All the blond Jesuses

You see them wriggle free of windows,
lithe as silver fish, but golden-haired.
These Jesuses, blond sons of blond Marys,
head out the door to play cricket,
with leather and willow in sudden whites.
St Dorothy joins in, and its all fruit
and flowers and UK May, as Jesuses
bloom like jonquils on the soft field.
Sometimes a Jesus will stop for a while,
and an almost-frown appear. He recalls
another day, when he was darker skinned,
darker haired, and his reaching hands
caught iron, not the ball flicked to slip
like an idea. Oranges smile like cut suns.
The stumped Jesus reconciles himself
to this easier gig, amongst teammates
all as blond and as quick as wit itself.
He scampers between wickets, wood kinder
than when he cried, and slumped and died,
before the dark cave, and its inconstant rock.

PS Cottier

William_Blake_-_Christ_Appearing_to_the_Apostles_after_the_Resurrection_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

This poem has appeared in Verity La and in my short collection Selection Criteria for Death in Triptych Poets Issue 3 (Blemish Books).

It’s an interesting thing that some put more emphasis on the crucifixion than the resurrection; dwelling on pain rather than the triumph of good over evil, or hope, if you prefer. Those two are running through my poem, and I’ll avoid roping in any yellow tape. You can rough up a metaphor too thoroughly.

He is risen indeed!

Here’s the cover of my new book, Quick bright things: Poems of fantasy and myth.  It features an excellent illustration by Paul Summerfield, based on the poem ‘The Laws of Cricket rewritten for the Fairy World’ inside the book.  It’s a chapbook, with 28 pages packed full of striking gnomes, somewhat sporty fairies, unpleasant elves, skiving but environmentally responsible goddesses, underachieving ghosts, paisley pitbulls, and similar oddnesses.

I particularly like the see through paper after the front cover (and before the back cover) but you can’t see that here.  (A kind of parchment, I think.)  It feels great, and adds an appropriate air of mystery to the chapbook. I am celebrating its arrival with a coffee in this photo.

coffee-cover

The title, by the way, comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Lysander says:

And ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.

The book is available from Ginninderra Press in the Picaro Press imprint.  It costs $5 plus postage.  Or buy it direct from me if you are in Canberra.  I’m thinking about a wee launch for this wee book, although I’ll certainly be selling it at readings before any such potential extravaganza.  (The ISBN is 9781760412197, by the way.)

Note that this is not a book intended for really little children, as some of the fantasy creatures are fairly awful.  This is my first collection of purely speculative poetry, if we ignore The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, which I edited with Tim Jones.  And that is full of Other People’s Poems.  Here is the cover in greater detail:

 

quick-cover-copy-front-only

Overseas (or local) buyers can also contact me via the contact form.  This is the best option if you’d like to arrange a signed copy.

 

Tuesday poems: Via link

August 10, 2015

http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=45121#.VcgdN2thiK0

No, there is not a poem called ‘Via link’ at that link, but there is one called ‘The laws of cricket rewritten for the fairy world’ and one called ‘All the ships of the world’. I am obviously overwhelmingly worldly. The publication is Eureka Street.

I am very happy with the cricket poem, as it combines a couple of interests, namely, weird imaginary creatures and sport.

It was written a couple of months back, and is therefore not a feeble attempt to escape the true hideousness of the Ashes* by an escape into fantasy. But please, if you wish to read it that way, be my guest. Leave a comment at Eureka Street, if you feel that way inclined.

Magic!

Magic!

The ships of the world poem is far angrier and political, although it does contain several puns. You have been warned.

Other Tuesday Poets may or may not be celebrating England’s victory in the Ashes. Some may not even follow cricket.  Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets around the world by pressing here.

I’m going to watch some netball.

*That means the Ashes series for men in this post.

He is risen indeed!

April 5, 2015

He is risen indeed!

— like Daniel Vettori, one-handed catch,
or Wingard marking like a boofy angel,
or Medhurst steadying before the net,
but with no ageing, no hamstring tweak,
and no second division.

And one day, we will see his face.
Perhaps tomorrow, or Tuesday week.

P.S. Cottier

Jesus_Resurrection_1778

Now, for benighted foreigners/those from non-cricketing, non-netball, non Australian Rules Football nations (for I hear that such places actually exist):

* Daniel Vettori is a cricketer who plays for New Zealand, who took a spectacular catch on the boundary in a recent World Cup match. I shall say no more about the eventual result of the tournament, although the word ‘plucky’ springs to mind. (Or plucked.)
* Chad Wingard is an AFL (Australian Football League) player who took a fantastic mark playing for Port Adelaide in a match against St Kilda last season. (A mark is where you leap up to catch the ball, often using another player as a fleshy ladder.)
* Natalie Medhurst is a prolific scorer in the Australian netball team, who exemplifies calmness and accuracy under pressure.

The ‘he’ of the title is rumoured to have been born in a non-cricketing, non-netball, non-Aussie Rules playing country. Can this possibly be true? (-: I shall try and understand this as I eat my weight in chocolate.

A game of two halves

The leaf seemed to be symmetrical,
a neat seam running between halves,
opening into two jagged edged wings.
But look closely. DNA scissors slipped,
so one side is wider than the other.
If it flew, it would flap lop-sided, lurching
like film hunchbacks in mad scientists’ labs.
Nature’s dropped stitches, strict patterns misread
knit perfection. White Staffies’ black eye patches,
piratical, the thrown ink blot puddles sloshing
on magpies, the pale amber stripe that glints,
floats in calm sea blue eyes of my daughter.
She looks unwinking at misshapen leaves,
falling elliptically, ways gone widdershins.

That child is watching, with her opal eyes,
envying my air-stroke. Poor thing, to be always
so rooted to ground, a fleshy turnip, although soon
I too will form one bump, just one, in thick brown
rotting carpet. But I will have tasted wavy air,
felt its shoulders spin me into curved flight.
Bowler has sent me down as googly, circuitously
aimed towards tree stumps. Flocking downwards,
kinked arrows of flight, our debut is denouement,
yet we knot a rug of mulch to warm tall parent.
We never die, you see, for we conjure up spring,
sleeping under us. Or so we will, if that girl,
wound into kicking action, would leave us in stolid peace.
Instead, we leap, and fly again; in jerky errant judders.

P.S. Cottier

leaves and cicada

A rather confusing title; who didn’t think of The World Cup when they read the soccerific headline? Certainly, I have been losing as much sleep to the round ball as I usually do to Stephen King when he has a new novel out. The sporting metaphors used are mostly cricket-related though. Hence the cicada you may just pick out amongst the leaves in the photo.

That is an unpublished and old poem, from my ‘running on a bit’ period, but I quite like it.

There are many wonderful poems published this week at Tuesday Poem. Hop over and check them out:

Tuesday Poem