It was a “Mardy”, cold afternoon, Godfrey and I were watching a program about the Mountain Goats, dwellers on steep cliffs up the Stikine River, very far north, if Godfrey disliked beets, his loathing for them was equal to his love for rivers and moving water…that summer, he had the crapuad scared out of him by something in the forest, while river ratting near our Island cabin. After the goat program, he told me this story.

Gather round me driftwood artisans, dwellers in the marshland,  listen to my song, of the Puntledge River when she overflows, come warm by the fire, listen all you seekers and hobos.

She’s not deep or brash, yet can be unforgiving as waterways bigger, she’s not famous or rocky, or wide. Born of the glacier you can well see from the town’s west side. “The Forbidden Plateau,”cold streams feed the Puntledge, with no sense of urgency, sends her waters meandering down.

“Said the wise, who dwell on the riverside, “keep an eye on the salmon run, shoulder check for the King Tide” “For when it and the autumn storms coincide, heed the elders, for they know the November skies, and how shaggy the horse’s winter coat grows , years it is likely the Puntledge River overflows…

“Summertime is gentle here, trout grow fat in the hay shaded bends, you can fish from wood bridge where it crosses mid-city- spot dolphins from the sea dunes, at twilight where the Puntledge River ends”.

“In the forest where my Grand-cestors, they knew they had no need to go there, are places of dark mystery, ancient wisdoms and history, legends abound of “Forbidden Plateau”. “I to, never have gone, raised on lore and story, but have often followed the Puntledge on her path to the sea”.

And as  the wise one sang, sitting back against a tree, and the river chuckled by, sat listening in awe , to her song was the Vagabond Godfrey…


6 thoughts on “WHEN THE PUNTLEDGE OVERFLOWS-From Godfrey

  1. I wish he was here, he would be baffled by instant communicating-a wrinkled up letter in the post box was a joy in his day. Mine to, but this is such fun also. I can see the pair of you yarning, and walking out to check on the sheep…

  2. This is, indeed, a captivating ballad. As I read, a soft tune crept into my head to accompany the wondrous words, not anything I’d ever sing to others, but it pleased me — and you, Sheila, gave me this pleasure with your ability to string together lilting words.

  3. I hope you had a safe and filling Thanksgiving, Janet. My Grandpa was not native, but grew up with the stories and legends of this island, places he said never go, I never have, silly perhaps, but inspires me to delve more into their origins. I sing them to, but also not to others.

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