Tuesday poem: Turn away

August 2, 2016

Turn away from the night.
Too much freedom is implied.
Trap stars in flags, pin them down,
render them national, bordered,
an angular abacus to figure normality.
Adorn children’s essays with thin
gold paper star stickers.
Wonder is juvenilia that we must
grow to despise, jettison
like milk teeth swapped for coin.
Yet those million suns, flickering
light sirens, keep calling, ululating.
Day demands in clear clipped diction
that we make work’s timed rituals
the sum of all equations. From such
abbreviation, each star whispers
turn away, turn to me,
turn to me, and turn away.

P.S. Cottier

bigstock_snowflakes_and_stars_descendin_15991001

I can’t remember if this has been published before; it’s not on my List, so probably not.  There’s going to be a lot of flag waving soon at the Olympics (and, of course, in the final grim push to the US elections) so it seemed appropriate.

cover AWAW

My poem ‘Criminals who are no longer criminals’ has been included in this year’s Award Winning Australian Writing, which included poems and prose that have previously been awarded first place in a literary competition (as you can probably read on the cover).  The annual is published by Melbourne Books, and I’ll be going down for the launch late this month and reading the poem, which will be fun.

The poem qualified as it was placed first in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, organised by the New England Writers Centre, and it is concerned with the definition of crime changing over time. It also has a speculative element, as there are ghosts involved.

I believe that the current Thunderbolt Prize is still open for entries: check out the rules and categories here.

4 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Turn away”

  1. Great poem, Penelope! The wonder of stars is certainly waning… We’ve created so many diversions of our own down here, soon we won’t even be able to see them!

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