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A collection of Poetry from Polish descendants


To The Allanton Polish Pioneers


From far across the sea they came,

A Pioneerin band,

To look for homes, in peace to dwell,

Far from the tyrant’s hand.


They found this peace, beneath the hill,

A river running by,

And so in hope they settled down,

Their talents here to ply.


With fortitude they struggled on,

Their task – it wasn’t light,

They started out before the dawn,

And worked into the night.


The railway line was soon laid down,

And difficulties o’ercome,

Success had smiled on them at last,

They found a peaceful home.


Their wants were few, those simple folk,

Who come from o’er the sea,

They made the best of what they had,

They’d carved their destiny.


They’ve left to us a legacy,

From those far off days of yore,

This haven here, beneath the hill,

We’ll cherish evermore.

Elsie Campell (nee Turnbull),

Life Long Resident of Allanton.




Who were they, the hundred years ago

Who built this cottage, sun baked cob,

Who sat together in the firelight glow,

Who put the kettle on the hob

Who sat and talked ’til the fire grew dim

Sharing dreams, tomorrows dreams

Loving arms, and loving lips

That knew no other one.


Her picture hangs still on the wall,

Bonnet of blue to match her eyes,

Who was she this classic one,

Proud face, pale in the candlelight,

Waiting for him to come to her,

Take her picture from the wall,

Walk with her to the other room

To pull the dust stained curtain ‘cross the doorway.


I close the door, leave her there in her solitude

And turning see the warming window glow

A whisp of smoke on the autumn air

Two shadows on the window pane.


I wonder,

Is the kettle on the hob again tonight.


Kevin Gdantz. 



Kociewie (Our Ancestors Home).


Sunbeams, through sullen skies it pokes,

Cloaking waves of golden slopes,

With crimson poppies, threads of wheat,

Ears of corn & fields of beet.


Sprawling woods of life abundant,

Herb, game, never redundant,

Dotted mushrooms, berries galore,

Gentle deer & wild boar.


Glacier lakes concealed like jewels,

Lazy rivers, tranquil pools,

Villages strewn on stretching plains

Trees shelter cobble stone lanes.


Baroque churches, holy pictures,

Bestow peace whom enriches,

Scarred of war, & worked to the bone,

So lies our ancestor’s home.


Paul Klemick – 2003



She trembles

She cannot cry,

There are no tears to cry…

The soldier


Hitches up his trousers

Wipes his knife

And walks down

To find another child…

And we?

We read

We hear

We know

We do nothing

We turn the page

To the racing news.


Kevin Gdanitz



The Kociewian Migrant.


Hospitable, simplistic, hardworking, & kind,

Superstitious, religious, stubborn of mind,

Trustworthy & honest, imperative to man,

For these are the traits of a Kociewian.


For the priest, the manor, & the lord of the day,

Six days of the week for all work and no play,

But as for the Sabbath, a momentary rest,

A time for our Savour, clad in our best.


Young men, duty calls, the oppressors are reaping,

Hard times & no land, our mothers are weeping,

Poland’s been gripped by an aggressive tyrant,

Time is nigh for the Kociewian migrant.


Prospect of freedom, of adventure and chances,

Modest ships, mighty seas, making advances,

New birth, fresh beginnings, like the dawn of the spring,

New Zealand they come, Polish culture they bring.


Paul Klemick – 2003



Dawn mist drifting from the hills,

Stealing soft through city streets

Heralding another day.

Dawn clouds rising from the sea,

Pink blushed prelude to the sun

That rising

Looks in through misted windows

At tired eyes that turn away

And miss the beauty

Of Dunedins’ sunrise


Poem Written 55 years ago while taxi driving on the early morning shift. 

I’ve been writing them off and on ever since. Environmental,

Political, and war poems and love poems, etc..


Kevin Gdanitz, Kaiapoi.


Crosses in the SnowCrosses received

from the DCC after Armistice day and relocated.


Crosses in the snow

It’s been a while don’t you know.

This was in September,

And I found I couldn’t remember,

When last the snow came down

And landed in this part of town.

At the level of the sea,

It was a great surprise to me.

Our relatives, did you  feel a chill?

I can’t change things at will

For you, but I hope you realise

That we can hear your cries.

In spirit only this is true

But we definitely will not forget you.

I didn’t know any of you, did I?

But that is not the point, and I can only try

To imagine what the battlefields were like,

As you couldn’t tell me this day or night.

Those who knew you here at home,

But didn’t see you again, with you to roam.

Across our lovely land would have felt their loss,

Acutely, they would never know

That I would mind your crosses in the snow.


Lynette Walsh (Great granddaughter of Teodor Klimek) 14 Apr 2021