A Corner full of Characters

BRUCE PASCOE
Introduction The enclosed stories and sketches are a collection of material, most of which has been printed in Australian newspapers and magazines over the last two years. The people and places are real and these are their stories as they told them to me. The three short stories are based on real incidents, but names and facts have been substantially altered. I thank my various editors for allowing me to reproduce this mater­ial and full acknowledgement is printed at the back of this book. —Bruce Pascoe
Night Moves Of The Sea The blind window eyes of sleeping, sea salt homes guard the stillness of a night, where the moon s pale light chills the bitter gall waves of the ceaseless sea. Innocent on pillows lie the heads of the sailors, fish scalers, water bailiffs; snoring quietly humped in quilts, are the noses of the landlords, Overlords, Mothers-in-law; curled in a foetal sleep so still and warm are the forms of the cash dealers, potato peelers, fish reelers; smoking a last cigarette and gazing towards the moort-streamed, light beamed sea are the pale artists, the faint hearted, the new lovers and old losers. Houses sleep, boats bob in the bay, but at high windows when the eyes of the town are shut, some see the gentle sun make a new day of an old deep night. The dogs of that night pad a silent street, furtive eyed cats stare at quailing meat, dew drops bless the bike slumped against the fence, and make tears on the lashes of the sleeper beneath a tree. The sun, risen wan from the edge of the ocean s rim blooms with rose red the guilty and the glad, the insane and the in love the good and the bad; each dawn gilds the old streets with new gold, guttered cans and sodden paper blush with a new days bloom and each pillowed face glows shell pink, honey warm. every morning, each heart has a chance. Bruce Pascoe Fishers Of Eden Charlie Peel and Jack Helmore run the Eden Shipyards. Charlie is small and shy, wears a woollen beanie and silently works wonders on sweet-smelling wood to build and repair ships to go to sea.
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