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No. 73 (July 1973)
– 63 –

Maungarei: 1972

We walked up the new road
Up Maungarei (Mt Wellington to you)
Against the traffic
All the way
Orderly and tamed
Is the ancient fortress now
And the tar-sealed road
Seemed incongruous
Beside the kumara pits
Of long ago.
But some old magic still holds the hill
For, suddenly bright in the sunlight
His hair wind-tossed
A young man ran up the green slopes
“Has he really got a guitar?” you said
Then we heard the plaintive strings, played to a goat
That gambolled upwards,
Springing over the tussocks.
Feeling bewildered
Here on a sealed road
On a tidied-up hill fort
Of ancient Maori occupation
We saw six children
Laughing, perched on a steep bank
“Having fun kids?”
“We came here to sing,” they said.
Rounding the shoulder of Maungarei
We heard Po Kare Kare Ana
In childish treble voices.
And the goat-man called
(Could he be a Maori Pan?)
The goat, answering, sprang …
Strongly from rock to tussock.

H. B. Sandall

Auckland 1972