Wearing a road weary kilt, gumboots, and carrying an old plaid suitcase(red and black), laden with books, with the scruffy hem of an old pink nightie visible through the broken zipper, to Canada in 1972 came the vagabond, Godfrey.
He was an odd young man who disliked beets. A poet and a bard, a gentle soul, he would talk to anyone, about anything but beets. He wrote home to his friend Beatrice that his travels so far had been “A lesson in the human spirit”.
I love the spirit of the common folk here, you are bold in your story telling, your fine artists and poets. You challenge silly By-Laws,stand in front of logging trucks, missiles,whaling ships, you love your cod, caribou, grasslands, ancient forests, your salmon. I wish for all who have welcomed me only good change.
Desiring, when summer on the West Coast finally came, to simply sit in the shade and talk, he set up a table in a city park, under a perfect tree. “I will TALK TO ANYONE- ABOUT ANYTHING BUT BEETS-FREE, read the banner he made. And join him they did, with music and poetry, food to share. And around the fire, out came the wonderful stories. Even those who only came to “just sit” felt the magic. And when it ended in laughter and tears, as all good things do, and Godfrey, with his suitcase meandered off into legend, I wrote this poem, on the bus so the beat is a tad” juddery.”
EUNICE PAINTED POETRY- Dusty Backpack Red Bandanna Runaway Kid, I remember the paintings that Eunice Sopp did. Putting words to paper was not her thing, and at night round the fire she did not play music or sing. But Eunice could draw the spoken word. She painted the poems and stories that she heard. When Godfrey had his table in the park under the shade tree, Eunice Sopp painted the poetry.
She drew Larry The Free Advice Wino- good advice he would dispense, she drew the nasty woman who claimed to own the shade, scowling at Godfrey from over her fence. He do’s not wish to cause her alarm or offense, as discreetly on the bushes Godfrey hangs to dry his “smalls”. He invites her to cross the fence and join them all.
Eunice drew Ginger and her Lonewolf hand in hand. She drew a rainbow above them, because she loved the pair of them, she painted their poem. Old Myra Hughes sets the kettle on the fire, sets the hot kettle with a tattered sweater cuff. Godfrey with his kilt wafts the flame, Eunice sits silent, sketching quickly and rough. She painted the two of them in profile the day I came, to the table in the park beneath the shade tree, where Eunice sat intently painting poetry.
Dusty Backpack Red Banndana Runaway Kid- I remember the paintings that Eunice Sopp did. Godfrey saved the art Eunice Sopp did, saved drawings from the fire , edges brittle, charred and brown. She told me “I draw the poems, I never write them down”. Some of us write, some recite, some tell them as tall or short tales, some leave them random places under cover of night. I gather up the words, blend them with color , shade and light,I gave my bundle of drawings to Godfrey- for he understood why I painted Poetry…..