Tuesday poem: Fungi

June 2, 2019

Fungi

They are not one nor the other
neither animated beasts
nor sluggish vegetables.
We see them as ambiguous,
but they are what they are,
have no need for categories
to undermine like mulch.
Some have an orange that is limitless.
Ten trillion angelic spores tickle the air.
They join forests with reaching non-fingers.
They are neither sadness nor glee.
Persistent softness breaks down logs.
Some push up after rarest rain —
quaint exclamation reversed,
cap upright but no mere tittle,
and not a little ‘i’.
They mouth off.
They are easily mistaken —
or rather, we mistake them,
rejecting our uncertainty.
Poison is just a flicker from food,
kidneys breaking down like wood.
They are not one nor the other —
they have their ways.
Would that we were they.

PS Cottier

Gelbstieliger_Nitrathelmling_Mycena_renati

A new poem celebrating those things that one finds when walking, that confuse our unthinking preference for binary categorisations.

(Image by Holger Krisp, Ulm, Germany, CC BY 3.0)

Tuesday poem: Freckles

May 26, 2019

Another poem via link, this time to New Zealand speculative publication Sponge. ‘Freckles’ is a prose poem meditation on those weird little skin-flecks that many of us have. You can listen to me read the poem, too, if you like.

dreadful-monster

If you click this link, you’ll find my snappily named poem ‘The creature runs through the Arctic ice, pursued by Doctor Frankenstein’, just published at Cordite. The issue has the name ‘Monster’ and was edited by Nathan Curnow. I’ve been sitting on that monster of a poem for ages, so it’s nice to see it out and about.

There are some wondrous monstrous things lurking there, so do have a read. If you dare. (I always wanted to write that sentence.)

This one is via link to Eye To The Telescope, an online journal of speculative poetry run by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, based in the United States. The issue on ‘Sports and Games’ was edited by Lisa Timpf, who I believe is Canadian, so I’m extra pleased to have a poem about cricket published there. My poem is second in the issue, but have a look at all the poetry!

Magic!

I have just heard that the poet Les Murray has died, and I am rereading some of his best work, such as The Cows on Killing Day. I remember talking to him about this poem, and whether he had thought of becoming vegetarian, and he said that that would mean a lot fewer cows in existence!

In person I found him to be an affable and funny man, and on the day of his death that is a good way to remember him. There will be a lot of proper obituaries appearing tomorrow.

Cheers, Les.

Stealing Les Murray’s beer

Tuesday poem: haiku

April 16, 2019

Autumn wind

white leaves swirling

cockatoos

Muse with beak

In Canberra at the moment there are thousands of sulphur crested cockatoos and corellas, supplemented with galahs and gang-gang cockatoos. Some of these birds come down from the higher mountains to avoid the even worse cold, and some stay here all year round.

This morning I was having a coffee outside a café watching a cockatoo eat seedpods in a tree, making the leaves fall down, as many other birds flew overhead. Blame him/her for this little poem.