Poetic Journal: 18 December 2017 ‘Yellow Sea Chest’

20 Dec

Day two of my December/January poetic journal. I still have the sea chest that my great grandmother brought with her to Australia from Ireland in the mid 19th century. As we tried to meet the baggage restrictions for the flight to Dublin I reflected on the luggage restrictions she faced.

 

Yellow Sea Chest 18/12/17

A per airline instructions
we have packed  two bags each
to travel 30 hours to Ireland.
We have left behind
my great grandmother’s
sea chest which contained
all her possessions when she travelled
from Cork to Sydney 150 years ago.
She had luggage restrictions as well
one sea chest for everything she wanted to keep
for her new life away from hunger and the British
(I have often wondered about the British
in the colonies but my grandfather said
it was a different oppression).

The sea chest has secret compartments
and pictures from the 1860s vanished onto boards
the leather straps have rotted away
and my grandfather painted it yellow
during the depression
“a bright colour to cheer things up”.
I have recently found that the curve top
meant that it had to be stacked on top
of the pile of cases in the hold
and indicated that my great grandmother
had a little more money than most.

.

.

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Over the coming few weeks I will be doing a bit of travelling on the other side of the world. I have decided to try and keep a small poetic journal to capture some of my observations and thoughts during this period. The poems aren’t complete or polished, please treat them more as observations or first drafts.

 

 

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3 Responses to “Poetic Journal: 18 December 2017 ‘Yellow Sea Chest’”

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