This poem started-off as a song. I have a trilly little voice, but a very supportive guitarist, Suzie, and we sometimes present programs of my Newcastle folk-songs. There is a perennial joke that goes the rounds in Newcastle; 'I was born overseas.' Glance at my Clickpicks page and you will see that 'overseas' means 'in Stockton'. The ferry scuttles backwards and forwards all day over the Hunter River, slicing the journey between the suburb and the city by at least half an hour. The trip takes about five minutes, which doesn't leave much time for romance. But sometimes………..
ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS!
Newcastle to Stockton? Five minutes!
We scarcely sit down but we're there!
The ferry goes backwards and forwards
And it's cheap with a Pensioners' fare.
But I'll tell you a story of romance
That blossomed on board.....only just!
Get a tissue if you're sentimental.
And remember! It's love and not lust!
She was riding one day on the ferry,
A totally humdrum event.
She didn't much care where she'd come from,
She didn't much care where she went.
She'd had a bad day at the office;
She really felt dead on her feet,
So she found an obscure little corner
And simply sagged down in her seat.
He was standing alone when she saw him,
Just staring out over the rail.
His shoulders were slumped and dejected
As though he were going to gaol.
He half-turned his head and he saw her.
Their eyes seemed to lock in the glance
And she suddenly found that her sad little heart
Was doing a spirited dance.
In a trice, they were over in Stockton,
But she simply stayed in her seat.
She just couldn't walk to the gang-plank!
Her heart was still missing a beat!
Then he came and sat down right beside her,
As the ferry-boat set off once more,
And they sat, without words, as the ship sailed
For the city they'd left just before.
It was backwards and forwards they travelled,
And, although you may think it absurd,
They went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,
And they never said one single word!
Then, just a they pulled into Stockton,
And she'd made up her mind she must land,
He drew in his breath with a sort of a gasp
And just made a grab for her hand!
Now they travel a lot on the ferry,
And the kids often come with their bikes,
And they walk and they swim and they picnic,
For that's what the family likes.
And, often, they share silent laughter,
As they think of that long-ago day,
And when they sail over from Stockton
He still holds her hand all the way.