Nothing continued to happen
until Nothing yawned
and wrapped himself
in a thick blank shawl
of mere nothingness.
An Emperor of Nothing,
the Prince of Nomark,
he went on simply not being
Nothing very much at all.

P.S. Cottier


As my energy levels are low (although not quite down to nothing) at the moment I thought I might post this wee poem about nothing very much at all.  You know it makes nonsense.

Some more sensible poets are still posting substantial things.  Why not have a look?

Tuesday Poem: Up

February 15, 2016


To look up from cracks
to see two joined
fifty years by love,
cemented into couple,
completed by time;

To feel sudden sun’s lick
render you gerbera,
face stroked by light petal
eight minutes old
caressed by time;

To see dog raise hairy flag
of flesh and wag
a fan in smell-poem air,
simple and clear,
careless of time;

is joy.

P.S. Cottier

mango with stick

I wrote this ages ago and can’t remember if it’s been published. Not on My List, so probably not! (My List is all the publications and awards I’ve had, and is a kind of memoir. But listier and with rather less angst.)

A simple poem with a bit of repetition for those who like that sort of thing.  The dog in the photo likes the same line of poetry being thrown out again and again.  We’d call it a stick.

Click this link to see which poets are posting on Tuesdays.

Heron’s formula

A lesson in trigonometry,
the white heron forms triangles
with legs as she inches forward
< obtuse, acute, obtuse >
and reeds write the shape’s third side,
grass and leg linked by my needy eye.

Each retraction from stillness
seems a matter of regret;
a fall from Greek statue
into hungry, stalking GIF.
Silent as a wish, she moves
towards the modest,
root-dwelling fish.

A split triangle
wedged into head axes down,
teaching the dumb water
a critical formula: working an equation
on softer bodies.

Heron swallows, then cries triumph,
and the noise is the croak
of a thirty-a-day frog
krarkkrarking imperfection —
a broken kaleidoscope of notes —
a pocket full of clashing change.

The breath of the eager teacher
who tried to show me the
dubious wonders of triangles,
to draw them on my brain,
swings into memory
with a scalene sharpness.
Sound conjures smell;
ear and nose separated only
by a stretched vinculum of years.

Angel microbes swarmed
in his every exhalation,
armed with gleeful mallets
for playing smell croquet —
sulphur tapped through nostrils —
blunt, yet sharp and jangling.
He could not know that
he was Alice with stink flamingos;
heroic feathers tickling
before, and after, each own goal.
How could I breathe and think
under such an unnumbered cloud?
A limp fish, I soon failed.

The elegance of herons
undercut by noise;
the perfection of mathematics
negated by disgust.

I paddle off, towards firm ground,
away from the sharp, white assassin,
and the chopped pools of recollection.

P.S. Cottier



This poem was just commended in the World Wetlands Day Poetry Prize, judged by Sarah Day, so I thought it would be nice for people to be able to read it.  The winning poems are posted at the link, and very good they are too.  The site itself is as cool as a rockpool and thrice as pretty.

This is an unusual poem for me in that it combines the natural world and memory and mathematics.  I am innumerate, so the maths is the most freaky part.  The poem recalls someone being turned off the so-called Queen of the Sciences for life.  Sometimes the division between authorial voice and real author is pretty swampy.

Heron’s formula has something clever to do with triangles, I think.  Personally, I am satisfied that the sail on the swanboat in the picture above is a most definite triangle.  I passed Shapes at kindergarten with flying colours.

Click this link to see which other poets are Tuesdaying.


A Great Perhaps revisited

the fantastic maybe
the I can’t believe it’s not heaven
the Ladbroke Lad’s uncertainty principle
the cliché feline done to death (and not done to death)

Rabelais lays down a beauty
the Artful Dodger’s silent handkerchief that never ends
caught in a pun, she giggled internally —
Pantagruellingly —
any more sir?


Baby likes ideas

So François Rabelais, author of Gargantua and Pantagruel, allegedly uttered the words ‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps’ on his deathbed.  One thing for sure is that he loved a good rude joke and a spirit of anarchic fun pervades his works.  I am playing with puns and physics and farts and different ways of envisaging heaven in the above.  Dickens is dragged in too, although I do not think that any of his characters ever farted, even on a deathbed.

Far too much for a Lilliputian poem, but I rather like glutting on ideas from time to time.

Next week things will make more sense.  That’s a promise. Peut-être.

Click this link to see what other Tuesday Poets are doing.

Collaborative poem

December 15, 2015

If you press this link, you will find a poem made up of bits (a technical term) of poems posted by all the Tuesday Poets from different countries around the world.  It was put together by Mary McCallum and Claire Beynon and is called ‘And I know now what I didn’t know then’ by the Tuesday Poets.

I will continue to post here at least every Tuesday, usually with a new poem. However, that linked poem is the last (or last for now) central poem at the hub for Tuesday Poem, based in New Zealand.  That site has been posting a poem every Tuesday for five years; a remarkable effort. So please give that link a click and have a read!


I intend to have a drink to Tuesday Poem tonight, although I don’t know if it will be champagne as in the illustration above.  In the meantime, though, it’s clock in time at the poetry mill.