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Paul Francis Mc Cann

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Reflections Of A Migrants Life
by Paul Francis Mc Cann
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Not rated by the Author.
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Poem about the difficulties settling into a new country before and after being naturalized

Reflections Of Life

By Paul McCann

I wasnít that old when we up and sold :
everything was left far behind .

I needed more time , the choice wasnít mine
Leaving was always on my mind .

Iíd just turned 16 further fields were not green ,
And the weather was so hot .

It was 72 and I didnít know what to do
my mind was shot .

My Irish friends had all died ,
I was hurting inside
For those who had gone .

In a new country my family and me
Found a way to carry on .

After leaving Belfast . a few weeks passed ,
And to hospital I was sent .

Someoneís practical joke went up in smoke
I was burnt in an accident .

An apprentice was I .
But didnít know why
I had met this cruel fate

Feeling down in the dumps ,
couldnít walk for months
welcome to the work force mate .

Canít tell you how I felt ,
the cards were dealt and I had to play out the hand .

No denying the crying time
For the stranger here in a foreign land .

Tried to communicate but people couldnít relate
Here In Aussie Pubs .

Where do I begin I couldnít fit in .
So I found an escape in drugs .

My life cut with a knife .
Hi-jacked by hard narcotics in 72 .

Hard fisted and twisted
Didnít know what to do,
Returned to you know who .

To my home and Belfast town ,
They took me in,
tied me down and zapped my brain .

I became a person nobody knew .
I was to blame , I went insane .

In 1975 I was barely alive
But where is my home ?

I returned to Sydney and tried to see
A new Aussie identity .

Re-invented not demented
It was time to return to Mum and Dad ,

I took on a job and shook off the mob
and won the respect I once had .

But still they could not understand
The accent of a man from Belfast town .

Not accepted or understood
worked as a migrant should in hardship down .

But I thought I must be smart ,
I understood their part as strange as it was .

Although I felt trapped I had to adapt
To a new country and its laws .

II got on my feet with new friends to meet
and tried to forget what Iíd lost .

Memories Iíll keep of days that wonít sleep
Thinking what emigrations cost .

I was sent to Chelmsford by some doctors word
Deemed a suicidal case .

What nightmare in the basement there
The experiments were a disgrace .

Abandoned but alive I had to survive
the late nineteen seventies .

Deep sleep therapy for my troubled memory
put me down on my knees .

A royal commission went through
And then they knew the truth of what went on .

The word went around and they closed the place down ,
With no compensation drawn .

Oh God I cried out
donít let me doubt this is something that you cannot fix .

My guts were spilled when my sister was killed
and my mind with anger was mixed .

In 1986 I drove where the sticks
Lay around this arid land .

A part of me needed this sanctuary to discover
what was Gods plan .

I left Australia again on a jet plane
But got robbed and beaten up .

In London you see with no identity
The doors are easily shut .

As a citizen I contacted emigration
And waited for help .

Three years homeless ,
it was atrocious , the government left me on a shelf .

In 1990 I had to flee
back to Sydney is where I was led

There on my bed questions in my head
why couldnít emigration have said .

I was one their own far away from home
And in need of help from them .

So my experience has been at a migrantís expense
To be welcomed ,

Its a heavy load and a hard road
As an emigrant with no resource .

So believe me when your country leaves you
Youíll have to find some other course .

Gods spirit is there in all the despair
As a friend youíll find he is near .
. .

Iíve written some stuff and hope its enough ,
Of just what Iíve been through down here .

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Reviewed by Paul Mc Cann 1/24/2013
Thanks Hanna and Ken
Reviewed by hanna maulseed 1/20/2013
well done great
Reviewed by Kenny Baez 3/4/2012
The grass is not always greener on the other side; down under maybe more harsh and arid than the soft rainy climate of Ireland. Sometimes we go through bad experiences in our lives that are totally confusing and mystifying, and 'in a dark time the eye begins to see' according to poet Roethke. I can really relate to this poem - it's not always easy or desirable to fit into new surroundings.
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