by Malcolm McMinn
At Gladstone Pottery the years roll back.
Just close your eyes and listen to the din
And smell the acrid smoke. What tragic ghosts
Still haunt these blackened walls? Do pretty girls
With blue rimmed gums still sit and paint while thin
Frail boys must toil from dawn ‘til dusk or earn
Their master’s clout? Men face infernal heat
To load and draw the greedy bottles. Old
Men, forty or less, cough blood, yet struggle on.
Meanwhile, rich ladies sip their tea and eat
Their cake, while showing off their fancy ware
With not an inkling of its proper cost.
The workers here knew hardship beyond measure;
Unknowing, we just see a local treasure.
Select ‘listen in browser’ or ‘play’ to listen to Gladstone Pottery Museum
‘Writing poetry came late to me, certainly post retirement. The poetry that I write is invariably written in one of the traditional forms, e.g. the sonnet, ballad, ottava rima etc. These forms are not so popular in today’s world of free verse but, being centuries old, they have certainly stood the test of time and I am happy to stick with them’. – Malcolm