“Blue!” he calls. “Hey Blueseph!”
His arm is colourful with tattoos.
Blue has shaggy white-blonde hair
beneath a grubby cap
and less teeth than you might expect.
Slowly the foliage is torn away
and palings vanish into a huge trailer
dripping with ivy.
“Yeah, mate. I’m ‘ere.”
“Where’s the post-hole digger, mate?”
“‘S’under the pine tree. Open yer eyes, mate.”
In place of palings
emerges a taller, squarer, greener structure
clear of all the random amendments
wrought by years of plant-growth,
and careless driving.
One of them confides in me
“Some people we work for
they’re useful, you know.
Like tits on a bull.”
They all look fit
as they drag on skinny cigarettes
and suck down large bottles
of orange energy drinks.
I don’t fit in. I never will.
But I still love the vernacular
the rough, torn-off vowels
and the rich artistry of
It’s no fuss.
It’s modern C.J. Dennis
building our fence.