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.

Here’s the second poem that I wrote which has been nominated for the Rhysling Awards, run by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association based in the US. This one was nominated in the Long category, and is from my book Monstrous.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

The King of Eyes

His crown has fifty-two spikes,
and each boasts an eye
gouged from conquered realms,
or scooped like a four-minute egg
from every defeated pretender.
The eyes look out at courtiers,
at advisers, open and shameless
as any necessary lie.
Crowns parade around heads,
each decoration a soldier,
so there is always an eye,
or a platoon of eyes
upon you, heavy as an official chain.

We lucky, or unlucky, few
often in His Majesty’s presence
have noted that he arranges
the eyes to a distinct pattern,
blue following modest brown,
and every tenth eye is green.
Opalescent eyes, beflecked,
break the pattern near each ear,
as if to drop colourful rumour
direct into the regal brain.
Some say that it is possible
for each crown-eye to wink,
and that such a wink is deadly
as any guillotine, for the flicker
is only bestowed on those
whose own eyes will soon adorn
the King’s most puissant head.
I can not say if this is true,
as I have yet to see an eye
that still sports a gown of lash.
We walk quietly around
the regal panopticon,
just in case the eyes still see,
and the King might catch the
slightest flicker of disloyalty.

Yesterday I noticed an eye
of a near emerald green
that clearly broke the pattern —
and I recognised the glance
of the King’s courtesan,
who was strangely absent
from her stool near the window,
where she often sat, weaving.
I have clutched her in love,
these six months past,
and could not strangle a shudder
to see such beauty displaced.
If the eyes see, they saw me blanch,
at the elevation of her eye
from our shared soft pillow
to mere metallic display.

I am called to a meeting at eight.
My eye, such an average brown,
may yet be raised to the crown.

PS Cottier