Cambridge 1969

Victorian splendour defines the place
Every corner seeping distant echoes
A monkey puzzle tree once stood to the right
Dull colours burned bright in the summers light
Half remembered memories struggling to make sense
The shrill cries of childhood transcending time

And maybe I could come top in art this time
The battle, the struggle to take first place
Mixed palettes and hues assailing every sense
Rainbow paint glides and scratchy lead echoes
And a simpler world of primary light
Orderly queues standing to the left and right

Transcendent precepts of what’s wrong and right
Neatly dispensed knowledge in perfect time
Some stark serious and stern and others light
A sometimes blissful sometimes savage place
The insistent ring of the hand bell echoes
Impending calm quiet discipline and common sense

The rudiments of games now etched as sixth sense
The field surely arrayed to the batsman’s right
The dull distant thud of a four echoes
For once it will reach the boundary this time
And I was taken back to another place
When joyous spirits soared free and cares were light

Of strange culinary concoctions we’d make light
When spam and semolina made perfect sense
The hall a bustling aromatic place
Where manners were learned and the rites of right
Rituals observed over generations and time
Slaves and servants to the lunch bells echoes

The walls the grounds resounded to echoes
To images of bright then flashing half light
Of a long lost but rediscovered time
Where blinkered youth yielded to knowing Sense
And the head teacher stood for what was right
In this strange yet comfortingly familiar place

A place now painted in autumnal light
Distorted echoes finally make sense
It was right to reminisce for a time

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