Tuesday poem: Turn away

August 2, 2016

Turn away from the night.
Too much freedom is implied.
Trap stars in flags, pin them down,
render them national, bordered,
an angular abacus to figure normality.
Adorn children’s essays with thin
gold paper star stickers.
Wonder is juvenilia that we must
grow to despise, jettison
like milk teeth swapped for coin.
Yet those million suns, flickering
light sirens, keep calling, ululating.
Day demands in clear clipped diction
that we make work’s timed rituals
the sum of all equations. From such
abbreviation, each star whispers
turn away, turn to me,
turn to me, and turn away.

P.S. Cottier


I can’t remember if this has been published before; it’s not on my List, so probably not.  There’s going to be a lot of flag waving soon at the Olympics (and, of course, in the final grim push to the US elections) so it seemed appropriate.

cover AWAW

My poem ‘Criminals who are no longer criminals’ has been included in this year’s Award Winning Australian Writing, which included poems and prose that have previously been awarded first place in a literary competition (as you can probably read on the cover).  The annual is published by Melbourne Books, and I’ll be going down for the launch late this month and reading the poem, which will be fun.

The poem qualified as it was placed first in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, organised by the New England Writers Centre, and it is concerned with the definition of crime changing over time. It also has a speculative element, as there are ghosts involved.

I believe that the current Thunderbolt Prize is still open for entries: check out the rules and categories here.

Tuesday poem: (haiku)

October 29, 2013

Germs hitch-hike
drift in pink balloons
star-man’s lungs

Yes, I’m afraid that use of the wonderful Japanese form of the haiku in these pages (if a blog has pages) is an indication of intense busy-ness. As the anthology The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry demands more of my time, my poor blog has been somewhat neglected. My apologies, dear followers!

This wee SF poem thing was first published in the United States, in Scifaikuest, way back in February 2010.

Press this feather and go to New Zealand, where the hub poem is also about explorers, in a sense. And the country not known as South Canada:
Tuesday Poem

First review! Plus stars!

September 30, 2011

That’s to say this is the first review on this site. Fear not dear discerning blog-lover, I have written quite a number previously. Indeed, my reviewing efforts were once rewarded with the prize of $200 worth of wine by the ACT Writers Centre, as part of their annual awards. That’s what a poet calls ‘Breakfast’.  I have the pleasure of judging the same award for book reviewing, sponsored by Z4 wines, this year.

And actually, I’m lying. There is a link here to a review written by a Canberra writer who calls himself or herself Poetix. So the review is not really here at all. I assume Poetix is a Canberra writer as the review of Canberra and Beyond by well known Canberra identity Bill Tully appears on the RiotACT, a Canberra-based discussion site about all things Canberran.

Sometimes you can have just too much Canberra.

For those 99.999% of the world’s population who have no interest in Canberra (which is the capital of Australia, for those overseas who have never heard of it) please enjoy this little poem about the frustrations of astronomy.  The night sky differs between the hemispheres, but there are always stars.

Kicking the telescope

All this antic fiddling

when I wanted wonder

injected from you

like a syringe of pure white.

Fingers work, and thumbs,

in order to make a handle

of space, my grip as dumb

as a paralytic’s knee.

Perspicillim, sounds like

a Martian’s green-snot cold.

Ugly tripod, alien crouching,

on those three ungainly legs.

I swing mine to make a fourth.

You bow your one-eyed head.

P.S. Cottier