‘On Seeing his Narrowboat for the First Time’
by Amanda Hodgkinson
“Let’s just say, that if his boat were a man
he might not be a great swimmer.
If his boat were a man, it might wear
socks with holes in the heel, weekends
a wool guernsey ragged at stubbled neck
against a soft, overwashed shirt collar.
If his boat were a man, it would own
old hammers and tape measures,
an abundance of chipped mugs,
drink dark brewed coffee
fragrant with the smell of engine oil.
Rain would curl its brow
and glisten on the shoulders
of a work-worn coat whose pockets sag
with string and rusted nails.
But looking at things another way –
If this man were a boat,
he would have silk sails
and a hull of oak
and I would climb aboard
and set to sea without a second thought.”
On the 20th October we held a Poetry Recital Evening at Oxted Library as part of the Bluehouse Festival. Those reciting their poems were among the poets picked for the Words in Focus book which will tour Surrey Libraries in the new year, published by Hurtwood Press. Our judges on the night, Adam Kammerling (pictured) and Greg Freeman picked Amanda Hodgkinson’s “On Seeing his Narrowboat for the First Time” as their favourite of the 25 that were recited.