Polly

Writings and Witterings


64 Comments

Ten Pound Poms

The skyline of the Sydney central business dis...

Crowds line

the docks in

the nineteen fifties,

Waiting to sail to

a new land, they’re thrifty;

They’ve paid just a tenner to

get on the ship

And want a lot

more than just a round trip.

A land called

Australia

arouses their dreams,

They think with

nostalgia of Britain, it seems.

Passports in hands, papers

in luggage,

They yearn for

the new world,

 new life,

new mortgage.

They spurn

the old world, the doled world, the cold world,

They are excited,

celebrating …

migrating.

Citizenship promised after

only one year,

And warmth, their skin,

bones, eyes become

clear.

Some will be famous in

due course, perhaps,

The new life that beckons is

free of all traps,

And they dream of fame on

 the stage or in

government,

The future is bright and

there will be betterment,

The scheme

extends

 to other nations,

Many, it seems,

seek a change of

location.

‘Please stay for two years or

refund the money,’

This is the land

of beer

and dunny.

Going to work in a new place,

With a

new face,

Without trace,

Australia.

Polly Robinson © 2013

The new structure for this poem came out of the Arvon residential I attended in November 2012. I think it rather effective and would value your comments. It’s also posted to dVerse poets tonight as it’s about new beginnings, just right for the New Year.


37 Comments

A Song for Two Voices

‘Like you with your birth mother,
‘Times were very different then,
‘Dad never saw her again.

‘He had a daughter, that was OK,
‘But his wife went to Australia to get away …
‘The bloke she met adopted the child.

‘She was the one considered ‘wild’
‘In the UK, before she shot off for ten quid,
‘Do you think that extreme, just to have a kid?’

‘Women couldn’t have kids unless they were wed.’

‘Christ! That attitude makes me see red!’

‘Mums’ bore the stigma of unwedded birth,
‘The product of love, the cause of sick smirks.
‘Do not judge, but rather try to understand,
‘Birth mothers could not, would not make a stand.
‘You’ve seen the TV series about long lost families
‘Could you deny having a child? Ha! My lovelies,
‘Times change so quickly, it’s ironic,
‘What went on then, is now almost mythic.’

‘She must miss you even if she is still in denial’

‘Maybe she’s not maternal, simply not loyal,’

‘She thinks of you each year on your birthday,
‘It’s unavoidable, come what may …’

‘But what if she doesn’t?’

Polly Robinson © 2012

Claudia’s great prompt for dVerse Poetics tonight is about letting go.


7 Comments

Ten Pound Migration

You may have seen the poem that I called Ten Pound Poms for the Australian (Bowlesian) Sonnet on K. McGee’s blog; I’m enjoying trying out these new [to me at least!] forms … but have to admit that I find some of them rather constraining.  Not entirely happy with my best efforts at putting my thoughts into the Australian Sonnet, I have rewritten the poem as I might have written it without the form in mind and I’ve re-titled it too to differentiate between the two of them.  I’d love to have your thoughts on which you prefer and why … this aspect of writing intrigues me … form is fascinating, but here, my own voice wanted to break free and I just couldn’t leave it alone.

Australia

Ten Pound Migration

By Polly Robinson

Crowds line the docks in the nineteen fifties,
Waiting to sail to a new land, they’re thrifty;
They’ve paid just a tenner to get on the ship
And want a lot more than just a round trip.
A land called Australia arouses their dreams,
They think with nostalgia of Britain, it seems.
Passports in hands, papers in luggage,
They yearn for the new world, new life, new mortgage.
They spurn the old world, the doled world, the cold world,
They are excited, celebrating …
Migrating.
Citizenship promised after only one year,
And warmth, their skin, bones, eyes become clear,
Some will be famous in due course perhaps,
The new life that beckons is free of all traps,
And they dream of fame on the stage or in government,
The future is bright and there will be betterment,
The scheme extends to other nations,
Many, it seems, seek a change of location,
“Please stay for two years or refund the money,”
This is the land of milk and honey.
Going to work in a new place,
Where they’re a new face,
Without trace,
Australia.

Polly Robinson © 2012


2 Comments

Ten Pound Poms

This week K. McGee is focusing on the Australian (Bowlesian) Sonnet; I’m enjoying trying out these new [to me at least!] forms … here is my attempt.

Orient Liner

Lining the docks in the fifties, awaiting,
Going to work, in a new land, Australia,
Thinking about the old land with nostalgia,
Yearning for new, spurning the old, migrating.

Citizenship after one year’s residing,
Warmth heals ailments, as health improved they blossomed.
The Gibbs and Gillard gaped as wide-eyed possums
And dreamt of singing or about presiding.

The scheme was extended to other countries
Like Malta, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey,
‘Please stay for two years or refund the money’.
Make the most of the time, all it embodies.

Going to work in a new land, Australia.
Boomerang Poms return with much nostalgia.

Polly Robinson © 2012