Tuesday poem: Tribute

September 9, 2019

A strange tendency
we adore that which monsters
Stephen Edwin King

travelers-lured

I am very much enjoying the current Stephen King glut of films and TV series. But for me, the prospect of a new book by King beats all of that. Can’t wait to read The Institute, which I think comes out in November. Long may King continue to scare the crap out of us, all the world around.

UPDATE: I don’t know where I got that November idea from, as the book’s out now!

Tuesday poem: Haiku

September 4, 2019

Behind the parlour
nail clippings rejoice
castanets

headpiece-scene-7-1

I was just thinking about the constant trail of stuff we leave behind; skin,hair, nails. The idea of all these sheddings coming together is disturbing. Maybe have a go at writing your own weird little haiku? The hair caught in hairbrushes comes to mind.

No new poem this week. But if you live in Canberra and want some wine and/or poetry, (and who wouldn’t when it’s bleak and freezing) go to University House, ANU, at 7pm or earlier on Wednesday 14th August. Poetry will happen in the Graduate Lounge. There will be Carol Jenkins (Sydney), David Gilbey (Wagga Wagga) and PS Cottier (Canberra). The last-mentioned poet even has a hat. It was recently purchased from Australian Poetry.

There is an entry fee for the poetry of $10 waged and $5 unwaged.

I wrote this one before reading how four miners have died in Queensland this year. Appalling to think that people are dying like that; something is obviously very wrong.

Makes my last line seem a little optimistic, and the illustration of nineteenth century safety lamps seem appropriate.

The canary, the pony, and the man

It sounds like a joke’s first line,
a trio who walked into a bar.
But no, these are the three who
went below, swung down from the light.

One was there to pull loads
through dark roads carved
far from the sun, far from meadow,
half horse and half mole.

The bright bird, born for the sky,
would die first if the air was turning.
Now he is mere metaphor, cliché;
canary in the coal-mine has had his day.

Only the man still mines.
Each day he dives down to work,
amongst rich minerals and dust —
every day rising like Lazarus.

PS Cottier

safety-lamps

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)