Tuesday poem: Moderately threatening bird

January 30, 2017

Moderately threatening bird

Between budgie and hawk
you flutter your mild wings,
which still cause wee jumps
in heart rate or blood pressure -
more wallaby than pole vault.
You don’t pick eyes out
like ravens of ill repute
(though I’ve always been partial
to those most Victorian birds).
You don’t trade messages with the dead,
or lead the undead back to tossed bed
of sea doona, or semen sheet.
Yet you are somewhat disquieting,
with your cleverness beyond our control.
So we clip your wings, and ignore
the unclipped birds flocking in our heads.
Ideas swarm like sparrows
and each one is falling into dread.

PS Cottier


Something weird is happening with that poem’s formatting, in that it won’t let me insert a proper em dash, just a hyphen.  Moderately threatening glitches/your less successful witches/wedged in the keyboard like sandwich ham.  (Said witches also make you experiment with Instant Poetry, which is A Truly Dangerous Thing.)

For those in Canberra, I’ll be doing a reading at University House next week, Wednesday 8th of February.  This is the series that used to be at The Gods, and the other readers are Chloe Wilson and Keith Harrison.  You can eat there before, should you wish, from 6pm, and the readings start at 7.30pm, in the Drawing Room.  It costs $5 for the unwaged and $10 for those with gainful employment.  (Otherwise called Not Full-time Poets.)

I’ll be reading my usual mix of poems about elves, and poems with a serious political slant.  Often both exist in the same poems.  I sometimes think I should do a collection called Fairies of Social Realism Playing Football on Mars.  Or perhaps I already did.

The new year is finally picking up, and I have had news of a couple of forthcoming publications, which I shall post about soon, witches permitting.



4 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Moderately threatening bird”

  1. I found that bird more than moderately disturbing – perhaps even as far as quite disturbing! Perhaps this poem could be retitled “Bird of a Degree of Disturbance to be Determined by the Reader”?

    More seriously, though, you have captured very well the odd disturbingness of birds. Just imagining how disturbing dinosaurs must have been, as well as how beautiful.

    • pscottier said

      I think we are jealous of birds, Tim, because they can fly. We’d all feel a tad small next to dinosaurs, but only a few of them flew.

      Your definition of beauty is quite catholic! (Now I’m picturing a dinosaur with a mitre.)

  2. Rosemary Nissen-Wade said

    I like your moderately threatening bird, too.
    If you have a Mac, try pressing option and dash, or even shift/option/dash, simultaneously.
    I’m sorry Canberra’s a bit far for me to come! I wonder if Keith Harrison would remember me? Maybe as Rosemary Nissen. We were mutual friends of Philip Martin, long ago. Please say hello to him from me, just in case. (I am glad anyway to know he’s still around.)

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