The Cockroach Guru

Mr Bellinger was busy marking essays
reminiscent of the work of typing monkeys,
when his siblings died
in a head on collision with a road train.
Their brakes had been declared perfect,
by a mechanic as suspect
as a property developer’s ecological survey.

Without elaborating, Bellinger described his holiday
as “less fun than a choice between
having his brain vacuumed through his nose
and his liver extracted with a spoon”
Mister Piccolo, the music co-ordinator,
found his colleague more depressing
than a legless Taekwondo addict.

Bellinger’s first morning back

was as dull as dusting a warehouse one speck at a time,
and more tricky than untangling plaited vas deferens.
Being weeks from retirement,
was all that kept him from slashing his wrists.

Bellinger expected the final bell to be as exhilarating
as beating a forest fire to a barren hilltop.
During lunch, he dreamt of a bamboo massage parlour,
in a patch of urban rainforest;
it’s cosy atmosphere awash with Cedar oil.
He’d started marking at four a.m
so there was time to treat himself
to the closest thing to fulfilling his fantasy.

First, Bellinger had to judge a speech contest.
Was the current leader worthy of an award,
he wondered,
as the final speaker 
strode to the podium.
Guessing Huon Stratton’s  topic

was like wondering if the Melbourne Cup
is going to be a horse race this year.

Bogans, nerds and distinguished scholar,
I wanted to explore the evolutionary history of Blatta orientalis,
but Bellsy said that would be less entertaining
than watching gangrene spread,
that I need a topic more lighthearted than infanticide.
If I can’t convince you learning about cockroaches is fun,
I’ll wear a hot pink mankini to the swimming carnival.

The cockroach brain is decentralized
so don’t be surprised if the one you decapitated,
with a razor blade, last week, is still alive.
Do not despair, ultimately it will succumb to thirst .
Due to it’s rectal water re-absorption you might die first.

Roaches can spit but can’t blow bubbles.
Alas they will never know the joys of bubble gum.
Incapable of burping,
or playing the gas bugle
they’d be insectoid gelignite,
before the end of the night,
if it weren’t for teeth below their oesophagus.

Cockroach kidneys writhe like snakes
as they frantically pump toxins from their blood.
Dracula deduced they’re are as good as juiced;
they have no blood vessels.

Roaches probably aren’t religious
but Ramadan would be a stroll through the dinner scraps
for these nuclear holocaust survival candidates.
They’d think nothing of enforced fasting for a month.

If cockroaches were Catholics the Pope would love them;
male roaches present their mates with sperm packages
wrapped in protein coats,
leaving them perpetually pregnant.

Cockroaches Achilles heel is poor eyesight in red light,
so they’re easy to kill in strip clubs.
Elsewhere they’re hard targets
for the swiftest of clown shoes.

Motion detecting hairs on their posterior
make the average stalker feel so inferior;
ordinary hunters are bound to despise
the two thousand lenses in their eyes.
It’s hard to envelope these insect Houdini’s
when they can slip through cracks as thin as an envelope.
Some species are harder to detect than stealth bombers;
small enough to hide in ant nests.

These ninjas of the insect world
are engineering marvels
but forensic experts would gladly break
all eighteen of their knees,
because roaches like to
track the arterial flow of murder victims across ceilings.
Many are globetrotting fugitives,
thumbing their nose at extradition treaties.
They’re stowed on ships and planes
before disgruntled crime scene technicians
and outraged cooks know they’ve fled.

In the seventeenth century the Danish Navy
dealt cockroaches self-esteem a stinging blow
by offering a bounty of a single bottle of brandy
per thousand carcasses.
William Bligh, captain of the Bounty,
once de-roached his entire ship with boiling water,

For the sports nuts among you,
cockroaches scale speed is on par with top fuel dragsters,
those finely tapered vehicles with parachutes for brakes.
Fortunately their reflexes would embarrass
formula one driver Michael Schumacher,
at the pinnacle of his prowess,
otherwise they’d be crashing into the fridge a lot.
The machinery driving these fiendish super athletes
has animatronic wizards salivating.
Insect dance troupes beckon.
These athletic marvels can spin fast enough
to make a ballerina’s brain explode
from the centrifugal force.
Roaches can hold their breathe
from kick off to half time in the football
so white water rafting murder plots
are dead in the water before they’re concocted.

Is mixed martial arts your favourite sport?
Male Madagascan hissing roaches
possess horns for ramming rivals
from their alpha male mantles.
Sadly their trash talking is indecipherable.

During the Middle Ages
it was customary to release cockroaches
into new dwellings.
Today, outside of sporting circles,
roaches aren’t so widely revered.
In a Plano, Texas, Cockroach Hall of Fame,
Liberoachi was the star attraction.
He sat at a miniature grand piano,
his white mink cape
as flamboyant as his dazzling claw strokes.

Mr Bellinger cleared his throat.
“If the winner is like a blue ribbon bonsai,
older than the Sphinx.
The also rans are
 toxic weeds
that germinated yesterday.

Sir, the art of pun sai, the forerunner of bonsai,
originated in the eighth century China.
The Sphinx dates back to 2494 BC.

Poets licence Huon, poets licence.

They must be easier to get than drivers licenses.
Sir, did you know the Egyptian desert roach,
Polyphaga aegyptiaca, can absorb water vapour?

Mister Stratton, did you know first prizes
can be arbitrarily revoked?
Bellinger was smiling, like a kid in a toy store.
For the first time since the Carter administration,
he considered working until nursing home heavies,
dragged him from his desk.

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.

In Synch With the Sink

Iceberg Lemonade,
cool enough to give a penguin hypothermia,
spruiked the caption on a canister of life saving liquid.
Hershel’s gargantuan gulp nearly ruptured the straw.
As he mangled Nimrod Island’s
last strand of Melaleuca murdering Moth Vine,
drops of hornet drowning proportions
exploded on drought baked soil.
An ants Atlantis disappeared beneath the onslaught.
The surrounding marshes became a lake.

In a desperate bid to reach the car park,
Hershel used a car roof as a makeshift boat
and driftwood for oars.
‘It’s not worth the risk’, the crew chorused.
‘You fools, I must see my kitchen sink in daylight,
before the opalescent jaguar breaks free’
Hershel bellowed in sheer exasperation,
as if it were a self-explanatory situation.
He was as wet as a mermaid whore, mid shift,
as he clambered up a brown snake infested hillside
in the direction of the bus stop.

Hershel unlocked his fridge with a finger print scanner.
Using a spoon, engraved by Uri Geller
from a thousand miles away,
he mauled the pop top on a bottle of Matador’s Elixir,
the ale for all that ails you.

As Hershel donned his echidna quill robe
the gleaming surface of his psychic sink
streamed pictures from all over the globe.
He’d always thought it would help him to debunk
tales of a bald yeti, tattooed with a tattooed skunk,
selling body builders a plethora of injectable junk,
but his sink confirmed the existence of that punk.

Hershel urged his revelation sorter to surge.
‘Take me to the pinnacle of the knowledge zone
my mould sloshing, dish washing, scrying stone’
Hershel says his kitchen sink was as good as a video link
to the helicopter hovering nearest to Nimrod Island.
He insists his sink recruited the ghost of Alan Turing
to hack into the rescue ships on-board computer
and guide it to the marooned conservationists.
The pilot disagrees.

 

Eco Warriors, Part 7

If they’d watched the news
Dangerous and Jumping Giles would’ve seen
CCTV footage of Dangerous versus the Westvale Boys
and Jumping Giles standing idly by sipping a Frozen Coke.
Mirror Boy and his cohorts
had robbed two service stations in twenty minutes
before their stoush with the most feared weed sprayer
since Genghis Khan took a dislike to his palace garden.

Laura Bogan missed the news as well.
She was busy ringing Dangerous Dylan Donovan
to interrogate him about misuse of company vehicles.
“Speeding on two wheels is against company policy?
Since when?
I’m busy darlin, The Warlords are playin.
I’ve got five hundred riding on the first scorer.
We’ll talk about work at work.
Then again, I’ll probably be too busy then too.”
Dangerous turned the volume down,
knowing Laura would yell for ages
before pausing to discover he was gone.
He recorded every call from Laura Bogan
and sent the audio files to Ricardo
to summarise the death threats.

Not content with disturbing Dangerous Dylan Donovan
during a Western Sydney Warlords match,
Laura Bogan made the mistake
of offending Richard Johnson again.
“What do ya mean we can’t arm drones with herbocide cannins.
I could fly em by remote control from my car
during an extended lunch break.
I’d neva be more than two feet
from an ice cold six pack.”
“Garth Izzard just isn’t prepared to pay
for that kind of technology”
Within moments of Laura being out of sight
Richard had stolen her diary again
and sped off on another Office Works escapade.
There was a strong police presence in the shredder section
and Melanie Tulip’s new trousers
were as opaque as a fortress.
Had he driven to the shops for nothing?
An enraged Johnson
wreathed photo copier laden shelving
high into the air.
Each rep was more reckless than the last.

Exasperated with the local police’s refusal
to risk pepper spraying or tasering Richard Johnson
the manager tried a different tack.
“If I give you this state of the art shredder for free
will you promise to never come back?”
“I will consider your offa” Johnson replied
as he headed for the car park, shredder in hand.
It made short work of Laura Bogan’s
forty thousand words of meticulous fabrication.
Richard made a phone call to Oliver Oxford,
who he hoped has taken time out from bird watching
to fill up his herbicide spray pack.

Matt Rush rang Laura Bogan,
to request a copy of the diary she’d been discussing forever.
Richard Johnson listened intently.
Eight kookaburras and five goannas suffered from strokes
during his fits of maniacal laughter.
The electronic copy of Laura’s diary
had been mysteriously deleted from her laptop
and online back up.
Using her name for the password
had proved to be a bad idea.

Every member of the crew knew Lady Justice’s guillotine
was about to descend upon Laura Bogan, except her.
It was a guillotine they’d all had a hand in
building, sharpening and polishing.

“Closed circuit television footage will show
that since the beginning of the job
Laura has repeatedly left site during lunch
without returning until mid afternoon”
read an email from Ricardo to Matt Rush.
Garth Izzard openly agreed,
during a video conference call.
“It’s true Matt, it was quite cunning
how Miss Bogan avoided the regular trails
and built her own personal gates
but not as cunning as Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s
repositioning of the perimeter cameras.

Realizing she was destined for a long walk to the bus stop
Laura Bogan attempted to ring
her cousins for a lift and to organise a hit
on Ricardo Hohns and Dangerous Dylan Donovan.
In their current predicament
it was surprising they’d managed to keep their phones.
What was less surprising
was that they were in prison for the armed robbery
of two Westvale service stations
and conspiring to rob a third.

 

Eco Warriors, Part 6

Richard worked as hard as a lone tank
versus the United States air force.
“I am King Kong’s conqueror, Godzilla fears me.”
I dare you to unleash your fury upon me” he roared
as he sprinted towards a patch of Inkweed,
wearing a spray pack the size of a swimming pool.

Dexter Finkelstein wandered off
to share his supply of LSD with a wombat.
Laura Bogan took her usual three hour break,
to visit her dope dealer and attend
an orgy hosted by an extra terrestrial
from somewhere in Alpha Centauri.
It’s claim to fame was four breasts
and more penises than fingers.

Oliver Oxford spoke to everyone in earshot
about the superior ergonomics of his loppers
and his reclining camping chair.
He shifted every hour, to saw another tree.
He was one of those people who manages to do less work
than the long term unemployed,
without ever being out of a job.

Dangerous Dylan Donovan raised his middle finger
as a scowling, silver Lamborghini driving, gang leader
cut him off at the service station entrance.
Dangerous was searching his wallet for cash,
when something slammed into his cheek bone.
Had a wedge tailed eagle committed suicide on his face?
Dangerous whirled around
to see a shirtless body builder type
shadow boxing and kissing his own biceps in triumph.
Needless to say, he was not amused.
In his endeavor to give the narcissistic gym junkie
some insight into his personality
he grabbed his detachable driver’s side door
and used it for a shield as he advanced.
Luckily he was wearing his Kevlar body armour
and the door was reinforced with titanium
because a variety of stolen weapons
ranging from a crossbow to an AK-47
were trained on him.
All of them were fired simultaneously.
There was an eerie silence,
once mirror boy’s henchman
realised they’d exhausted their ammunition.

Jumping Giles Corkhill returned
from the pizza store across the street.
Dangerous Frisbee’d the ute door to him
and motioned for him to reinstall it.
He headed for the self kissing show pony,
with his right arm cocked.
A startled looking Mirror Boy took evasive action.
In his haste he crashed into the outhouse wall
Now he was cornered
his ailing bravado was re-inflated.
Donovan’s right arm was reminiscent
of a cobra poised to strike.
His left dangled by his side
as though it were partially paralysed.
As Mirror Boy prepared to counter a devastating right cross
he was knocked senseless by a left hook.
“Idiot” Dangerous remarked
as he strolled back to his vehicle and refueled.

“That’s Dangerous Dylan Donovan.
Some call him the twenty first century Arthur Fonzarelli”                                                   A bystander proclaimed.
“I call him dead meat” the gangsters roared in unison.
Jumping Giles Corkhill casually sipped his frozen Coke.
Dangerous had gotten them into
and out of situations more dire than this.
He looked bored by the ease
with which he flung his attackers into their vehicles.
Jumping Giles slashed their tyres
before they could disentangle themselves.
Two carloads of police officers pulled into the service station
to replenish their donut stockpile.

Nobody had reported the fight.
The service station attendants were preoccupied
with putting out a fire in the dumpster
and getting their lunch time exercise
chasing away graffiti vandals.
“Not again” Lawry, the owner, moaned
as he discovered the confectionery freezer had been stolen.

 

Eco Warriors, Part 5

Richard Johnson yearned to
spray an Asparagus Fern patch with Agent Orange
“Who is Agent Orange” Johnson demanded to know,
after Laura Bogan invited Rowena Grey,
the site safety and morale officer, into the conversation
on the whereabouts of his illegal herbicide supply.

After terminating the interview,
Laura gazed at a pair of red belly black snakes
slithering into a hollow Grey Box stump.
Ms Bogan was nothing like red bellies,
the timid puppy dogs of the venomous serpent world.
She longed for a cup of their venom,
to add to the crew’s coffee,
in her quest for subservient replacements.
Her crew damning diary contained more fantasy material
than the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Ricardo Hohn was the main character.
She’d hated him ever since he’d informed her
the weeds she chastised him for ignoring
were native plants.
This diabolical humiliation occurred on the day
the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded.
Laura had been plotting her revenge ever since.
Mother Nature’s Bodyguards CEO Matt Rush,
looked forward to reading her damning reports,.

The moment Laura disappeared from view
“Richard Johnson rummaged through her bag.
He was desperately hungry.
The two litre bottle of Coke,
packet of Oreo’s and stray goat,
he’d had for morning tea weren’t enough.
He felt around for false compartments,
sniffing for anything that vaguely resembled food.
Eventually he pulled out an exercise book.
After reading the chapter entitled Richard Johnson,
he considered sending Laura Bogan’s van
falling end over end
into the broad, fast flowing creek,
that wound its way through the property.
The handbrake would be no use
against the one man scrum that was Richard Johnson.
He searched everyone’s vehicle in search of sustenance.
Oliver oxford was writing his memoirs.
Richard couldn’t get through the first paragraph
before flinging the manuscript on the ground in disgust.
Oxford claimed he’d taught Johnson
the art of simultaneous brush cutting
and knap sack spraying.
“That Mista Puniverse bludga
musta shown me howta do it with the Lego version
of a brush cutta and spraya.
Otherwise howda fuck coulde’ve lifted em?” he raged.

Richard Johnson went to lunch early,
leaving a cloud of dust in his wake.
He paid little attention
to the late model silver Lamborghini
he nearly ran off the road.
The driver got a good look
at the Mother Nature’s Bodyguards logo
on the side of his vehicle.

If Office Works had of been closed,
it might’ve been the victim of a ram raid,
for the sake of borrowing a shredder.
Johnson fed the life and times of Oliver Oxford
into the biggest, baddest document destroyer available.
“Are you going to buy that sir?
You’ve been testing it ever since I started working here”
sales assistant, Melanie Tulip challenged him.
He glared down at her,
as though she were trying to talk him into
paying five dollars a minute for the air he breathed.
Then he used his unbelievably good eyesight
to examine her sheer, lacy underwear.
Shoddy brain surgery,
after Johnson’s fight with a tractor,
had given him the ability to see through
any clothing less opaque than a leather jacket.
“Your panties are blue” he stated,
as proudly as if he’d just solved
one of quantum physics most baffling mysteries.
From that day forth,
Melanie wore six pairs of stockings
and yoga pants beneath her trousers.

Richard reread Laura Bogan’s diary
as he drove back to site
only twenty k’s over the speed limit.
He had one hand pressed firmly on the horn,
to drown out everyone who had a problem
with his latest multitasking feat.

Johnson almost side swiped Dangerous Dylan Donovan
at an intersection.
Dangerous’ own lunch time escapade
would prove to be more action packed than Richard’s,
but he didn’t know it yet.

Eco Warriors, Part 4

Laura rolled her eyes at Dexter Finklestein,
who was engrossed in a conversation with a non-existent koala.
Shock waves from Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s speakers
had more than Laura’s coffee cup vibrating,
to the tune of Uptown Funk.
“Too hot, hot damn, too hot for the Police and the Fireman,
too hot, hot damn, make a dragon want to retire man,
to hot, hot damn, say my name, know who I am……”
At first glance Dangerous Dylan Donovan looked like
the best equipped bush regenerater she’d ever seen,
then she realized his trailer
was merely the casing for gigantic speakers.
Laura decided to have a talk with Dangerous,
about the excessive noise
affecting the breeding patterns of local wildlife.
Upon noticing how incredibly good looking he was
she spoke of the wonders of a nearby cave instead,
a moist wonderland with countless satisfied visitors.

Jumping Giles Corkhill, somersaulted to Earth
from the lounge chair bolted to the floor of
Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s ute tray.
“The boy knows how to make an entrance”
Dangerous stated with pride;
before turning his attention to Oliver Oxford.
‘Give me the run down on Golden Whistlers Oxford.
That’s one there isn’t it?

“The scientific name is Pachycephala pectoralis, Mr Dangerous.
They’re distributed throughout eastern and southern Australia
as far north as Cairns and as far south as Tasmania.
They inhabit rainforest, scrub and open forest.
Usually solitary and deliberate in their movements,
they possess a sweet and ringing song.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t listening, can you repeat that Oxford?”

“Don’t annoy me by raving on about birds, I’m busy”
was Dangerous response to take four.
“It’s okay Oliver, it’s all good practice”
Rowena, the crew’s morale and safety officer consoled.
She would’ve reprimanded Dangerous Dylan Donovan
but his boulder pulverizing biceps
meteor shattering, manly jaw and larrikin grin
left her too dizzy to speak.

The news CEO Matt Rush was on site
prompted the crew to scurry
to the makeshift parking lot
for a discussion on weed targeting priorities,
the dangers of cutting down trees
in which crew members had taken up residence
and questions concerning how Richard Johnson
had acquired a dozen mining helmets since signing on.

Richard had a gripe of his own.
“I wanna know whose bin spreadin bullshit
bout me being connected to the Wussian Mafia.
Whoever it is I’m gonna knock im
inta the middle of next year.”
Oliver Oxford, who had been front and centre
poised to impart his knowledge
on everything from Work Health and Safety laws
to the likely date of the Apocalypse
had mysteriously disappeared.

“What do you mean rumours?
It’s all true isn’t it” Ricardo Hohns piped up.
Johnson lurched forth like Frankenstein.
He swung and missed,
almost uprooting an African Olive.
Hohns looked as relieved
as a man who has successfully crossed Conrod Straight,
during the Bathurst One Thousand,
by a hairs breadth.
After regaining his composure, Ricardo sang
“Do ya, do ya, do ya wanna dance”
“I hate that song” Johnson bellowed.
As he covered his ears Riccardo lunged
and planted a leaping overhand left on the point of his chin.
It had less effect than a marble
clanging against the turret of a tank.
Dangerous Dylan Donovan barked instructions
‘Riccardo, use your speed, circle clockwise,
unload with a left
on his recently re-attached right ear’
“What speed?” Ricardo asked.
“Betta find some real quick
or I’m gonna havta step in for ya”
Dangerous removed his jacket faster
than a Spanish bull fighter shifts his capote
and flung it the length of a bowling alley
into the waiting arms of Jumping Giles Corkhill.
If he’d been any more accurate
Giles would’ve been wearing that jacket.
Hohn’s taunted his Godzilla dwarfing opponent
“Johnson, you look like a teletubby hybridised with a troll.
You’re so stupid
you’d crack open a
 coconut to make a cup of cocoa.”
Ricardo ducked beneath a haymaker
that might’ve decapitated him if it had landed.

“Grow up” Rowena screeched,
startling the combatants into standing as still as statues
and shocking the cheering mob into silence.
Any more of that and both of you can stand
in neutral naughty corners all day without pay.”
Matt Rush, who had bet Dangerous three hundred dollars,
on the outcome gave Rowena a nod of approval.

Matt completely forgot about the coal miners helmets
Richard Johnson had mysteriously acquired.
It never occurred to management that Hohn’s vs Johnson
might’ve been staged as a diversionary tactic,
with the added bonus of $300 being split three ways. 

Large Leaf Privet massacring chainsaws
and Lantana annihilating brush cutters
destroyed the serene atmosphere
as shockingly as Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s sound system.
Knap sack herbicide sprayers blanketed
Moth Vine, Cape Ivy and Morning Glory patches,
which had spread so rapidly
time lapse photography was barely needed,
to watch their advance.

A chain saw wielding Richard Johnson,
drilled and poisoned the world’s biggest African Olive
with a jackhammer and a drum of diesel,
before charging at the next Olive infestation
like he was going over the top at Gallipoli.
Four former NFL players,
secondered from the landscape construction crew,
hauled the fallen weed trees from his path.
Rowena Grey ran around with the grace of a flamingo dancing,
in her bid to poison the stumps in time.
Ricardo Hohns stacked the butchered invaders remains,
between towering Eucalypts and Corymbias.

After morning tea Ricardo and Rowena extricated Erharta
From a patch of Weeping Meadow Grass.
Riccardo was spellbound by her tales of everything
from mushroom farming
to entertaining hospitalised children with her ukulele.
Ricardo delighted in pointing out
every passing Rufus Fantail and Yellow Robin.
He named every rare native herb he spotted.
What magnificent specimens of Solenogyne bellioides
and Cymbonotus lawsonianus he proclaimed.
One could be forgiven for thinking
they were thought to be extinct
since whales ancestors first fished in coastal shallows.

“Out of the sun Ricardo” Laura Bogan barked
with the fury of a rabid Doberman.
“I’m perfectly comfortable” Ricardo answered.
“Get the fuck out of the sun now” Laura screamed,
as she aimed the nozzle of a Staraine laden sprayer at his eyes.
With his hands raised in the air Ricardo did as he was told.
“I’m just thinking of your safety Ricardo.”
Rowena looked ready to flip Laura
into an African Box Thorn thicket.

Laura made a note in her diary
“Ricardo always seeks the shadiest spots to work,
at the expense of the crews health”

 

To be continued.

Eco Warriors Part 3

Matt Rush, Billy Giant and HR manager Gaile Wilde
embarked on a mission to assemble
the greatest conservation and land management crew
ever to wear Mother Nature’s Body Guards
high vis orange and forest green. Most in demand
was former Western Sydney Warlords prop forward Richard Johnson,
It was said that Lantana shrivelled and died
in terrified anticipation
of the first cloud of Round Up from his lethal weapon.
Johnson was most famous for
mistaking escaped serial killer Ivan Milat for a bunyip,
after he made the mistake of robbing a cosplay store,
in search of a disguise.
Johnson was half way through barbecuing
the notorious murderer for breakfast,
when he realized his error.
The revelation did nothing to diminish his appetite.

Once Johnson had been poached from Weed Busters,
Liverpool’s landscaping, amateur stunt car driving
and mixed martial arts legend Dangerous Dylan Donovan
was in Mat Rush’s sights.
The man could plant trees as fast
as he could get a hand bag snatcher in a headlock.
The unofficial reasons for Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s employment
was putting Richard Johnson back in his cage,
if he insisted on using plutonium to kill Alligator weed,
like he’d allegedly done
during his stint at If it’s Noxious we Nuke It.
Richard was disturbingly prone to taking things literally.

It was rumoured Johnson was under investigation by ASIO
and the Federal Police,
concerning alleged links to the Russian mafia.
Many assumed that was how he’d ‘acquired
his long since confiscated stock pile of radioactive herbicides.
Johnson was still in denial concerning the illegality
of lacing Fluroxypyr with uranium.

Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s sidekick, Jumping Giles Corkhill,
was renowned for high volume spraying,
in places where a goat wouldn’t dare tread.

Then there was Dexter Finklestein,
a former botanist and master story teller.
The man was like a bizarre hybrid of Grandpa Simpson,
Robin Williams and Aussie TV presenter Don Burke.
You could never tell when his forty minute talk
on alternative methods of ironing would give way
to how he once robbed a Melbourne tram,
with a cap gun,
while dressed as a fifteenth century Japanese bandit.
Dexter’s hobbies included pressing weeds,
and telepathic communication with ducks.
With Dexter on board Plant File was obsolete,

Oliver Oxford,
the man who spoke of his heroics with the S.E.S,
as though they were unsurpassed
by the most daring exploits of the S.A.S,
joined the crew as some sort of consultant.
Precisely what his job description was nobody knew
but he seemed to enjoy polishing tools,
making sure the site boundaries had been marked,
listing his qualifications,
discussing the botanical dictionary
he’d been working on since he was four
and ranting and raving about what he’d do
if he were Prime Minister.
What Oxford loved most was giving orders.

Ricardo Hohns, the last recruit,
was renowned for cutting down
African Olives and privets in his sleep.
Some mornings he’d wake to find himself
poisoning a stump halfway down a cliff.
Matt Rush bought him a tent
and made him the site security guard.
After all, at 3am, how many things are scarier
than a guy with a zombie like stare
charging at you with two bow saws and a tube of weed killer?

Laura Bogan,
former member of the south western crew,
was appointed supervisor,
on the basis of Matt Rush’s belief evil people get the job done.

Aware Matt would be onsite, on the first day,
Laura marked the site boundaries at dawn.
A tennis ball skipped across the shallows
of a heavily polluted creek,
like it had just been struck by Roger Federer
and splashed an evil looking puddle into her face.
The mouthful of water from Izzard Creek
was infinitely worse than raw sewage.
Laura looked about wildly for the culprit.
She imagined Ricardo Hohns was responsible
and wrote this down.
After a few dabs of liquid paper
the tennis ball became a rock.

Eco Warriors, Part 2

Whenever Matt Rush wandered on to site
productivity plummeted and suicide climbed.
He did the least damage when innovating from afar.
His morning musings led to the purchase of spy drones.
Rush daydreamed about arming his surveillance fleet
with low calibre weapons,
to shoot down Indian Mynas.
It was one of his more practical ideas.

Matt returned South Western Crew Supervisor Davo Davidson’s call,
more aggressively than Andrei Agassi ever returned serve.
“Davo we aint changing the company name
to The Weed Massacre Gurus.
It’s the perfect label for a heavy metal band
that advocates the use of hashish laced with crystal meth
but not for a conservation company.
Yes Davo, I know your Green Thumb Green Berets
start screaming threats of violence
at blackberry thickets before dawn,
between mumbling obscenities at tool thieving,
hairy extra-terrestrial goblins,
but it’s not something we want emblazoned,
on of our fleet of utes.
True, yesterday I said it’s your best idea ever
but that wasn’t a compliment Davo,
it was a comparison,
like comparing influenza with radiation poisoning.
What! You’re planning to leave the company
and beg me to be your referee?
If you leave in anything besides a body bag,
all I’ll reveal to prospective employers
is the true nature of your fixation
with the rare Cumberland Plain Land Snail!”

Davo Davidson’s elite line up of chain sawing lunatics
were yet to massacre a hectare of African Olives.
Assistant supervisor Laura Bogan’s treatment
of the jumping ant bite on Davo Davidson’s tackle
was unorthodox to say the least.
She was too focussed on her work
to notice Davo’s video link to his backyard
Cumberland Plain Land Snail farm.
These creatures are rare in the wild
but at Davo’s place they’re in plague proportions.

“For Chrissakes not now” Davo hissed,
as his phone vibrated in his pocket.
He struggled to speak normally
as Matt Rush’s voice tormented his ears
like a demonically possessed angle grinder.

“Davo, if your crew hasn’t smashed five hectares
of African Olives by midnight,
you can forget about recouping the cost of fuel.
Nathaniel Smoke and Mirrors Daniels,
our new accountant,
is more creative than Leonardo Da-Vinci.
Don’t even think about sabotaging the spotlights.
Penalty rates rofl?
Davo, if you approach the union,
you and the snails gonna be all over YouTube.

Oh, I nearly forgot, HR manager Gail Wilde
will be on site tomorrow to discuss
Mother Nature’s Body Guards anti-bullying policy.
Make sure ya ready for that loser,
or I’ll kick you up the arse so hard
you’ll be farting through your nostrils
and punch you in the nose so hard
you’ll be sneezing out your arse.
The CEO of Stratosphere Apartments,
is here to treat me to a gourmet lunch, bye Davo.”

“Yes Medusa, we’ve got that former wasteland,
near the National Park, looking like forest wilderness
and pretty signs
advertising Stratosphere Apartments sponsorship.
Nobody will suspect a thing until the bulldozers arrive.
That penthouse discount is huge.
Words can’t express my gratitude.
Sorry, I must take this call.”

“Jonathon, of course I’m happy to edit
that wind farm construction site, threatened species report.
Yes, a few commas are out of place,
of course that’s all you mean.
I’ve got to go, Medusa Crabtree,
the CEO of Stratosphere Apartments
is here for an urgent meeting.

Matt Rush was still sampling
the thousand dollar bottle of Champagne,
that had mysteriously found its way to his desk,
during Ms Crabtree’s visit,
when Garth Izzard strolled into Mother Nature’s Bodyguards HQ,
flanked by his most obsequious lawyers.
The dollar signs in Rush’s eyes
flew like fireflies in a cyclone.

The tender manager Billy Giant, appeared from nowhere,
holding his pen like a flick knife,
in anticipation of ruthless negotiations.
The participants stared at each other
across the boardroom table
like rival gangsters in a game of high stakes poker.
By three A.M
the one hundred million dollar contract was a done deal.
The tedium of re tendering charades was years away.

“Get up ya mug” Matt roared,
as Billy Giant collapsed from exhaustion
on a crocodile hide door mat.
“It’s alright he’s out cold, he won’t feel a thing”
Matt explained to Rowena the cleaner,
as he used Billy for a door mat
on his way back inside to get his keys.

Eco Warriors, Part 1

To quote Garth’s kindergarten teacher,
“That kid wouldn’t help an old lady
pick up her walking stick,
not unless she guaranteed him
two thirds of her pension cheque first.
Garth hadn’t grown kinder with age.
He greatly admired former U.S Secretary of State
and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Henry Kissinger.
Not surprisingly his favourite Kissinger quote was
“the illegal we do immediately,
the unconstitutional take a little longer”.
Garth’s shareholders trusted him
to apply this philosophy humanely.
His interest in the carbon trading scheme,
reluctantly implemented by Prime Minister Jock Waffle,
was thought to be as altruistic as God,
all of Rudolph Epoch’s papers said so.

On Izzard’s latest carbon sink acquisition,
in Western Sydney,
native plants protected rapidly advancing exotics
from bulldozers and boom sprayers
like human shields protect terrorists
from tanks and fighter planes.
Izzard was apoplectic with rage
when he learnt this weed imperilled wilderness
would need to be regenerated manually.
Reality slowly forced his hand.

Eventually he provided his army of Sunday hippies
with free tools,
from the reject depot of his hardware chain
and permitted them to dumpster dive
for biscuits, at the back of his supermarkets,
providing they waived their right to insurance cover
for needle stick injuries.
Garth was astonished to discover his flood of generousity
wasn’t enough to inspire fourteen hour shifts
of hacking into seething masses
of Lantana and Morning Glory
with the ferocity of a Spartan warrior
in a fit of roid rage.

Impatient to discard his ageing eco maniacs,
he fed their morning tea stockpile of stale biscuits
and use by nineteen eighty six lime cordial
to his pit bulls,
They herded the hordes of doddering pensioners
off his land once and for all.
Garth’s departure speech was brief and brutal.
“If you greenies are doing what you love
why do you need to be rewarded
for your Olympic swimming pool
of shirt saturating, eye stinging sweat?
Fuck off you fucking hordes of tree hugging lemmings”

Garth’s chief accountant Niles Cash
attempted to console his heartbroken employer
“Sir, unfortunately slavery is frowned upon
in twenty first century Australia.
It must be hard to accept the mighty injustice
your problems can no longer be solved
with your favourite stock whip or cattle prod.
Don’t fret, I’ve the utmost confidence
in Prime Minister Jock Waffle’s top secret plan
to abolish the minimum wage.”

“Nile’s, why do the criminal classes
expect their living handed to them on a platter?”
“Left wing lunatic propaganda makes them soft sir.
Should I rebook your pedicure
and four hands Hawaiian massage,
so your therapist can calm your Greenie mangled nerves?”

Ten days later,
Garth swallowed his pride and called Matt Rush,
his estranged half brother and CEO
of the conservation kings,
 Mother Nature’s Bodyguards.