’s skimmer box. I looked closer, there was another bird, dead, a sparrow this time. I leaned over and removed that bird, placing it at rest a little further away and on the other side of the fence. I came back to the pool and saw a frog, and then another. I removed all of these creatures from the skimmer box, placing the frogs also away from the pool.
Then I got the leaf scooper and reached for and caught the first poor dead bird. I placed this bird also on the other side of the fence. I looked around then, at the sky, and the trees, at our vegetables, herbs and flowers, all growing, alive and vibrant. I thought about it all, and came back inside. Thinking still. The thinking lead to me writing a Facebook post about feeling sad about the deaths. That then lead to the writing of two little poems, lamenting these careless deaths.
Swimming pools are about fun and living for us humans, but things go quite differently for others. The birds like to drink from the pool, flying down low and scooping up the water in their beak. And the frogs of course love water, but the chlorine in the pool isn’t good for them and they die if they stay there for too long …
Anyway, I thought about these things, and this is the poem I wrote about it:
The Pool of Death …
Birds, birds, please keep on flying
Birds, please oh please stop your dying
Seeing them in the water, still
There for a sip, but took more than their fill
Young birds, practicing joys of flight
Taking risks, not getting it right?
I don’t know how this ended up
I just know these two took their final sup …
The two that croaked it …
I realise why it tempts them, of course
Frogs and water, a perfect match
But chlorination and filter aren’t safe
for frogs and sadly, that’s the catch …
they jump in, it’s fine, swimming around
diving down deep, then up for a breath
but something is wrong, they’re pulled along
filtration system causes their death …