Faith took a holiday

He hitched down the Hume, or up;
he didn’t tell me. Faith has no fear
of murder, or everyday sleazes
and their boring imprecations.
It’s the ones left behind
who tend to fret. What if,
we say, and perhaps
as if perhaps isn’t Faith
flipped like a decisive coin,
standing on his head.
As if as if isn’t
closer to for sure
than some might like it to be.

Faith rang me from Melbourne,
(so it was down the Hume)
and said he wanted to look around
a bit longer; catch the trams.
He too remembers
the excellent days of conductors,
with their magical brown bags.
Even Faith feels regret
at the passing of old days;
the spinning of so much
towards the expansive sun
of interconnected drivel.
There is a grace
in not knowing too much,
he said, though Faith would say that,
I suppose. That’s his job.
A kind of conductor
unseen in any tram,
on any route, whatsoever.

Faith will return soon;
I can hear the jingling
just at the edge of thought
and the tune is one
I almost remember.
The brown bag of my
restless, overloaded brain
awaits his presence,
and will sling itself, eager,
over his patient arm.

P.S. Cottier

flew-trunk

Like a lot of the world, I’m suffering the post-US election blues, and almost didn’t post this week.  The clever amongst you will have noticed that it is Wednesday, not Tuesday, and the weekly schedule has been disrupted.   But poetry is fairly unstoppable!

For my overseas readers, the Hume is the major highway linking Melbourne and Sydney. Canberra is just a wee drive from it.

I have no idea why Faith is male in the poem.  Perhaps it was some association with Christ? And my phone has just died, which has me longing for the ‘interconnected drivel’ which I decry in the poem, even if I’m avoiding news sites at the moment.

Malcolm Turnbull’s tie

Oh, when I curl up and die
please just let me be reborn
as Malcolm Turnbull’s tie.

No-one could weep (or even sigh),
at the elegant prospect
of being hung as Malcolm’s tie.

Way way way up on high
a spray-tanned face talks
above such a gorgeous tie.

And below that face lies
the endless, knotted glory
of a must-be imported tie.

We’d get on well, he and I,
as he smoothes and flatters
above the silken tongue of tie.

So, when I curl up and die
please just let me be reborn
as Malcolm Turnbull’s tie.

P.S. Cottier

Robespierre_cropped

Image of Robespierre chosen purely for sartorial reasons (and for the smirk).

As we enter an election campaign of approximately five hundred years, spare a thought for all the left-wing voters of Canberra (the place) who will be hearing Canberra referred to as merely the seat of the Government, as we go about our ordinary lives.

Many of us as very nice little bike-riding freaks.

(Image from the Musée Carnavalet, Public Domain)

 

Tuesday Poem

Progress

When I turned twenty

I thought the world could be changed

like a pair of jeans, a little dirty

at the knees, fraying at simple seams.

Emergent detergent left

the great unwashed.

 

Thirty, I decided to be a lawyer

who’d unmask justice,

let her see into dark corners

with right vision goggles.

I stand convicted

of blank stupidity.

 

At forty, I realised

I’d better decide what I’d be

when I grew up.

Too late for Wimbledon,

I made a poetic racket,

served and volleyed

just inside the lines.

 

I’m still following through.

P.S. Cottier

This poem appeared in my first collection of poetry called The Glass Violin, launched in February 2009.  I will be posting a poem on this blog every Tuesday from now on, either my own or someone else’s, as part of a group of poets who try to do the same thing.  Most of the poets are from New Zealand, with a sprinkling of Americans, a seasoning of Italians, and a shake of Australians.  If you would like to check out the other poems, click on the quill above, or here. That will take you to the Tuesday Poet hub.

Update: I brilliantly managed to post this on Monday, not Tuesday, but hopefully, by next week I’ll get that right.

Abbott’s booby

December 3, 2011

Sorry if the word ‘booby’ misdirected you here.

This is another poem about Tony Abbott, leader of the Liberal Party in Australia, which is similar to the Conservative Party in England, in many ways.  (Here’s the first one published on this blog, relating to climate change.) I recently had a poem about Australia’s attitude to refugees who arrive uninvited published on Eureka Street, remembering the dozens of people who died last year, smashed on the rocks of Christmas Island, an Australian island that is no longer part of Australia for immigration purposes.  That poem featured the Christmas Island crab.  This one draws links between another native of Christmas Island, Abbott’s booby, and the Leader of the Opposition.

Abbott’s booby

This poem regurgitated itself into my mouth —

a sardine of ill repute, silver little slug.

Abbott’s booby is a native of Christmas Island,

flying around and around.

Its cry is unmelodious,

unfit for any proper idyll.

It picks up stray ideas

and smashes them onto rocks.

(It is in league with the crabs.)

It is a member of the Gannett family.

And there, the useful metaphors run out,

like a big country’s generosity.

For this is a large, graceful bird,

once it has struggled into flight,

and it only troubles the wind.

It is unrelated to the budgie.

It is endangered.

Others, though, are entering their prime.

Oh silver, stinking poem,

shoved down a gagging throat.

P.S.Cottier