Poem: Befitting

December 4, 2022

                                                                              
Twice as long as my palms,
my new loves sparkle,
shine, make no demands.
I do not intend to attract
anyone with them. 
They are certainly not
flashy signals or invitations.
I stroke the glassy sides,
kiss where a tongue would sit —
but neither has a tongue.
They glide onto my eager feet
just when I want, and if I dance,
I dance for myself, admiring
the play of sun on cupping glass.
My feet framed with transparency,
I skip, slide, saunter and spin
on the open, prince-less green —
slippers fitting just so.

PS Cottier

And I do note the overwhelming wee-ness of the slippers in that illustration! (Aubrey Beardsley)

Poem: Eggshell garden

November 10, 2022

Half an egg, hidden in a drawer,
a tiny half-skull among the socks.
She gathers dirt, careful not to leave
a tell-tale trail, fills her tiny cup,
waits until dandelions are blown
into wishes, wraps a seed in tissue.
She puts her garden on the windowsill,
a promise behind the curtains,
which are printed with pink roses
and stringy effusions of lavender.
Sprouting towards the light,
a tiny green finger pokes into being,
and the eventual flower is more
dandekitten than anything fierce. 
It purrs in her mind, her flower
wattle-like yellow, punctuating
her bedroom with a freedom of glee.

PS Cottier

Somewhere there’s a photo of me as a child holding a plant which is growing inside an eggshell. That memory inspired this poem.

Tuesday’s Child is Full

October 20, 2022

This is the front cover of my latest book, a collection of poems first published on this very blog. I am particularly delighted with that cover, which relates to one poem inside the book about the Australian White Ibis, or tip turkey.

I have been writing this blog for thirteen years, frequently posting new poems, usually on Tuesdays, hence the book’s name. Thank you to all readers who have followed/commented/read the blog.

The book can be ordered here, from In Case of Emergency Press, which is the best name ever! It is priced at $20 (AUD). Re-reading thirteen years of this blog and selecting the poems was an interesting process, only occasionally bringing on a cringe. Dealing with Howard Firkin, the publisher, was a pleasure.

I will shortly be arranging a launch here in Canberra. Details to follow.

If you go to this site, you’ll find a new poem I wrote called Amorphous Solid, which is about a person turning into glass. It’s included in an on-line journal called Liquid Imagination, which has been around for quite a long time. Have a browse around. Unfortunately this is the last edition of the journal. The Poetry Editor is John C. Mannone, and the Managing Editor is Sue Babcock.

I was meant to stride through

armour jingling, a whole orchestra
of metal bits, cymbals and triangles.
But something made me rest 
in the still, mushroom strewn wood,
dank and smelling like dogs’ paws.
Taking off the shiny carapace,
I wriggled into the moss, napped,
awoke to a gnome stealing gauntlets,
to store in some illicit cavern.
I decided not to give chase.
Let him take what he wanted.
Rolling over, my moist pillow
seemed to release rich spores
imbuing me with memories,
indistinguishable from dreams.
Before all this striving, all these 
ventures and clashes, I used to
take the time to examine things,
the varied feathers of birds, 
the damp exigencies of the frog.

Who knows? In a hundred years
someone may find a mossy log
shaped a little like a knight,
on which an escargatoire of snails
pursues the silver quests of their kind,
clothed in quiet brown armour of shell.

PS Cottier

Any excuse to use the word ‘escargatoire’…