‘…scribbles, comments, glosses (annotations), critiques, doodles, or illuminations’

We are the marginalia of history,
biting at the big heels
of heroes and presidents, popes
and PMs.
Not so much pitbulls
as their annoying fleas.
See there?
That’s the woman who made tea
for the Big Three at Yalta.
She’s chatting to another
who serves food to firefighters.
(Yellow-clad slayers
of massed man-made dragons
must sit for a moment,
must drink and eat.)
Jackaroos of all hues talk horses,
motorbikes, choppers and utes
far from the pastoralists
who raked it all in.
There in the corner?
That’s the woman who fed sheep
in another corner
when the usual manger
contained a slim, quiet baby
visited by lesser dignitaries than he.
And hear that coughing?
That’s all of us in the chorus
losing our lungs to the smoke,
as our own Neros fiddle
and Australia burns up.

Note: The title comes from Wikipedia’s definition of marginalia.

PS Cottier


Listen to PS reading ‘scribbles …’ (1:34)



PS Cottier will have two poetry collections published in 2020. Monstrous is about Frankenstein’s monster, evil fairies, gnomes, and other horrors, and Utterly, which is about climate change, the environment and more personal concerns.

© 2020, text and audio