The chicken in autumn

No spring chicken, she fluffs up her hair.
Neck is turkeying, becoming its own scarf
of bumpy, gobbling skin.  She pushes at the strange,
frill neck, loose Elizabethan collar, gravity's triumph,
and remembers, stroking, the departed flesh of spring.

Pink buds looked upwards, as if watching clouds,
Her body watered itself, moistly rippled,
Holding itself tightly in an embrace
assumed to be everlasting, but like any flower
wind caressed too hard, and the petals fell. 

Autumn, they say, is fruitful, mellow, wiser,
tasting winter on the air, beyond mere promise
of that which can not last, of fairies or of flowers.
A graceful pause, equilibrium.  But falls of leaves
speak of falls of snow, of skin, of flesh, of life.

But still leaves may be kicked upwards, fluttering,
rudely resurrected out of  dignified piles, 
decorum shed like a lizard's skin, unwanted.
Half of life has been spent, but the legs still swing,
lovingly, the lungs embrace air.  The tough bird sings.

PS Cottier

That’s a very old poem, published in my first book, The Glass Violin, in 2008. It’s becoming more relevant every year! You know you’re getting a bit older when you forget the dates that you got various degrees, which is the over-educated version of where did I put my keys? Rereading the poem now, there are more flower images than I’d probably use now, but I quite like it.

I am very happy to be starting as Poetry Editor at The Canberra Times. Submissions are open now UNTIL 30th June. Please read the guidelines below before submitting, and send only to the email given. Any poems or queries sent through to another email will not be read. At the moment, I am unsure if overseas people can be paid, so poems from people in Australia only at this stage please. I am very much feeling my way into things, but have already received some wonderful poems.

Canberra Times Submission Guidelines June 2021

ALL CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING THE CANBERRA TIMES/PANORAMA POETRY SUBMISSIONS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE CANBERRA TIMES POETRY EMAIL ADDRESS:

poetrycanbt [AT] gmail.com

POETRY SUBMISSION PERIODS: Usually MAR 15-31, JUN 15-30, SEPT 13-30, DEC 15-31 (These are subject to change, and submission may become half-yearly.)  Do not submit until there is a call-out. The Poetry Editor Penelope Cottier will be making selections.

·       • Poems suitable for a general audience in most styles and on most subject matters are welcome.

·       • Please send up to 3 UNpublished (includes blogs etc) poems of up to 24 lines, to 

     • The 24 line maximum includes quotes/notes/references (but not title and stanza breaks). 

·       • Attach all poems in one Word file — please include your name in the document title. (You are welcome to also attach a PDF if you are concerned that formatting might slip in the Word doc. But do not send only a PDF. Pasting into an email, if you have to, is fine too.)

·       • Please submit poems during designated submission periods only

     • Poems should not be on offer to other print or online publications

·       • You will be notified by email either way, 6-8 weeks after close of submissions. (Some will be notified much sooner.)

·       • If selected, your poem should generally be published — in the Panorama arts section — during the following several months. 

      • Poets selected for publication are asked not to submit during the next submission period.

NB While everything possible is done to reduce the risk of a selected poem not appearing The Canberra Times cannot guarantee publication. Poets who submit poems should understand there is a chance their poem may not appear, even if selected. 

Hints

•      Send your stand-out poem(s).  Don’t feel you have to send in three!

•      Send a variety.

•      Be strategic — remember that poems are selected months in advance of publication.

•    Please note that sometimes poems are published in a smaller font due to space limitations — if  you have an issue with this you might prefer to submit shorter poems.

•    For the same reason it is better not to send poems with very long lines or elaborate formatting. 

Bio

A biographical note is not necessary but is of interest — just one or two sentences will do. 


PLEASE KEEP READING:

The Canberra Times publishes one poem per week in its Saturday Panorama arts section, pending space availability. Payment is $60 per poem.

The aims are to ensure a diversity of voices, and to publish poems on a wide variety of subjects.

Poets selected for publication are asked to skip the next submission window. 

Please note The Canberra Times receives hundreds of poems and has space for just a fraction of those. Many quality submissions have to be declined each time.

Submission periods are now quarterly (subject to change). Submission calls will be promoted to the list of poets who have previously submitted or enquired, and through social media and poetry networks — thank you for passing the word on.

If you can access The Canberra Times where you live, please buy it every Saturday.   Or you can subscribe to the on-line paper, to support fellow poets and a major newspaper that still publishes poetry.

Penelope (PS) Cottier

The Canberra Times Poetry Editor

Very happy to see three of my poems published at Eureka Street today, called ‘In the back of this poem’, ‘The eclectus parrot’, and ‘The edge of empty’, which is about extinction due to mega fires caused by climate change. I hope you enjoy them. Here is a picture of the male and female eclectus parrot.

Zoom launch of Monstrous

August 5, 2020

Last Sunday was the Zoom launch of Monstrous, my new collection of horror poems. Thank you to the publisher, David Reiter for organising the launch, and to Tim Jones for the launch speech. Also thanks to those who attended, and those who helped with the book, especially Kaaron Warren for the Introduction. If you would like to have a look, the launch is now up on YouTube.

The book is available as a paperback or e-book at many on-line retailers, from the publisher, or, for those in Canberra, direct from me, or at Book Lore in Lyneham.

Utterly arrival

July 2, 2020

utterlyarrival

Very happy to see my book Utterly in the flesh, straight from Ginninderra Press. Utterly has many poems about the environment and climate change, as well as more personal concerns. It can be ordered here (dispatching from the 13th July). Or through Amazon, etc.

My second book during the virus lockdown, although things are gradually getting back to normal in Canberra. I will be holding a physical launch for Utterly later in the year, probably alongside Monstrous (see last post). It’s hard to plan anything at the moment, although we are having a much easier time here in Canberra than parts of Melbourne (not to mention various other countries).

Regardless of the launch situation, it’s a wonderful thing to hold one’s own book!