I woke from uneasy sleep, as feathers tickled
my suddenly sneezy nose. That has not stopped,
and I need to bless myself twelve times a day.
I carry tissues tucked between the feathers.
If you are hit by sodden snow, it is probably
a cloud-like tissue, slipping from inexpert wings.
I would call the wings adequate, though,
as I do not miss the morning commute.
Please do not mistake me for an angel.
I often swear, up here amongst the fluff,
and my fingers pluck no cunning harp.
Mittens cradle my blue-cold hands,
and a beanie holds my head like an egg.
Why this happened to me, I can't really say.
Who has not dreamt of flight? Yet so few
wake to feather doonas sprouting
from shoulders like quotation marks.
'Anything becomes usual, given you have 
enough time to get used to it,' as I said to the press.
I ride updrafts, and predict the patterns of sneeze.
It is quietly wonderful, to share a life with pigeons,
and to perch, a woolly gargoyle, for a quick cup of tea.

PS Cottier

A fun poem, more than the illustration by Hans Tegner, which is excellent but a bit grim. And everyone should recognise the origin of that first phrase!

Aliens

September 13, 2021

Just had a poem published at Burrow, an on-line journal published by Old Water Rat Publishing, edited by Jillian Hall and Phillip Hall. It’s called The peculiar comfort of aliens, which was my response to the topic, non-human companions. I also put it one about a dog, but unsurprisingly, the submissions would have rained cats and dogs. Do have a look around the poems, it is a great collection.

Corrêa, Henrique Alvim

Speaking of aliens, you can read some great short science fiction stories at AntipodeanSF, where I also have a scifaiku about nasty things that can happen in space. I’ll be having one there every month for a while. This publication, which has been around for a very long time indeed, is edited by Ion Newcombe.

A nasty nursery rhyme

August 3, 2021

Diddle diddle cumquat
gnomes on the porch
eating all the fairies
with a golden fork

See thirteen budgies
aviary all full?
screaming at a guinea pig
red flag to wee bull

Poets are itching
itching with an itch
one is a rhymer
one is not so rich

Gnomes are coming
cumquat diddle dum
hungry for eyeballs
now they’ll have some fun!

PS Cottier

I seem to be writing a lot of fantasy lately, probably as an escape from the exigencies of editing. Just had another very little thing published at the venerable AntipodeanSF. A scifaiku, the first of a few to come.

They say

July 2, 2021

that riding a unicorn is not unlike herding clouds
that garden gnomes wake each night and eat snails
that pistachio! is said by elves to each other after they sneeze
that Pinocchio actually liked being a puppet more than a real boy
that mirrors store each image and watch a kaleidoscope each night
that marshmallow tastes exactly like drowning in freshly laid snow
that the stomach inside the earth is always churning and burping
that empty wine bottles stored in cellars refill every twelve years
that walls are built by the fearfully dull [both giants and States]
that mushrooms glow green when the moon goes superpink
that hearsay could equally be called listentalk

PS Cottier

Sometimes it’s good to write something just for fun. I think I’d like to meet the ‘they’ who say the things in this poem. The illustration is by Hugh Thomson, via the ever wonderful Old Book Illustrations.

Finalist

May 21, 2021

Very nice to have two of my poems as finalists in the Australasian Horror Writers Association Shadows Awards, both from my book Monstrous. And doesn’t finalist sound better than shortlisted! The results will be announced in June.

For the full list of finalists in all the categories, please go here.