Great Southern Land


We sailed across the blue-green seas

To this Continent dry and blistering hot

‘Neath the light of the starry Southern Cross

Where the Eucalyptus trees lose their leaves not


We came to seek our fortune

It was waiting for us here

We toiled the hard arid soil

And tried to grow our daily meal


We carried on ship a few local sheep

Those which survived the journey we did keep

And so began the tradition of stock farming

Which kept us all from the threat of starving


We left families behind in England

And started new ties here in good time

Children came one to six

But we lost three - the devil’s pick


Our sheep stock grew and we sheared wool

We chased off the grey and big red kangaroos

Since grass was scarce and often sun scorched

And there was little water when nature took its course


Droughts came and went over the years

There were floods on our land which brought tears

We learned to survive each day with little at hand

Why did we not learn from the Natives of this land?


The sun does rise and set every day

It holds no grudges against man or beast

We lived in harmony in this Great Southern Land

Thankful for the fortunate life we sailed here to seek


© Copyright Maria D'Alessandro 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 10 comments

Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

Incredible hub ... this tells a story... and a feel for the the travellers.

This is a very great read...Maria... you have outdone yourself!!!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Marie this wonderful. poem ...blessings ... Debbie


scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

@ Laurinzo - thank you dear friend for appreciating my writing.

@ Deborah - many thanks for dropping by again to read my poem


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Maria this is just beautiful. Made me think of my parents and how they felt escaping from their homeland and eventually going to the U.S. Your very words captured that emotion of a time when you must become an immigrant for one reason or another. Lots of other Latvians also chose to go to Australia. Passing this on.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....with a title to die for - it has such a great title for a novel and then the adaptation into a film - yes this is a rich cinematic read which is highlighted by your strong poetic suit in narrative writing and it takes me to a time and a place in my evocative mind thanks to your words of passion and adventure ...... waiting with bated breath to see what VM thinks of this - are you too twins? - you compliment each other so well with your formidable writing styles - me, I am just a maverick, untrained and raw like a balloon in mid-air loosing all of its air.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

are you too twins? lol - I meant to say my queen of proper english - are you two twins? that's what happens when you don't put enough cream in your morning coffee - lol lol


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

What a great introduction to your "Great Southern Land" I felt the wind on my face, the taste and smell of the salt in the air as my ship sailed on your blue green sea to reach the southern cross and feel and see the blistering heat that is this land. A parcel of land we worked, ploughing, planting and harvesting the fruits of the land so given to us from this parched earth. Starvation avoided the sheep we did keep and the wool was so fine to weave into garments . A family we did raise and though the devil took three the others were the bounty we did cherish and with them thrive.

Sheep herders we became and learned along the way to become stock farmers, though tested by dryness and droughts we survived through sheer determination and hard work with our hands. The Kangaroo and man became known to each other and together they survived in your great Southern Land.

Maria I was moved by this wonderful expression of leaving England for an adventure of a lifetime. So many of our ancestors left behind everything to seek fortunes not fame in strange lands they had no idea what awaited them. My great, great, great, grandfather left Yorkshire England in 1754 and with his young Irish wife they sailed to the unknown east coast of Canada and settled and farmed the land. I am from a farmers stock, I understand this beautiful work you produced here.

Epigramman in some ways we can be twins, our imagery, thoughts and imagery seem to have similar patterns. Maria is a great poet as are you my friend. We just work with different ebbs and flows and genres. You are a master at your craft and yes indeed a maverick, but heck nothing wrong with that. You create magic with your audience, they thirst for more and you keep delivering like the energizer bunny you are. Keep up the great writing and congratulations on once again being rewarded as the best poet at the hubs, two years in a row. I respect and admire your talent Colin. Hugs to Maria and Colin, I appreciate you both.


DFiduccia profile image

DFiduccia 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Maria,

Although this theme is a switch for you, you’ve done a great job of telling a historical story via poetry. I really enjoyed this creative work. It clearly demonstrates another side of you.

…voted up—DF


scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

@ Gypsy - thanks for sharing your family story. My parents are Italian and emigrated to Australia in 1958 seeking a better life from the desperate poverty they had always known. I have often thought how difficult it would be for me to leave my family, friends and country to live in a far away unfamiliar land. What courage it must have taken. Even more courage was required to remain in a new country, become a citizen and begin a new life forsaking one's past life in the "old country".


scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

@ Epigramman - Oh Epi my Epi - thanks for your rave review as always. You're my favourite maverick aka "energizer bunny" here on Hubpages! Great imagery right there. LOL It's no wonder you keep winning awards. I too congratulate you for your recognition.

@ Vincent - many thanks for your rave review and kind words to Epi. Your comments are infinitely wonderful to read. Thanks also for sharing your family immigration experience. I too am from a farming background in that my parents and their forbears were subsistance farmers back in Italy. My 88 year old father still "farms" the back yard growing a variety of vegetables and fruits. I've always had freshly grown food to eat for the last 50years now LOL.

@ DFiduccia - You are right to observe that I moved out of my comfort zone with this poem. I'm glad I could do it although I wasn't sure what to expect. It pays to just go ahead and try something new occasionally. You never know what you might discover. Many thanks for dropping by.

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