Frequent Flyers:  The Lives of Coastal Birds is a group exhibition currently showing at Durras Progress Hall, cnr Corilla & Banyanda Streets, South Durras, NSW, running until Sunday 29th May.  On that Sunday, at 3pm, there will be a poetry and music performance at the venue, and I’ll be reading some bird poems, as will Sarah Rice, Johanna Rendle-Short, and Kerrie Nelson.  Helen Maxwell, who has organised the event, will be reading a poem by Francesca Rendle-Short and another one by Sue Fielding. It sounds like a fun afternoon!  There will be flutes and ukuleles, although probably not at the same time.

Sunday 29 May, 3pm – Bird concert and poetry recital – followed by exhibition closing drinks  $10 – BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL.  For bookings contact Helen Maxwell helen {AT}, or ring 0439 876 645.

South Durras is a beautiful part of the world, about two hours drive from Canberra.  The photo below shows the main surf beach, from the dunes.



Tuesday poem: ‘P’

June 1, 2015


Pregnant with puppies
your long stroke body and
fat little tum, poking out like
a bad boy’s tongue, reversed
(b = p topsied, topsided, pissed).

All the green puns that woke
the princess; those pesky vegies
that pulled her out of zeds
nicking peace, hatching doubts —
… elliptical peas …

P.S. Cottier


Now that Little Poem started as an ekphrastic response to an alphabet that was displayed at the Canberra Museum and Gallery…Different letters by different artists…Sarah Rice facilitated the workshop, I recall…But I can’t remember which artist did the P, so to speak. The poem is no longer as ekphrastic as it used to be…I love ellipses too much, obviously…

If you want puns (and who doesn’t?) there may be some written by other Tuesday Poets. I know not… Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets around the world by pressing here.

What’s the betting that the poodle above is called Prince or Princess? If I ever adopt a poodle from a shelter, I will call it Chopper.

Hats, ripples, paper

May 8, 2015

That sounds like a new game that rather old-fashioned children might play in the schoolground if Instagram suddenly crashed. But no, it’s an excuse to publish a photograph.

Janette and Sarah

I took this last night at the launch of Janette Pieloor’s poetry collection ripples under the skin (Walleah Press). Janette is one the right, standing with Sarah Rice, another poet. You can tell that winter is really just around the corner in Canberra, skulking and kicking. (I refuse to say Winter is coming. That now has the coolness — !— of saying ‘How about this heat? or ‘Cold enough for you? Starkly uncool.)

And the paper? Well the launch was held in Paperchain Books in Manuka. One of the few independent bookstores left in Canberra.

I have dipped into the collection and found some very disconcerting poems, which is always a good thing.

In Transit

December 8, 2014

Anthony Anaxagorou and me

When December comes, a not-so-young woman’s mind turns to a heady mix of wine, politics, religion and poetry…

At least three of these were present at the Transit Bar on Sunday, where Kaveh the Unlikely Poet, Anthony Anaxagorou and a number of other poets performed their work.

I was the judge of a women’s poetry slam, and six women performed their poetry, some of which were composed, or reworked, at an earlier workshop run by Anthony. How he was still standing, or even lounging, is beyond me, as he had finished another gig in Sydney at 3am the previous morning, driven to Canberra, and then done the seminar.

Like an idiot, I was so busy concentrating on judging the poems that I didn’t take a photograph of the participants of that part of the night. I caused unintended difficulties for the organisers by awarding first prize to two women for their poems: Sarah Rice and Jacqui Malins. Both poems were about where the poets live in a sense: Sarah’s a direct and nuanced description of he physical home, and Jacqui’s about the need for a genuine acknowledgement of the first inhabitants of Australia. Both were excellent.

Anthony and Kaveh are both poets who refuse to draw an easy line between political awareness and the poetic. These two realms are inseparable; truly borderless. Neither has much in his too-hard basket, either!

Many thanks to Kira and Jessica, the organisers, for allowing me to participate in the evening through judging.

The photo I took of Kaveh was too appalling for me to post, but a somewhat more competent person took that one of Anthony and myself at the top of the post.

Captain’s blog!

August 27, 2012

Yes, this week it’s my turn to edit the Tuesday Poem site; that is, the main poem in the middle. I have chosen a wonderful poem by Canberra poet Sarah Rice.

So click this feather, and be beamed over to New Zealand, to read Sarah’s poem:

Tuesday Poem