Robyn Beattie is an ex-pupil of mine. I first taught her in 1974 in Year 5 and then...I got to teach her again in year 7!!! I remember Robyn as a very confident, competent, hard-working, creative and out-going student who was a delight to teach. Ivy, her grandmother, was also my neighbour and I got to know the family quite well. In 1981 we were all thrilled when Robyn's poem was published on the front page of the local newspaper. By this stage Robyn was in her final year of high school. She later trained to be a secondary teacher (lucky students who were taught by her!). Robyn now lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and is still involved with creative endeavours. Here is her poem...is it still relevant today???
It is Queensland...
It is warm
It is welcome
It is sand squeaking through my toes as i run along the beach
It is walking through the water with rubber thongs
It is putting my mouth around a succulent, sloppy mango.
It is cold Christmas dinner
It is lazily dozing on a shady verandah waiting for the never-ending daylight to end.
It is night swimming by floodlight
It is the scampering of possums over the tin roof and the villainous shrieks of flying foxes overhead
It is the anxious anticipation of the predicted cyclone
It is winter which barely arrives.
It is the Sunday drive through yellow-gold wattle.
It is the calm solitude of breaking the crystal clear lagoons of the reef.
It is walking through Surfers’ Paradise in togs.
It is singing from the top of a mountain and not being heard.
It is exploring.
It is swimming across stingray infested creeks.
It is fishing from the rocky ledges of Stradbroke.
It is being woken up in the morning by the sun.
It is the smell of ‘Coppertone’
It is the ‘Southerners’ desire
It is the ‘Northerners’ pride.
It is my home
It is Queensland.
(poem was published by the Suburban (North West edition) newspaper 02/09/81)Please do not use this poem without acknowledgement of the poet