Wednesday, December 15, 2010




Hail to thee, thou Vespa, with thy thrilling zoom,
Swooping down the city streets yelling out 'Make room!'
You sped right through my girlhood with your sophistication!
Riding one was the very height of juvenile elation!
Thy colours! And thy sleekness! The fact that thou wast cheap!
Thy honking horn designed to wake the whole world from its sleep!
Forget about old Mr Ford and his well-known Model T,
That little 'Italian job' was just the vehicle for me!
Hail to thee, thou Vespa, thou Prince among transporters!
Part of the folk-memory of the fifties' sons and daughters!


I scribbled this little verse when I was on my recent cruise. When I worked on a cruise-ship in the 1960s one of the joys was having visitors swarming all over the ship when we were in port. When the ship was due to sail they were advised to leave! Now, however, a cruise ship is as hard to get into as Fort Knox. It made me a little sad.


'All Ashore who's going ashore!' Remember that pronouncement?
When all the visitors on board obeyed the ship's announcement?
I recall life was relaxed in 1964
When visitors swarmed everywhere and then returned to shore.
Everyone from everywhere was free to come on board;
Friends and strangers chatted; security was ignored.
We didn't really understand 'security' as such.
The world was much more trusting and now it's changed so much.
'No visitors allowed' of course, and each passenger is frisked,
Checked and photographed as well. Our well-being's not risked.
Electronic gizmos block our way; our passports are perused.
We're in a kind of fortress where we cannot be abused.
We're safe inside our little world, but I still long to hear
'All ashore who's going ashore!'
Ringing out loud and clear.



Nanka said...

We still get to see a few of that kind and similar ones too here and popular as a ladies transporter :D

Sylvia K said...

Great ones for the V Day as always, Brenda! Love that Vespa! Surely brought back some fun memories! Hope your week is going well!


geraldgee said...

Long live the Vespa and all those who sailed after her.

Gigi Ann said...

What a creative and clever writer you are Brenda. I enjoyed both of your poems today. And it is rather sad that everywhere we go today we find cameras, or security guards.. we live in a very different world then we did in the 60s, I so agree with you.

Roger Owen Green said...

I have this vague covetous feeling towards a Vespa.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

EG CameraGirl said...

I bet it was fun (and economical) to ride about on a Vespa.

How sad the times have changed, I agree. I think our quality of life has gone downhill now that we trust no one.

photowannabe said...

Totally delightful verse.
I am in awe of people that can blend their words into something interesting.

Shail Raghuvanshi said...

Brenda, nice one. Enjoyed it...