Tuesday poem: Magic from the inside

May 14, 2012

Magic from the inside

I am stuck in the conjured darkness,
mere pipe-cleaner, fluffy punch-line.
A thousand sharp screams penetrate;
giggles like flick knives reach inside.
The kids are having a great time.
I wait. Wish for real transformation,
of this black to a field of satin green,
soft as the emerald handkerchief
he converts to clover with an extra ear.
But breathing is a trick in itself, I find,
here in the crushing long tube of night
before sudden birth into searing light.
Then staccato taps of two dozen hands
on a hopping, fat balloon who squeaks.
He pushes me into the cage and says
I tried guinea pigs but they bit.
Hats off, I say, to the pigs with teeth.

P.S. Cottier

This poem was highly commended in the Gold Coast Writers’ Association Adults’ Poetry Competition, 2009, judged by Graham Nunn. (I like to send my poetry to sunny places, where it gets a tan and fake platinum blonde hair and a fluorescent bikini, before coming back to Canberra.) The topic was magic, and I thought of the unfortunate animals that perform at children’s birthday parties.

Now for other poems, most of which are probably not wearing swimmers, even of a practical cut, but rather beanies and ug boots and woollen socks, click this feather:
Tuesday Poem

4 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Magic from the inside”

  1. This first thing that came to mind when I got to the last line of this poem was “slick!” That sounds like an insult, but it’s not meant to be: rather, it’s admiration of the cunning way this poem is constructed to culminate in that kiss-off of a last line. The poem shines as it is, without the need for bling acquired in warmer climes.

  2. pscottier said

    No need to justify slick, Tim! I wanted it to have a memorable ending, like a rabbit from a hat, and I’m pleased it seems to have worked for at least one reader. Now, pick a card…

    I do like the idea of my poem, if not me, shedding beret (yes, I own one) and donning resort wear though. I have never been to the Gold Coast, and may never go.

  3. Hi Penelope, Thank you for presenting the rabbit’s point of view.’Breathing is a trick in itself’ Such a clever line. I promise never to pull another bunny out of a hat.:-( Thankyou for making us think again and again and…
    Now will you please write the platinum blonde poem with a fake tan! .

    • pscottier said

      Platinum blondes don’t write poems themselves of course. Ever. They think they are the poems. Or they think that a poem is a type of topless sportscar from France. (Please no-one say that’s a sexist remark. I knows it. And I include the blond as well as the blonde.) Thanks for commenting Helen.

      Doves of course love being stuffed into apparel.

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