Sheep droop jaw and hooves split in the stumble for the hay,
the new order of things, picking at the stubble and crust
Knees buckle, for what they’re worth and their eyes look around
and absorb what was mud and is now unsullied bright red dust
There’s a sweet sweet sound moving across the settled ground
it whispers in my ear in the morning
like a solitary breeze that whistles through the trees
and summons all the birds to cease their yawning
What are we made of? asks the child who cries
who just wants a toy she can play with
or to ask most politely before she dies
“is there someone out there I can stay with.”
My, what a lovely place you have, you must be very proud
I love your modern furniture and the space that you’ve allowed
the kitchen is so stylish, are these appliances new?
I’d love one of those in our place, I bet it cost a few
The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock
our warehouse has been stripped of supplies
our people are working around the clock
to ensure you get your hands on the prize
I remembered yesterday the times that I have with you
And visions of the grateful days and all that I have wished for you
I’d stand out in the wind and cold and meet you in the rain
and offer no patronising words to beat us up or take away our pain
Colin Birtles is stuck in traffic, or more to the point, stuck in his car, in a queue, at a service station, idling his engine, with other unfortunates, in traffic, victims all of a garish advertising sign offering a fuel price discount, pock marked on the side of the road, with all the other pock marks, blathering the health benefits of Gatorade, the communication benefits of a mobile phone, or the freedom offered by the latest Jeep.
It was a woman at the checkout buying coconut oil. She had put it in her bag, with all the other groceries she was purchasing when she noticed that the seal on the bottle underneath the screw top lid containing the coconut oil had come lose.
I was approaching, in my car, some months ago, one of those ubiquitous discount fuel outlets that have become symbolic of our consumer age. As I had a voucher handy I decided that I should probably refuel.
Am I happy? It doesn’t matter, it’s not relevant, I accept my fate. Thoreau was right, the mass of men really do lead lives of quiet desperation
Caravan Parks. Classes don’t so much merge, as congregate there. Images of atmospheric smoke induced fellowship. Joy in green cans and littered superlatives. Smirks between crooked weathered tram lines suggesting paradise is at my doorstep.
There is not much to recommend Ballarat. It’s flat and it’s flatulent. Its people walk slowly along grey bleached streets with grey gold smiles on orange wrinkled faces. To drive through it, to the other side, is to celebrate restrained liberty.
Floyd Collins sat on the hood of his Dodge putting on his walking shoes.
The “hood” is a much more appropriate name to describe the flap that opens up to the engine than what the English would refer to as the “bonnet”, which is what you put on the head of a one year old English girl who’ll grow up to marry a gentleman of the aristocracy.
One wet, cold September night some years ago now, a boy was born. It was late, his father, a veterinary surgeon, was out tending to another birth, a cow, in a time when it was hardly expected that a father would be in attendance for the birth of his child, he would be much more likely to be asleep, or having drinks with friends, than with his wife about to give birth.
Patrick Allen bent down, the brown paper bag lay on the ground in full view. He picked it up and he looked inside. It was money, a lot of money, crisp new notes. Someone’s betting money Patrick thought. Maybe it’s ill gotten gains, he had no way of knowing, it was a racetrack after all and gains were there to be had, both ill gotten and legitimate.
Webber and King were walking towards the one cafe on the main road of Grey’s River, it offered what appeared to be the best chance of a decent breakfast.
Lulu sat on the edge of her bed and contemplated it, before she started slashing. And so the violence began, controlled violence though it was, down the arms, across the chest, down the back of legs; none of it designed to inflict real damage but enough to draw attention to the inalienable fact that Lulu wanted someone to listen to her.
– And how will Sir be paying?
– I beg your pardon?
– At the risk of incurring the considerable wrath of my dear grandmother, who would remind me that I must never be required to repeat myself, I must, on this occasion, risking her shouting from her grave, repeat my question. How will Sir be paying?