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

This one is via link. ‘Excalibur’s Lament’ is one of a number of poems on the theme Arthuriana, which is the title of the latest edition of Eye To The Telescope. Adele Gardner has edited this issue, and I am finding it fascinating to see how other poets approached re-telling, or re-imagining, the world of the round table.

Eye To The Telecope is an on-line journal of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, based in the USA, which has members in other countries. (Including at least one in the Grand Duchy of Canberra.) Scroll down to find my poem, and enjoy reading all the issue.


This one is via link to the Thunderbolt Prize, where it was highly commended. It’s about a bike being hit by a car, so prepare for seasonal cheerfulness! The other poems are well worth a look, too. The winning poem is by Jenny Blackford.

bike stars

I also just had a poem published in Australian Poetry Journal, with a poem about work, and was a finalist in the New Millennium Monthly muse competition, on the subject of fear, but I’m going to hoard that poem for a while and get it published elsewhere. Those competitions are also well worth a look.

Australia is moving into Christmas shutdown mode as we speak. And by Australia I largely mean me…which is fairly arrogant, but there you go. I am not writing as much as usual, and drinking (even) more. Cheers.

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.


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.


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.


Tuesday Poem: Cactus

November 6, 2017


Spiky camel hump, buried in sand.
Alien artichoke, Martian’s lunch.
I’m told to admire your
‘architectural qualities’. As if
we build houses of needles,
like one of those three little pigs
gone crazy, his brain curling,
dizzy, to match pale gimlet tail.
What huffing
fire-mouthed dragon
could blow you down?
Crooked eyes only, crave cacti.

Yet, every few years, you explode
into a neon gown of Brazilian hues
pulsating, pink or gold, as at Mardi Gras.
When poor become princes,
and thin desert blooms.

PS Cottier


An ancient poem this one, if ten years qualifies as ancient.  My cactus just bloomed, hence my digging it (the poem) up.

I just had two poems published in issue 23 of Failed Haiku, which is a great name for a journal.  It refers to senryu, which are like haiku but quirkier. The home page is definitely worth a visit, for links to information about senryu, and so you can download the issues.  I won’t link to the PDF of issue 23 (November 2017) here, but it is easily accessed at the site. The editor, Mike Rehling, also makes some interesting comments about senryu that particularly caught his eye.