What’s In The Boathouse?
(A poem to accompany the August image in Kirsty Elson’s 2018 calendar…)
An attic window lies awry
Upon a white quayside cottage,
A single gull beats keen wings
On the next dwelling’s bare roof tiles:
Anxious, fussy, preparing to fly…
A hosepipe and a life-ring hang askew
Upon a bleak boathouse wall;
Two skiffs lie idle, moored,
As if folks have trudged to Sunday church,
Their sins to confess, their faith to renew…
Yet the boathouse draws one’s attentive gaze,
For its scarred, weathered roof has seen better days;
Its doors with a wooden bar have been locked
And the upper hoist window has been brutally blocked…
One wonders though what lies silently inside,
Protected from an infernal winter tide…
Ripped nets, the stink of oil?
Empty lobster pots, the sweat of toil?
Oilskins, overalls, the reek of tar?
Tools and ropes, a discarded spar?
Tarpaulins, buoys, lengths of sail?
The stench of paint dried inside a pail?
The moody spell of the old quay is thus cast
And one can almost smell its Cornish past…