A Poem for the Coxes by Colin

GGBC – The coxes’ song.

Tricky Stream

That flicks you round

I’ve lost that heron on the corner

Plastic on his slimy post

Upstream turn right or risk a bang

Downstream turn left or mighty twang

Will gather you, your boat an’ all

In an embrace you’ll long recall.

Tricky days with tricky light:

That’s a bugger I can’t see

That hidden Eight and nor doest thee

Look where the lower margin of the trees

in winterbrown meet winter water…

………greeny-brown and black with silt;

Brown deadly reeds and good black earth

merge in the grey of Winterlight

In lifting fog and mist opaque in slanting springtime sun

There’s bugger all a Cox can see

but reference memory and so shalt thee

or damage safety and your crew’s morale.

Green buoy and hanging branch, weeping willow, creeping sallow

none of these deserve my verse.

Out there, there’s gorgeous colour.

Green yellow, chestnut brown and darkling blue, deep water’s friend

Or Rippling Blue from coach’s launch,

add reds to form our merging brown

That flows through banks of varied green

And if the light is right you’ll see

Reflecting yellow starpricks – water lily – fleckling on the darkling blue.

The truth you’ve guessed is in the birds.

Crested Grebes in mating dance, Kingfishers

owning chestnut brown in flight

Kingfisher blue in downwards strike

Gold in Goldfinch, other Yellow Starpricks, fleur-de-llys in bud,

White for Loddon here enfenced

The blacks and browns in white front geese and evil cormorants, not shags.

It’s all out there, outside the boat

My Cox’s realm, coxing GGBC

Alas, dear rowers, yours is watching me.

Colin Edgar, May 2023