Categorized | Flinders Day 2011

Island Crier announces start of parade – but first a poem

The Island Crier reads out a poem by local resident Trevor Gillham, The Treasure Seekers, before announcing the parade’s commencement.

by Trevor Gillham 

Long long ago some black folk on a hill
gazed peacefully o’er the sea;
they’d had their fill
of oysters, whelks and berries.
Now they lay, cooled by the breeze
that rippled across the bay.

Suddenly a warrior gave a shout,
his fingers trembling
as he pointed out
“There, there” he cried,
“It’s risen from the sea”.
Then someone called,
It’s like a giant tree,
all twigs and branches
vines and flapping skin.
Hide quickly for I think
it’s coming in.”

They saw the “monster” stop.
Then, from the “demon’s” swaying side
a smaller “monster” came
with six thin legs
that moved it o’er the tide.
Closer, closer it came, and then,
they saw they were not legs
but paddles, pulled by men.

No “monster” this,
but just a big canoe
and in the stern
stood a man in white and blue,
He called “Pull hard me lads,
could be the treasure isle,
a pirates haul at last”.
He gave a smile

They thought of all the treasure
some pirates might have buried
beneath a palm, or big flat rock
so hard they pulled and hurried.

“Tis the sixth island” Matthew called,
“that we will search this day
now may it be the right one
let us pray.”
He drew his sword
and waved it in the sun.
“Pull hard you fools,
it’s got to be the one.”

The boat hit sand,
it twisted Matthew’s knee
then over he went
and landed in the sea.
He stood waist deep
his hat and wig were lost,
Dripping, he spluttered.
“You lot will bear the cost,
Now get ashore
and search without delay,
my hat and wig
will come out of your pay.”

And so they searched and dug,
but nothing found,
some “doggie” footprints
and some coloured ground.
Poor Matthew, it was not
what he had planned.
So, soaking wet, he played
with little mirrors on the sand.
“The bay is much too shallow,
it’s as far as we can reach,
we’ll call it “island number six”
Or maybe “Norfolk Beach.”

The black folk hiding on the hill
watched the strange men go.
They saw the black thing rise again,
The “monster” moved out slow.
Smaller and smaller,
against the sun,
they watched Matthew disappear,
and then they stood
and shook their fists
one even threw a spear.

But best of all was later
when around their fire they sat’
and a pretty girl smiled shyly
wearing Matthew’s wig and hat.

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