Thursday, August 10, 2006

Gin scribblings of yore


We stood in trust in tidal bay
our youth laying fears to waste
a-cockling was the sport of days
but never done in haste

As waters fell, we made advance
our small feet lightening mud
trousers rolled above rubber boots
to cleave what once was flood

Lizzy, sister, sturdy picker
and me with giant's bucket, faced
the steam of leaving banks, in time
to join the cockle race

We watched with keener eyes than most
for motes that pointed there
the smallest nuance, the bravest dash
that would bring our quarry near

Our dad said 'there!', he knew these things
his childhood passing from
a time well spent in freedom's realm
and one that we'd take on

We dug the mazing, cloying sludge
for Scappies, Dawgs and Jans
I preferred the Brownie chaps
that were cooked in floured pans

The hours ticked, and silently
we listened to the knell
of tiding clocks that struck the end
of hunting the barbarous
cockle shell


Kay Cooke said...

I love the last two stanzas in particular - though it is all wonderful ... what great memories and so well captured! (That second-last stanza is particularly strong ...)

Unknown said...

I thank you.
This is still a wonderful memory for me, although I can no longer stomach the cockles!!