A Convict Branded Poem by sylvia spencer

A Convict Branded

Rating: 5.0

Crammed in like cattle on a diat of biscuits and water.
Straight out of Newgate like lambs being led to slaughter.
Sentenced to deportation for stealing a loaf of bread, but
trufully they would have been off dead.
If the sea did not get them the the journey would, but they
only stole for their livelyhood.
Sea sickness, fever and on rolled the waves, in a great wide
ocean and to some it became their graves. Not one of them knowing
what the journey would unfold, but these were child convicts and
they had to do what they were told.
This a journey that took months if not a year, and in all that time
living in constant fear. The fear of being birched and left with
marks and at the end of it all, was the question of sharks.
Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, just constanly sick as the
ship rolled from side to side. Waves so high almost touching
the sky, and what came next; just do or die.
The Mother Land seemed so far way, but with hope in their hearts
they would return someday.
A far distant shore and a convict branded, but that never bothered
the few that had landed.
A strange land, a baron land and no one there to lend a hand.
They done the crime so they had to do their time, from six in the
morning untill way past nine.
Treated like slaves on a far distant shore, Im'e sure God forgave
them for breaking the law.

Nalini Hebbar 30 September 2006

sylvia...the boat people and many like them...i hope they find peace...love...nalini

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Kelly Allen Vinal 01 October 2006

Outstanding poem on the very unusual topic of exile! Brilliant!

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Lisa Wilkinson 11 October 2006

Superb Sylvia, knew I'd get round to reading it in the end. Very descriptive and true. Lisa

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Scarlett Treat 09 October 2006

Rose, you have a certain knack for taking a bit of history, something so broad that it blows the mind, and you bring it down into something so personal, just one person, and show how he survived ro keep going. Beautifully done, my little history teacher! !

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Duncan Wyllie 08 October 2006

Seems like such a high price to pay, This is so well written, Thankyou Sis..Love duncan X

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Patrick Ladbrooke 03 October 2006

Out of this darkness came Australia. A fine take on crime and punishment in the era, but echoes to today, where the pendulum has swung the other way, and law allows criminals to get away with murder and often the innocents are punished by default. A few minor edits (spells) required, did not in ayway detract from the flow and power of the poem. Patrick xx

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Sandra Fowler 02 October 2006

Sylvia, an awesome write. Your talented word painting brings the plight of these unfortunate souls to life. I am very touched. Love from your sister and friend, Sandra

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