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

Australian junk

Perfect beyond compare, the composition
glimpsed behind the sand dune, visitation
of a nation, expressed in three fork prongs:
a cricket stump, a tinnie, and a single thong.
Was there an arranger, of design intelligent,
or was it just luck, dumb evolution, that bent
time and space to make this eloquent trio?
Leprechauns fix just one shoe, but there’s no
Irishman likes cricket, it’s just not their game.
Should I search for walkers gone lame,
one side leaning? Or a patriotic drunk
who made tribute, through placing this junk,
into a precise summation of our Antipodes:
weird sport, sour booze, and feet liking breeze?

P.S. Cottier
bigstock_A_Young_Woman_Girl_Playing_Cri_1524855

A very light poem indeed today. Ye gads, it’s not even a proper sonnet! Yesterday was the public holiday for Australia Day (which was Sunday the 26th, for all you benighted foreigners), and the flags hopped out like feral rabbits. I find the yobbo aspects of patriotism very hard to take.

But the rhyming thing above celebrates a moment when I saw a thong (a flip-flop for all you benighted foreigners), a tinnie (an aluminium drink can that once contained beer – oh, do keep up!), and a cricket stump (surely you know what that is?) discarded at the beach.

Meanwhile, of course, morons are killing sharks in Western Australia as they occasionally bite people who are in the water. Meanwhile, our navy is reportedly pushing boats of asylum seekers back to Indonesia. Meanwhile, we still don’t recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

But at least we beat the Poms in cricket. (Men’s cricket, that is.)

bigstock_Cricket_Player_3765787

Now, after this dubiously un-Australian rant, with all the affection hidden in the poem, I suggest you cleanse yourself by flying to New Zealand. Click this feather, and It Shall Be:
Tuesday Poem

The research scientist discovers snow

The first time she saw snow
she thought it must be a film,
perhaps that old Christmas flick shown
in forty degree December heat
— that’s celsius, she’d explain
to bemused Americans,
wearing bright badges
of innocent face —
year after turkey-stuffed
mince-pie jammed year,
as they lay on the sweating couch
too whale-like to go to the beach,
full of cold-climate food, rendered
into puddings themselves,
leaking custard from pores.
Somehow the grainy surface
of that dreadful sentimental
drifting narrative had been
projected onto the sky,
and she ran outside to greet it,
overwhelmed and underwearing.
It was another language, this snow,
as weird as a marsupial to old Europe’s
bemoused science. It was harder
than she thought it would be,
not cloud-thrown confetti
settling in pillows, but
much blunter than sand to her splayed feet.
It is not a reversed beach
at all, snow. It is not a soft bunny blanket,
or a white towel to lie on.
She felt it for the first time, this dinted
elemental heaviness, as if water had collided
with steel, a sky highway pile-up,
and felt her heart melt, for the sea throb,
and the sharp sprint to water
when sand cuts like glass, too hot for flesh,
and light spears eyes with shards of clarity.
She was suddenly blue, as she stood in snow,
shivering, clamouring for that biggest island,
crouching, sunning itself, languorous;
the world’s big browning bottom.
Her first white Christmas, and surely,
she swore, nervous bikini clutching
chickening skin, her last.

P.S. Cottier

This one was included in my first collection, The Glass Violin. I didn’t see snow myself until I was quite old, and remember reading about an Australian studying in the United States who gave herself mild hypothermia from running around in the snow without sufficient clothing.

Cool.

I was reminded of this poem by the snow on my blog, the snow in Christmas cards, and generally everywhere. Meanwhile, the Australians are beating the English in Perth in 40 degree celsius heat. The visitors are melting like oddly clumsy snow. It’s a game of ashes and snow.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog this year, and particularly to those brave souls who have commented.

May peace and love be part of your life in 2014.

From an early age, his abilities in slip were manifest...

From an early age, his abilities in slip were manifest…

I can’t resist the combination of Christmas and cricket…

Click this feather for more poetry:

Tuesday Poem

Scorecard

Genius comes in many forms: scientist
to poet, astrophysicist or scribe,
and from its milky way we imbibe
a celestial drink. We’re often pissed
on the fluffy ducks of cleverness,
garnished cocktails of the everafter.
But if you would engender laughter
and gales of glee quite effortless,
suggest that genius might reside
in knitting, crotchet or a recipe
for jam, or scones, or fricasee.
They’ll call you mad, in accents snide.
Quite different from the game of cricket
where it takes a Shane to take a wicket.

P.S. Cottier

Not another one?

Not another one?

Yes, it’s summer, and a young (or autumnal) woman’s fancy turns to cricket. And in keeping my poetry on its toes, at least as alert as a New Zealand batsman. (*I lied….)

In that spirit of relaxed experimentation, please find above a wee sonnet on a gender and cricket theme.