Tumbleweeds kept raining down
And we couldn't find a place to stay.
Last hotel on the dusty road
Stretching starkly white to the horizon.
Lanterned windows pulled us in,
Arms coarse with the smell of paraffin
And strange men who only ever stayed one night.
Pinewood bar, worn-out graffiti,
Piano riff, marching,
Pull up a chair, mate,
Happiness comes cheap at two shillings each.
Amid the laughter of strangers,
Men of the highway wind,
Unchanging, like desert dunes
That carried their touch to brush grainy in our nostrils.
While bawdy women stared
Their frank sweaty-eyed stares,
While moths swayed drunken
To the lure of the yellow wick,
Hard-shod feet scraped on wood.
Creak of bedsprings.
Of a man called Delilah.
A hand that I took
Without looking at its eye.
That's what they call it.
Where you can be a man out loud
And look at a conscience with scorn.
Haven for uneasy thoughts.
Naive happiness at two shillings each.