OVER THE WATER- A Poet’s New Year

From Worzel-  I miss him the most at New Year, though we rarely saw Godfrey over the deep of winter, the holiday was significant for us both, and we shared combined Welsh/ Canadian traditions, oft hemispheres apart.

The earthquake occurred that last turning of the year he spent with us. Strong enough to jolt my turquoise chair, Godfrey nicked his hand when his lemonade went flying. My husband Garnet, came out to gripe at us over the thudding, only to get “The Vapors”, my stalwart cowboy could not stand blood. There was screaming in the hall, Mrs Feerce, our land lady, also panicking, twisted her ankle in the hole at top of the stairs. Even Mr Ghostly, who never left his room opened the door a crack, elderly Miss Pettigrew’s cat fled up the landing and out the transom window, the one that could not be closed,  to return three weeks later.

Noted Godfrey, after cocoa was made, biscuits consumed by all, and the bug chandelier ceased swaying, “My goodness, we forgot the funny hats and to pull the paper crackers”…     

     Early New Years Day, when the celebrating wound down, I slid on my own, cross the frosty grass, edge of town. Bag of oat groats in my hand, the geese and ducks soon gather round. The Mute Swan is last, waits for the special, mixed feed I’ve brought her. Dignified as is the brand new dawn, she glides in over the water.

Cold was our turning of this year, night bitter and clear. Earth chose to shake the frost from her blankets, it rained ancient bugs from the old chandelier. Tipped over my lemonade, when the aged  building swayed. Swayed to did Worzel, but I leaned out and caught her. When all was calm we worried not, stood together linked arms us three, quiet looking out over the water.

Over the water the Mangrove grove grew, over my head at night bats flapped and flew. Along the lake trail, we portaged the canoe. Vanquish worry for failure, let go fear of future, let go,  head out over calm water.

Oh the decks are slippery, her old rust spots flaking, face to the swells she rides, rolling and shaking. tea cups clinked where they hung in the galley below, in my dreams, over the water, the good ship Arahura and I will soon go.

I have woke snug and warm, on many a chill morn, woke to the sound of the foghorn. Calling out to all wayward and lonely at sea, I dislike beets, as well you all know, and tussle with words like “Redundant” and “Technology”. ” I tussle with words, but like the foghorn, am heading out over the water”. So I bid Happy New Year  to all, wherever you be, Blessings for New Year,  blessings from Godfrey.


7 thoughts on “OVER THE WATER- A Poet’s New Year

  1. He loved the sound of foghorn, we often camped out, not far from here at a place called Whiffin Spit, at the end of which was a foghorn. The fog here is like clotted cream, ever present, he woke one morning with his head on an expired seagull. All part of the adventure..

  2. A Happy New Year to you, Sheila. I’ve continued to read Godfrey’s saga as each new story appears but I’ve been lapse (lapsed in other ways too) in commenting. That changes as of now. I’m happy to read you’ve been tweaking your early writings in preparation for submission to some lucky editor. Remember, Van Gough only sold one painting in his lifetime, but recently one sold for 47 million. Actually, that last sentence is no comfort at all !! He might have spared an ear if his genius had been recognized in his lifetime. My wish for you is that your genius is soon recognized.
    Now….I’m going to go back a month, settle in with a cup of lemon tea, re-read, and comment. Mary

    • Happy New Year indeed, Mercy, I hope you enjoy the read- ahh, my favorite thing is to curl up thus. Van Gogh is my favorite painter, so gloriously ant-social. I envision my first Godfrey book as a children’s story, seeking the right artist, to capture his intense horror of beets.

  3. So your New Year’s earthquake made its way into this delightful post. I do so enjoy the perfectly named boarders who shared its terrors. The rhyme is compelling as well. I read once for the story and another time to emphasize the rhyme and rhythm. Again, I agree with Mercy who wishes for you that your genius be recognized.

    • Well Janet, thank you both, though modesty forbids…Mr Suchled sent the link to Dylan Thomas reading “Under Milkwood”, been soaking up true genius. This was a fun one.

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