Two poems by Lynette Roberts (1909 - 1995), daughter of Cecil Arthur Roberts,
General Manager, Buenos Ayres Western Railway: the first, dated 1939, in
support "of his opinion of administration and the beliefs which he held,"
the second a memory of his passion for sailing.
Photo credit: Angharad Rhys.

Argentine Railways

To you who walked so proudly down the line,
Promoting men from engine plates, skilled
Workers from the sheds: the Board soon killed
The cut you had to socialise the 'decline'.

You, who planned man's bonus among the whine
And shrill of people on the go; filled
The sleeper's clock with admiration; drilled
Time in travelling into a close combine.

But now I prefer to think of you set back
Upon the land, with eucalyptus trees
Shading corral from dust: plan as you please

The round hill into a wholesome farm. 'Their' lack
To accept your methods receive with ease,
For they will come to that in the end or 'freeze'.

River Plate

The pampas are for ever returning
The orange river pounding the sea,
From high dry plain with tint of tea
La Plata spreads, and churns drowning
The dust from the chacras murmuring
At the bare roots of the Ombu tree:
The pampas are for ever returning
Bright green birds into piranha sea.
Over spare-dust and barbed wire slowly
Cattle die from thirst wounds, returning
Like mate ships shivering, bringing
No sound but white bones back to me:
The pampas are for ever returning
Bad bones and dust into an angry sea.