Dewey

The Camellias and Roses along Remedy Street,
are silent welcoming committees for someone else.
Misty rain is a sweet distraction
from all that pierces Mervyn’s soul,
like African Box Thorn through an eyeball.
Since burglars stole the frames from his family photos,
he’s carried his most prized possessions in a back pack.
His Toughbook is a more constant companion
than Booboo the Bear ever was.
He’s prepared to defend it to the death,
with the fusion of Brazillian jujitsu and Muay Thai
he’s been learning since a fellow kindergartner decapitated Booboo.
The advent of online backup hasn’t changed the equation.
Mervyn without a laptop
is as dysfunctional as Mervyn without kidneys.
His anxiety vanishes with the last vestiges of day.
Tiny suns illuminate people peering streetward.
Do any of them realize inviting him inside
would be smarter than drinking molten lead?

Every week,
Mervyn considers visiting the house he grew up in,

to retrieve the telescope and albums
his grandmother mistakenly mailed there.
The new owner threatened to unleash his Pit Bulls,
if Mervyn set foot inside the gate again.
Tenants the size of a Polar Bears,

covered in tattoos of dragon slaying vampires,
threatened to “break his legs with a sledge hammer”,
if he rang the doorbell one more time.”
“I sold your precious telescope.
Those photo albums I found, I burnt them,
whaddya gonna do bout it”
a squatter taunted him,
oblivious to how close he was,
to getting his arm broken.

There’s a strange lady
on the corner of Brumby and Thoroughbred;
her yard is populated with granite freak show legends.
Waxwork likenesses of locals gaze at them in awe.
Mervyn mistakes the sculptor for a statue.
She holds yoga poses for millennia.
Her automatic gates slides open.

“I can’t sketch you from there” she protests.
Mervyn follows her like a lost puppy
and that’s how Victoria depicts him.
She signs, scans and prints the image on to a shirt
before he can sip his way through
a concoction of pineapple, passionfruit and coconut,
with a hint of strawberry and mint.
As Victoria sketches Mervyn nude
he discusses the archaeological significance,
of her pottery collection,
and identifies the chess match
between a television detective and serial killer,
as an imitation of Vladamir Kramnik versus Gary Kasparov.
Before he can finish the story of how Van Gogh lost his ear,
Victoria kneels in front of him
and feeds his towering monument to her lacy cleavage
into her cavernous mouth.

Mervyn enters his mouldy, cockroach infested flat at dawn.
The plumbing is older than Rupert Murdoch.
His carpet is more worn than the turf
of a fifth day test cricket pitch.
Rain pelts the pavement outside.
Mervyn dons his blacked out swimming goggles
and succumbs to exhaustion,
with the sound of Himalayan singing bowls
massaging his ears.

“You’re so far away from me”
Mark Knophler’s classic storytelling voice,
drifts from his clock radio,
waking him in time for his midday shift.
It’s been ten years
since he’s had a lover to travel home to.
The supermarket is Mervyn’s home away from home.
Some can tell you which shelf every item is on.
Mervyn can tell you which products contain palm oil,
from plantations that replaced orangutan habitat
and which companies are guilty of child slavery
and environmental vandalism.
Want to know how may milligrams of Vitamin B12
are in your can of smoked oysters, ask Mervyn.

His Saturday night wander,
is the most spontaneous event in his schedule.
Visiting the sideshow freak sculptor
soon becomes a permanent feature.
He never knocks on her door,
instead he walks around the block
until she spots him.
Tonight, she’s busy synchronized swimming,
in her birdbath, with a masked petite beauty.

It’s been eight years since Mervyn crossed the highway,
to the street where he was born.
On the first day of summer he makes the trek,
in the hope of travelling back to the twentieth century.
He pauses enroute, to watch Quiz Maestro.
“Unbelievable, The Maestro doesn’t know
opals are a hydrated amorphous form of silica”
Mervyn closes the video in disgust.

Dawe Street is unrecognizable.
There’s a massage parlour,
where the corner shop used to be.
Houses have been demolished
to make way for high rise units.
The park has been transformed
into a putt, putt golf course.
The laneway where Mervyn raced his BMX
no longer exists, neither does his fish pond.
His aviary has been replaced with a pool.
A young woman glides along the bottom long enough
for Mervyn to wonder if she has mermaid genes.
As she surfaces, she spots his elongated shadow.

“I, I, I grew up here.
I, I came back to visit my childhood
but I can’t find it.”
Alicia senses Mervyn is as peaceful
as the finches and wrens
flitting from one bush to another.
Tears well in his eyes
as he walks the winding path through the shrubbery
and runs his fingers over the assortment of
Acacias, Hakeas, Bottlebrushes and Indigoferas.
Mervyn removes his shoes and luxuriates in the feeling
of Weeping Meadow Grass beneath his feet.

“Wonderful isn’t it, I’ve kept it weed free.
I moved in the day Donald Trump was assassinated,
by a peace activist without a sense of irony.”
“You moved in on the 4th of July 2019?
Trump was killed at 7:45p.m.
John Smith, a former US Army sniper,
shot him in the eardrum,
through the partially open bullet proof window,
of the armored presidential limousine,
from five hundred and four metres away.
The vehicle was travelling
approximately thirty five kilometres per hour”
“Wow, you’re a history buff and a half”
“At work they call me Dewey,
they say I am a human library”

“Would you like to sit on the veranda with me,
you big strong enyclopaedia?”
Still wearing her fruit salad print bikini,
Alicia perches herself on Mervyn’s lap.

In an effort to ignore the tingling in his plumbing,
Mervyn lists the botanical names of every plant in the garden.
Then he identifies the constellations.
Alicia just grins and listens.
“What do you do for a living” Mervyn asks,
once he’s exhausted the backyards
clusters of conversation starters.
“I’m a burlesque performer.
We’ve met before, in a past life perhaps?”
“No, in aisle four, you wanted to know how reliable,
the sustainable fishing labels are.”

“Come inside, I want to show you something.
Mervyn’s eyes light up
as he sees the loungeroom is empty,
except for a dazzling array of portraits
and a curtained section in the middle.
“How about you work on that library in your noggin,
while I banish the chlorine demon”
Mervyn waits until he can hear
needles of steaming hot water raining down.
“No peeking” Alicia’s disembodied voice warns,
as he creeps towards the curtains.
One of the picture frames contains a surveillance screen.
Apparently Alicia has pressed the wrong button.
After running his eyes over the language defying beauty
from her mischievous gaze
to her painted toenails,
Mervyn returns to the love heart of golden thatch,
between her succulent thighs.

Alicia steers an electric wardrobe into the room.
She’s dressed like a corporate executive.
Miles Davis’ most ethereal masterpiece,
drifts from the speakers.
A marathon strip tease ensues.
Eventually Alicia’s figure hugging pin striped suit,
is as abandoned as a burning building
and her black lace brassiere draped around Mervyn’s neck.
Her matching panties stay on,
as do the tassels concealing her towering nipples.
Mervyn had always been too busy watching documentaries,
and summarizing encyclopedias,
to go to a burlesque club.

After careful deliberation, Mervyn shuns
girly frills, lace and rose embossed satin,
in favor of a wild cat print matching set
and a zebra pattern mini dress.
Alicia dresses more gracefully than any ballet dancer
ever pirouetted across a stage.

The curtained area is large enough to hide,
a love seat and large screen television,
or a queen sized water bed.
Alicia parts the curtains with the tantalizing slowness,
she unbuttoned her business shirt.

Inside is an easel shrouded in black cloth.
A riot of variations,
of Alicia the Burlesque Goddess on canvas,

sweep through Mervyn’s mind like a raging river.
The way she scissors through the shroud
conjures images of her hairdresser shutting up shop,
playfully pinning her to the ground,
sliding her skirt up her silky thighs
and shredding her hosiery
as skillfully as she’d trimmed her cascading golden hair.
The shroud’s tattered remains fall to the floor,
to reveal a portrait of a puppy, wearing an Oxford cap,
posing like Rodin’s thinker.
The inner frame swivels to reveal the wolf version.
“These paintings remind me of you.
I bought them from a strange lady,
who was sculpting conjoined werewolves in her garage.”

Alicia wraps her tiny arms around Mervyn
and kisses him, tamely at first.
His curious hands glide over her.
He circles her breasts,
as though 
touching them would produce an electric shock
powerful enough to launch him through the window.
Her wandering hands embolden him.
“Not like that Dewey, a kiss is a dance,
you’ve gotta listen to the same song to get it right.”
“I can’t hear any music”
“Never mind”
First they do things Mervyn hasn’t done before,
then they do things he hadn’t realized men did with women.
“I didn’t know hominid species do that”
a stunned Mervyn exclaims,
once he’s managed to stop moaning in ecstasy.
The one thing Alicia doesn’t need to teach him is staying power.

In the morning they watch episodes of Quiz Maestro together.
“My daddy is the producer
and he’s always looking for new talent”,
Alicia hints between nibbling on Mervyn’s ear lobe.
“I’ll show you how to dance on water” she insists,
after they share a fruit salad breakfast
in epic kisses.

Featured

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 Goldfish Incident

“Sorry I’m late Jill, My Navman
was drunk on cosmic radiation.
Trying to hear street names
amidst all that slurring
was like spotting soap suds in an angry sea.”

“You can’t be serious Dwite!
Have you never heard of a street directory?
There’s also those things called road signs
and haven’t you been here fifteen times?
You slept in didn’t you.” Jill asked as accusingly
as if she suspected him of molesting her dog
and tying up her ferret and making it watch.
If she’d installed security cameras,
she’d have realized the truth was far stranger.
Returning now, to Jill’s passion for punctuality.

“You, you slept in didn’t you!”
“Jill, the truth sounds less plausible
than being spied on by an Amish satellite”

“And what you’ve already told me doesn’t?”

“You wouldn’t understand Jill, you’re not ready!”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s radiator trouble.”

“If it’s just car trouble
why didn’t you tell me to begin with?”

“It’s a little more complicated than that.”

“I’m not your mechanic,
I don’t need to know the details.”

“I’m more in need of a psychologist
than a mechanic.”

“Well that much is clear.”

“To be precise, I need a grief counsellor.”

“I’m confused,
what does that have to do with car trouble.”

“Everything!
I think you better sit down before I tell you.
Quark the Carp, a miniaturized fish,
who lives in my radiator, has died.”

“Bullshit, even you would know to use a fish tank.”

“But Quark could tolerate extreme temperatures.”

“Even if that’s true, isn’t a radiator
a dark and cramped place for a fish?”

Dwite gazed at Jill
As though she was the most stupid person
he’d ever had a conversation with
since he’d broken into the spider monkey enclosure
at Taronga Zoo.

“Haven’t you heard of the flair
carps have for telepathy?
Quark the Carp sent me mind beams,
to let me know when to top up my radiator.
He couldn’t afford to let it evaporate.
He lived long enough for me to grow very attached,
we became lovers Jill.
It was purely a spiritual connection,
what 80’s pop star Phil Collins
might call a Groovy Kind of Love.
I feel so guilty.
While my car was impounded on the weekend,
Quark was recycling his own urine,
until the concentration was lethal.
For years he’s saved my car from overheating
and I wasn’t there to purify his home.”

“Would you like the day off,
to organize a psychiatrist’s appointment?”

“Do you question the sanity
of everyone who has a death in the family Jill?”

“Take time off to give it a funeral then.”

“He’s not an It, his name is Quark.
Yes, I do have funeral arrangement to make.
Dwite produced a scale model of a hearse
and pulled a match box sized coffin from his coat pocket.
Happy April Fool’s Day Jill.”

“Dwite, you nearly had me there.
I’ll have to dock your pay,
for wasting work time with your crazy story.”

“Is that your April Fool’s Day joke Jill?”

“No, I’m serious.”

“I’m serious too Jill,
serious when I say it’s a public holiday.
April Fool’s Day again. April Fool’s Day 360
Quark the Carp exists, but he’s alive and well
I must go’ Hershel proclaimed,
more suddenly than a switch in Arctic weather.
“It’s time to sample the juices
of levitating Star Fish Masseusses.”

“Is that another April Fool’s Day Joke Dwite?”

“No, why would you think that?”

Cash Stash

A beehive, in an abandoned lounge chair,
sits at the blackberry infested entrance
to the strangest stretch of suburban creek line in Australia.
The brambles conceal a Casuarina grove
decorated with tinsel, angels and strap on dildos.
Forest regeneration in Feral Valley
is more surreal than a blizzard in Tahiti.

In the centre of a Cestrum and Tobacco Bush infestation,
Kirk Mcdonald spots the rusting remains
of a flower power era bus.
The guitar stashed under the bonnet
is as unblemished as a music shop display.
The only instrument Kirk can play is the radio.
To him, music is merely auditory maths.
He thinks nothing of smashing the six stringed treasure,
to reach the wads of cash inside.
Despite the oven like heat,
Kirk empties his water bottle
and stuffs it with excess wads of one hundred dollar bills.

Sharing with the crew is unthinkable.
Bush Regen Jesus would spend it all on bibles,
to leave in the glove compartments
of atheists and pagans.
A man who thinks Methusaleh lived to be 969,
cannot be trusted with money.
The Crown of Thorns Parading Goat Fucker,
that slithering Janus,
he’d waste it on fighting defamation suits.
Princess Sheree, she’d squander it on cosmetic surgery.

The afternoon passes like a drag racer with a death wish.
It’s thirty seconds to beer o’clock.
Kirk looks as focused as a clay pigeon shooter,
on the verge of pulling the trigger,
that ring pull doesn’t stand a chance.
An entire case couldn’t have sickened him
like the sudden realization he’s lost his wallet.
He hasn’t seen it since he smashed the guitar,
to set a quarter of a million dollars free.
It was full of cards for his home bonsai business.
What if the cash stasher finds it?
Kirk’s heart rate accelerates,
like a jet powered car on a salt pan,
as his horror movie ring tone sounds.

‘I know what you did, you’re gonna pay’,
a bone marrow freezing voice promises’
Within seconds of Kirk dead locking the door,
and closing his bullet proof roller shutters,
a thunderous knock drowns out the television.
A bikie, built like King Kong, waits impatiently.
Why is he carrying a bucket?
Maybe it’s filled with hydrochloric acid.
Kirk’s fear subsides,
once he realizes the unkempt goliath
is raising money for charity.
Just in case a cash retrieving sniper
is hiding in nearby shrubbery,
he slides change beneath the door.

Kirk runs the gauntlet, to the convenience store,
for cigarettes.
On the way home,
a black panel van sidles up beside him.
As the door slides open, he flees
like he’s being pursued by a starving lioness.
“I’m lost, can you direct me to the motorway”
the driver pleads.
Kirk warily consults Google maps.

The cash scavenger’s bowels loosen
as he’s surrounded by gang members,
in a stray cat infested, laneway.
“Have you seen my guitar ancient man”
their leader menaces.
“Y-y-your guitar, w-w-what does it look like?”
“Have you seen my guitar ancient man,
I think it was stolen by a geriatric fan,
a tragic geezer in need of a busking ban”
“Y-y-you’re just singing a song?”
Their good natured laughter is like desert rain.

The stairs to Kirk’s ensuite creak and groan.
In his terror stricken state he can’t remember
if he’s hidden the cash beneath the floor,
or left it on the kitchen table.
“Yoohoo, Kirk, is that you?
I baked scones.
You look as worried as Uncle Freddie,
the day the police questioned him
about an armed robbery, are you ill?
I’ll make you some vegetable soup.”
“Knock next time mum”

“They don’t know what I did, it was a prank call,
Kirk repeats long into the night.
Screeching tyres shatter the early morning serenity.
“I know what you did” the driver roars,
before departing at rubber melting speed.

On Monday morning Kirk has two cups of coffee,
followed by coffee on his cocoa pops.
To calm his nerves for the journey
from the front door to the driveway
he dresses in riot squad gear
he purchased for a fancy dress party.
“Don’t ask” Kirk warns,
as he stops at a friend’s to change.

The bushland reserve,
where Kirk will be drilling and poisoning
Large Leaf Privets and Camphor Laurels,
is home to hundreds of foxes.
It offers perfect camouflage for snipers.
Maybe it’s time to move to Darwin.

“I know what you did” Bush Regen Jesus roars
as he holds up two charred bibles
and a few that have been defaced
with graffiti of Judas performing fellatio on Satan.
“I found the video of the bible burning
on a USB drive in your wallet.”

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” he 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
at the now defunct At War With Weeds,
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 feral 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 is Richard Johnson.
He searched everyone’s vehicle in search of sustenance.
Oliver oxford was writing his memoirs.
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 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 statue stillness
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 nine 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 $900 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”

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 reason 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 Lantana 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 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.

Rush 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 six hundred 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 newspapers 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
had to be regenerated manually.

He reluctantly 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 sixteen 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.