SAILOR’S REST- from Godfrey

  The harbor this weekend, was full of Classic Wooden Boats on display, it brought back memories bitter sweet, for all that Godfrey loved horses, disliked beets and the pompous, he adored wooden boats, and if he were visiting during the Festival, always went. He would look for a particular yacht, ask after Alex, the hard drinking old  single-hander, who had taught him to sail. “I spent a lot of time heaving, to Alex’s glee, recalled Godfrey… 

Cicadas and dust, a loud, steady hum in the bush, as slowly I left the roadway for steep track. I could see cross the bay to Russell town, looking backward as I climbed, and down. “Be still, gallant heart, you will soon scent the tea tree, North Island green on the horizon, bay blue..the vast sea, the hard ships will all be behind you.

Was early in the New Year, 74′, we meandered about these fair islands their snug golden coves I recall..the sparks of beach fire, the cold damp of mornings on board, how she fetched the breeze to her, battered yet sturdy old ship, the “White Squall”.

Some town folks say she was sold, a loner, years ago bought her. I asked at The Stone Store, the bars down the docks, have all gone to the tourist, but one old chap reckoned, she was wrecked years ago on the jagged “Black Rocks”.

Two inches of free-board in the dinghy I rowed, Alex drunk, singing, his crates of beer safely stowed. Neath the stars we circled, he flicked gems at me, from the trail of phosphorescence, the emerald path my oars churned from the sea.

Be still, gallant heart, wherever you be, I heaved over the side, as you laughed at me. your life’s dream was to fix up your boat and head west, I seek your name, midst the buccaneers, fishers, the poets, the reckless ones, and those high on this sunny hill top they call “Sailor’s Rest”


8 thoughts on “SAILOR’S REST- from Godfrey

  1. I still don’t know who is talking some of the time Godfrey, worzel Beatrice alice or even you. But I don’t want to know – its like being in a room with all your mates and listening as the night gets longer.

  2. Another good poem with a touch of wistfulness wandering through the humor. It left me wanting to hear more about Alex and Godfrey and the White Squall. Again in this post you captured something I have experienced, but would never have described so wonderfully when you wrote, “he flicked gems at me, from the trail of phosphorescence, the emerald path my oars churned from the sea.” I feel a happy sense of anticipation when I know it’s a day when I’ll have time to dwell with your words, Sheila.

  3. Thanks Janet- as I mentioned to Mr Suchled, the #50 bus that I love to disparge had a wee prang last Friday, and sent a few people asunder, I got a pretty good bang on the head, rear of, and a black and plum arm. It made me think of sailing, when hurtling through a smelly bus, all the lovely places you have been, pass before you. I am fine, and to prove it spelled “Phosphorescence” in a poem. Alex was a true crusty salt.

  4. Luckily. I had a long weekend to be plucky, cannot abide hospitals, but it really whacked my eye sight, also someone must have stepped on my foot, as it to, was black. I really care for my brain, so it was a worry, but all well now except for the bus…

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