The ghost river

Featured in

  • Published 20131023
  • ISBN: 9781922079992
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE RIVER BOYS camped along the low bank when the weather was on their side. On summer nights they sat by the fire, passed the bottle and cooked a feed, a couple of tins of baked beans or bacon bones in steaming water and bread toasted on an old stove rack. If one of them got lucky with the throwing arm and landed a kill with a fistful of rock, they shared a rabbit on the coals.

Most nights there’d be four or five boys round the campfire, Big Tiny Watkins, Cold Can, the Doctor, Tallboy and Moses, the undisputed boss. They once had regular names, like you and me, but ditched them and took up with identities that appeared in no public record. The river kept them off the streets and brought them some peace, away from the eyes of the police, who also loved the drink and were notorious for kicking the winos round the streets.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

More from author

Finding you above Kyoto

PoetryFinding you above Kyoto stone cats in red knits lined a narrow canal sweetened water swirled in bowls of fallen leaves staining my hands with tannins of a winter soon...

More from this edition

A touch of silk

MemoirDURING THE 1970s and '80s I taught meditation in a dozen or so countries throughout East Asia and the Pacific on behalf of my...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.