Boyhood Days

Boyhood Days | Poetry

by Northern Life

Alan Whittaker, formerly Darwen

Tears we have shed, for the years that have fled
But the memories linger still.
Three boys who wandered far and wide
O’er moorland, dale, and hill
By moonlit woods and waterside.
Free as the wind were we,
Gordon Stanley, Brian Porter, my little dog Kim, and me

Our fiefdom stretched from Darwen Tower
To the western Pennine moors.
And never a single daylight hour
Found the three of us indoors.
Trees to climb, streams to leap,
Watched by curious cows and sheep.
Secret stiles in hidden hedges,
Shy byways through ling and sedges,
From Pickup Bank to Haslingden Grane
The deserted farm with its gnarled pear tree
We will never take that path again.
Gordon Stanley, Brian Porter, my little dog Kim and me.

Drummer Stoops and Blacksnape ridge, well the Romans knew
Their ghosts were there when the opiate air turned to a scented dew,
And we ‘d lie full length in knee high grass and watch the phantom legions pass.
From Pinnacle Nook to Daisy Brook, marching mile after mile, file after file
With never a sideways look.
Blue Delph quarry and its dark, deep pond, below the purple moor
That’s where a makeshift raft we made
From an old oil drum and a door.
We were Drake’s gallant crew, off to a tropical sea.
The Spanish Main to plunder and raid,
Gordon Stanley, Brian Porter, my little dog Kim, and me.

From the pitch black pond to the moors beyond,
Where the air held the taste of the sea.
Where the west wind’s sighs and the curlews’ cries
Forged a haunting symphony.
The music of Pan that floats to me when in the firelight’s glow,
I recall the things we did, oh! so long ago.
Too young for girls, too old for toys
We were rough and ready boys.
Free as the wayward wind were we
Gordon Stanley, Brian Porter, my little dog Kim, and me.