THE DOG’S TOWEL- And other Stories- From Beatrice

He was no buffoon,nor a twit, or a bumbler always putting his gum-booted foot deep in it. Godfrey believed in stardust trails, and cow-paths being equally significant. He wrote me this in a letter…I am visiting friends, in a farmhouse old, in an area remote.I slept behind the hot water tank along the wall, wrapped in horse blanket and coat. It is very cold in the house, outside the snow is deep, I patched the hole in the ceiling above Maree’s room. Possums were getting in at night disturbing her sleep. Being low on wood, we hitched horse and sleigh, wood indeed warms you thrice, we hauled several loads today.

While my friends tended stock, and fed pets outside, I did a weeks worth of dishes, saw they were put in the cupboard clean and dry. The only dish-rag was an ancient pair of drawers I found on a nail behind the door, the only dish towel hung there to, so I set to my chore, cleaned up and made cinnamon scones for tea.. .It did not impress Maree, thudding in with an armful of logs, for I had used her underpants to wash the dishes, dried them with the towel she used on her dogs…I have earned myself a lift to the nearest town, I am in disgrace, but know this will make you laugh so I write it down. From Godfrey.

Poems As Place Mats- Godfrey would talk to anyone, talk of anything but beets. When not busy chatting he usually sat, suitcase at his feet writing a poem. He wrote on the edge of newspaper pages. He wrote on brown paper bags. He wrote on the walls as poets have down through the ages. He wrote high on bridge girders, usually in chalk, he knelt down to write on the sidewalk. His favorite random poetry left places where he sat, were poems Godfrey left to be used as a place mat. Where he dined, folk were ought to find a poem or verse hidden in plain sight. Most were wadded up, some not understood,some used to sop up spills, others touched the finders lives for the good. I found an odd poem, wrote Iona Bigina, at a bus stop bench.

Coming home from my job I was sweaty and cranky, had a bad lunch, the boss had been condacending to us, it smelled on the crowded bus. It was damp where I had to sit, the poem was tucked down the seat and I read it. “Hello from Godfrey, from where you are waiting, before the bus comes, here’s a coupon for the bakery behind you good for two free cream buns. To pass up treats is akin to quitting living, I do not like beets, poems and pastries are for giving- Enjoy from Godfrey.

Chasing Gypsies With Music And Dance- Godfrey did have a serious side, but very few persons knew it. I believe he saw with a different perspective, one foot on the edge of the whirled, but he did not fear falling through it. He grieved only when alone and but for beets, looked for beauty amid humanity that out weighed the appalling.”Like chasing Gypsies with music”, he would mutter, at the news of war or bad behaviour outrageous. “Like digging one hole to fill in another, and putting up an outdoor loo alongside” The arrogance of power Godfrey could not abide. He wrote once in the dust of a great, large road works machine. “snug in my tent on a night long ago, thunder over head, lightning striking about. Roaring wind, hard,hard rain. I could hear Fox Glacier, moan and complain to the foul tempered sky. My tent held up, I did not die. In the morning sun all about me steamed dry and warm, he wrote, “All who think a machine will subdue Mother Nature, ought be made to sleep out in such a storm”.

He left this poem on a park bench seat near a petting zoo. He wrote, the police came as I sat, told me I had to move along. I told them it seemed as arbitrary as chasing Gypsies away with dance and song.I told them my name, Godfrey, they wrote it down, and once again I got a nice ride straight out of town. Godfrey, old friend still youthful when I see you in a dream. You still stand a scruffy waif before the bakery window glass. Writing on city walls, talking to all who stop or pass. Godfrey is alive- there is a wind that will never die. He will pass into legend, with the undies and the dog’s towel,hear his voice in that wind, yes I dried the dishes with the dog’s towel..it was I!!.

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4 thoughts on “THE DOG’S TOWEL- And other Stories- From Beatrice

  1. Sheila, there is so much in each of your posts to read, think about, laugh about; so many details to admire and digest. i marvel at the mind that produces them, that can think of a situation where dishes get done with undies and a dog towel. Janet

  2. Thanks Janet- I am glad to make you laugh and give thought for food. I doubt my characters will never run out of adventures, and the small, practical realities of doing dishes with an old pair of grundies. He was not aware it was the dog’s towel. Only beets fazed Godfrey.

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