Northwords Now Issue 37

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Rowing a St. Ayles Skiff

Portsoy Coastal Rowing Club, 14.05.2018

by Ian Crockatt

‘Quine’ wings it through waves, and us
hauling her oars through headstrong squalls,
mimicking the ancient mechanism of flight.

Pivot of hips, lower backs swaying
as synchronised blades rise, arms straight
for the pull till the last ten per cent

as we skim the dark surface, flight-feathers
red-tipped, the strong quills
of them gleaming with varnish. We

are the muscle and mind of her, our quine
that wings over horizons and back again,
delight behind every rowers’ taut lips

as her prow enters that strait in the brain     
where joy is digested, and life-pain.