Passing beauty

It’s moving, just ahead
of the player’s most clever feet.
Every four years, we fill a cup,
then pour it out, a month of dreams.
Was it just last week that Bergkamp
flicked with orange elegance,
side-footing space and time?
No, he is long gone now,
off fielding fifty years.
Others follow. Messy time
melts beauty, remoulds it,
casts it always anew.
It never ages, constantly fired,
as we fade, we watchers,
yesterday’s players, passing.
Twenty sips at the cup
will fill a lifetime;
held safe in keeper’s hands.

PS Cottier

Boots.jpg

This poem was just republished in Boots:A Selections of Football Poetry 1890-2017, edited by Mark Pirie of New Zealand. As Mark has it up as an sample from the book, I thought I would also republish it here. It was first published in Eureka Street here in Australia.

The book contains poems from New Zealand, England, France, the Netherlands, with New Zealand being the home of most. It is well worth reading for the diversity of approaches: biographical, political, elegiac (mine, for once!) humorous and historical. A lovely present for anyone interested in football.

It can be ordered through Lulu through the publisher’s website (HeadworX Publishers). Boots is an expanded edition of a previous collection first published in 2014.

Tuesday poem: Ursa major

August 8, 2017

Ursa major

Some old ones blow up
and some contract into themselves.
Crab nebula or hermit crab
seems to be the question.
Surely it’s better to reach out,
even with pincers, than to ban light’s
customary caress, its kissing blush of face?
I want to be the crabby old bear,
stained with purple,
snatching berries like song.
Bulking up for my Winter’s
last diminuendo.

PS Cottier

whole-herd-1

A middle-aged poem about age, first published in 2011 in The Mozzie, edited by Ron Heard in Queensland.

Old green turtle
round mummy in plastic
excess drowning

PS Cottier

american-water-turtles

Not exactly the type of turtle I had in mind, but a very nice illustration. I think I should lay off the plastic, as this is the second poem in the last few months dealing with that material, but there’s just a lot of it about!

Sorry for recent silence here. Hopefully things are picking up again. (To use a vaguely plastic sounding metaphor.)

Forty-league boots

We cross the Pacific
leaping between plastic islands.
Great ballooning whales
squeak beneath our soles,
harpooned by our heels.
We  are the waste-walkers —
everyone her own Jesus.

PS Cottier

under-water

So we’re contributing to the flooding of small Pacific nations, while creating huge floating islands of trash. Gives a whole new meaning to the word recycling. ‘We’, in this context, refers to all the industrial economies that refuse to take global warming seriously.

And I know Jesus walked on water, not convenient piles of trash, but it seemed to make a kind of sense.

Tuesday poem: (haiku)

May 29, 2017

clogged bitumen
two wheeled surgeons
arteries open

PS Cottier

bike stars

That’s my new, very old, bike above. The frame dates from before WWII, I am told, which is quite amazing. Now this bike stays strictly on pavement and bike-path, which is quite possible where I live in Canberra, so it does not slip through cars like a knife at all.

But it looks grey and interesting leaning outside cafés, having had a short rattle. An important thing for a starry bicycle.

bike 2