Frank McEleny


Growing Up In Greenock - Poem by Frank McEleny

The Broomy it was home to me
In a different time and place
My mind drifts back to long ago
And brings a smile upon my face

Bruno's chips and tick fae Pat
And lard from the butchers shop
The Broomhill Bar and tally vans
Which Bruno always tried to stop

Snowball fights in winter-time
And sledges racin doon the hill
And snowmen seen in every green
And extra socks to fight the chill

In summertime the days were long
We wandered far and we were free
To climb the hills and walk the cut
As long as we were hame for tea

Fitba games and soldiers too
And curby on the street
And tennis at the Mill St Park
And youth clubs where we would meet

Morton games and Morton rolls
And pies and Bovril too
The Cowshed boys and Dublin end
They all come into view

Drunken men with change for weans
And fights ootside the pub
Fish and chips and carry oots
Now where's the joy, ah there's the rub

Nick-names runnin through ma mind
Reminds me of so many friends
Some-how faded in the mists of time
When did our names come to an end?

There was Squid and Elmo, big Slim too
Snooper, Scally, Paw and Sire
Now all the names have ceased to be
In time these alias's retire

There was railroad tracks and chooky hens
And rope-works in dis-repair
Harry Friels and the Murdy dam
Ye dare not swim in there

The Mavy boys would come to fight
Brave men would hold the line
Carry oots up the Broomy park
And beer washed doon wi wine

We raided orchards, climbed for cheggy's
And always looked for old pram wheels
In darken cellers and scrapyards too
With watch-dogs snappin at oor heels

Only the bravest of the brave
Would race doon Mount Pleasant St
But that's where bravery was born
To survive was no mean feat

Golf baw divin up the Beezy
Only attempted when hot and breazy
And when a Strojan wid appear
We ran doon hills, laughin wi fear

Commando courses through the backs
Faces blackened in the night
Through Lemon, Lime and Pine St too
And the man would shout ' Go on ya wee shite'

A portion o chips bought wi bottles
Ah they never tasted so sweet
Around every corner they might be found
Lemonade bottles in the street

Chips for yer tea every night
With a quarter of spam, what a joke
And ma mother never fails to correct me
'It wisnae spam, it was chopped ham and pork'

And when asked for a raise for her keep
My sister replied with alarm
'Five extra pounds a week
For two extra slices of spam? '

And now we look through rose coloured glasses
At all our childhood days gone by
Days that are gone and lost forever
We look in the mirror and we give a sigh

But look again and shut your eyes
Can you hear the children play?
These days are gone, but in your heart
They're never very far away


Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem is about growing up in Scotland in the 60s and 70s.

Comments about Growing Up In Greenock by Frank McEleny

  • Adeline Foster (8/28/2012 3:51:00 PM)


    Ah yes! Liked this poem, wrote something like it. Read mine - I Cannot Return -
    Adeline
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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012



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