Hellos of the human race
Are wayfarers in outer space
Searching into future time
Reaching memories so sublime.

Wayfarers in shifting space
Mix Dylan’s songs of human race
Dancing with the dust of stars
To the future we might be bizarre?

Hellos circle stars and moon
Humanity longs for a cocoon
As child soldier hides in the wheat
And tides move the world’s heart beat.


© June Perkins

Originally posted here Hellos in Space : Image Credit: Paulien Bats


This wheel doesn’t turn


Image Credit Creative Commons, some rights reserved Michael Scott

This wheel doesn’t turn
the way that it should
it just has a soul of its own.

Frustration is crawling
under my skin
wheeling all over my day.

This wheel doesn’t turn
the way that it should
left is right
right is left
how I wish it would burn.

This feral stray
ignores toddlers’ screaming dismay
This suburban dragon metal
Oh how I long it a kettle.

I want to escape
but not sure that I can
with a wheel that
don’t want to turn.

Time now I be a knight
train this disobedient trolley
left for left
right for right
but it’s an unruly
windy upturned brolley.

So now I use logic’s magic
take left for right
and right for left
to help us out through the maze.

I think we can, I think we can
ride our dragon
beyond this shopping malaise
reclaim our souls as our own
valiantly take the dreaded shopping home.

(c) June Perkins

Art singing and dancing in the Streets

One way to find a poem is to go on the lookout for street art . . .


2014-05-07 2014-05-10 001 008 June Perkins – photograph of power box Brisbane

Art in the city, not shut away in galleries, but everywhere you look.
It’s on power boxes, telegraph poles, railway station walls.
climbs onto walls and alleyways.
chalked, painted, sprayed, and poster papered.

It’s murals with messages from Martin Luther King
everytime I used to catch the bus in Marrickville
I’d see his face with an Aboriginal flag behind it.

It’s pieces that make you think, smile, wonder remember nature.
Driving past telegraph poles to the Gold Coast
we catch nature wrapping itself around telegraph poles,
birds and trees just in case we don’t see the real
they’re there in art.
I would love to go back and photograph these artistic poles.

I think of the artists commissioned or perhaps underground ones.
What are their names?
Are their signatures there?
Is there a guidebook somewhere to tell me the story of the…

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Nature Boy

Music as an Inspiration for Poetry…



The poster words were recorded by Nat King Cole.  Nature Boy“is track #10 on the album The World Of Nat King Cole. It was written by Ahbez, Eden but made  famous by Nat.

This poster is my artistic tribute to this song, which has become a jazz standard.

Eden was a singer songwriter, Hippy nomad, beat poet,  who lived in a park in LA.

Online I found recordings by Cher, Celine Dion and  American Idol  contestant in 2011 Casey Abrams.   Furthermore, it was used in the movie Boy with the Green Hair.

I like the Ella Fitzgerald version of  Nature Boy because of the beautiful background guitar.

Another haunting version is by  Afro Blue Nature Boy .

I often enjoy writing with music in the background to find a rhythm and tone.  As a young writer I loved jazz.  Not many people in my household like…

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Writing Letters as Poetry and Protest Song

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This picture is by talented artist Steve Loya

It’s always interesting to think about polemical poetry and its pros and cons.

I think of the song Pink wrote, the letter to the President.  Absolutely beautiful and powerful, and expressive of frustration. 

Do you have a question burning that you need answered, perhaps a letter format is the perfect way to write about what ails your heart.

I love it when teachers include interesting lyrics from songs on the poetry curriculum. 

One of my favourite song writers is Paul Simon.  I was rapt when he was in my son’s year 12 poetry choices to discuss.

Contemporary Australian song writers I love are Archie Roach, Steve Pigram, Shane Howard, and Alesa Lajana.  They never shy away from difficult topics.

They write from the heart.  They engage with nature, history, place, and so much more.


See the song here: Mr President

(c) June Perkins





Hieroglyphic Love

Chalk Artist – By June Perkins

Hieroglyphics of love
unpacked in henna on cancer
patient’s head.

Leaving trails on instagram
facebook and flickr
for others’ gaze.

Moments of togetherness
lost in picturing intimacy
snapped by love phone.

Hidden fear that intimacy
beyond the image
beyond the snip snap of
status statements
has been lost.

Chalk Artist draws
a peace sign on a pavement
a heart beat sings.

Random post it notes
appear on sorrow’s
urban walls.

(c) June Perkins


Shadows into Light

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Light and Cane series – June Perkins

There are days when you can play
with shadows to see the light
you can find these on  journeys
past cane and fallen down trees

Life has corners you can’t see
twists and turns
still photography.

Sometimes we don’t see connections
We go and miss
the shimmering.
Sometimes we don’t see the beauty
We’ve forgotten how to feel.

You can chase the sunlight
across the window panes.
You can turn it into
anything you want.

Climb and clamber
shine and Sway
in the forests
light the way.

Capture a glimpse of connection
dream of nature’s rhapsody
make this a day to remember.
Chase the shadows into light.

Sometimes we don’t see connections.
We go and miss the shimmerings

Sometimes we don’t see the beauty,
We’ve forgotten how to feel.
Make this a day to remember
Chase the shadows into light

(c) June Perkins, song lyric.

After Yasi – he said, she said


He said, ‘you are not out of the ordinary if you feel a little apathy.’

She said, ‘it’s so cold as we’re still sleeping on our veranda.’

He said, ‘scaffolding arrived on Saturday mornings well before breakfast,’ then yawned.

She said, ‘Will we really have to leave?’

He said, ‘Let’s build our lives again’

She said, ‘I will sing ballads by the sea,’ she took her guitar.

He said,’Let’s salvage and rebuild’

She said, ‘Will you ring the insurance?”

He said, ‘Can I have a cuppa first?’

She said, ‘I’ll see all our memory moments every time we see this farewell couch’

He said, ‘Let’s give out medals’

She said, ‘So many quiet heroes’

He said, ‘banana prices are too high’

She said, ‘I’m going to meditate.’

He said, ‘Are you off to yoga?’

She said, ‘I’m going to see our daughter’

He said, ‘The papers say we’ll  nearly all be home by Christmas?’

She said, ‘ Just as well’

He said, ‘yes just in time for cyclone season, I wouldn’t want to be in a dongah for another one of those.’

They sighed. They hoped. They dreamed.

The sun rose.

She said, ‘I can almost breathe.’

He said, ‘I know just what you mean’

Then they heard a strong wind.

The butterflies returned.

She said,’I’ll paint butterflies on our old roof.’

It was then they knew the secret of insight.


By June Perkins


So many stories spinning around, and asking to be remembered. This is what happens when cyclone, tidal waves, twisters arrive at communities, and leave people in their wake.

It is theraputic for the creatively express that swirl of experience, until something emerges to give comfort.   

The he and the she in this poem are not a single he and a she but a combined he and she of the whole community.



For more stories see After Yasi