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Windrush Poems


The Immigrant’s Lament

Natalie Fagan Brown - Chair of the North Wales Jamaica Society


I have spent my life reciting the perfection of the daffodil.

Even though for my words worth of the plant I knew nil

So with a determination and eagerness to discover

I packed my case with a fervent decision to fly over

One has got to go to the motherland

It didn’t matter that alone I would stand


So bag and baggage, blouse and skirt

Good bye to Palisadoes, you can keep your dirt

For to England and the streets of gold

I go to seek riches untold

So without a background glance I crossed the tarmac

Glory before me and the sun on my back


But somehow it seems that someone forgot to alert them to my arrival

For Mr immigration asked for more than I had for his perusal

Did he not realise that after walking from the plane for what seems like miles 

I would have to be Houdini to keep on to my wiles

With stone-faced resentment my passport he did stamp

But only after I promised I wasn’t a scamp


So armed with an indestructible three year plan

I vowed to stay thin and not touch the flan

No fish and chips would pass my lip

From ackee and saltfish never to slip

For in my hand luggage was enough to feed a nation

So no need for their food I would always have my rations


My pocket would never again fit my bodily proportion

For I was here to gain wealth and educational promotion

I wasn’t going to be like others long pass

For whom ‘I shall return’ never came to past

For soon I would to my emerald isle I return

As soon as the money for luxurious living I’d earn


My salary was much, it sounded like such

An as for savings, I was could do that in a rush

But of TV licence I was never told

So you can imagine my astonishment when it I behold

Council tax came upon me, like a thief in the night

Leaving near penniless and in a plight


Now if that’s not all I think I have gone mad

For in this climate, I am always sad

For everyone whom I pass comments on the perplexing weather

Confused as I am you could push me over with a feather

For today my dear here is the forecast

All at once its snowy, sunny, rainy, windy and overcast


So now I moan my dainty Spanish needle

For leaving my island, there is no one I’d inveigle

For now after five years my belly is fat and my pocket meagre

To go back home I am so eager

But the only way that’s going to happen I’ll report

Is to commit a crime and then me they will deport


So when you see my long face about

Don’t turn up your nose or at me pout

I have had enough of your scornful looks

When I burst out laughing at your self-help books

For instead of this, a manual is a better choice it would appear

For before I came it would have helped me for England to prepare


Natalie Fagan-Brown








Check out: 'Windrush child'  a poem from Under the Moon & Over the Sea by John Agard

Behind you
Windrush child
palm trees wave goodbye  .........


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