Weekly Rowing Poem: On the rowing clubhouse wall

Weekly rowing poem from a Rowperfect reader – Kevin Pyne.  His lyrical and ironic poem touches on the transience of life, marked by a Senior B Men’s Rowing Crew who never made it through  WWI.

On the rowing clubhouse wall
There is a picture
Of four lads and a coxswain
Before it is that wartime
Came their so young way
They were pals
Who all loved the noble art?
Of rowing
Especially after a gruelling day
 
It says their names in order
From the bowman
Right down to the fit looking
So young stroke
After which the word coxswain
Is abbreviated to cox
In recognition of he who was
A gutsy cheeky little bloke
 
It is dated as being in the
Summer of nineteen fourteen
Before it is they all
Went away
It is entitled in copper script
Men’s senior B fours
As none of them would live
Through the Great War 
To become in fact the senior A
 
Now you might ask why
We need ware our poppies
And what does that which
Has gone on in the past mean
To one such as you
But just remember you are
Free to go when and where
You want to
Because of those other
Now long lost but not forgotten
Rowing crews
 
And did they die as airmen
Soldiers or sailors
Who is there alive now that  
Might say
Save nothing but a battered
Old silver trophy
That just says for the boys
Who never made it?
But should have been
In time the men’s senior A      

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