Rubik’s soundcube
my dull lips and ears
can’t decipher
a glorious puzzle —
international students

PS Cottier


I was just thinking what a boring place Canberra would be without the ANU and other universities attracting so many international students, and this tanka was the result.

Looking forward to another year of posting on (most!) Tuesdays

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.


This one is via link to the Thunderbolt Prize, where it was highly commended. It’s about a bike being hit by a car, so prepare for seasonal cheerfulness! The other poems are well worth a look, too. The winning poem is by Jenny Blackford.

bike stars

I also just had a poem published in Australian Poetry Journal, with a poem about work, and was a finalist in the New Millennium Monthly muse competition, on the subject of fear, but I’m going to hoard that poem for a while and get it published elsewhere. Those competitions are also well worth a look.

Australia is moving into Christmas shutdown mode as we speak. And by Australia I largely mean me…which is fairly arrogant, but there you go. I am not writing as much as usual, and drinking (even) more. Cheers.

Very happy that my suggested name for a beer to be served at the baseball at the Canberra Cavalry’s matches was the winner of a poll by the brewery.  Designated Bitter is the name, and I can’t wait to try it!  Bentspoke will have the beer on tap at the ball park.  You can read more about that here.  Next to having a beer called Penelope’s Special, this is as good as it gets!  Here’s the logo.


To celebrate, here’s a poem I first posted 5 years ago on this blog.

 In the pub

Wedges of moon
float in my glass
sky lemon stings

Vodka ice glass
nine tenths hide below
Cold leg’s hard kick

Poker beeps
sour head nods in shame
beer swims laps

Salt chips taste
absent smoke feathers
long since flown

PS Cottier

That’s all a bit grim, really, but I’m too stuffed to write one about the joys of beer (and baseball) just now, as…

I returned from Bega an hour ago, a town just inland from the far south coast of NSW, where there was a launch of a new publication; a chapbook called Muse which will hopefully appear once every season.  It is the sister publication to Mnesomnye, an online journal edited by a group of women on the south coast.  It contains great photos by Jodie Dickinson.


Bega was a real surprise; a great bookshop where the launch was held (Candelo Books), a table raising money for Rohingya refugees, and a really nice shopping strip on Carp Street.   I wish I could have spent more time there.

Driving back there was about a kilometre of highway with enormous cows grazing unconstrained on each side, so it wasn’t exactly like Braddon.


Tuesday poem: Senryu

November 14, 2017

camera catches
side-eye and grimace
‘say rictus!

PS Cottier

Rictus makes a nice change from cheese, anyway. And here is a totally unrelated image, although it also uses the word ‘side’. A triumph of signage, and not a bad title for a poetry collection!