Paddles puddling the reedy still waters,
Dripping bright ripples onto blue mirrored skies,
The boatman’s oars creek, in their brassed rowing locks,
As he strains his back toward the danced mayfly rise.
The sentinel heron, silently lifts,
And marks his arrival in languid reproach,
Flapping but unworried, Longshanks, unhurried,
Watchfully signals the boat’s slow approach.
Scooting coots and an embarrassed moorhen,
Whisk themselves off, to the water’s green sedge,
Dragon and Damselflies hover into view,
Vibrantly displaying their competitive edge.
Oars shipped, the bow slips, to bump alongside,
Green rotting timbers exposed by the tide,
Memories awoken of a link now long broken,
With their sibling sodden pilings, away on the far side.
Weaving unnoticed between the twittering classes,
Who don’t raise their eyes from their phones and their glasses,
The old riverman settles, below a now faded photo,
Of a much younger man of the marshland and fen,
An echo in the willow, of an osiers’ world when,
He was the Ferryman. . .
Down at the bottom . . .
Of the gastro pub’s garden.