From my home across our road, to Claremont Gardens in one gate and out through another

Down Grove Road to descend that hill, my hand clasped tightly by my mother.

Perched on the landing stage, before me the long river flowed to the sea.

From Harts boatyard, varnish and engine oil smells all about me

A flotilla of sailing boats, motor launches and rowing eights all afloat

Across the Thames, our ferryman rowed with two oars in his small green boat

Behind the far bank tow path, trees tall and wide emerge above a perimeter fence

For the first time in this my short life, I had now emerged from my nursery of pretence

Through that hidden gate, along the narrow path to take the entrance to Home Park

Up a grassy slope to the pond where my new toy yacht, its virgin voyage to embark

A further step to the long water stretching for one mile to the palace at Hampton Court

A new playground, a wider world discovered, I had now departed from my childhood port.