Hello and welcome to my 'WAIHI POEMS ', my name is Grace Blomfield and I have lived in WAIHIMARTHA GOLD MINE TOWN for 30 years, I have grown to love this very unique little mining town of WAIHI over the years and been totally entranced by its colourful local mining history..I have explored the mining sites around Waihi, Karangahake and Waikino, and have been in awe of our hardy pioneer families who worked this country side, building roads , bridges, opening up the Karangahake Gorge, taming this rugged land and working the many mines dotted around this area....We in Waihi are very worried now at the present mining licences, being granted which are slowly but surely destroying what little mining heritage we have left, our world famous Cornish Pumphouse is under threat from the present Mining Company.The bottom line is GOLD, they want it and it's all around the town of WAIHI, through glib talking and publications, licences are granted , golden handshakes given along the line, and our town is slowing being eaten away.......but good news to date, Aucklanders getting away from the rat-race have bought into Waihi, so many previously rundown properties have been purchased and done up, and this is so good for the town, the furore over the mining appears to have taken a back seat for the moment there are some of my recollections written in 1985/86, a very humble tribute to our hardy gutsy forebears, I salute them all....
these are my own copyright PUBLISHED poems, If you wish to use any of my work.....,please email me first..thank you. enjoy the site and please sign guest book
A TALL TAIL OF TAILINGS-1984
Big rocks, small rocks, and smaller than small,
what can we do with the stuff?
no one wants it at all!
We can't dump it on the land
the towns folk will go mad
we can't shove the dratted stuff out to sea
they'll say that's just as bad!
Perhaps we can pile it up
make another mountain grow?
and if we do it in the dead of night
no one will ever know!
Or maybe ship it to the Japs
now they're a clever race
it could boost our overseas deficient
and really save our face!
The learned men of WAIHI,
they thought they had a plan,
it looked okay on bits of paper
but now they're back where they began!
These conservationists really are a pain!
They'll always will have their say,
for we only want to wreck the place
but they won't let us have our way!
Now we have just got to get that GOLD out!
so if anyone had an idea
of where to dump half a hill
we would dearly love to hear!
copyright H G Blomfield 2007
RAPE OF MARTHA-1984
arrayed in Nature's cloth,
a sleepy town,
on a sleeping Hill,
enclosed in dreamtime....
Deep beneath the streets,
tunnels, tombs of long still waters,
enclose the curse
Water oozes, glistening
over putty coloured clay,
in the cold stygian
Uneasy stir the shades
of miners gone.
Oldtimers shake their
heads, reflecting memories
of harsh days and
when blood stained gold....
Alas Martha, your quiet repose
is once more shattered
as drills knife the air
with splintered sound
and greedy MAN scrabbles
to some primordial lust
in search of El dorado,
Gone is the dreamtime
of Nature's lullaby and
the dollar rules the day....
copyright H G Blomfield 2007l
THE GOLDFIELDS TRAIN. 1984.
In days of yore those stalwart men , they built a railway track,
with pickaxe, shovel and sweat of brow , they tamed the KARANGAHAKE,
Where the rains come down and the mist enshrouds,
and pungas weep from the ridge...
As mining boomed, WAIKINO AND KARANGAHAKE grew,
they had butcher and baker and candlestick maker, and plenty of pubs there too!
But no longer beats the stamper battery, FatherTime has erased the lot,
those mining towns have nigh disappeared, into Natures melting pot!
Hark to the crack of the raw-hide whip, to the whistle of a ghostly train,
to the creak of the bullock pulled wagons, they'll never be seen again!
So they pulled up the old lines, they closed the tunnel lined with brick,
trust not those politicians, they'll never miss a trick!
Now restored at the Waihi Station, the Goldfields Train stands polished bright, eagerly she awaits her loyal crew, she's certainly a lovely sight,
But a couple miles out from the station, it's almost the end of the story,
for there's no more track for the Goldfields Train to show off her former glory!
But in the dead of night, when the world's asleep, she rides a ghostly trail,
with steam and smoke billowing wide, and her whistle a silent wail,
a phantom soundlessly gliding, along a fern draped shiny track,
once more the Goldfields Train steams up the old Karangahake,
Where the rains come down, and the mist enshrouds,
and pungas weep from the ridge.....
copyright H.G.Blomfield 2007
THE OLD MINER'S SHACK..1985
Leaning into Time,
a corrugated iron skeleton,
a patchwork of rust and worm-eaten wood,
forged and beaten by
sun, frost and rain,
bowing reluctantly under
the entwining weight of an aged grape vine...
The chimneys long gone,
the soft mellowed bricks plundered
for a garden path,
there was glass in the window once,
now a dark blank hole gapes,
but every building has a soul
she still sees thru the neatly manicured lawns
the pig fern and sooty manuka scrub
of long ago,
she listens to her Miner coughing,
the lethal dust corroding his lungs,
as he curses the rain-sodden black hills
We found those bottles too,
green, blue and pearly clear,
cough mixture, schnapps and chicory..
she's caught in Limbo now,
just flotsam in Time, betwixt centuries,
dreaming the Midas dreams of yesteryear,
all dead history now,
soon she will mingle
with the fabric of nostalgia,
woven into Eternity,
just memories and dust......
copyright H G BLOMFIELD 2007
WHEN IS A HILL NOT A HILL?
Lament for Waikino ....1983
Gone are the little shops,
down by the river,
we once wandered through
with curious delight...
The old leather shop hung
with ancient bridles
and musty mementoes of
the pioneer days.
The beautiful handcrafted woodwork,
silver and turquoise jewellery,
in the gloom,
a maiden fair,
her smile of coloured leather
set forever in polished wood...
Past the little Post Office,
here hand made clothes
fantasy in confectionery,
a rainbow splash of pottery,
inspiration in clay....
back to the Bakery,
fresh scones and cream,
Sit and listen to the gentle river,
chattering of long ago.....
Cruel river, soon
to destroy and obliterate
in one night of fury
wiped as clean as a slate
the little shops
one lone survivor hugs the bank,
the Waikino Pub.....
copyright H.G.BLOMFIELD 2007
The shockingly disastrous WAIKINO FLOOD..WAIKINO HOTEL to the left of picture....and to far right the WAIKINO HALL.
MINER EVANS, KILLED IN THE BLOODY WAIHI MINERS STRIKE!
2008 I have since shifted from Waihi, disillusioned by what is happening regarding the mining, the disregard for people etc., MONEY is the GOD!! The old WAIHI as I once knew it has nigh on disappeared and a sanitized cloned Waihi is rising in its place, a place of illusion, most countries keep their heritage but here we pull it down and raise up something sterile and soulless, on my last trip a couple weeks ago I see now the OLD HISTORIC WAIHI CINEMA THEATRE as been pulled down, where will it stop?, next to go would be the football field and its old grandstand building I would hazard a guess........Oh and yes now the Historical Cornish Pumphouse (only one in NZ) has been moved at the cost of nearly 4 million $ aha I hear you say, yes indeed shows what lengths they will go to to get the gold out of them thar hills pardner!
Rosemount Rd was once a pleasure to walk or drive down, historic post office historic shops, all gone into the gaping maw of so called progress.......