Ebenezer Scrooge’s First Flight

The airport is slightly more interesting
than a bus terminal.
The zero gradient travellator is fascinating,
if you’re the kind of person
whose eyes are ablaze with excitement
over the latest development in detergent technology.
Gwendolyn, the older lady beside me, is such a person.
The deranged bitch
is acting like a teenager on a roller coaster.
They say the world needs to
halve its population and half it again.
Oh how I’d love to start with Grandma Gwen.
The waiting room is less fun than a medical centre.
At least there, you overhear a few snippets
about the dodgy bowels and brain infections
of peasants soon to rid the earth
of their intolerable presence.

It’s boarding time,
time to say goodbye to the quaint,
ridiculous puppets in this Thunderbirds re-run.
The sweetly smiling twit of a stewardess
expects me to return her good cheer,
how wonderful to see her shrink away
in the face of my evil laughter.
“In business class I’d be as happy
as a pick pocket in a casino” they said.
I’m not sacrificing compound interest for fleeting luxuries.
The plane is taxiing across the tarmac now.
Perhaps this experience will soon be more riveting
than watching thrush grow on the tongue
of a Z grade whoremonger.

The disembodied safety demonstration voice
sounds thrilled at the prospect
of wearing a safety light,
while thrashing around in choppy seas,
and watching the plane begin its journey
to the floor of the Pacific.
I brought my own life jacket,
I’m wearing it now.
I’m contemplating destroying my spare,
in case some urchin gets hold of it.
The poet beside me is raving about
how quickly his gaze extends
from Botany to Bundeena to Wollongong,
in the most dreadful flowery language.

The scowling billionaire beside me
is attempting to frighten me to death
with his glowering demonic eyes.
Infants experiment with sound
as we approach the speed of sound.
From miles high blue sky,
sea and cloud are smoky marble.

Distant land vanishes in grey haze.
The obscuring vapour
is the wintry exhalations of Poseidon,
strolling between Melbourne and Van-Diemens Land,
in Kosciusko humbling gumboots.
King and Flinders Islands are stepping stones
to the God of the ocean’s backyard.
Ocean precipitation was his perspiration.

Descending into Launceston – ocean, beaches,
forests, patchwork of paddocks, pine plantations,
clear felled sample of Armageddon,
open cut mines, urban sprawl, country manor,
vast treeless acreage; descending rapidly,
Launceston grows to Cockington Green proportions.

The Demise of Hilda Johnson

Mangroves protect sandy banks from speedboat wash
On sunshine kissed ripples
diamonds blink in and out of existence.
Wasps drift on micro swells.
Clouds peek over the tree line
like abominable vapor men.

On the ocean side of the property
Senator Hilda Banks clicks on the most elegant heels
she’s seen since Imelda Marcos
gave her a guided tour
of her warehouse dwarfing wardrobe.
In the buying frenzy that follows,
she battles grimly
to stay within a monthly limit
that could bring Christmas to a country town
for a generation.

A wren species not spied since federation,
is wounded by a lunging feral cat.
It crash lands on Hilda’s shoulder.
She swats it into the ocean,
like it’s just another blow fly.

A news report, highlighting decades of warming,
captures her attention for the time it takes
the critically endangered bird
to drown in a rock pool.
Ridiculous, useless modern thermometers,
Hilda murmurs as she waddles
from her mansion scale motor home.
The grandest solar model could have powered all
from satellite televisions
to her arsenal of hair dryers
but Hilda can’t bear to waste good oil and coal.
She’s ordered a truckload of each,
to supply her camping needs.

A traumatized dolphin submerges
after witnessing Hilda masturbating
before a waxwork likeness
of her favourite fossil fuel lobbyist.
Thunder confirms the sky has taken offence.
Clouds erupt.
Beyond the frothy cauldron where the beach was,

monstrous surf is barely distinguishable from bleak skies.
Ephemeral billabongs and rivers merge.
Hilda’s hilltop camp site is a shrinking island.
Cocooned inside her mobile palace
she snorts derisively at an article
on the correlation between climate change
and extreme weather events.
She’s oblivious,
until her monument to the fossil fuel industry
is launched into the Pacific.