THE HAGGIS IS GONE- And Beatrice’s Song- From Worzel

They teased him about his dread of beets, they teased him about his lack of teeth, they teased him about his ragged clothes, they teased him about the dented car his grouchy mother drove…Beatrice spoken softly of the childhood she and Godfrey shared as we explored the Welsh countryside in her equally decrepit vehicle. I was a prairie girl, knew the cold, but never the cold of the piercing, damp wind off the mountains, that cleared the fog and coal smoke, the blowing snow just long enough to reveal the magic of a castle, then veil it again, this modest and mystic treasure of a land. It was not until my third visit to Sonsie Farm, and the old puce house, that Beatrice shared more of herself. Propped against the canoe in her sitting room, and two dead plants was Godfrey’s old “Chupa Street Guitar”, dusted, with shiny new strings. Beatrice explained, “Sugar Mulgrew has taught me three chords, “I have always sung while shoveling manure, and have written a bit down, would you care to hear it? “indeed , yes, I told her, indeed.

  THE HAGGIS IS GONE- The haggis is gone, for there is no more, only beets and sardines, in the country store. And the store is far, far miles away, no haggis left, now many a day. The haggis is gone. Oh the track it climbs, round roots and stone, over ridges it winds, my boots are worn, the nights are cold, and though I dislike towns, it’s where haggis is sold.    Now down to the meadow, in the shady lea, where the cows have been, comes sweet memory..on the summer green, rest your bonnie head, as I spread cold haggis, over fresh rye-bread.       But the haggis is gone!, still I recall your face, the poems, the stories, and your old suitcase, and our childhood shared, love was all we knew, we could not be broken, me and you. But the haggis is gone, and the trail ends to, and I’m at a crossroads, it is winter dawn, with this dented guitar, for the haggis is gone, for the haggis is gone….

( The cows like this one, Beatrice smiled)  BEATRICE’S SONG- When was it you last saw Godfrey, was he up the high country when summertime came?  Asleep in the sun or did you pass on a switch-back?, or a cold morning campsite heading out bound again…Was it in autumn you last walked beside him?, down to the orchard the crisp, fallen leaves. Sit on his strong shoulders to reach those last apples, frost melts on the branches, runs cold up your sleeves.             Was it deep winter you last laughed together? Late nights over coffee by wood fires glow, let the snowdrifts fill in our tracks to the highway, talk of places he’d been and new places to go. Mt Thimbleweed, Smell Fox, Yampa Valley, Dragon’s Bay, all the way to the wild Otago.  What of the mornings I still hear his singing? And as hot afternoons fade dusty to eve, trout rise lazy in the cool of the stream bed, their ripples his laughter, I have to believe.    When was it you last saw Godfrey? was he up the high country when summertime came?  Turnberry Canyon, Holyoak Clearing, the rough scramble down to the wild Tasman Sea.    (I to, enjoyed it Beatrice, I to).    From Worzel.

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4 thoughts on “THE HAGGIS IS GONE- And Beatrice’s Song- From Worzel

  1. Ah Worzel … between you and Beatrice … recapturing Godfrey in memory and song …
    I particularly love this line:
    “And as hot afternoons fade dusty to eve, trout rise lazy in the cool of the stream bed, their ripples his laughter, I have to believe.”
    I actually had a catch in my throat and a tear in my eye when I read this line … and I read it languorously several times. Truly touching!

  2. Why, good morning dear Marcia, an honor from you with such an eye for capturing those moments when love lets us know they are still at our sides- a fun one to write, thanks!

  3. i was caught by the same line that Marcia mentions and had the same reaction. More and more, Sheila, I’m caught between laughing and crying when I read your poems. Ah the poems: I became so immersed in the rhythm and rhyme of this one that I read it much too quickly and had to read it again — not an unusual activity for me when reading your posts.

  4. Thanks Janet, you and Marcia Mae may be kindred souls- she was first to read “Godfrey” on stage, She and her husband Mike are brilliant writers and photographers, they gave me this computer. Had a roughy at work and did not write much this week, but the line you both like, and I do to was born at lunch time in “The Bile Room”, as judgement glared across the table. My vagabond and I retreated to that quiet stream bank. I to, oft read quickly, your Robin gave me much comfort and humor this past week, and I thank you.

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