This one is a Christmas poem, just published at Verity La.

The poem is about reugees. It’s important to remember those excluded and shunned all year, but it’s particularly pertinent to Christmas, when God took on the form of a child born in a stable. The outsider became the centre of the story.

There’s another poem at the site about climate change and specifically, the Great Barrier Reef. An enormous number of future refugees will be fleeing the effects of climate change. And destroying the lives of other species is inexcusable, too.

God bless us, every one! Have a wonderful Christmas.

 Onthemorningthomas1

Christmas Poem: Forecast

December 21, 2016

Forecast

It’s 12 degrees in Bethlehem
right now, a satellite says.
Cold, but not cold enough
to freeze a woman, kill a man,
or icicle a donkey.
But babies are mere hope,
hope wrapped in folds of flesh,
and that needs relief from wind.
Even 12 degrees will bite
a baby with teeth of blue,
suck out crimson hope
faster than any ghoul.
So came a shed, some hay,
the pleasant fug of cattle.
And god, mewling in the grain,
seeding time, forever.
It’s 12 degrees in Bethlehem,
a satellite says, just now.

PS Cottier

Onthemorningthomas1

The funny thing is that when I searched for the weather in Bethlehem, I was first directed to the United States where there’s another place by that name.

Have a wonderful Christmas and see you next year (through my special reverse-blog glasses).

Faith took a holiday

He hitched down the Hume, or up;
he didn’t tell me. Faith has no fear
of murder, or everyday sleazes
and their boring imprecations.
It’s the ones left behind
who tend to fret. What if,
we say, and perhaps
as if perhaps isn’t Faith
flipped like a decisive coin,
standing on his head.
As if as if isn’t
closer to for sure
than some might like it to be.

Faith rang me from Melbourne,
(so it was down the Hume)
and said he wanted to look around
a bit longer; catch the trams.
He too remembers
the excellent days of conductors,
with their magical brown bags.
Even Faith feels regret
at the passing of old days;
the spinning of so much
towards the expansive sun
of interconnected drivel.
There is a grace
in not knowing too much,
he said, though Faith would say that,
I suppose. That’s his job.
A kind of conductor
unseen in any tram,
on any route, whatsoever.

Faith will return soon;
I can hear the jingling
just at the edge of thought
and the tune is one
I almost remember.
The brown bag of my
restless, overloaded brain
awaits his presence,
and will sling itself, eager,
over his patient arm.

P.S. Cottier

flew-trunk

Like a lot of the world, I’m suffering the post-US election blues, and almost didn’t post this week.  The clever amongst you will have noticed that it is Wednesday, not Tuesday, and the weekly schedule has been disrupted.   But poetry is fairly unstoppable!

For my overseas readers, the Hume is the major highway linking Melbourne and Sydney. Canberra is just a wee drive from it.

I have no idea why Faith is male in the poem.  Perhaps it was some association with Christ? And my phone has just died, which has me longing for the ‘interconnected drivel’ which I decry in the poem, even if I’m avoiding news sites at the moment.

 

God I love this singer and this song:

 

I trust he’ll be singing in heaven (or, to put it in a slightly different way, to hear this is to be in heaven).  In the mean time, here’s a wee poem I wrote about seeing Johnny Cash live, which was first published on Project 365 + 1.

Glastonbury, 1994

When they invent time travel,
whether DeLorean or phone box
I won’t go forward, but back.
There’ll probably be strict laws
about interference
and the paradox
as explored in science fiction
forever, and yet, a visit
to Glastonbury in ’94
surely wouldn’t be a threat,
or trigger Bradbury’s
butterfly effect?
(Unless someone already did,
and that explains the Trump.)
I’d blend into the heaving crowd,
a very happy, sunburnt piggy.

I want to see Johnny Cash live.
I want to watch the Man in Black
and hear him walk the line.
’69 at San Quentin
is out of the question,
but ’94 will do fine.

A simple time machine and off she went,
pausing momentarily to buy a tent.

P.S. Cottier

Notes: The ‘butterfly effect’ mentioned here refers to the short story ‘A Sound of Thunder’ by Ray Bradbury, in which the accidental killing of a butterfly in the distant past results in a very different future world, not least in political terms.

Apparently it was hot at Glastonbury in 1994, which I find hard to believe.

(King James Version, by the way.)

 

Two thousand years (or so)

And so, before this, in Europe,
there were eggs, and celebrations
and the lovely call of Spring?
So what, my dear, so what?
Give me the man
with the steel pierced hands
and the rock rolled back.
Give me blood, and the wine and bread,
the kiss on the cheek
the love of the leper,
and the woman loving too much
he dismissed with equal love.

This is the man;
and always the women
listening and learning (and even teaching),
and mourning, until he came to whisper;
I am faithful and I am here;
always alive and always here.
My Easter, so very old.
My Easter, so very new.

P.S. Cottier

Jesus_Resurrection_1778Jesus_Resurrection_1778

I really don’t know how I managed to post two ginger Jesuses, but I suppose I can pretend that’s one for each thousand years or so.

The poem is based on the type of comment one often reads that points out that Christianity ‘stole’ Easter, and that somehow proves that it has nothing genuine to it.  That’s how all human institutions work, through influence and parasitism.  Look at the English language, for example!  Doesn’t prove or disprove anything about the existence of god, really, the fact that people previously celebrated the arrival of Spring.

I started watching the film The Passion of the Christ recently and found it beyond terrible.  I have yet to see a good film about Jesus; perhaps because the words and ideas are the important thing.  But a poet would think that, I suppose.

I had a nice time at the coast over Easter, swimming and enjoying the last warmth. Soon Canberra will demand gloves and coats. Which is cool, in terms of being able to flaunt accessories, but miserable in that you actually need them to avoid freezing.  The moment where cool meets cold is an unwanted slap of reality.

So there you have it; religion and fashion.  Next week: what’s with the outbreak of ugly camel coats and will they squeeze through the eye of a needle?