Tuesday poem: (Getting old)

January 29, 2018

Getting old —
I mix Laphroaig
with TISM

PS Cottier

If anyone isn’t familiar with TISM, here they are below at the Collingwood Town Hall. And yes, I found myself watching and listening to them while sipping a single malt and filling in my wee whisky book, which consists of meaningful comments such as ‘very nice’, ‘peaty!’ and ‘lovely’.

Once you know that Auchentoshan is not the sound of someone sneezing, it’s all downhill.

Tuesday poem: Ursa major

August 8, 2017

Ursa major

Some old ones blow up
and some contract into themselves.
Crab nebula or hermit crab
seems to be the question.
Surely it’s better to reach out,
even with pincers, than to ban light’s
customary caress, its kissing blush of face?
I want to be the crabby old bear,
stained with purple,
snatching berries like song.
Bulking up for my Winter’s
last diminuendo.

PS Cottier


A middle-aged poem about age, first published in 2011 in The Mozzie, edited by Ron Heard in Queensland.

I remember the lost skirt of Carlton

Nimble and nineteen, perhaps twenty, I saw you;
velvet A-line, satin belt, and my heart dropped open
knowing how you would swathe me in excellence
hang just right, soft as a crop of Labrador’s dark ears.
Student poor, with a world to change, I stood outside,
longing, mental tongue lapping, dressed in thin dream.

Today, girt in husband’s semi-silken wage,
(and the splendid coin of Poesie)
I could command your like be snipped
to the pattern of sweet memory.
But my waist has grown
along with his pay,
so perfect skirt, in time or space,
will always always

PS Cottier


Based on a True Incident, this is a very old, but (I think) unpublished poem. It describes a true first world problem, but both Canberra and Melbourne (of which Carlton is a university infested suburb, or just about) are in the first world, so that’s hardly surprising.

Fashion is interesting in that usually only young people look the best in retro or vintage gear; people assume that middle-aged people have been wearing 50s gear since it was new, and just forgot to change over the intervening decades.

Speaking of change, this seems to mark a difference from the usual socio-political cleverness for which this blog is known by some! And hello to you, dear Some.

Tuesday Poem: Two dogs

December 6, 2016

Two dogs

Young dog cups warmth
into her belly —
lots more where that came from

Old dog limps towards the fire
dreams, remembering bones.
We know of the bones to be.

PS Cottier

This poem first appeared at the Project 365 + 1 blog for which I wrote a poem a day in June.  And yes, I have an old dog and a very vigorous middle aged dog.  People always whinge about how quickly their children grow up, but a fourteen year old dog is not an adolescent!

Now I’m off to attempt to write something, and to paint my nails a vivid sparkly green. Christmas demands it.


A ‘brilliant young man’ from Sydney
Unfortunately ruptured a kidney —
For his black jeans won’t zip
Round the tenure of hip,
Which perplexed our ‘young’ man from Sydney.


I am the last person in the world to suggest that people should dress in an ‘age-appropriate’ way, which for women seems to mean a sudden desire for demure suits and mousy blonde bobs past the age of forty.  Neither am I inclined to judge people by their size.

But when you see a fellow who is sailing into late middle age rigged out in a grungy something that would challenge a very fit twenty-two year old, well it’s not good, my dear.  It’s not good approaching, and it’s infinitely worse from behind.  Mental vanity can sometimes be expressed in inability to see the body, let alone to mark its changes.  Play and pastiche in clothes are one thing, but black skinny jeans are quite another.

Next week I promise a return to my normal politically astute observations of the world.  Either that or more dodgy style tips from one who tends to favour Rorscharch blotches in neon colours.

This series is proving great fun and shows no sign of ever ending.  This poem was actually the fourth one I have written, but as the first one was also about a woman, I wanted a man to feature as well!  And the third is so toxic (and identifiable) that I may keep that for my own amusement.

You can see which other poets are posting on Tuesday by checking out the sidebar here.