Except for the cat

February 10, 2022

The cancer riddled Staffie, the muzzle white where it was brindle once, the Great Dane who clocked up only three years (for we breed dogs too big for their strained hearts to cope) the smelly terrier who outlived them all, sitting with the bald budgie Chomp on his head (something that would never have been allowed when the dog was alive), the coin-sized islands of terrapin, the scurry of guinea pigs, the cat that adopted you even though you don’t like cats, the many goldfish that floated to the tops of tanks, all come to greet you as you travel over to the other side. They bite and scratch and peck, and the ballooned goldfish push inside your throat, and you feel the choking although you are dead, and you realise that the animals did not enjoy their lives being stunted, to fit into your notion of pet like a blistered foot caught in a too small shoe.  Except for the cat, who never gave a shit.

PS Cottier

A fun piece of prose (poetry) in a vaguely horrific way. As an editor, I’m amazed by how many poems contain cats. Here’s my contribution.


Feral is the weed that walks hops or swims
that we seeded here first of all.
Like weapons in Afghanistan to fight Russians,
they shoot back against the giver, given time.
The irony in the soil, the punch-line
that keeps moving.
They are the spoonful of toad that never
helped the sugar.

The feral is the new devil;
we burn them, use their live bodies for cricket,
run them over.
They are our scapegoats, scapetoads, scapecarp,
whipping boys for our royal, stupid selves.

Varmint, pest, pets gone wild, rejigged —
dancing to their own tune.

PS Cottier


Continuing thoughts about what is a weed from my last post, this week I touch on feral pests, with which Australia is now teeming, after 200 years of colonisation/invasion.

Cane toads are probably amongst the most famous, although even cats multiply like mice (ew!) here, and feed on parrots and lizards and all the tiny marsupials that most Australians in cities have never seen.

I am working on a sequence based on this; though trying to organise my thoughts is like teaching cane toads manners.  (And that’s not a cane toad above, but it is a cool illustration, courtesy of the wonderful resource Old Book Illustrations.)  The guy peeping at the main figure is 100% Gandalf, and I’m sure he has Powers over toads.

Either that or he uses them for their interesting secretions.

The home for ancient memes

Where they can haz cheeseburgers all day
Where jokes of nuking each other from space crack
Where everyone fusses over a grumpy cat
Where the cry of Ermahgerd echoes
Where an overly manly man flexes, endlessly
Where sad hipsters say many things
Where planking takes place every evening
Where the X all the Ys, and Y all the Xs
Where ice buckets become challenging
Where smugshrugs shrug smugly
Where seals have awkward moments
Where they debate the colour of a dress
Where they still Netflix and chill
Where…I’d definitely continue, but
Ain’t nobody got time for that

PS Cottier


Discuss the colour of this Tudor, dress-like thing.

Feet, not face

December 14, 2012


Shoes so cool that people say
could I photograph your feet?
Face up to yourself woman,
there’s a party happening downstairs.

Thanks to Sharon who liked the shoes so much!

Cat poems

My cat is a cunning composer.
She leaves scores around the house.
There are syncopated jazz rats, still jerking,
replete with her creation.
They hum as tiny drumsticks protrude,
percussion and strings combined.
She arranges her catch with
an unblinking painter’s eye.
A wavering line of random feathers
changes into a bald peach bird,
elegantly draped among the pears.
She is Flemish in her still life,
Nature mort, most mort.
My Renaissance cat creates poems of pain,
with small commas of grey as meek mice
punctuate, curling. Each whisker a line of praise,
a direct compliment, to her well executed verse.

PS Cottier

I always dread putting a photograph of anything feline up, as I’m bound to get lolcats comments. Oh well, I’ll be brave…

Cats are tremendous murderers, almost as good as people. So click this feather from a bird one killed earlier, for further poesie:

Tuesday Poem

My poem today was published in my first book, The Glass Violin.

ALSO: There’s a fun article about the Poets Train written by the wonderful organiser, Fiona McIlroy at this link, in which I have become PC Cottier. I haven’t been PC for a very long time, Fiona!:-)

UPDATE: I am back to being P.S. Cottier! Unfortunately, I momentarily typed and posted Fiona’s name as Fiona Wright: quite a different person. And although I corrected that quickly here, it’s up on the Australian Poetry site as Wright in my pingback comment. It’s McIlroy, I tell you! Sorry Fiona!