Friday, March 18, 2011

I Wonder.....

I WONDER......

I took this casual little shot several years ago.
I think it was Australia Day, when we always have a show.
There's a Jumping Castle, reflected in the lake.
Did I take the waiting group of people by mistake?
I really can't remember, I only know that they
Were queueing to swear allegiance on their very special day.
They were going to become Australians; the Lord Mayor would do the deed;
They had a set of promises, on a special card, to read.
Now, leafing through my photographs, looking for a Reflection,
I give this group of dark-skinned folk a particular inspection....
Have they been treated kindly? Or have they been ignored?
What sort of 'new life' have these New Australians scored?
Are they finding life quite hard? Are they unemployed?
Do they wish they'd never come or are they overjoyed?
There are racists in Australia; that's, very sadly, true.
And, in my city of Newcastle, other 'Africans' are few.
But I was an immigrant once, myself, and..... forgive me if I brag.....
I think the flag in the photograph is a very worthwhile flag!


We were driving through the country-side
When 'Stop here!' everybody cried.
And that was when we parked beside
A London Bus!
Not bright and shiny, startling red,
But battered and pale green instead.
'Wish it could talk' somebody said;
'That London Bus.'
Did it once ply those London streets,
Passing Bobbies on their beats,
Carrying pimps and thieves and cheats,
That London Bus?
Then, did it grow a little old,
So it was left out in the cold,
And, finally, tragically, it was sold,
That London Bus?
Then, did a slouch-hat business-man,
Come with a quite convenient plan,
To lengthen the life with a further span
For that London Bus?
'I'll take it to old Sydney Town,
Where it can still run up and down!
Maybe I'll even paint it brown!
That London Bus!'
And did they put it on a ship,
For a very long and arduous trip,
With many a rise and deep-wave dip,
That London Bus?
Did it traverse another city
Where people thought it very pretty,
Though not bright red, and more's the pity,
That London Bus.
Then, I suppose, came Farmer Giles,
When it had driven a million miles;
'I'll take it on' he said with smiles;
That London Bus.
'What a good hen-house it will make!
Though the Australian sun will bake,
And it may meet the occasional snake!
That London Bus.
But soon there came insidious rust.
The Farmer stomped his foot and cussed.
'I'll let it rot, because I must,
That London Bus.'
That's how we saw it, high and dry,
Mocked by the people passing by,
What a slow old, terrible way to die
For a London Bus.
But sometimes I'm sure its windows gleam
When, in reverie it starts to dream
Of London streets where people teem,
That London Bus.

We had two lively days on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. On Wednesday we returned to Wallsend Library, where Peter has his Exhibition, for a special Speakers' Group meeting in his honour. I used to belong to the group and I'm thinking of rejoining, but only one day a month. We had a pleasant lunch as Peter sketched one of the Editors from the paper, and regaled us with stories of his career.

Peter sketching Tony and speechifying at the same time.

In the evening I went with friends Pam and Betty to a tiny theatre in town where the evening show was dedicated to the female Irish Convicts of  the settlement years. We had an Italian meal beforehand, which wasn't very apt but we enjoyed it. We found the first half not too stimulating but afterwards the guitarist above sang some of her own songs and also told tales about the feisty women who defied all odds to create a community, and she was excellent. When we came out it was pelting with rain and we were three drowned rats by the time we reached our car. 

Yesterday we enjoyed a barbecue lunch at a nearby park. The weather wass delightfully cool and grey. Here is Malcolm enjoying a glass of wine.

I asked him to take a photo of me with the grey sea in the background but it seems cars dominated.

Finally, a shot for Mike, who enjoyed his Lamingtons when he was out here. We had these home-made ones as a treat at the barbecue , but these had a ginger flavour, which I think he would have enjoyed.


Gaurang Rao said...

Nice Poetry. Finer Friday 2 has been put up at

mike ansell said...

Those Lamingtons look wonderful, Brenda. Perfect, after an 'Aussie' meat pie, and a glass of Hunter Valley Shiraz !
I liked your poem about the poor old double decker bus.
Ah. happy memories !
I'm still reading your blog every day. Keep up the good work.