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MEMORIES OF AN AUSTRALIAN CHILDHOOD

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Below is the poem entitled MEMORIES OF AN AUSTRALIAN CHILDHOOD which was written by poet Gerry Dawson. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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MEMORIES OF AN AUSTRALIAN CHILDHOOD

From England's dark blackout
We came to these shores
I and my siblings
In refuge from war.
How enchanted we were
With all we saw.

First Sydney's fine harbour
And her bridge of one span
Then the azure blue sea
The long beaches of sand
The beautiful city lit up at night
To our youthful eyes a wondrous sight.

The Aussie soldier in his famous slouch hat
The long train journey to the far outback
The Cockies screech the Kookaburra's cackle
New sights and sounds for my brain to tackle.
The grazing sheep the fields of wheat
The fun of the master the blistering heat
The long hot summers with respite at the sea
Where we swam and surfed in unspoilt glee.

School days were spent in city or mountain retreat
Strict was the discipline our uniforms neat.
Happy the friendships spacious the grounds
Nuns telling rosary beads flitting around.
With firmness and patience they taught us well
Recreation was announced by the tolling bell.

Oh the joy when the holidays came
What fun we had on the old school train.
It trundled along past wilga and gum
Past meandering creeks and billabongs
Past Emus grazing and Roos hopping along
Through wide open spaces rich in bird song.

At the graceful homestead with veranda surround
Stood the welcoming grandmother so recently found.
With parents far off she gave care and love
How proud we were of her pioneer blood.
She cooked and scrubbed and chopped the wood
She could do everything she really could.

But tragedy stuck
With her soldier son killed.
She grieved and withered and lost her will.
No longer in her life
Would he take part
Months later she died of a broken heart.

There came a time when with many tears
I bade farewell to this life so dear.
I had no choice I had to go.
The years passed on
I missed it all so.

This time when I came
I touched down by plane.
New visions flood my startled brain
Australia I find is absorbed in change
it makes me feel so very strange.

The laid back Aussie with his old world charm
A computer wiz now and amazingly calm.
The coastline is cluttered highrises abound
The noise of the traffic an ugly sound.
But the song of the Bellbird is still a wonder
It soothes my senses as I ponder.

For no land on earth has so much to offer.
So I’ll settle here I will not hover.
Perhaps the maternal ancestors smile from above.
For at last I'm here In the land they loved.
And I'll spend the twilight of my years
In this country I've always held so dear.

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