ARRESTED FOR SWIMMING- More Wharf Street Stories-From Godfrey.

Perhaps, it was because he would talk to anyone, talk of anything but beets, Godfrey collected more stories in a weekend down here on Wharf Street, than I could over several years.

Arrested For Swimming- Proudly Helen told me, “I am 93 and still live on my own” It was Sunday afternoon, I paused to chat where Helen sat, down by the water on Worzel’s worry stone. On the edge of the city harbor, I enjoyed sitting quietly with her.

Twas on a hot morning, the water not bad, Helen dove into the harbor, fully clad. Twixt blue bridge and a passing tug towing barge load of cement, Helen went. Somebody called the law when they saw. Two cops came, stood on the worry stone, as Helen cavorted, salmon like all alone, I heard denizens of the park, watching clap and cheer, when she refused to climb out when the copper demanded of Helen- “Stop that splashing and come here”.

Soon arrived a woman cop, as Helen flung her trousers and top to the shore, landing at the boots of the 4th cop with a plop. She shed  her bra, with a wave and a guffaw, wearing her bathing cap and little more, no one knew what to do with, “Our Lady Of The Harbor”…Now there were 6 serious officers in black, an ambulance came, they pulled a stretcher from the back, there were attendants in rubber gloves, “Helen is doing what she loves”, said I, “shut up Godfrey”, snarled the cop, (somehow she knew me?)

They had weaponry, muscles and clout, but none could persuade my friend Helen to come out, and none would. “All in good time, she sang, all in good time”, shrilly and bold, she was wrapped in a blanket, driven off in a cop car, waving, arrested for swimming at 93 years old.

JACK RUSSELL TERRORIST- He hangs his beige head out the window of her shiny, blue pickup. I can hear them the length of Wharf Street, since Ruckus was a wee pup. A dreadful, loud whingeing, whine, mizzle and cry, when Worzel’s friend “Robinder” and her dog came by.   “A wire haired terrorist, Godfrey bar the door, was the cry when we saw them headed to the luggage store”. “Ruckus ate the handle from a satchel, ate a travel wallet to, I will not describe the mess on my floor, no dog allowed in here anymore. “He dislikes Wharf Street”, Robinder defended her pet, as growling , she left him, offended in the truck. “He starts to bark at Chinatown, when we turn off onto Store, barks at the crows and gulls along the shore, the whole time we walk where dogs on leashes are allowed”. “he dislikes the moil of geese’ and smells among the crowd”

“He is eating manure”…I whispered to Robinder as she stood gazing over the passing parade of tourists’ in amazement. How fast he gobbled what a passing carriage horse had left on the hot pavement. “We sneaked him neath my kilt, into the Sushi Bar loo, to wash his mouth out neath the tap. “Worzel reported later, over dinner, in disgust- “Was the only time ever, with a mouth full of shice, that wire haired terrorist did not yap..

BLUE BRIDGE-    Not quite part of Wharf Street, yet in clear view, not long, wide or high, it is Robin’s egg blue, faded though, mottled, rusty in hue. Soon it will be replaced by something shiny and new. The city had paint leftover, from lampposts, and fence around the petting zoo, just enough leftover for the bridge to. Last night a crowd gathered, on Wharf Street in Old Town, and lined the deck of the blue bridge, as oft folks do at sundown. Blackberry and Butterscotch, woven with the smoke in air of bushfire. Cool of summers end- a peaceful evening had by all..on a bridge that as youthful summers do will soon to, pass into legend.

THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF HELEN-  “Born on the homestead south of 5 Rivers. Left us peacefully in her sleep at 93″ “The family and friends of Helen invite all who knew her to a “Come and go Tea” “I kept the notice printed in the newspaper for Godfrey” “She was a founding member of the “Vocal Voice Of Women”. “She, as I do disliked beets, Helen walked every day, down the harbor, to feed the crows and geese and enjoy swimming”. “Ever cheeky to the police when they’d meet..we shall miss Helen”. “Think of her wild spirit when we watch the sunsets, down on Wharf Street.


8 thoughts on “ARRESTED FOR SWIMMING- More Wharf Street Stories-From Godfrey.

  1. I’m sitting here laughing, and laughing, and laughing. As I re-read about Helen, and discoveri new rhymes, I laugh even more. I’ll remember Helen’s wild spirit forever. Sheila, this entire post is such a delight. How ever are we going to get you a wider audience?

  2. Why thank you, Mercy- it is good that I have thick walls here, as I to, laugh as I write, and enjoy the echo of my distant readers guffaw-ing. I will probably be discovered in about 100 years,when nonsense is new again. For now, I love you all who read and enjoy, very large much.

  3. Thank you John, I have lived many places, and never, ever thought I would land up in an inner city, and love it. I hope one day that “The Wharf Street Stories” will be my retirement. Glad you enjoyed.

  4. I think you must have loved and found unique people and stories anywhere you’ve ever lived, Sheila. You seem to attract them. I like the title “The Wharf Street Stories” and, of course, Helen. Who wouldn’t laugh joyously when reading about Helen’s swim? I wouldn’t care to know anyone who didn’t. And as Mercy notes, the rhymes in this poem are tricky, tantalizing, and fulfilling. Have you ever sent single pieces to poetry contests or magazines? I think your faithful, guffawing, and frequently teary-eyed readers would love to share you with the world.

  5. Thanks Janet- I hope to submit my “Wharf Street Stories” as a “Serious” work, the concept has been done, but never from Godfrey’s whirled view. September here is the annual T.C. writing contest- I will enter for the third time. My sister once wrote my resume, under interests she put- observing the unusual, it is a fine hobby. Perhaps as this street is about as far west as one could be without starting back round- it inspires me so.

  6. My sister so longed to be a serious writer- everything she submitted was returned with a warning it would “induce the innocent reader to suicide” But she did know me well…

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