Hunt

She stalks them, device in hand, in a modern bloodless hunt. They hide near buildings, the cute light beings, and she captures them with her e-net. The one she desired most appeared; half hedgehog and half platypus.

‘Great!’ she said. She had been searching just for him. He was king of all the cute light creatures. She lined up the e-net with the furry ball, with his fringe of pink spikes.

The hedgepus pounced, all claws and teeth. He skinned and ate her, with the efficiency that only practice brings. They stalk humans, the light things, and no nets are necessary. Their hunt is not bloodless.

His cuteness returned, with only a few stains on the fur near his mouth. People would assume that he had eaten too many berries. The hedgepus is said to relish the raspberry.

A kidney marked the spot, flung out like confetti.

PS Cottier

splanchnography

This micro story  was highly commended in the Microfiction category of the Fellowship of Australian Writers National Awards for 2016, just announced.  (I’ve edited it a little since then.)  I also won another category, called the ‘How-Tweet-It-Is Poetry Award’.  I won’t post that one, though, as I have submitted it for publication Elsewhere.  That second award allowed me to try out a poem short enough for Twitter, without joining that foul and parasitic ‘conversation’.

I also enjoy writing the occasional wee story, like the one above, safe from the constraints of character.  And often plot… Prose poetry morphs into story quicker than seagulls wolf chips.

Very happy to be highly commended for a tiny horror story, too.

Next week, I promise fewer internal organs, and even a different image.

Tuesday Poem: Two dogs

December 6, 2016

Two dogs

Young dog cups warmth
into her belly —
lots more where that came from

Old dog limps towards the fire
dreams, remembering bones.
We know of the bones to be.

PS Cottier

This poem first appeared at the Project 365 + 1 blog for which I wrote a poem a day in June.  And yes, I have an old dog and a very vigorous middle aged dog.  People always whinge about how quickly their children grow up, but a fourteen year old dog is not an adolescent!

Now I’m off to attempt to write something, and to paint my nails a vivid sparkly green. Christmas demands it.

old-dog-young-dog

Tuesday poem: Outings

November 28, 2016

Outings

Out for review
Out for the count
Out of time
Out for lunch
Out and about
Out for a duck
Out of luck
Out of the closet
Out on the town
Out of the corner of my eye
Out of the box
Out of the mouths of babes
Out of fashion
Out caught behind
Out of it
Out and out
Over and out

PS Cottier

A bit of fun this week; and why not, as we head into glorious summer and Christmas?

bigstock_A_Young_Woman_Girl_Playing_Cri_1524855

I was chuffed (a technical term for a state somewhere between freakily ecstatic and mildly pleased) to hear that I have been shortlisted for the Red Room New Shoots Poetry Prize, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, and Rochford Street Review.  You can access the full shortlists here (plural as there was a site specific contest for the Botanic Gardens, too).   Lovely to recognise some other people on the list!  And to see some names that are totally unfamiliar, as well.

Now I’m off to work on some sunburn.

Tuesday poem: Love letters

November 22, 2016

Love letters

I love you poetry because all I need is an old envelope — Telstra or power bill or guff — and a pen

And you wait there hidden between the grains of paper like a wee tiger, pouncing, or a huge poodle, primping

I can write you for everyone, or just for me

And through you I have met clever people, and some even good (and also pricks, but let’s not dwell in embroidery)

Poetry you keep my mind in the top fifteen percent of my generation

And you make me embed my thought in Real Words™ like a bloodbug in a mattress, burrowing

I weep for you when some use your name to produce pungent advertisements for self — ah! the faces I have slapped, the duels I have fought in your name (if only on paper)

You allow me to take a word — say egregious — and handball it back to myself with slicker hands than Hawthorn

And you stretch back and forward as far as music

And you adapt like Galapagos, but quick

Tourniquet and snake, you bite and comfort, and I love you like a convenient maiden aunt loves her old cat, who miraculously survived the pitbull

And you are the very pitbull, and the pitbull’s teeth.

P.S.Cottier

***

And in vaguely related news, I was just highly commended in the Poetry category of the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, organised by the New England Writers Centre.   Very nice.  The winner of the poetry prize (which I won last year) was  Ian Hood, with a poem called ‘Drowning Satan’, which I look forward to reading.  Paul Prenter was commended.  All the poems (and stories, etc) will be published soon at the New England Writers Centre website, and I’ll link to that when I can.  My poem ‘On average’ was about domestic violence.

The judge was John Foulcher, a fellow Canberran.  (Judging was, of course, anonymous.)

dodgers-work

P.S. ‘Hawthorn’ in the above, is an Australian Rules football team, who have dominated things over the last five years or so.  (Until this year, in fact.)  Another helpful guide to Australian culture for benighted foreigners my lovely overseas readers.

P.P.S. Pitbulls are awesome dogs, and are only vicious if abused.

Tuesday poem: Sequential menu

November 10, 2014

sequential menu

methane farts
too many cows
thick beefy skies

thick beefy skies
drive for takeout
taste that plastic

taste that plastic
(onion rings)
defenestration

defenestration
gutter wrapper
sea junk flourishes

sea junk flourishes
macturtles sup
second hand meat

second hand meat
too many cows
thick beefy skies

P.S. Cottier

but not so charmingly rural

but not so charmingly rural

I like this one; parts of it were originally written for a science haiku competition, but it grew and grew like cattle in feedlots.

***

Currently I am co-ordinating an on-line course on writing speculative poetry for Australian Poetry, which has nothing to do with cows. I just set an exercise, and, in case anyone out there is interested, here it is:

EXERCISE YOUR ALIEN

Imagine you meet a supernatural or alien creature. In a poem, describe this being, which could be from another planet, another dimension, or another time. It, or he or she, could also be a fairy tale character, or a character from mythology.

Try and avoid cliché. For example, if you have chosen a vampire, don’t use bat or crypt imagery. Don’t put your ghost in a graveyard!

Imagine meeting it in a common situation, such as your house, walking the dog (is that actually a dog?) or at a supermarket.

How does the creature sound? Smell? These senses are just as important as how it looks. Try and be specific in description rather than using abstract terms. (For example, don’t say ‘its alien hands’, say ‘its caterpillar tentacles, slug soft yet avid’.)

Tone can be humorous, terrifying, matter-of-fact.

Any form. A haiku can say as much as a ballad. But don’t let rhyme become the main reason for the poem!

Enjoy yourselves.

***
Now New Zealand has weird creatures, including the flightless poet. One of them just dropped this feather onto my screen. Click it and read her or his poetry:
Tuesday Poem

Okay, the feathers have disappeared, ruining all my amusing references used for years on this blog. Please excuse! Our feathers now are ended…