Tuesday poem and story

March 31, 2020

Both via link this time. One is to the Microflix festival, where my story ‘Makeover’ is one of the selected texts that someone may decide to make a film from: http://microflixfestival.com.au/2020/03/11/makeover-by-ps-cottier/ .

The other is to Not Very Quiet, where my poem ‘…scribbles, comments, glosses (annotations), critiques, doodles, or illuminations’ can be read. This one is about people standing (or sitting) at the side of history. https://not-very-quiet.com/2020/03/30/scribbles/ A recording of it may be posted too. Recordings are there in lieu of a launch, which was originally scheduled for last night, pre-virus.

artist at work

This one is a Christmas poem, just published at Verity La.

The poem is about reugees. It’s important to remember those excluded and shunned all year, but it’s particularly pertinent to Christmas, when God took on the form of a child born in a stable. The outsider became the centre of the story.

There’s another poem at the site about climate change and specifically, the Great Barrier Reef. An enormous number of future refugees will be fleeing the effects of climate change. And destroying the lives of other species is inexcusable, too.

God bless us, every one! Have a wonderful Christmas.


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


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


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


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.