Two poems by Raine Geoghegan

Somewhere in Apple Water Country

Me Mum’s cookin’ sushi stew.
Me dad’s chinning the koshtie’s.
I’m practisin’ handwritin’ with a fine pencil.
I’m lookin’ forward to sendin’ a proper letter
to me cousin Louie, she’s a didikai and goes
to school in London. Me dad calls it royal town
and say’s ‘e wouldn’t go there, not if yer paid ‘im.
She ‘as to wear a uniform, red and gold, but she
can’t wear ‘er gold ‘oops, it’s against the rules.
If I ever went to school, me dad would ‘ave murder
if anyone touched me ‘oops or me ears.

 

*Apple Water Country – an old Romani word for Herefordshire / Other Romani words: Sushi – rabbit; chinning the koshtie’s – making pegs; Didikai – half Romany.

*

The Plum Pudding Girl, a Little Gypsy Song

Phylly put your chockas on.
It’s time to go to Shepperton,
to see yer Gran and grandad
on a windy Friday night.

Plum pudden,
meat pudden,
bacon pudden,
suet pudden,
cooked in a cloth, tied with a string.

You’ll ‘ave to sing a song for them
and do a little dance for them
then they will blow the joter
when the ‘obben’s in the pot.

Plum pudden,
meat pudden,
bacon pudden,
suet pudden,
cooked in a cloth, steaming in the pot.

Phylly put your chockas on.
It’s time to go to Shepperton,
For they will blow the joter
when the ‘obben’s kushtie ‘ot.

 

*Romani words: Chockas – shoes; Joter – whistle; Obben – food


‘Somewhere in Apple Water Country’ was first published in The Traveller’s Times, February 2018


Raine Geoghegan, MA, lives in West Sussex. She has been published both online and in print with Romany Routes Journal; Fair Acre Press; Words for the Wild; Ink Pantry; Fly on the Wall and others. Her poems have been featured in a documentary film, Stories from the Hop Yards. She will be reading at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2018.


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