Waiheke, through all thy trials…

by Ross Gillespie

Waiheke, through all thy trials I love thee still,
I said in the eighties, and have not forgot it;
I love to rise and venture forth at will;
I love the climate, but that is not it;
I love the pa site on the highest hill,
and glowworm dell when finally you spot it;
I love that ‘like for like’ is currency,
and that we meet and clamour for transparency.

I love the untossed wave and dashing women;
I love the conversations on the buses;
The eighteen hold golf course, so long a -comin’;
Roadside flowers and overhanging bushes;
I love the Privy-council help the loop road common;
I love the drought too, while the toilet flushes;
I love the ferry mix and rain before hole digging.
Which means that I love – almost each and everything.

I love a snapper fillet and a mug of beer;
The variety of weeds that make our gardens;
Our pre-worn clothes and comfy theatre;
Gluten-free bread — that is, before it hardens.
The dotterels and kids with their feet bare;
The shopping rounds where people share their burdens;
I love them all, but not invasive features,
Like parking parallel above un-apparelled beaches.

But lately, I have felt a pang quixotic;
There’s news of our island sinking, in the Gulf Gazette;
a foreign mayor and a Board despotic,
Duress, Reform, Life chained to a City’s debt.
I cannot find, for my heart’s ease, the right narcotic,
But found a stub, so scribble, ‘lest we forget’:
Once we loved to protest, so freedom was our fate,
The election cometh — regroup it’s not too late.