Australian junk

Perfect beyond compare, the composition
glimpsed behind the sand dune, visitation
of a nation, expressed in three fork prongs:
a cricket stump, a tinnie, and a single thong.
Was there an arranger, of design intelligent,
or was it just luck, dumb evolution, that bent
time and space to make this eloquent trio?
Leprechauns fix just one shoe, but there’s no
Irishman likes cricket, it’s just not their game.
Should I search for walkers gone lame,
one side leaning? Or a patriotic drunk
who made tribute, through placing this junk,
into a precise summation of our Antipodes:
weird sport, sour booze, and feet liking breeze?

P.S. Cottier

A very light poem indeed today. Ye gads, it’s not even a proper sonnet! Yesterday was the public holiday for Australia Day (which was Sunday the 26th, for all you benighted foreigners), and the flags hopped out like feral rabbits. I find the yobbo aspects of patriotism very hard to take.

But the rhyming thing above celebrates a moment when I saw a thong (a flip-flop for all you benighted foreigners), a tinnie (an aluminium drink can that once contained beer – oh, do keep up!), and a cricket stump (surely you know what that is?) discarded at the beach.

Meanwhile, of course, morons are killing sharks in Western Australia as they occasionally bite people who are in the water. Meanwhile, our navy is reportedly pushing boats of asylum seekers back to Indonesia. Meanwhile, we still don’t recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

But at least we beat the Poms in cricket. (Men’s cricket, that is.)


Now, after this dubiously un-Australian rant, with all the affection hidden in the poem, I suggest you cleanse yourself by flying to New Zealand. Click this feather, and It Shall Be:
Tuesday Poem

Tuesday poem: Sand

March 12, 2012


Because it creeps into crevices like tiny crabs,
making a clutching claw of your buttocks,
and because these small private incursions
allow souvenir confetti to sprinkle for days,
as if the tacky beach had followed you home,
an over-friendly guest at the wedding reception
hoping to come on the honeymoon, sticking, and
because, unllke house dust and garden dirt
it seems clean, despite ten million dead things
crunching under your hot splayed feet,
fragmented into this smiling pointilist
carpet, into which you sink, wallowing;
you welcome it. You are the beached seal
on the long yellow towel spread out between
restlessness and mundanity, between sea
chopping, mouthing, swallowing, spitting,
and the inland everyday, shaping you,
trowelling you, like that avid child, eagerly
out-turning a bucket of wet,

P.S. Cottier

The photo is of the place I like best in the world, on the south coast of New South Wales. I’m not going to give the exact location, as I am profoundly selfish. The tiny village there is surrounded by National Park so it can’t be extended. Locals (some of them) don’t want sewage or town water put on, to ensure no more development. You know you’re in the first world where people are campaigning against running water.

Everyone in Canberra treks to the coast whenever they can. Yesterday (Monday) was a public holiday in the ACT for Canberra Day, so nearly everyone left Canberra for the long weekend. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Canberra, so it will be interesting to see if more people stay for the festivities.

Personally, I’ll take the sand every time, and the milder weather. Everyone was still wearing just bathers and thongs, and we’re into Autumn. Kangaroos frolic in backyards. Black cockatoos swirl around, particularly before rain. So. very. nice.

This poem is from my first poetry collection, The Glass Violin.  For more poems from a variety of climates, please click on the feather, which I suspect is not that of a black cockatoo:

Tuesday Poem