Tuesday poems: via links

September 21, 2017

A new online women’s poetry journal, based in Canberra and edited by Sandra Renew and Moya Pacey, has been launched called Not Very Quiet and I have three poems in it, covering such topics as homelessness — and the middle class desire to avoid the homeless — depression, and the way that depressed people are patronised, and annoying editors, and what should be done with them. That links to the last mentioned poem, which is the funniest one. Writing humorous poetry that also has more than laughs to it is quite an art, I think, and one type of work that I like to write. Have a look around at the journal, which contains a lot of interesting poetry.

Another newish journal is Mnemosyne: South Coast Women’s Journal which is edited by a group of women from, or living on, the south coast of NSW. I wrote a poem called ‘Going to the Coast’,  which was published as part of their ‘Flash Fiction Friday’ initiative. A very lovely journal with a lot of ideas behind it.

If anyone is wondering how the name is pronounced; it’s a bit like Penelope. Which does not rhyme with antelope.

beach

20170720_113506

bikes sticks birds
inner city Canberra
feathered bustle

PS Cottier

heron july

This beautiful bird was photographed in ‘inner city’ Canberra, a few kilometres from Parliament House. It was walking around a pond, one that was relatively recently created as part of a project to return some of Sullivan’s Creek to a more, um, creek-like state rather than the concrete drain it has been for a while.

In my little book Paths Into Inner Canberra I talk about this effort to recreate a ‘natural’ environment in a little more depth. But it’s great to be able to spot creatures like this heron so near to where I live.

Tuesday poem: (haiku)

May 29, 2017

clogged bitumen
two wheeled surgeons
arteries open

PS Cottier

bike stars

That’s my new, very old, bike above. The frame dates from before WWII, I am told, which is quite amazing. Now this bike stays strictly on pavement and bike-path, which is quite possible where I live in Canberra, so it does not slip through cars like a knife at all.

But it looks grey and interesting leaning outside cafés, having had a short rattle. An important thing for a starry bicycle.

bike 2

car with crest

The innocence of Nissan
corrupted by the cockatoo —
fifty squawks an hour.

PS Cottier

Now this is beyond obscure for those who do not live surrounded by huge flocks of sulphur crested cockatoos, as we do in Canberra. They sit in trees and throw unwanted food items at passers-by (or so it seems). When I saw this car, I pictured them taking over the world, and remaking it in the image of the sulphur crested cockatoo.

Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing. (Unless they created Donald Trump, who is also somewhat cresty. Though substantially less gorgeous.)

bigstock_Cockatoo_2821596

Muse with beak

Cockatoos

Yes, we’ve heard their sad repetitions,
the ‘pieces of eight’, the rote ‘Pretty boys’,
dropped from tired beaks like peanut shells;
birds bored far beyond the thinning bone.
Compulsive as a handwasher who never
satisfies herself against germy armies
(save her hands are gloved in blood,
and cleansed into gauntlets of agony)
the caged bird will repeat this or that,
sigh, then hear that weird word clever,
thrown at his misery like a charity coin,
a beggar at our table of meaning.

But to see them treed, hanging upside-down,
greeting wet wind like a blown umbrella,
yellow winking at sun like a wicked punch-line,
raucous joy a cascade of brassy cunning sax;
this is the true sound of this bossy bright thing.
Why quibble about what they know, or don’t?
A screech floats to ground like a metal bird,
cut with tin-shears by a half-blind drunk,
so gratingly loud that ears are near-shorn.
Cockatoos mar the sky with jagged freedom,
as far from a nightingale’s sweet treacle
as a sudden mouthful of shattered glass.

PS Cottier

grandville-cockatoo

An old poem this, but there are so many cockatoos in Canberra at the moment that I thought I would post it again.  I think of dinosaurs every time I hear one screech.  Whether that is unkind to dinosaurs is something we can’t know.