Kevin Pyne :: The Mantra

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The gig rower’s mantra or prayer

Oh you who are great pilot all I would ask of you
Is that you keep my oar in time
And the gig I row run on straight and true 

Then let my catches be so clean
That not a splash shows
Where it has cleaved into the sea so green

Please also let me use the power within my blade
To fully drive it past any puddle
That I and my crew have this day made

And yet may the finish be so clean
That the gig does not rock or lose speed
Not even for a millisecond in between

Whilst all the time the thole pins click
And grown
And yet never the one do I bust of snap
Nor a crab I catch 
As I turn each mark and head for home 

After which if ever a decision goes against me
May I be generous in my defeat?
And willingly salute the victors whoever they be!

For the beach is never the place to argue
Or insinuations to “fester and maul”
But let us “have then out on the water the next time”
And show them whose the best” one and all”  

All whilst I am honour bound to teach
Then pass on the skills which I might have
Making the teaching of others
Just as much a part of the sport
As is a pint or two on the way home or a bit
Of singing with the gigger girls and lads   

Then last of all may I never ever forget
That the gig is the steed which carries me
So quickly along where ever I might go
Therefore I must “clean and carefully prepare it”
Before ever it is I think of “the needs of myself”
For “I am only ever as good as the pilot gig I row” 


And there never ever should be such as
As thing as “oh I can’t row oar out left”
Or “I can’t row out right”
Because a good rower can row wherever
The situation affords that they might  

And if you stand the oars up keep the blades
At the bottom
Or lay them down so as to keep the sand
Of the leathers
Then the chances are that gig will bring you home
What ever the weather  

Mind you a boat that is a hundred
Should look as good as a boat that’s “brand new”
So keep the rocker blocked up perfect
And if you are afraid to gather around her
Or “bunk off” when its time to get your feet wet
Then gig racing is probably not in fact for you

(C) Kevin Pyne 2010

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