Poem: Befitting

December 4, 2022

                                                                              
Twice as long as my palms,
my new loves sparkle,
shine, make no demands.
I do not intend to attract
anyone with them. 
They are certainly not
flashy signals or invitations.
I stroke the glassy sides,
kiss where a tongue would sit —
but neither has a tongue.
They glide onto my eager feet
just when I want, and if I dance,
I dance for myself, admiring
the play of sun on cupping glass.
My feet framed with transparency,
I skip, slide, saunter and spin
on the open, prince-less green —
slippers fitting just so.

PS Cottier

And I do note the overwhelming wee-ness of the slippers in that illustration! (Aubrey Beardsley)

If you go to this site, you’ll find a new poem I wrote called Amorphous Solid, which is about a person turning into glass. It’s included in an on-line journal called Liquid Imagination, which has been around for quite a long time. Have a browse around. Unfortunately this is the last edition of the journal. The Poetry Editor is John C. Mannone, and the Managing Editor is Sue Babcock.

I was meant to stride through

armour jingling, a whole orchestra
of metal bits, cymbals and triangles.
But something made me rest 
in the still, mushroom strewn wood,
dank and smelling like dogs’ paws.
Taking off the shiny carapace,
I wriggled into the moss, napped,
awoke to a gnome stealing gauntlets,
to store in some illicit cavern.
I decided not to give chase.
Let him take what he wanted.
Rolling over, my moist pillow
seemed to release rich spores
imbuing me with memories,
indistinguishable from dreams.
Before all this striving, all these 
ventures and clashes, I used to
take the time to examine things,
the varied feathers of birds, 
the damp exigencies of the frog.

Who knows? In a hundred years
someone may find a mossy log
shaped a little like a knight,
on which an escargatoire of snails
pursues the silver quests of their kind,
clothed in quiet brown armour of shell.

PS Cottier

Any excuse to use the word ‘escargatoire’…

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.