Never the poet Godfrey was, at this mardy turning of the year, I do enjoy a go at word-croodling…
. November morning, out about dawn. Note that shabby and old but still warm, was the harbor’s autumn coat of pastel. Derelict boat stuck on the mud-flat below, bet it has a story to tell. It was called “Pride and Joy”, read the name in tattered paint faint on the stern. Sadly, I had to agree, recalled a memory, a cold morning one, crossing Knockfollie’s Bridge with the vagabond Godfrey.
And looking east where from the bridge we stood, was distant Mt Baker, ever winter, cratered peak the shoulder mother sun lifted herself up on. Her dome of Sherbert lemon, rose and lavender,her snowfield a cloud piercer- Godfrey always beheld the sight with awe- as he did with all that have been alone forever.
Dark, raining, Sunday afternoon. Memory is a pad-foot, sneaking into my room, wakes me from my daydream out the window. Coffee hot, ginger snap, wind is blowing seven bells of crap. Neighbors rowing third day in a row, hear them through the wall. What for years thought was one tree, I see is actually four now the leaves so thick and green dry up and fall, Godfrey would say, “well yes it did appear one stout tree to me”, shall we polish off the cream-buns with coffee and a story”?
I once met on a train, said he, a kind lady, genteel and elderly. She said she lived her long life on the rim of the world, told me as we rattled south, “As a young girl I liked to climb, up to the high point of land near our home, where a lighthouse was built above the sea”. Knowing from where I sat was nouht but open ocean all the way to Chile. Funny how that same ocean rumbled up the sands and stone, Peru to far Gisborne, and with the tide to Knockfollie”s Bridge, where I stood with Godfrey many a chill November morn.
Now that I am old, walk there careful in the cold, I scratch his name with a dime, and often if one comes to me a rhyme, on the bridge rail in frost. Ice brittle below on the fringes of the inlet, though soon it will all thaw.On this day, to the east, one lone cloud drifts insolent, black on sunrise gold, shaped like a dragon, puffing pink mist, above the city as I crossed Knockfollie”s Bridge. Wonder if anyone saw the dragon cloud I saw? Somebody has scratched in the frost on the guardrail, out before me, perhaps scratched with a dime…the words, “I miss you at dawn, miss you I do, for all time”….