car with crest

The innocence of Nissan
corrupted by the cockatoo —
fifty squawks an hour.

PS Cottier

Now this is beyond obscure for those who do not live surrounded by huge flocks of sulphur crested cockatoos, as we do in Canberra. They sit in trees and throw unwanted food items at passers-by (or so it seems). When I saw this car, I pictured them taking over the world, and remaking it in the image of the sulphur crested cockatoo.

Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing. (Unless they created Donald Trump, who is also somewhat cresty. Though substantially less gorgeous.)


Muse with beak

Tuesday poem: Outings

November 28, 2016


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?


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.

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.

Oppressing the gnomes

The garden gnomes are downing tools
all over Australia, and whimsy is plummeting.
No more riding snails and pushing barrows,
or fishing for strangely ecstatic cod,
who gape for hooks in a pornography of cute.
The gnomes are turning nasty, attacking
the flamingos who continue to strut —
elegant pink scabs over the quirky lawns.
Gnomes piss on succulents and smear
foul gnome shit on the guinea pigs.
What do we want? they ask the air.
But they don’t know what to chant back —
their dissatisfaction is merely existential.
Even their industrial action raises a laugh,
with their crooked green caps slipping,
and their endless pipes twixt ruddy lips.
Their signs are egregiously misspelt.
Nome’s R Us is at least legible,
but the kerning is much worse than that,
and the punctuation speaks volumes.
Get back to it, gnomes, I say, imperiously.
Ply those forks, and play that accordion.
I bask in my elevation to exploiter,
swaying in a complacent hammock.
Surly yet amusing, the wee green men obey.
The ringleader rides a frog to the pond,
and casts in his line like a sigh.

P.S. Cottier


This is probably a weird commentary on the zeitgeist.  Either that or the gnomes have been putting things in my tea.

Other one, moron

The state of the world weighing on your shoulders like last week’s albatross? What you need, my friend, is a good injection of humour.

You’d have to be Visually Impaired Freddy not to notice that humorous stories do not, in general, do as well in literary competitions as serious, sometimes even a little, um, dull ones. Here’s a competition that seeks to remedy that:

The Best of Times short story competition #14.

Here are the conditions of entry. Note that payment can be made by Paypal, and entries may be emailed, so people outside Australia have no excuse.

What to enter:
Humorous short stories (any theme) up to 2500 words.

First prize: $200, second prize: $50. (That’s AUD.)
Third place, highly commended and commended certificates will be awarded too.

Closing date:
31 Oct 2012.

Conditions of entry:
Entrants can enter as many times as they like.
Each story must be written in English and be the entrant’s own original work.
Stories that have won a prize or certificate in previous Best of Times or Winter Surprise competitions are ineligible for entry.
Entrants retain copyright and all rights to their work.

Postal entries:
No entry form is required. Include a cover sheet with your name and address, story title and word count, and where you heard about the
Entry fee is $6 per story. Send a cheque or money order made out to Chris Broadribb. Post your entry to PO Box 55, Blaxcell NSW 2142.
Include a large SSAE so that your story can be returned afterwards, along with a results sheet.

E-mailed entries:
Please provide your name and address, story title and word count, and where you heard about the competition.
Email your entry to
Entry fee is $6 per story. Use PayPal to pay

For an electronic copy of the results, please provide your email address.
Winners will be notified by email or post by December 2012.
The list of winners will be displayed on the competition website.
Winning stories will be published on the website if the authors agree.

Competition webpage (Popups)

The contest is organised and judged by Chris Broadribb. So tickle her. Pluck a feather from that albatross and tickle her like there’s no tomorrow. Which, I sometimes think…Oh shut up.