World Poetry Day

I ran away to sea many years ago.  In 1969 I arrived in London as an economic migrant and went to register with the “Aliens Office”.  P&O Lines Ltd had offered me a job as a WAP (Woman Assistant Purser) and I joined my first ship, the Arcadia.  The small flags on my blue uniform jacket and white dresses showed that I could speak Dutch, French and German to all the European passengers who were going to start a new life in Australia and New Zealand.

The haiku below was first published in the 2004 Members’ Anthology of the British Haiku Society.  The theme that year was “Other”.

down on the quayside

the band playing; their faces

already smaller

Happy World Poetry Day!


3 thoughts on “World Poetry Day

  1. hp

    My uncle emigrated to Australia in the early 1970s, but he left from the UK so I guess he wasn’t on one of your ships. Then again, it would be amazing if you were on the same ship as him!
    I recently received some old photos, one of them included their ship going through the Suez Canal on its way to Australia.


  2. hp

    Actually, I just looked through the photos again, and I had made 2 mistakes:
    – They emigrated to Australia on ORONSAY (!), and looking at the dates on the back of the photos, it seems that they travelled between September 1962 – January 1963.
    – I made a mistake about the Suez Canal – it actually said “Sydney Cove” – a photo in front of Oronsay when they arrived.

    In any case, it seems that you did work on the same ship they emigrated on! However, they had travelled in 1962-3, but you worked on Oronsay I guess in the early 70s.
    It’s a small world 🙂



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s