Swimming the Backstroke and Kiddie Carnival

backstroke’s exhibit: 

cyan, azure, ebony 

then stars.  one by one.

haiku #39, 2/26/14


Watching the flow of brilliant colors and costumes march past the observer of kiddie carnival is not unlike the similar blend of colors that one sees while watching

the Trinidadian daylight sky turn into a night sky while swimming the backstroke at the local outdoor pool between the hours of 5pm and 7pm.

While a haiku requires a strict limit of 17 short syllables, there were so many more colors I observed while watching day turn to night in the end of February in Port of Spain.

First there is the bright yellow gold of the sun before it sets, with the pink azalea blowing around in the breeze.


Then there is the flutter of darkness as the sun begins to think about sinking.


As it begins its descent, the sun picks up rosy orange hues along the way,


and soon the golden solar glow begins to fade


as horses ride the sunlight away into the



dark goldencarn

Some say they can see a flash of green at the point right after the sun sets.  I think I saw it too.


As the sun makes its remarkable yet daily journey,  I continue to watch the ever-changing exhibit from my backstroke front row seats, and I notice the sky that began as light azure blue

azure dance carn

peppered with the most delicate of purples billowing through the breeze

light purplecarn

is seamlessly morphing into multiple cloudless layers


of cerulean, cobalt, sapphire, and robin’s egg blue,


that I could see clearly even with my swim goggles on.


The spectacularly changing sky is a show which happens every night, but here on this night, like many parades which drift pass too quickly,  I get tempted to shout out, “Slow Down!”

black and yellow carn

But alas, the show, and our lives, keep moving on towards deeper turquoises

turquoise carn

and ultramarines.


The blues become deeper as our muscles get more tired,


and then the stars begin to come out.


One by one.  Some stars stroll in slowly,

little blackand starscarn

others sparkle in like a sweet kiss,


still others barge in like an uproarious giggle.happybluecarn

As I kicked and splashed and dutifully swam my laps, the stars overhead shone like eyes watching me watching them.


As the deep purple sky turned into




holding safe this parade of color and bedazzlement,

I could read the the secret message that was hidden in the stars and between the steel pan drum beats clearly:


9 thoughts on “Swimming the Backstroke and Kiddie Carnival

  1. Gorgeous gorgeous! Your blog continues to inspire!Just back from chaparoning a trip to Belize- 21 Science students and they needed a last minute female adult to accompany them to the jungle and atol. I thought of you and how you see those colors all the time. Also thought of you as we gathered sea trash for an hour not even moving from one spot 3 hours out at sea on a tiny island, after days in the jungle, where we studied the coral and fish.Wishing you all well and sending love,Liz

    Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2014 23:52:40 +0000 To: liz@lizhawkesdeniord.com

  2. Thank you for capturing and sharing these wonderful children in all their amazing rainbows of costumes. We have just been listening to this year’s Soca songs and now we have images to go with them. Beautiful!

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