Passing beauty

It’s moving, just ahead
of the player’s most clever feet.
Every four years, we fill a cup,
then pour it out, a month of dreams.
Was it just last week that Bergkamp
flicked with orange elegance,
side-footing space and time?
No, he is long gone now,
off fielding fifty years.
Others follow. Messy time
melts beauty, remoulds it,
casts it always anew.
It never ages, constantly fired,
as we fade, we watchers,
yesterday’s players, passing.
Twenty sips at the cup
will fill a lifetime;
held safe in keeper’s hands.

PS Cottier

Boots.jpg

This poem was just republished in Boots:A Selections of Football Poetry 1890-2017, edited by Mark Pirie of New Zealand. As Mark has it up as an sample from the book, I thought I would also republish it here. It was first published in Eureka Street here in Australia.

The book contains poems from New Zealand, England, France and the Netherlands, with New Zealand being the home of most. It is well worth reading for the diversity of approaches: biographical, political, elegiac (mine, for once!) humorous and historical. A lovely present for anyone interested in football.

It can be ordered through Lulu through the publisher’s website (HeadworX Publishers). Boots is an expanded edition of a previous collection first published in 2014.

So you like football (the round ball one)?  So you like poetry?  Well here’s a  publication you might find appealling.  Boots is an anthology of poems about football, edited by Mark Pirie of New Zealand.  I have a couple of football related poems in it, called ‘Passing beauty’ and ‘Side netting’.   The first book was published to coincide with the (men’s) World Cup in 2014, and is out in lots of time for the next one in Russia, in an extended form.

I am entering something of a publication frenzy, having several pieces in that mysterious machine known as ‘the works’, which I’ll link to as they appear.

To celebrate this flurry of forthcoming publications, here’s a new poem about handbags, appearing under a photo of my favourite bag, which was made in Russia.  (A soft Dalek is no Dalek at all.  Discuss.)  There is a football reference in the poem, but to a football of a different shape.

After that appalling segue-ing, I hope you enjoy the poem.  I read somewhere that each blog post should contain one idea; I’ve certainly stuffed that up today, like a bag that has mistaken itself for a wardrobe.

dalek bag

Twenty ways to keep your essentials to hand

Lucite pillbox flaunting small pearls
Shell shape clutch for pocket Venus
Curious net of cunning gold mesh
Eyebending sequins intricately sewn
Art deco black silk organically clasped
Ten thousand beaded fine French paisley
Quaint cigar box rolls lipsticks and tampons
Roomy Mexican holdall hammock wide
Oval pigskin (and it’s not made by Sherrin)
Faux leopard snarls and real pony kicks
Kawaii Japanese anthromorphic bear
Modest exquisite goldchained calf
Ironic grannysquared seventies repro
Tikis barkclothed for quick souvenirs
Crocodiles taught Parisian accents
Poodle pregnant with pompom coinpurse
Felt dubiously coloured and Etsyfied
Blue papoose flaunts fat fleshy handles
Concertina traincase bakelites makeup
Poet’s tote with slant Dickinson quote

PS Cottier

 

 

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

No poem as such today. I am going down to Melbourne soon for the launch of The Stars Like Sand and am finding it hard to write at the mo.

However I recently had a hat trick of poems up at Eureka Street.

And, to continue the sporting metaphors, I scored a goal with a poem being included in the special World Cup edition of the New Zealand publication broadsheet. The poem, ‘Passing beauty’ was originally published at Eureka Street, and then in my second-prize-winning book The Cancellation of Clouds, which can be purchased from Ginninderra Press. Australia’s draw in the World Cup is (cough) perhaps (cough) somewhat difficult (hysterical laughter). We face Spain, The Netherlands and Chile. (Giggle.)

And, having linked more times than a golfer, she puts away clubs, balls big and balls small, and retires to the gym for a bit of metal.
bigstock-Barbells-781666

Here are the launch posters, for the last time.
Poster_SLS_MelbWeb
Poster_SLS_CanbW

Now, some Tuesday poets will have original poems, and some will have old ones. Check them out. Put down those barbells, meat-head, and click this feather:

Tuesday Poem