To Mount Hermon School, Darjeeling, Gorkha Land

24 March 2001

Penned at


Pendle Gaon – Budaneilkantha - Shivapuri National Park South West Ridge

Katmandu Valley Rim, Nepal

A Saturday Feeling

To my friends & teachers of yesteryears who remain with me still

TOM CREES – MHS 1955 - 1962 



I drifted awake in the Hills of my mind

To the clinking of glasses and sparkling sunshine

I heard squeaks in hallways your polished shoes walking

To “we’re going somewhere!” your voices all talking

Carefree excitement, then the slam of a door

The echoing silence, sunbeams on a floor

Dust floats in rays, recess comes around

After the milk, we go play on the ground



At fifty-five, with a life that’s been fair  

Between drifting and dreaming & the clear morning air

Whence it came I know not, but transfixed as I lay

On memories, of feelings, and a fond yesterday

I sighed, misty eyed, my heart flowed with feeling

The thoughts of those school days filled with much meaning

To my parents for family, to my teachers for school

To Jesus of Nazareth for the world’s Golden Rule



I dashed out of bed to secure pen and some paper

The calls of my wife and child hushed for much later

To write down these words, for the things they evoke

To pen them down ‘ere they go up in smoke

Of old walls and echoing halls, of mates from afar

The classrooms, the lab work for Mr Jim Darr

Exeats, sales day, Hendry’s flying fox

It could have all ended with Boss in a box



To all you who taught me to write in life’s rhyme

Oh mutton chop, Williams, my fortunes are thine

The Stewarts, the Murrays, the Johnstons, and friends

The Martins’, Miss Digby, miss Cann, the Mannens’

So many, so much, I can’t name you all

You came; you committed, to live out your call

The ”Thank you” I awoke to, ere lest I condone

Before the last bells toll, for the call to go home



Study hall rows, and varnish on books

Gullison on duty, her legs and her looks

All knowledge on paper, the hum of young minds

The turning of pages, some chairs on incline

The cooking of breakfast, of pots being stacked

The aroma of omelettes, fresh bread on the racks

Pianos that tinkle, a trumpet’s clear call

Violins and cellos, all in the great hall



The trill of the school bell, an explosion of sound

Chairs scrape, skirts swish, and coats flap around

To the serious business of breakfast we ran

The prefects a-busy to a grand master plan

Girls’ dorms, bath days, regattas of sorts

In the quadrangle drains, with little pine yachts

Laid streaks in the bubbly waters that flowed

Those above, oblivious to the excitement below



The bounce of a football and calls all around

Goals being shot and the rain on the ground

Puddles on concrete, the skates distinct sound

Splashing wet tracks through them as we went around

The sloped, rutted road to the west of the field

Epics we played for the sake of a shield

Majestic treetops, woods following the slope

To Rose and Wood Bank and cottages called Hope



And if on a moon night, you happened to see

From the edge of the pool flat, the snows, Kpg

Far scatterings of home lights on quilts of blue night

A shiver, the stars, a night bird in flight

The glimmer of white of the Rungieet and all

And somewhere the brain fever bird’s haunting call

Of life, of love, of the stars we did wonder

The reverie, and hark, was that distant thunder?



The cold’s gone, hear now the first cuckoos of spring

A time we celebrate and do wondrous things

Rain splashing on glass, gumboots and socks

The heavy dampness of girls’ dark blue frocks

Then cicadas calling the summer to end

With autumn awaiting from just round the bend

The falling of leaves and days darker now

Life just more ominous, more serious, somehow



Cold air, exams, wood smoke on the ground

Crisp grass, hushed voices, gloves all around

Tin boxes, name writing, locks and key chains

Out with the old books and irrelevant pains

Packing with gusto, full focus on hols

Back to our parents, the cycles, the dolls

Knowing full well that the school would be there

For us next year, cleaned, painted, and fair



To school parties to Burma, to Thailand and all

Far away places from whence my friends call

My last year midst this mad Jubilee

Waiting for Mummy to come and get me.

I watched my friends leave, the die cast

The school yards now silent, my Jeep's here at last

I remember I once chased a bus to the plains

I drove hard, but made no gains.

Break neck around corners, fast down the straights,

Heart wrenched and teary, the loss of my mates

Bagdogra nearing, from the corner of my eye

Alas I saw your plane lift to the sky

I had to concede then, this was really goodbye.


Mum and I drove slowly, pensively into the Darkening hills.





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