Two anthologies for spring

October 20, 2018

Very happy to have a poem in Best Australian Science Writing 2018, edited by John Pickrell (NewSouth Books), and another one in Poetry Bridges: Canberra/Nara Commemorative Anthology, edited by Saeko Ogi, Amelia Fielden and Noriko Tanaka (Ginninderra Press).

I just attended the launch of this second one, and it was a delight to hear the poems, including mine, translated into Japanese.  There is a Nara launch next month, where the Japanese poems will no doubt also be read in English.  Nara and Canberra are sister cities, and have been for 25 years. BASW is being launched in Sydney in November.

poetry bridges

basw

I am on two panels at Quantum Words in a couple of weeks; this is a day long festival looking at science and writing in Sydney. One is specifically about poetry and science, the other has the unassuming title ‘Writing the Universe’ which sounds vaguely biblical to my ears! To finish off, here is a very Japanese crane, at home in Hokkaido. We were lucky enough to see them in the wild, as well as at the sanctuary.

crane

Tuesday poem: How I hate you

September 10, 2018

How I hate you

Reality TV, bastard child of documentary and soap opera,
I hate you more than competitors hate the dishes served
up by the other teams; their yucks and carefully edited
smirks are nothing to the pure flame of hate I direct at you.

I will buy one of those little devices to make crème brûlée.
Nay, I shall buy twelve of them, and hang them from
a bandolier, all Sergio Leone, only French.
And I shall discover the producers and brûlée them, irrevocably.

Custard hearted slop buckets are those who reduce
something like food to these fiendish competitions,
and pit like infamous olives the spitting couples.

Let there be an end to these spectacles!
I open a can of baked beans.
I heat bread.

PS Cottier

ukobach

After lengthy delay, here’s a very slow-cooked poem. Enjoy!

Tuesday poem: Vista

July 20, 2018

Vista

Icarus was detected, soaring over
our skies, a blush of pink cloud,
without string or anchor, sans permit.
We deployed the net squad, caged him
in a convenient place up north.
He pined, seedy as a sick canary,
pleading and rattling and moulting.
Eventually, his heart broke like a promise.
Then we let him in,
just before it fluttered its last.
The man-flamingo had a lot to tell us,
and science has legitimate needs.

PS Cottier

waves-over-me

This poem was originally written as an entry for an ekphrastic poetry competition (not the image I include above) but I forgot to enter. As I was going to Japan, I forgive this errant dickheadedness, and the poem stands on its own, I think.

***

I am not one to pretend to know Japan because they spent 11 days there. But one thing I did learn is that Japanese mascots are far cooler than ours. Melon Kuma from Hokkaido is, as the name suggests, half melon, half bear, and given to biting the heads off other mascots (at least). I’ll leave you to google him, if you dare…Or here’s his Facebook page.

French police cut soles off migrant children’s shoes

And some would say
the illegality would be to the property,
the abused ownership of the shoes,
not the feet, blistered by hope,
the minds, yearning; the law’s barriers
are clear, clear as any fence.
Dubbed illegal, shoes truncated,
the children are sent back on trains.
Sole-less shoes are the new sans culottes,
as the French police cut the fashion.
And we, smug, tut-tut, and lock
the lame and the pregnant off-shore.
We cut the map, turn the sea into walls.
We are surgeons of souls, and watch,
as young men take the final step
and launch themselves, shoeless,
into another world, with hidden knife,
or rope, knot, and quick-flipped chair.

PS Cottier

The poem’s title derives from a headline in The Guardian, 15-6-18, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/14/french-border-police-accused-of-cutting-soles-off-migrant-childrens-shoes

shoes

Normally I’d be posting a football poem at the moment, however this piece in The Guardian engendered a poem admittedly about feet, but most definitely not about the beautiful game.

On the shocking spread of unregulated materials

Gnomes
Despise
Picnic
Rugs

PS Cottier

many-gnomes

Pun based acrostics have their place at my place. Particularly when one has been tormented by numerous emails about one’s privacy for weeks. If you’ve never heard of the GDPR, you have my felicitations. Which is not to say that it’s not A Good Thing, but let there be an end to the emails, please. And this is from someone living in Australia; I dread to think what it’s been like in Europe (which includes the UK, at least for now).