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.

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?”

Boy Poet

‘My arm’s as smashed as crockery
bouncing into the Great Australian Bight’ Dexter claimed.
He was a paper mache maestro,
and had fashioned a cast as convincing as Apollo 13’s.
He’d forged the signatures of doctors
onto his supposedly mangled limb.
There’d be no rock climbing for him.
Miss Mance had more chance
of creating a sonic boom in a luge
than unmasking his subterfuge.

Between ogling his whiteboard sage,
Dexter’s writing flew across the page,
in tribute to his little sister Paige.
‘Girl with a rainbow upon her arm,
she’s a nursery remembrance balm.
With that love heart upon her cheek
she’s the cutest elf I’ve seen this week,
a teddy bear tall good luck charm.’

Dex moved on to confess
he was in awe of a teacher
never seen in a girly dress.
Our teacher Emma Mance
looks hot in leather pants.
She’s as sweet and petite
as a five cottage street
and calms bulls with a glance.
Dexter turned grey,
as Miss Mance asked
what his pen had to say.

At lunch it wasn’t by chance
that Dex met Jasmine Mance,
a writer of gothic romance.
No fool would’ve debated
to whom she was related.
She recited ‘The Raven’,
as she played hopscotch.
Most children thought her more cuckoo
than Dexter’s novel about aliens
abducting his thoroughbred badger
and training a meerkat,
to ride it to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
Emma the matchmaker didn’t miss.
Dex and Jazz were a stanza away
from marathons of catch and kiss.

 

Imagination

Green tinged clouds rolled in from the east.
Snug and dry in a cubby half way to the sky,
Gordon eyed a chocolate crackle men feast;
until a lightning scorched gully
become a raging dam of flame.
Hail stones bombed it tame.

As steam clouds scorched the canopy
Gordon’s little sister Caitlyn appeared.
‘what makes lightning’
she asked her professor of everything
from where babies really come from
to the migratory habits of fairies.

He replied ‘Some say lightning comes from Thor
bashing the fire out of dragons
but it comes from the ghosts who killed Casper electrocuting angels.
Lightning is their veins burning.’

While Caitlyn screamed for mummy, Gordon
began a new game.
With a beheaded mop, he became Donatello
of Ninja Turtle fame;
smashing meteors with his bo staff,
too quick for the human eye to pry,
except frame by frame.

Ronan Churchill

The Great Wall of China
never blocked Mongolian horseman
like Ronan blocks reason.
Catholicism is the perfect label, he insists,
as if his religion is significant
beyond this Milky Way backwater.

With enough venom to kill a herd of elephants,
Ronan accuses me of spewing nonsense,
for suggesting the first pope was Emperor Constantine.
To me it’s a trivia question,
as insignificant as the length of Elvis’ sideburns.
As if an unbroken papal lineage of two millennia
could rescue the church
from the absurdity of a virgin birth
and fence sitting between creationism and evolution.
Credibility doesn’t come with age,
just ask Rolf Harris.

Taking Ronan seriously, is harder
than solving a shapeshifting Rubik’s Cube blindfolded.
He can’t see the guilt trap
in banning premarital sex and masturbation,
contraception and abortion.
May as well ban breathing and suffocation.
We have sinned and God demands
we drag boulders of guilt
until we’re released in the confessional.
Denying the guilt traps is as idiotic
as ingesting a Valium burger
in preparation for a striking contest
with a rattlesnake.

The Great Wall of China
never blocked Mongolian horseman
like Ronan blocks reason.
The church runs addiction counselling services,
while its community clubs are awash with alcohol
and filled with with poker machines
No hypocrisy to see here, Ronan assures me.

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.

 

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 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.