Opposing Islamic schools


Opposing Islamic schools

They might not throw beer bottles
and therefore shatter the tone of the area.
Strip clubs might not reveal themselves
to expose odd bumps hidden in the area.
An ability in mathematics may explode

and calculate the cost to the area.
A window into their faith might creak open
infiltrating veiled thoughts of areas unknown.
Calligraphic graffiti might write itself
and confuse spray-cans of the area.
Their cars are undoubtedly bombs parked
to terrorise honest utes used in the area.
They don't understand tolerance like what we do
and may incite it in the wrong area.
Arabic is not Australian to our ears
and it might sing out and deafen the area.
All in all, it's important that ejakayshun
never darken the brains of this area.

Note: An area is a traditional suburban measurement, bigger than a bread-box, but much smaller than an idea.


Thinking about schools

Have you got her name down yet, they ask,
as if it were on the list of those who will be saved;
the enrolment of my daughter amongst the elect.
Saved from knowing the poor, rather than reading
about them. Prevented from hearing
poverty's bad diction, opening like
a forgotten handkerchief, a lime flower,
snotted into reality's smeared lines.
They are all religious these schools,
these expensive green oases of calm.
Jesus, though, seems somewhat absent,
expelled for breaching uniform rules,
or seen hanging out with the wrong sort,
washing their filthy feet. Send them a voucher
for a pedicure, or sponsor a school overseas.
But they can't sit down with our children,
those ugly loud ones with bad teeth.
We brace ourselves with silver,
cross our palms with exclusion's blind coin.


Missing Melbourne

Alleys don't exist here. Canberra has no use
for backways streets, for furtive tales.
Lies are a different matter, but those
architectural commas, those cobbled
night-cart ways have no place amongst
paradise refined into
quintessence of tedium.
I love my new home's cockatoos,
their hats of lairy scorn, their satire;
sound-beakers of heavy metal
poured into pure blue air.
But I dip my memory's lid
to the Brunswick park
with forty tail-flagged dogs, smaller
than some Canberra backyards.
So much oomph, so much poo,
and bocce, like a kiss thrown
against the deeper green,
speaking of a bigger world
of coincidence and trust.


Spiders penelope their way
through reaching looms.
Such heroic epics of spin
composed in shaky lines
as gentle wheels of green
unroll into sighing air.
Ferns flatten into broad roads
of leaf for teamster beetles,
wearing caps of carapace.
Then emerald waves break
over cool mossy rocks,
surfed by feathered shadows.

P.S. CottierP.S. Cottier is a Canberra poet whose first poetry collection — The Glass Violinwas recently published by Ginninderra Press. She blogs at pscottier.com


Topic tags: new australian poems, Islamic schools, school, education, Melbourne, spiders, ferns



submit a comment

Existing comments

'Jesus, though, seems somewhat absent,
expelled for breaching uniform rules,'

Perhaps if you stick to writing what you are familiar with, you will avoid such generalisations.

Frank | 17 November 2009  

Strange comment Frank...I think this poet knows her subjects very well...great work and great insights

Denise | 01 December 2009  

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