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  © Copyright  Romanygenes 2007--2020 Design and Web Layout  © 2007-2020 S.J.Day All Rights Reserved

 

Copyright RomanyGenes 2007-2020 Design and Web Layout S.J.Day All Rights Reserved

Heathland Poems by The Durzet Baird Raymond Wills

             New England

I journeyed to New England

within birch and heathered down

I rode upon a pony there

where Gypsies bedded down

 

There were sackcloth on the floor there

clay beneath your feet

gravel on the sidewalk

the nicest folks you'd meet

 

I trod upon the bracken

where the rhododendron grew

there were dartford warblers singing

not far from Waterloo

 

The village children came there

to crown the Gypsy king

there were Whites and Coopers laughing

I heard a blackbird sing

 

Across from Wallisdown and Bear Cross

the Gypsy rovers danced

there was music in the night

when the Gypsy lady glanced

 

She said i was so gifted

I had the rose tattoo

I was a lucky fellow

from Alderney via Poole

 

               

                WWW.RomanyGenes

 

I went to visit www Romany Genes and

chanced pon the gypsy queens

With vardos there all on display and heathers bound for chavvys play

 

The gypsy king was true to form with tales of old and wheels all worn

The road was hard when folks were true to

gypsy lore and common dues

The customs then were fit for a king with

 common rights and everything

 

The fairground charms with darts and lace

with fortunes told to bright ones face

The walks to market village greens the

 wayward men and words obscene

The dancing gals with tops that spun

 castanets and lewdly folki song

 

The ponies free to graze the moors

with tattooed bridles and woolly shawls

The yarns that Horace Cooper told

 folks said he had a heart of gold

 

They burnt their homes as they died and

 jumped the brooms each happy bride

The heaths were rich in rabbits stews with

 ferreting for each boy blue

Romany Genes be rich in law with roads

a winding and Vardos tall

Lamps that shone with brass so clean like

Gypsy's eyes at Halloween  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

           The Canford Gypsies

 

When heathers stretched from Hamworthy to Waterloo

the Gypsies camped upon lodge hills to Poole

from old wareham road to lane of wool

 

Hanging their washing

on broom and furze Bush branch

and playing their games

of wish and chance

 

With pony rides

on bare backed frames

from magna road

to the alders knee

born free

 

Where Ringwood road met Wallisdown

two hundred barefooted children

gathered around

then marched down to the Kinson school

to join in with the lessons too

 

At the foot of the alder hills

I first met up with jack and Jill's

around the little rush filled pond

it was there we sat

with ducks and swans.

 

Where two Hamlin pipers

face each other and played their tune

at the big glass house

each day at noon

 

Nearby the Dorset knob

of neither crust or door

we sat and ate from daisy floor

a picnic sack of this and that

and then we followed the Gypsies back

across their common path trod tracks

to Canfords many scattered camps

where all were welcomed

lords and tramps

 

As years went by they lost their common rights

for to sleep beneath the moon and stars at night

and to run or ride

across the sandy canford tracks

to light their fires

and chat till late

dance and sing and celebrate

the gift of god

the freedoms of man

and the wiry gifts of the diddy coy man

 

Now as i look across the Canford scene

I'm amazed to think back to what once had been

for their tracks and trails are covered oer

by tarmac laid

and the the giant spill of housing maze

a complex park

and gone are the clan

who lit a spark

along with the gay caravans

and the wiser ways of the Gypsy man

 

                         

                          Gypsy Days

At heavenly bottom on the canford heath plains

I stumbled on gypsies again and again

some wore their shawls and some went to woolys in town

for to sale pegs and flowers for your pretty gowns

 

So cross my palm with silver dear and talk of diddy coy

for i was just a mush then and she gave me of the eye

i could neither dance a reel or of the blarney sing

but i knew of the queen of the kinson kings

 

So make your signs on doorsteps and talk in that refrain

come with i and wander down old kinsons heather lanes

though i could ferrit with the rabbits and hide out in the bush

but often id get blackened eye by some gypsy fighting mush

 

How we loved the fairgrounds with their humming carousels

with horses for a riding and baskets of heathers for to sale

the darts they were a flying and the boxers were a sight

there twer walls of death to ride and the locals for to fight

 

The gypsy girls were course and loud

though their looks were sultry dark

they handled their aggressions and they loved in in the park

they were quick in love and awesome in the arts

 

                              The old-n days 

 When i ran with the Turners

the mabeys and Kings

the heath lands were wild then

the chaff finch did sing

 

There were sites at the corner

where the johns kids did play

i remember it fondly

twas as if yesterday

 

The bunk off man was waterman

from Branksome heath school

we hid in the fir cones

on sea view near Poole

 

We often played marbles

then conkers was cool

when we ran with the zunners

from Kinson to Poole

 

We rode the wee brown bus to up on the hill

the regal house flicks and the waterloo pool

there twer Gypsy's sites spread all over the lanes

i remember it well and the brick making men

with their watches with chains

 

The snake was the pub where the Stanley's did fight

there's was shove halfpenny playing both day n night

old bill knotty sold shoes laces and matches up on the hill

when we walked to school daily and still had time to kill

 

Spider was the cool accordion man

an eye for the ladies with his tattoos n plans

lady wimborne gave a field to the people of Poole

reg rogers and Alice saw Bill Cody too

 

I remember the omnium brick company

the Manning's brickyard and the rogers truck crew

when Charlie had his pig sties and lester was rich

we walked to lodge hills and i fell in a ditch

 

The heaths were full of blossoms afore broom roads drugs

i remember families built homes cut outs in mud

there were bakers and archers maidment and fools

little boy tucker and how do you do

 

The heaths were a joy then with lizards and snakes

where rabbits ran free and Sutton's were never too late

there twer a race track at northbourne or was it red hill

my memories going though i remember it still

 

There were coal men and rovers and a johnny from France

who came every summer with his onion man dance

folks worked in the factory's upon Wallis downs

a penny was something and a pig could be bought for half of a crown

The cartwheels did roll and the gypsies did sing

the birdsong did wake you each morning at spring

                 

                               Old Kinson

 

Did you know old Kinson

afore there was West Howe

did you know it stretched to sea view

on the edge of Poole somehow

did you know it was a wild desolate place

where gypsies rode on horseback

granfer knew his place

 

Did you know it was a village

where Gulliver ran free

 did you know it kinson then was just pure history

did you know about the coopers

and the whites who made the pipes and clay

did you know about the king who visitedLady Wimborne

one day

did you know about the family of guests

the artist at the alderney manor

bet now you are impressed

 

Did you know about the Crutchers

the stables and the tanner

did you know about old kinson

afore Newtown was born

did you know about St Andrew's

it was the parish afore Poole

that stainer's was a cobbler

who mended all the shoes

 

Did you know about the pottery

did you know about the heath

did you know about Bourne bottom

or even Cuckoo Woods

did you know about old kinson

the stocks upon the green

the round table it was at Canford School

the Bear Cross was just a bare road across

 

The rhododendrons bushes that stretched to Waterloo

the Manning's heath farmland and Rogers brickyard too

the Slade's farm at Columbia was in Kinson too

did you know its mentioned in the doomsday

its famous down in Poole

famous people came to visit

or as they traveled through

 

Did you know about old kinson

before the Bennett's family crew

all the gypsy sites to Poole

their caravans scattered throughout wallisdown

where the rabbits ran so freely then

upon the pretty heather down

 

Did you know old kinson

before the caravans

when knotty wasn't born

did you know the Stanley's

did you know their names

did you know the gillinghams

here we go again

 

Did you know old kinson

when it was just old gravel n sandy tracks

afore john Augustus painted Mary gear

so nude in the sack

did you know about the lodges

on the hills of canford heath

did you know

thats where i cut my teeth

 

 A few from many delightfull poems penned by Ray Wills the Dorset Baird ,these ones are about the local Gypsy Camps that were scattered around his birth place which overlooked the once great expanse of  Canford Heath. Known locally as Heavenly Bottom,Cuckoo Bottom,New England ,Bourne Bottom ,The bogs and a few more!!! Ray has also penned hundreds more ,and with a big focus on his native Dorset please visit his site to read some lovely poems that will evoke your childhood memories when the pace of life was much slower and gentle and all things seemed wonderful to a young lad or lass.

                  The Gypsy Poet   Poetry and verse by the Dorset Poet Raymond Wills. 

                                                                                                               all poems are copyright RAY WILLS 2006 

 

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Poetry and verse by the Dorset Poet Raymond Wills. all poems are copyright RAY WILLS 2006

Heathland Poems by The Durzet Baird Raymond Wills