Tuesday poem and reviews

October 28, 2019

A bit of a link-fest this week! Firstly, here’s a link to on-line journal of women’s poetry Not Very Quiet, for a poem called The dusky grasswren, which is what it says on the box. This is not a dusky grass wren.

artist at work

The links to two recent reviews I have written recently; of Jack Charles’s book Jack Charles: Born Again Blakfella, and of Mike Chunn’s A Sharp Left Turn: Notes on a life in music, from Split Enz to Play It Strange. Both reviews were published in The Canberra Times.

I used to review books a fair bit, and it’s great to be doing this again. Quite a different discipline from poetry; entering into a book with an imaginary potential reader as your companion.

Three first world concerns

The scholastic affliction —
virus transmits an urge
to write a PhD

Paleo or vegan diet?
Debate attracts more comments
than Palestine

American spelling triumphs —
well color me cheeks,
what’s wrong with ‘u’?

PS Cottier

sign

This one is inspired by some of the whingey conversations overheard at my local café. Hats off to the woman who was complaining about how expensive marble is in kitchen renovations, as if it was a human rights issue. The second stanza (or pseudo-haiku) is based on newspaper debates on-line.

I do feel an itch of discomfort about American spelling, so the last part is a go at myself. And the sign has no relation to the poem, I think.

Tuesday poem: Tribute

September 9, 2019

A strange tendency
we adore that which monsters
Stephen Edwin King

travelers-lured

I am very much enjoying the current Stephen King glut of films and TV series. But for me, the prospect of a new book by King beats all of that. Can’t wait to read The Institute, which I think comes out in November. Long may King continue to scare the crap out of us, all the world around.

UPDATE: I don’t know where I got that November idea from, as the book’s out now!

Tuesday poem: Haiku

September 4, 2019

Behind the parlour
nail clippings rejoice
castanets

headpiece-scene-7-1

I was just thinking about the constant trail of stuff we leave behind; skin,hair, nails. The idea of all these sheddings coming together is disturbing. Maybe have a go at writing your own weird little haiku? The hair caught in hairbrushes comes to mind.

I wrote this one before reading how four miners have died in Queensland this year. Appalling to think that people are dying like that; something is obviously very wrong.

Makes my last line seem a little optimistic, and the illustration of nineteenth century safety lamps seem appropriate.

The canary, the pony, and the man

It sounds like a joke’s first line,
a trio who walked into a bar.
But no, these are the three who
went below, swung down from the light.

One was there to pull loads
through dark roads carved
far from the sun, far from meadow,
half horse and half mole.

The bright bird, born for the sky,
would die first if the air was turning.
Now he is mere metaphor, cliché;
canary in the coal-mine has had his day.

Only the man still mines.
Each day he dives down to work,
amongst rich minerals and dust —
every day rising like Lazarus.

PS Cottier

safety-lamps