Poem: No genie, no wish

September 2, 2022

No genie, no wish

I thought it was a safe dwelling,
this huge shell, bright blue,
blooming on sand.
Not petty house for me, no
scrummaging for dangerous weeks.
My belly needs support,
is un-calcified, tending to slump.
I need other species to form
places for me to hide, to live,
and from where I scavenge,
daily, for minute bites of food.
Imagine my joy, at this mansion,
the cavity through which I pushed
an eager few centimetres of crab.
And now I find myself trapped,
unable to live in this blue world.
When I die, I send out a cry,
not in words but scent,
telling other hermits that a shell
has become vacant, and so,
how many others will meet inside
this treacherous, plastic tomb?
A million such containers
cover the beaches’ sheets of sand,
a kaleidoscope of pain.
Fake promises of security,
washing up with very wave.
I am a message, trapped inside
a blue bottle of disaster,
an artificial gift of doom.

PS Cottier

Hermit crabs are dying inside plastic and glass waste washed up on Australia’s remote islands: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/12/05/what-happens-when-hermit-crabs-confuse-plastic-trash-shells-an-avalanche-death/

Old green turtle
round mummy in plastic
excess drowning

PS Cottier


Not exactly the type of turtle I had in mind, but a very nice illustration. I think I should lay off the plastic, as this is the second poem in the last few months dealing with that material, but there’s just a lot of it about!

Sorry for recent silence here. Hopefully things are picking up again. (To use a vaguely plastic sounding metaphor.)

Tuesday poem: Hoppy

August 13, 2012


One-legged plastic soldier lying on the footpath,
un-mourned victim of sand-pits and tree-houses,
imaginary scratch Iraqs of a childhood’s backyard.
Those battles are not what downed you, left you
bereft on naked concrete (though the single limb
speaks of skirmishes with WMD shears).
No, you lost the fight with years, as your Generals
grew away from you, took to iPods, booze or blogs;
left your moulded games of rigidity behind.
You stand to ever-lasting attention
(or would with one more prop)
but there’s no one to salute or shoot,
and your tall castles of Lego have toppled into bins.
Hoppy leans upon a book now
and recounts the days gone by
like a thousand wounded soldiers in
a thousand wounded bars.
Fodder for the poets; soldiers plastic,
soldiers fleshy, forgotten by their masters
tell such abbreviated tales.

P.S. Cottier

imagine one less leg

I found a one-legged toy soldier, who can’t stand up, and that inevitably led to poetry.

I don’t know if there’ll be any more poems about war posted on Tuesday poem this week. Click this feather, which is not that of a dove, to find out:
Tuesday Poem