A timely monster

And if I could drink youth in
through my eyes — a vampire
of glance, lapping it from
perfect blush of skin —
would it be possible not to
drink and rise, leaving years
like a phone lost in cushions?
And yet, and yet…
before my eyes suck, remember
the self-consciousness,
the rash redness of life
before it wrapped itself in time?
To take, and lose a burden,
is to lift another,
cutting into hands or mind,
like an overloaded bag.
So let them pass, and let me yearn
and learn to stop, just here.
I’ll sit, and plait kind memory
through this smoked nostalgia of hair.

P.S. Cottier


Very traditional matter there, about the passing of time, given a sprinkle of Polidori. I like ‘my eyes suck’. Certainly not over-poetic! Monday was a public holiday in Canberra, so I did a little revision of this poem, and decided to post it.

More and more I find myself unable to wait the months that some journals take to say yes or no to a piece. I pity the editors, but I value my own work more! This blog now has many readers (hello to you all, from France to India to the Americas to Binalong) so why not self-publish?

Of course, I am foregoing the huge piles of pelf that poetry usually attracts, and there are some journals and anthologies that I really want to be part of, but I do like the immediacy of this medium. Particularly when I can find such cool pictures for free at Old Book Illustrations!

Other poets enjoy that too, whether they are posting their own poems, or those of others. Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets. They are definitely worth the clicks.

The Coming of Age

Knock knock at the door:
Quiet and insistent.
Not Dickinson’s courtly Death,
taking me for a ride.
No, this is another visitor,
who doesn’t wait for me to answer.
But she leaves three calling cards:
sensible shoes, false teeth,
and a Zimmer frame,
subtle as the Harbour Bridge.
Still young enough, I chase Age
down the curvy street.
I throw the flat shoes at her.
I bite her with the plastic teeth
(puppeted in my hand, please note).
And the Zimmer frame?
It holds up my climbing rose.
How long, though, before
I cling, and shuffle, oh so slow,
with carefully engineered stride?

P.S. Cottier

I’ve been writing a few poems about age recently. This one was first published in The Mozzie, Queensland.

Age doesn’t worry me that much, really. So long as it affects me in no way whatsoever…

The Tuesday Poets have discovered the secret of eternal yoof. Press this feather and so will you. (Note: no promises will be fulfilled. But there will be poems.)

Tuesday Poem

Here is a link to a poem by me called ‘My Stalker’, just published on journal Verity La:


I know this means that you have to click the link, dear reader, but it will take you to a beautifully designed and seductive on-line journal.

Here I am contemplating the passing of time...

Here I am contemplating the passing of time…

Or, if you prefer, click this link, and see what poets in New Zealand have been doing:

Tuesday Poem

Dangerous ground

October 28, 2011

It’s so hard to write about love without being sucked into the great swamp of cliché.  (That swamp is just near the level playing field and the field of dreams, incidentally.)  Here’s a poem that attempts to avoid the swamp.

I’ve totally given up trying to make my poems copied onto here revert to single spacing; they just like to be double spaced.  And who am I to argue with the muse of the computer?



Dangerous ground, they say; thick sands

tending towards the gluggy, or cloying

like dessert wine, just too too sweet.

Roll it round your tongue and spit!

say the many, divorced from lingering,

an evicted dog’s cold fleas, itching.

But that is not it, that is not it at all.

I realise that now, tottering past forty,

smorgasbord stashed in past’s

crumbed pantry of regret.

Hungover with experiment,

trapezed into performance,

the gourmet becomes gourmand

or abstemes self into shape.

But the shape of love is not six-packed muscle,

nor even delicate lines of balletic grace.

Love is a vegetarian at the butcher’s,

gapes of bed-socks beneath ageing dreams

and the practised caress;

an ideolect of touch and lapping

curled like a cat in memory’s ample gut.

Stretching, it rubs against the legs of so far and thus good.

Then it stalks out into future’s thin twilight, hunting for self,

in the deep dear shadows of the you and the now.

P.S. Cottier

T shirt poetics

July 29, 2011

Dedicated to all those who have ever worn a T shirt with a message on it. Written back in the Old Days when Kevin Rudd was running for Prime Minister.

T shirt poetics

That downwards stroke, belly hugging I
imprinted with messages curt or cute;
each body a chap-book (or chick-book)
moving past the reader.  Mobile library,
hanging garden of haiku in Babble-on.
A glance up from well thumbed phone
must be all these poetical shirts expect.
First there are the desperate and flirty,
such as ’69’, all tucked soixante and hide
that croissant.  It’s enough to make you latte
your lap.  Or not.
Then come the polly tics,
with their saves and bans, their heavenly
Kevins.  The shirts have faded over Summer,
but not the bloom of the loveliest wearers.
I wore them once, such earnest eager screeds,
but that wench is dead, slogans so long gone.
Someone should wear that rude arrowed
‘I’m with Stupid’ when they sit next to me,
such is my love of  ‘Paris, je t’aime’ with a heart
above the wearer’s pumping one, as if Cupid
were about, looking for targets, the susceptible
or the contemptible. I sit, sip and compose
my own T shirts, such as ‘Gives good sonnet’
and the more complex ‘It’s a couplet.

Then ‘Get a Life’ walks past, not very nice.
But I see the point, and I take its advice.

P.S. Cottier