The Crepuscular Mr Snow

You’ll not likely see him, but he’s there,
out the corner of eye during dawn and dusk.
He dodges nine-to-five commuters,
keeping to gutters and shadow.

You rarely catch Snow in Australia,
though he’s present all year ‘round.
He gusts through alleyways where litter abounds,
He lives under tiles and in cracks in the pavement.

Outside the lamplight at twilight, he watches you,
wondering about friends, daylight, and things you take for granted.
Mr Snow is hungry for company, for food, for life.
Most of all, he just wants what you already have.

Nobody knows how Snow got lost in the grey.
So few could, because so few care to think.
The prospect is horrible; nobody knows who’s next.
Except Mr Snow. He’s seen it before and he sees through you.

Beware shadow-hands reaching from back-alleys.
Beware the tendrils of black teasing your brow.
Keep an eye on the cracks in the pavement,
and don’t write off what Mr Snow can not.

You too could turn grey, white and numb.
You too could eat from a bin.
The winds that harrow Mr Snow can blow through you,
leaving only twilight, garbage and dust.

~ Bruce

Creeper

Creeper makes too much eye contact
He’s a bit too eager to talk to women.
He sits alone in his seat, waving to strangers,
mooching off of common courtesy.

Leaning over he pesters a French couple…
”Are you tourists?”
It’s asked bluntly, with dismissive tone.
Yes, they’re tourists. No, they don’t want to talk to him.

Creeper’s advances are unsolicited.
Creeper’s interests are boring.
Creeper won’t take a hint.
Creeper doesn’t respect boundaries.

Bordertown; ironic waypoint signifying boundaries.
Creeper gets a passenger to sit with;
a captive audience for his indulgence;
a sounding board for the self-centred, banal and inane.

Creeper questions the senior woman’s ethnicity.
Proceeds to lecture her on her heritage.
Explains he’s studied war at University.
Tells his captive he’s a writer.

Creeper paws her shoulder.
Creeper asks about vampires.
Creeper hints at undead conspiracies.
Creeper lectures about “girls” and life decisions.

Sweating and writhing, he looks like Gollum on a bad day,
and as wise as the lovechild of Ed Wood and Alain de Botton.
Senior woman asks “how do you know?”
Creeper doesn’t like the questions of philosophers.

Creeper affects chivalry towards service staff,
lunges at senior woman’s neck for a joke;
calls her beautiful with hands lingering over her chest.
She doesn’t terribly mind.

Creeper got the encouragement he craves.
Creeper will do it all again…

~ Bruce

Redneck Charlie

Charlie: rusted out, four-wheel-drive, shit-bucket. Conveyor of cray pots.

I remember the late nights on Flinders highway driving home, air from the engine warming bare feet through a rusted cabin. Sand and shell grit falling away from toes and hems as they dried out.

Charlie was my first drive. Off-road. It helped that I didn’t have a road to keep on, nor that I had to dodge any trees. Charlie made short work of whatever got in the way as long as I kept him in first gear.

Mind you, the prickle bush could swipe back, so it paid to keep the windows shut –  an advantage not afforded by the tractor I once got up on two wheels.

I never knew where Charlie went. One day he was there, and the next, Dad brought home a white Ford ute, V8, cassette stereo, broken antenna and all.

Charlie probably deserved to go out with a bang, and Dad was fond of blowing things up at the time.

~ Bruce