Between

March 19, 2020

Between

8th March 2020
Women’s T20 final, Melbourne

A perfect night —
the MCG swarming
with yellow and green bees,
flocking and buzzing and singing,
mixed in with an Indian blue.
There, I finally saw
what T20 is good for.
85,000 of us, give or take,
to watch 22 women,
bowling, fielding, swinging.
The cake was iced
as our team lifted the cup.
Then we danced to one Perry —
Ellyse, alas, side-lined,
spectating just like us.

After the fires,
where we couldn’t breathe,
and before the virus
locked so much up,
we sang and yelled and clapped.
Such lively peace between
seeming endless fires,
and a tiny foe, unseen.

PS Cottier

MCG

Already it seems like a different world from just on two weeks ago, when I was down in Melbourne for the T20 final. A brilliant performance by the Australian team. Katy Perry and the dancing cricket bats. A packed MCG. And now events with over 100 people are basically banned.

Australia had just had the worst summer in terms of bushfires, and now, looking back, this great night at the MCG seems a moment of poise before we fell over into the world of the virus. So glad that I have the memory of this night! And I can’t wait for ridiculously large crowds to reappear.

Mountain launch

November 4, 2019

I just returned from Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of NSW, where I attended the launch of Mountain Secrets, a new anthology published by Ginninderra Press of South Australia, edited by Joan Fenney.

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Over 70 people attended the launch, which is quite remarkable, given that Blackheath is quite difficult to get to from any of the major capital cities. (Easiest from Sydney, and some people even commute, I believe!) I have a poem in the book called ‘Heat and snow’ about the Mountain pygmy possum, one of many Australian animals threatened by climate change. I was one of many poets to read at the launch.

The book looks and feels fantastic, although I’ve yet to read all the poems. Here is a photo of Stephen Matthews, who, along with Brenda Matthews (who was also celebrating a significant birthday on the day) runs Ginninderra Press. The poet reading is Sandra Renew, another poet from Canberra.

SM and SR

And finally, I have to include this photo of me having a drink at the pub in Blackheath, where a pipe band from Lithgow suddenly entered and started playing. That was a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure if this is a regular gig, or if it was part of the Rhododendron Festival that was also on in Blackheath. Anyway, I restrained myself from requesting ‘It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll’ by AC/DC. Just.

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Next year will be a very exciting one for me in terms of publications. More on that later.

No new poem this week. But if you live in Canberra and want some wine and/or poetry, (and who wouldn’t when it’s bleak and freezing) go to University House, ANU, at 7pm or earlier on Wednesday 14th August. Poetry will happen in the Graduate Lounge. There will be Carol Jenkins (Sydney), David Gilbey (Wagga Wagga) and PS Cottier (Canberra). The last-mentioned poet even has a hat. It was recently purchased from Australian Poetry.

There is an entry fee for the poetry of $10 waged and $5 unwaged.

This one is via link to Not Very Quiet, an online journal of women’s poetry. This edition, the second, was guest edited by Anita Patel, and the launch was held last night at Smiths Alternative here in Canberra. Many of the included poets were there to read their poems, along with the founding editors, Sandra Renew and Moya Pacey, and production editor Tikka Wilson.

Here is Anita Patel launching this issue, which is well worth a look.

Anita edit

Very happy that my suggested name for a beer to be served at the baseball at the Canberra Cavalry’s matches was the winner of a poll by the brewery.  Designated Bitter is the name, and I can’t wait to try it!  Bentspoke will have the beer on tap at the ball park.  You can read more about that here.  Next to having a beer called Penelope’s Special, this is as good as it gets!  Here’s the logo.

DBdecal

To celebrate, here’s a poem I first posted 5 years ago on this blog.

 In the pub

Wedges of moon
float in my glass
sky lemon stings

Vodka ice glass
nine tenths hide below
Cold leg’s hard kick

Poker beeps
sour head nods in shame
beer swims laps

Salt chips taste
absent smoke feathers
long since flown

PS Cottier

That’s all a bit grim, really, but I’m too stuffed to write one about the joys of beer (and baseball) just now, as…

I returned from Bega an hour ago, a town just inland from the far south coast of NSW, where there was a launch of a new publication; a chapbook called Muse which will hopefully appear once every season.  It is the sister publication to Mnesomnye, an online journal edited by a group of women on the south coast.  It contains great photos by Jodie Dickinson.

Muse

Bega was a real surprise; a great bookshop where the launch was held (Candelo Books), a table raising money for Rohingya refugees, and a really nice shopping strip on Carp Street.   I wish I could have spent more time there.

Driving back there was about a kilometre of highway with enormous cows grazing unconstrained on each side, so it wasn’t exactly like Braddon.