JEAN

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WOMAN OF THE BONNETS

I am looking at you, Jean,

searching for this woman of the bonnets,

an Irish colleen, whose life appeared

to bring her nought but trouble.

Across the water from Antrim

you stood in the Glasgow dock,

accused, again, this time of theft.

The sentence harsh,

Transportation,

seven years,

relegated to the south of the world,

no hope of return for you - or your son.

What brought you to this?

Poverty? Neglect?

 

And on Van Diemen's landed shores,

what now?

You were a fiery girl,

fed on bread and water for your antics,

your insubordination,

your flouting of the set rules.

In the cells, did punishment cool you?

I think not.

And then came James, and children...

Where did Joseph go? Poor lad.

Ah, Jean, if only you could know,

for all the ruffles on life's sea,

an ocean of people followed you,

your wake diverse and stretching

long and wide.

To this day, they, unperturbed,

and perhaps with a chuckle,

take pride in the heritage you gave them,

as they think of you,

knowing their connections reach far back,

to an Isle of green.

Rose Frankcombe © September 19, 2012

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BLACKNESS AND BLOOD

 

James, you man of transportation,

uprooted from your place of birth,

of family, of familiarity,

of lime-burning,

of Lymington,

sailed across the seas for fourteen years.

How were you to know your new Master

would be cruel, dealing lashes,

orders drifting from his lips,

spitting like confetti over a bride.

And even when you uprose,

spoke out against the cruel instigator,

your words were lost in the flim-flam

of status versus non-entity,

hierarchy against entrapped.

Your blood flowed for your trouble,

your insurrection crushed,

flogged into obedience

in the black days of penalty.

 

Rose Frankcombe © October 4, 2012

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NAKED

 

The truth lies naked

on the pages of the journal

open on the table of life.

The truth tells its own tale,

in short missives

condemning the 'wrong doer'

to a life far from the

raw streets of home.

 

The truth lies naked,

bared for all who seek it,

written in faded copperplate,

powdered lapis lazuli

once a vibrant blue -

and once the 'errant'

was also vibrant,

until the indelible script

brought undoing

and set dreams fading

like the ink on the page.

 

Rose Frankcombe © November 11, 2013

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