The frosted meadows glittered in the rising sun
and mallards walked on water, laughing fit to bust,
the day we broke the ice from Seend to Semington.
We stamped our feet, and let the engines run
to warm them up, as prudent people must,
and noticed frosty cows can also glitter in the sun.
Our bargepoles smashed the way - such fun!
- to steer a course out to the middle of the cut
and onward through the ice to Semington
Moorhens who interrogated their reflections
were chased off by the sheets of ice we pushed
that rafted up, and glittered in the sun.
The props clanked on the fragments now and then
and hulls were scoured of blacking, weeds and rust
by that infernal ice en route to Semington
And chastened, we agreed; all said and done,
wise folk who like their boats stay put,
when meadows glitter in the sun
and ice is on the cut from Seend to Semington.
This happened last year, when Chris and Jinny on Netty and I went up to Seend, despite knowing that the canal was closed beyond there and we'd need to come back without turning; so we went up doing a push-me-pull-you, with Netty breasted up on Eve who was facing backwards. It sort of worked, but the return trip to the ice was one we really have no intention of repeating!
We've started a new poetry group on Facebook, Poets Afloat, for developing poems about and/or by boaters and the waterways. It's a closed group, so you can't see posts unless you're a member, which means they're not officially published (this matters if you're thinking ahead to potential submissions). The format is inspired by Jo Bell's 52 group, which was very good and fruitful. And small though the new group is, there have been some startlingly good new poems already. Do join in, if that sort of thing floats your boat.
|Here are some rakish characters heading by through the ice, on an unrelated occasion.|