Into Exile

As nineteenth century Poland’s
borders and peoples swirled
in tumultuous upheavals with
fast shifting eddies landowners
sent bailiffs with stock whips
to drive their peasant tenants
to their three chartered
seagoing ships at the port.

Cracking whips herded this
human flock on board these
vessels separating kith from
kin, young from old, children
from parents. Crossing ten
thousand miles of ocean
for three months they were
offloaded at Taranaki’s
port in New Zealand with
only the clothes they wore.

Reunited at last they started
their new life in rough
immigrants’ barracks. Their
new land had assisted ship’s
fares for farming labourers.

There was no money for
homeward fares to their
faraway homeland where
their  homes no longer stood.

Into Exile

9 thoughts on “Into Exile

    1. Thank you. I realise now that you have no name for me and have preferred to give me one. I am actually called Glenys Doull. I was blogging on Tumblr for a while where we used blog names rather than our own names. I did not set up this blog with my own name as it did not occur to me. But clearly it does to you. I enjoy reading your blog posts about your garden and home region.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Similar things happened in the highland clearances in the 19th century, but there seems to be more awareness of those so I wrote about the Polish peasants instead. Getting rid of the impoverished working classes was a popular strategy with the wealthy classes back then, like “transporting” convicts to Australia for very petty crimes. Australia and New Zealand had the added bonus of being so far away that only the successful “migrants” could buy fares back to Europe. I have a few more poems to post on the ghastly things that hapened to the poor in the nineteenth century.

      Liked by 1 person

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