life and living

nature

concrete poetry

 

 

AFTERMATH:  WRECK OF THE PORPOISE

 Yard by desperate yard we hauled,
backs straining at the oars.
From Wreck reef we swiftly fled
towards Port Jackson’s shore.

The sun upon our sails set red
behind the alien eucalypts
where Indians danced like kangaroos
and fled from us although we stripped

 and bore no arms. The sea ran high:
against us winds both light and foul.
At length we reached a shallow cove,
slept there ashore. Though thunder growled

 the sails protected us from squalls.
Frustrated by baffling winds we rowed.
Day twelve we sighted Broken Bay,
crowded all sail for Sydney town.

 
Men and charts upon Wreck reef bank,
two-fifty leagues in an open boat,
understand then reader how we felt,
our pleasure at entering our destined port.

Lynette M. Arden

This poem is based on the incidents described by Matthew Flinders relating to the wreck of the Porpoise, (the vessel in which he was attempting to return to England in order to seek a replacement for the Investigator) and his subsequent voyage in a small boat down the east coast of Australia to seek rescue. Some words and phrases are drawn directly from his journal, such as his use of Indians to describe the aboriginal tribes they encountered. The last line is a quotation from Matthew Flinders.

 

 

life and living

nature

concrete poetry


All art work and written material on the site remain Copyright of the author:

Lynette M. Arden 2002 - 2003