A Deadly Encounter

A Deadly Encounter

A Poem by Keith

We have scary things in Australia!


There are so many deadly creatures

To which our land plays host.

Its seems that in Australia,

Is where you'll find the most.

You may venture into the outback,

But be careful if you dare.

There's a chance you'll meet a monster

That is guaranteed to scare.


It comes to life when the sun has set

The wildlife flee in fright.

We call it the Aussie Road Train

It's road kill a gruesome sight.

A nasty encounter of my own

The subject of this rhyme.

I will tell you how it happened,

Blow by blow and  in real time.


Around midnight out of the Alice,

With a long long way to go.

I am stuck  behind a road train

That seems a trifle slow.

It is going less than a hundred

But I have a burning  yen,

To make it to Darwin tomorrow

So I need to be doing a hundred and ten.


There's a flash of the right indicator!

The sign for "OK to go".

Gentlemen of the road with their own code

Shared only with those in the know.

High in his cab he sees far ahead

And told me it's OK to pass.

I slam it into four throttle to the floor

Gotta get this old  ute off its arse.


I steer across those double white lines

It's OK I'm  perfectly sure.

Coz everyone knows that Truckie Code

Stands way above the law.

Now I see the entire road train

With trailers one two three and four.

At least one more than I bargained for

I am in for a struggle for sure.


Out of the slipstream catching  the air

The going just got a bit hard.

The poor old ute is bravely fighting

For every hard earned yard.

This process is taking way too long,

I am feeling bit of a failure.

I haven't yet been able to pass

That number four road train trailer.


I am saying a prayer to  Brocky,

I know thats really absurd.

But he'd understand the need for speed

And maybe put in a word.

If there are racing cars in heaven

He is bound to have some pull.

I would like it if my full throttle

Could be just a bit more  full.


Trailer three gives a lurch and a sway

So close to my passenger door.

With my wheels already on gravel

I can't move over any more.

I seem to be on a bend with no end

And I  cannot  see what lies ahead.

I can feel the anxiety building

So many questions race through my head.


At trailer two I am pondering

Was passing really essential?

I am wondering about this driver,

His integrity and driving credentials.

Was that blinker flash really for me?

The whole situation feels wrong.

Is there another explanation?

Did he bump the blinker  re-lighting his bong?


Passing  trailer one with the feeling

That I am in mortal danger?

Am  I in this pickle from putting trust,

In the hands of a faceless stranger?

Could this driver now be showing off

To his brand new lady spouse?

Probably a tattoed charmer,

Picked up at the last road house?


Did he give her a shake so she'll awake

Saying "Sit up don't miss this Yvonne

I arranged a special treat for you

I have set up another head on!"

My mind is creating scenarios,

Of only destruction and horror.

None of them include the slightest hint

Of any sort of tomorra!


I finally draw alongside the cab,

The  driver too high to see,

With red face horns and a pitchfork,

I imagine him to be.

There's a sign on the driver's door,

Does it really boast Road Toll?

It confirms this road train driver

Is a low life  sicko troll.


In a moment or so my fate I'll know

Will my ordeal finish?

He dips his lights I flick mine high

I feel my fear diminish.

There are red and white reflectors

As far as the eye can see,

Not a car or critter on the road

Thats a beautiful sight to me.


In the distance on the  horizon

They converge to a single dot.

This wonderful scene so brightly lit,

By my hundred megawatt spot.

Our road train drivers are the best

Ill stand by my assertion.

Please ignore any hasty remarks

That may have cast dispersions.


The name on the door I thought I saw,

Well I might have made an error.

Probably just a dyslexic  thing

In a weak moment of terror.

That company name it is  "Toll Road"

They employ the very best.

Clean living gents atop of their game,

Who would clearly pass any test.


But now something's wrong with my old Ute

It is shaking off its tits,

I think it's about to fall apart

Into tiny little bits.

The reason is clearly apparent

When I take a look at the clock,

Its doing a hundred and forty

And that is quite a shock.


That is significantly faster

Than I thought it could do,

So I am beginning to wonder, 

Did Brocky really come through?

I have now slowed the old ute  down

To a calmer hundred and ten.

But wait,  what the hec is going on?

Why are things still shaking then?


Oh crap its a case of the  jitters, 

Apparently its only me.

It seems that I need to  pull over,

And make a nice cuppa tea.

I pull up in the next truck stop

My heart still beating fast.

I get my billie from the back,

And wave as he rumbles past.


I sit and drink my cup of tea

My knees have nearly stopped shaking.

I am reflecting on my life

And this journey that  I'm taking.

Wise words from an elderly  bushman

Keep ringing in my ears.

A crusty old outback resident,

Hes been around for quite a few  years.


He insisted " Follow those road trains,

It is the only way to go.

Let them smack into the camels,

And the odd water buffalo..

I encounter another road train,

This time doing ninety nine,

Passing lane 10 Kilometres,

Says the dusty yellow sign.


So it seems that I can  pass safely ,

About six minutes ahead.

But I don't think I will bother,

Happy to follow instead.





© 2013 Keith

Author's Note

Aussie Dictionary:-
The Alice = Alice Springs (town in the middle of Australia)
Darwin = Bloody hot! (town at the top of Australia)
Ute = Utility Vehicle
100k = 62 mph, 110k = 70mph ,140k = 87mph
Brocky (Peter Brock) Legendary Australian racing driver, tragically killed 2006.
Road kill = Cheap lunch
Billie = pot for boiling water (and cooking road kill)

My Review

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What a harrowing experience. I suppose you never did learn if the driver did it to you deliberately or not. A monumental writing effort done brilliantly. And by all means keep behind those road trains.
(I get a kick out of your definition of "road kill.")

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

More a collection of harrowing thoughts from passing Road Trains over the years. I Drove Melbourne .. read more
Wow not that IS a story Keith! You had me riveted to this to discover the outcome. I always thought when truckies showed you their right hand indicators that it isn't safe to overtake and when they put their left blinkers on, that means it's okay. Got that arse about!.
Sounds like another time you were on the brink...of another disaster! Never travelled the Outback myself and doubt I will in this lifetime
Love the story and rhyme and so glad you are here to tell the tale!

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Thanks again WW, this was fiction but based on the cumulation scary encounteres with road trains ov.. read more
"Did he bump the blinker relighting his bong?" Oh, when I got to this line, I was absolutely roaring with laughter. The rhythm of your words took me on that bumpy ride and the imagery, well, I found myself backing away from the computer screen to make sure I was not hurt! Very wise to add the translations for some of us who speak American, not Aussie! :) Not easy to pass a line of trucks and I don't think I would have ever considered it, but certainly not now! Another delightful romp. Thank you! Lydi**

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Wow, thank you for that flattering review, it was nice having you in the cab for company.
It was a long eventful drive but the craic was mighty, all the way to the destination and well worth the fare!

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

I thought you might enjoy the ride, we like to laugh at ourselves.
A very clever story/poem - you have a wonderful sense of humor. Thank you for the smile today! :) Julie

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Thank you for taking the time to read Julie.
thanks for the translations mate

Boy what a drive!!!

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Thanks Dr. Long drive and not much to do except jot down the lines that pop into ones head.
Good, solid tale and poem, Kieth. Love the use of humour, and it doesn't stop the rhythm. Favourites are the "bong" re-lighting part, and credentials rhyme. Classic! Good poem, cobber.

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Thanks Stuart, take care mate.
Ha! You have done it again, Keith! I was right there with you, speeding along. I was happy for the Aussie dictionary. '....relighting his bong' had me laughing out loud! Angi~

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Thanks again Angi. The accumulated fears from passing road trains over the years. We don't have th.. read more
Oh, I love it, and appreciate the Aussie Dictionary as I had to stop and question the Darwin, and the Brocky for certain. I guessed at the rest but "reckoned" the road kill to be akin to our WV road kill....lol - so got that wrong!
A wonderful Aussie tale with perfect rhyme and rhythm.......just absolutely great!! You are indeed a talented writer who is so very entertaining! - only other I know that tells a tale as well is David Lewis Paget, and he's an Aussie too! Perhaps it comes with the territory???....lol

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

For us poets, we will run with the vibes theorey eh?
Sheila Kline

5 Years Ago

Ah yes...........I believe it is so!! We are a sensitive lot!!

5 Years Ago

Vibes it is. When you are ready for a bit more Aussie nonsense, have a look at "The Nar Nar Goon P.. read more
Great read, Late one night driving to Kentucky for a sale, No not Bourbon, Not Tobacco, Yes Horse flesh, the running kind, three of us in a "Chevy Impala " "Corvette engine" I punched the Mph and switched to Km when they wern't looking the 140 made their skin get tight.

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Nice trick. Thanks for reading.

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24 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on May 23, 2013
Last Updated on May 24, 2013
Tags: road, train, scary, monster, australia



Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

I grew up on a diet of Australian bush poetry. Now a business consultant, I spend far too much time on aeroplanes and in hotels, I use this time to write. I like to tell stories and have fun. If y.. more..

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