Photo By Jools Thatcher

Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Suburban Trains. Seems Jon has been taking “generous” pills. This is a topic I can get stuck into.

Sadly Ed was unavailable this week.

To hear this week’s effort, play the poem directly in your browser! Just click the “play” button below:

This might be the time have a listen to “Drifter

Suburban Trains

“Hey dickhead, what you looking at”
“Who me? I wasn’t–” BANG
I’d almost made the platform
Copped a hiding from some gang

Not looking to cause trouble
Just climbing up the stairs
They reckoned that I started it
By wearing purple flares

The map of Melbourne’s railways
Showed not only transportation
But the territories of gangs
Ruling each suburban station

It was like they owned the platforms
Even frightened the police
Melbourne, early seventies
Not all love and peace

Innate tribal instinct?
Boredom or someplace dry?
You just hung out at stations
No-one knew quite why

Sharpies ruled Moorabbin
They didn’t like us mods
One foot on the platform
Our fate, beyond the gods

Two stops down, the Chelt Boys
They liked to hunt in packs
Cross those vicious bastards
You’d end up on the tracks

Mordialloc Station
Was no place for the weak
They’d deck you with a billiard cue
Then toss you in the creek

So it went, right down the line
A range of disciplines
Carrum, Seaford, Frankston
Sharpies, Rockers, Skins

So we hung out at Mentone
Mostly platform one
Couldn’t fight to save ourselves
But bugger me, we could run

Then “Sludge” made a discovery
He always did have brains
Where you found a station
Usually you’d find trains

You were safer in a carriage
Than a platform day or night
Just had to be very careful
At which station you’d alight

We’d get off at Patterson
One the gangs had missed
An extra one hour walk
But you didn’t cop a fist

“Youth is wasted on the young”
Least that’s what I’m told
Whereas I suspect that wisdom
Is wasted on the old

There was, at least, a pulse
Despite the aggravation
When the platform was the journey
Not just the destination

© Copyright 2011 Ian Bland

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