Faith, hope, love

September 9, 2014

Sometimes amongst the flow of evil events that we call ‘news’ you read something so beautiful that it seems to come from a different, kinder planet.

Or Iowa, in this case, where a lesbian couple who have been in a relationship for over 70 years were just married:

This story emphasises that the lives of ninety year olds can be as full of meaning and even excitement as those of people in their twenties. It also reminds people who tend to write off the United States just how diverse that country is. And how diverse Christianity is, too.

I hope that some day we will see such marriages in Australia. Civil marriages and religious marriages, for those who want them. If only most relationships lasted 70 years! To quote Corinthians:

‘But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.’

(For once that is not the King James version, as that translates the last term as ‘charity’, which sounds a little odd to modern ears.)

This story is definitely the poem of the week. And I hope my complete lack of sarcasm may be forgiven by regular readers, for this week only!


Clumsy in love

Clumsy wears ug boots, where others don high heels,
or light reflective slippers of glass. They waltz,
all Straussy and fine in white, with froufrou and swish.
Clumsy stomps. Even his sheepskin words betray him.
He muffles passion in good intention, dags love
in a brown blanket of nag. Clumsy would be lacy,
suggestive, a slight touch between eyelash and wink.
But his eagerness clutches and grabs, rummages
for a lost gold key of ease. He speaks words
subtle as a losing barracker at three-quarter time,
pie’s warm filling dripping onto his mind’s feet.
Dreams subsist, nonetheless, in quiet fleecy nights.

P.S. Cottier


A brand new poem, this one. Unsullied by previous publication, or heavy editorial touch.

I notice that, as the temperature climbs in Canberra, my blog has had snow added by WordPress in North America. I’m leaving it here, as it amuses me to be sitting in 30 or even 40 degree heat (that’s celsius) and look at this cold confetti thrown over my words.

Particularly when the words are dealing with a person who is unlucky in love, for whom cold confetti seems appropriate.

The word ‘dags’ by the way, is usually a noun, here pressed into service as a verb by the pesky sheepdog of experiment. Look it up if you dare.

Click this black swan feather, and check out New Zealand’s peaks of poeticness. Poeticity. Rhymsteration? Just do it.

Tuesday Poem

By the way, we have sent the manuscript of The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, to the publisher, David Reiter of Interactive Publications. There will still be a lot of checking and fiddling, but as I said in a comment to the last post here, it has moved out of our grasp. I have enjoyed aspects of this process, namely, reading the poems, placing them in what seems to be pleasing patterns, and writing the introduction. Other aspects are more tedious!

I don’t think I’ll rush into anthologising again for a while.

The most amazing thing is that Tim Jones didn’t murder me at some stage in the process. Although, to be fair, I think I have slightly more of a temper on me…He is almost annoyingly patient.

This lack of murder is one of the benefits of working with someone from another country.

Dangerous ground

October 28, 2011

It’s so hard to write about love without being sucked into the great swamp of cliché.  (That swamp is just near the level playing field and the field of dreams, incidentally.)  Here’s a poem that attempts to avoid the swamp.

I’ve totally given up trying to make my poems copied onto here revert to single spacing; they just like to be double spaced.  And who am I to argue with the muse of the computer?



Dangerous ground, they say; thick sands

tending towards the gluggy, or cloying

like dessert wine, just too too sweet.

Roll it round your tongue and spit!

say the many, divorced from lingering,

an evicted dog’s cold fleas, itching.

But that is not it, that is not it at all.

I realise that now, tottering past forty,

smorgasbord stashed in past’s

crumbed pantry of regret.

Hungover with experiment,

trapezed into performance,

the gourmet becomes gourmand

or abstemes self into shape.

But the shape of love is not six-packed muscle,

nor even delicate lines of balletic grace.

Love is a vegetarian at the butcher’s,

gapes of bed-socks beneath ageing dreams

and the practised caress;

an ideolect of touch and lapping

curled like a cat in memory’s ample gut.

Stretching, it rubs against the legs of so far and thus good.

Then it stalks out into future’s thin twilight, hunting for self,

in the deep dear shadows of the you and the now.

P.S. Cottier