Soft blows the Heaven’s whispering wind
Saying nothing yet still something’s heard
Like notes of a once -elusive Spring
Warbled by Winter’s solitary bird.

And sudden my mind in gay abandon
Trolls the paths of a distant day
When twice five years -not a moment more
Innocent upon these shoulders lay.

There was, then, a summer’s place
Daintily nestled upon a hill
Where many an hour of pensive thought
I’d spent in silence warm and still.

And nights hazy mists remember
Dwelt on street lights dim and low
With old men safely picking steps
Along gently sloping roads below .

Silent tiptoed the nightly rain
On sloping roofs and tender eaves
Entranced I’d see the pine trees sway
Sigh to their moist rustling leaves

I was fashioned ,to me unknown
By Grandfather -stern and tall
Whose tales of ghosts and djins that walked
Would hold my nightly hours in thrall..

In a verandah bare of face
That gazed upon a leafy vale
Of bards and poets and heroes brave
He told me many a moving tale.

Shadows danced on mountain paths
That wandered lost into the glade
Where nestling pines defying the sun
Cast a softly scented shade.

We knew along those winding trails
Many spots , most quaint and small
Where from the bustling crowds we’d flee
That thronged the town’s central Mall.

The summer days were mostly warm
But sudden the thunder darkly rolled
Shivering along those neon lit streets
Stood silent doorways wet and cold.

And when the summer skies were spent
And lightning’s flash no longer flared
Like mushrooms from the forest floor
The windows popped and people stared.

Prudence sought a moment’s stay
But with that evening’s siren call
None waited for the roads to dry
It brought the crowds onto the Mall.

Many spirits of past generations
Daily meandered thru’ the town
And people dressed in Sunday best
Traversed that road up and down.

They came to see and to be seen
Boys and girls- the young and old
The warmth from seeking eyes dispelled
The damp and sometimes chilling cold.

When the shops had shuttered down
The dark bade ‘night to man and beast
The music played in private rooms
Of friends gather’d to dance and feast.

Lightheaded from the evening spent
Before the first light of the morn
We’d sing to all those silenced streets
And await the breaking of the dawn.

Dreams oft born of that haze
Left many cheeks a blushing red
Hands were held, some glances shared
Some words were heard without being said.

Oft the highpoint of those months
Came when Auckland’s fete was laid
With rosy cheeks in neat discipline
Stood girls in brown and yellow plaid.

Many a smoothened cheek that day
Was with fragrant cologne splashed
Many a heart that day was captured
Many a hope that day was dashed.

Many an hour was later spent
Designing chances again to meet
Many a tongue learned by rote
Words a chosen one to greet.

Another place no less famous
Lay some distance from the Mall
Whose quiet greys with hints of red
Adorned the girls of Tarahall.

Just glimpsed faces ,names unknown
Drove the boys to patient wait
Roads that somehow chanced to pass
By Auckland’s or Loretto’s gate.

Many a summer there was spent
Away from cares of school and books
Many a moment cherished still-
Stolen touches in secluded nooks.

I grew to manhood in that town
Of carefree summers bright and free
It’s many summers since last I went
Its people and its sights to see.

The ghosts I left still roam the hills
Some wizened -others grey but well
They seek another lad of ten
Their spells to cast -their tales to tell.