Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Bottle-O Benny - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Chuff! Chuff! Chuff! With a rumble and a rattle,
Waking every echo on the old bush road;
Waking, too, the wonder of the wayside cattle
With the clatter of his engine and his strange, mixed load;
With his front wheels a-wobble and his back brake squealing,
Skirting here the table-drain, grazing there a tree,
His hand upon the steering, but his mind upon his dealing,
Comes Bottle-o Benny in his old Model T.

'Any ole iron, sir? Fat, sir? Bottles, sir?
Cast-off clobber, or any ole rags?
(Pretty sticky patch that, down by the wattles, sir.)
Any ole machinery or secon'-and bags?
Charf bags, bran bags? Taken 'em orf yer 'an's, sir
Best city prices, spot cash. That's me!
This 'ere dealin' life's as 'ard as any man's, sir.'
Says Bottle-o Benny from his old Model T.

He pokes about the rubbish heap; he roots around the stable there;
He loiters in the lumber-shed and says, 'Times is lean.
Give you 'arf-a-dollar, now, for that ole table there.
Square an' all an' honest, sir, I'd 'ardly make a bean!
Yes; I've counted up the bottles; two dozen's wot I make 'em, sir.
Wot? Them sauce an' pickle 'uns?
But, jist for ole acquaintance like, I'll rid yer 'an's an' take 'em, sir.'
And he magically packs them in his old Model T.

Chuff! Chuff! Chuff! With a rattle and a rumble,
Off goes Benny by the Burnt Stump Bend.
His echoes scarce have died away ere Mum begins to grumble:
Where's that copper kettle that I put out to mend?'
And Lil says, 'Last year - (I've always had a feeling)
Last year a clothes-line went when Benny went,' says she.
But Benny won't be back again for twelve months, dealing
For unconsidered trifles in his old Model T.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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