GODDY SMALL

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Maureen K Clifford
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Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
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GODDY SMALL

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:21 pm

GODDY SMALL .. Maureen Clifford © The #ScribblyBark Poet


We are tough Bushmen here, none are sissies –
we’ve all seen and most done the hard yards
and have battled harsh drought, flood and fire –
and not only the landscape wears scars.
Our mate Pat was a larrikin drover –
who would ride and could ring with the best,
every eye here today Lord was tearful,
as we laid our old cobber to rest.

‘Wrap me up in my blanket and place me,
near the creek where the Butcher bird calls.
You can say a few words if you want to
but if not it won’t matter at all.
My whole life has been blessed with bright sunsets,
though with romance perhaps a short fall.
I have always lived life to the fullest
and I've offered my friendship to all.’

So we laid him to rest as he wanted.
Mates and friends came from far and from near,
and all gathered at dawn round the campfire,
then we sat round and yarned with a beer.
o’er the mountains old Sol rose up slowly
and our heads were bowed down as we prayed.
Whilst his flea bitten heeler lay quietly.
An old dog with a muzzle turned grey.
We had gathered together some blossoms,
nothing fancy, a gum branch or two,
with wild wattle – the gold of our country –
and some Patterson’s Curse for the blue
of its tiny flower and sweet perfume,
for the red we’d picked Prickly Pear
which in retrospect was just like Patrick –
for it seemed to pop up everywhere.

We placed this bush corsage above him
on the red soil that covered our mate
and each one of us stood in silence,
taking time no doubt to contemplate
how out here a man’s true worth is counted
not by money or things that he owns
but by what he has done to help others,
and for small sins he hopes to atone.

“There's a good fellow coming your way Lord,
now he’s walking the bush track to home.
Won't you be a true friend and go meet him –
so his last miles aren’t travelled alone.
Here on earth, he had good mates a ‘plenty.
His wrong doings weren’t many but few.
So though disconsolate that he's leaving,
his soul Lord we're commending to you.
Down here Lord he’ll not be forgotten,
as he always had stories to tell,
and on cold winter nights round the campfire
we'll remember old Patrick as well.
We will tell of a bushman and ringer,
one who mustered along with the best.
A good mate, bonzer cobber, a man’s man.
Who is now heading home for a rest.”

And it seemed to us that the Lord listened –
we were bathed in a beautiful light
and a rainbow appeared out of nowhere,
hung suspended - with all colours bright.
Flocks of magpies above us were singing
and their song was a joyful delight
Old Man Kookaburra, he was laughing –
and we reckoned for Pat that was right.

So we turned then and started to break camp –
whilst I saddled up Pat's horse, Red Ned
then I whistled to call the blue heeler
from his vigil beside Pat's last bed.
That mutt looked at me - soft brown eyes puzzled,
and he wagged his tail feeble and slow
and the look in his eyes just spoke volumes –
they said clearly ‘No way can I go.
For my master is here. I don’t know why
you have covered him here with this earth.
But right here is the place I must stay Joe –
for this bloke was the one saw my worth
when other men kicked and abused me
and still others had left me for dead,
this bloke here gave me life, gave me hope Joe –
you go on, I’ll just wait here instead.’

Well! There was no immediate hurry
so I told the blokes that I might stay
a bit longer yet to let the dog grieve
and then later I'd be on my way.
I quite fancied I heard Patrick saying
‘That’s a good thing that you’ve done now Joe
for my old dogs earthly days are numbered
and when he hears the call he’ll just go’

Oh I knew it was a flight of fancy,
for old Patrick was no longer here
but I worried about his blue heeler...
he would pine and then die was my fear.
And I thought how I owed it to Patrick,
for his horse and dog to do my best
and a day or two more spent here waiting–
would give all of us some time to rest.
But the time was shorter than I reckoned –
Red Ned gave voice early next morn.
Out I leapt from my swag..it was cold Mate,
for it was just piccaninny dawn.
Red Ned stood with his chestnut head lowered;
at his feet was his blue heeler mate
who’d gone walkabout, following Patrick -
left his body behind to its fate.

Once again I grabbed shovel and mattock,
and beside Patricks fresh funeral mound
dug a hole not as big, for his heeler,
his best mate and a faithful blue hound.
And don’t laugh when I tell you this fellows –
but a prayer I said there for the Blue
I commended his soul up to heaven
saying ‘Pat named this bloke God for you.

He reckoned God Dog would spook devils,
and he reckoned he could muster clouds.
and he always claimed Goddy would listen,
to his prayers when he said them out loud.
Pat claimed him the loyalest mate ever
and no better friend could he recall.
So be sure to watch over them both Lord –
my mate Pat and his mate Goddy Small.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

Ron
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:55 pm
Location: Blue Mtns.

Re: GODDY SMALL

Post by Ron » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:07 pm

Good one Maureen, (you know you've always got me with a good dog story) ;)
Enjoyed the read, thank you.
Ron

User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7553
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: GODDY SMALL

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm

Thanks Ron - always reckon animals and kids make good subjects .... appeals to the Nana's and Granpops :lol:
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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