It’s #worldpoetryday

A poem from my cousin Gina to her father’s memory reminds me that I tried my hand at a few verses about the old time travellers

a bit ambitious for someone who never really did ‘get in to’ poetry, but here goes!

Feathered spats, flowing mane, tail a flicking
Clip-clop, snort, fart, whinney, the patient grai
Trundles my painted vardo
On the one-way road to Destiny.
For life is not a carousel.

Shining metal monster comes on puffed up with pride
It smells of coal, sour steam and oil.
Struts steaming on the road.
Its whistle blows. ‘Out of my way.’
Its mighty pistons menace

But naught can spook my vanner.
He’s earned himself some rest;
Crops grasses at the roadside,
As, chugging self-importance,
The thing goes huffing past.
Or as a sort of haiku moment:
Steam-belching Behemoth
Blocks pinto-powered vardo.
And my vanner calmly g(r)azes.

Having managed the above, I stumbled on the idea of trying to adapt John Masefields poem, Sea Fever, to Gypsy life at the end of the 19C. This might have been how Keomi might have expressed it, soon after she left Sandys and returned to the Romany life. I know it’s sort of cheating (like my version of Blake’s Tyger)
Tyger Tyger’s burning plight … Is thy mortal end in sight? ….. Will our human hand and eye…. See thee in the cimetrie?

but this is what I came up with:

On The Road
I must take to the road again, to the eternal whims of Fate,
And all I ask is my bow-top, and my patient vanner’s gait,
And the wheel’s kick and the bird song and the harnesses a shakin’,
And a chill mist on the barley, and a cool pink dawn a breakin’.

I must take to the road again, for the wanderlust of the Roma
Is a wild call and a clear call that never will be over.
And all I ask is a new day to bring its random treasures,
The pinto’s might, and the blown dust, and morning’s early pleasures.

I must take to the road again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the raven’s way and the pilgrim’s way, far from worldly strife.
And all I ask is a sweet song from my loving fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep, and a sweet dream, when my final day is over.

With apologies to John Masefield.


More of my writings on bill-macfarlane.co.uk

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