For Phillip Hughes

No personal memories have I
only the memory of my son loving watching your games
on television.

He knows all your stats
and history as young Aussie cricketers tend to do.
On the day you passed the storms came suddenly
and hailstone the size of cricket balls
fell in the city that we lived.

I waited for my family to return
safely from abandoned cricket training
and mourned for your mother, father, brother and sister.

My memory of hospital waiting rooms
and intensive care still vivid after all these years.

My brother who loved sport
spent years in recovery
from head injuries
went from wheel chair to walking
from no speech to talking
I could sense what might lie ahead for your family
but your’s was a different fate.

The tributes for you flow
from cricketers the world over
young and old
England to India
captains to team mates
to junior cricketers
And beyond

Rugby to AFL and Tennis
politicians and more.

Parents of young cricketers everywhere
feel your parents loss
and like them celebrate their children’s joy of cricket.

Small consolation
you were doing what you loved
and that it could never have been any other way.

The flag’s at half mast at Lords
while celebrations of character not just sporting ability are posted in your honour.
Who can tell why the good are suddenly taken.

So we #putoutourbats
say 63 never out
for he who plays in heaven’s eleven.

One day people might ask
‘What where you doing the day
Phillip Hughes went to the eternal cricket ground
in the sky?’

Many young cricketers everywhere might dedicate
their first 63’s to you.

(c) June Perkins

A special tribute to Phillip Hughes can be found HERE.


Hospital Vigil – Lullaby

(c) June Perkins


I think of you
sitting by the side
of a hospital bed
I’ve been there too.

You wait for one who’s in coma
perhaps induced
and tears are close at hand
but instead you will yourself
to sing your loved one’s favourite songs.

You’ve been told they can hear you
in their coma dreams
it’s then that you remember the power
of the lullaby.

This time your lullaby is
an invoking them to be allowed to wake once more
for head, heart and soul to be healed.

Your lullaby is to chase away uncertainty
to let them know that
in the land of the awake
love for them
is waiting
no matter how long the journey
whether from wheelchair or not
without speech or not.

Love is the lullaby that keeps
us dancing with those we love
beckoning from the world of dreams
to a world of lived courage.


Wake when you are ready
from the land of dreams.

Know that we are waiting
and we will cheer you on.

Wake when you are ready
to make those recovery steps.

We’ll be here always waiting
to cheer you back to us

You are strong
and to your future you belong

Your sleep it serves a purpose
may it make you strong
don’t forget that
to your future you belong.

Wake when you are ready
please return to us.

(c) June Perkins

So today it’s time for a lullaby.

I think I’ll write one for parents and siblings sitting by hospital beds. Thinking of Phil Hughes’ (Australian Cricketer) family today, keeping vigil by his hospital bed. Note within a few hours of this poem Phillip Hughes passed away. A sad day for the Australian Cricket Community.

Cyclone List Poem

school yard tree - straight after Yasi
Tree near our house, lifted by the cyclone – June

The Cyclone Survival Kit
bottled water
some real space cash in case the bank machines out
some filling but light food
maybe some tins and a tin opener if they don’t have those lids that open instantly
a sleeping bag or better still a swag
a small pillow
a torch and spare batteries
some matches
urgent medications
a wind up lamp
some tins
a first aid kit
a safety drill
a knowledge of when to move and not move
a radio
some batteries
a mobile phone
a charger
a tablet
identity papers and bank cards
a water proof bag to carry it all in
commonsense courage
calming love
family unity
friends who you might stay with to go through it
a plan for the pets
a favourite thing of each family member if all is lost
lots of patience
phone numbers written on paper
names of friends who have a generator
memories of last time you went through a cyclone
that you survived.

(ii) Cyclone Yasi

The last time we went through a cyclone
we taped windows
put mattresses against windows
had a theory about the safest room in the house
a phone to use sparingly
children calming guinea pigs and bird
ringing panicking relatives
scary radio and for a while television news
which thankfully cut out when the power went
a disappearing pet bird
rounding up other birds for safety
too many carry bags
lit candles
our windows smashed
doors blown open
carried guitars our eldest son treasured
left my skin medication in the fridge
no time to carry our pets when we had to leave
a sense of direction
little time to make important decisions
difficult decisions
our unity
neighbours who would take us in
a hard laundry floor to squeeze onto
thankfulness when the children slept

(c) June Perkins

So today is list poem day.  For inspiration for this one I read a few online articles on the subject as well as Sidman’s prompt.

What is a List Poem?  The main ingredients for a list poem are that it should be thoughtful, have a beginning and an end and something compelling about the list that makes you want to read it.

Poems worth reading before doing this exercises are Christopher Smart’s poem ‘Jubilate Agno’  and the humourous list poems  ‘Sick’ by Shel Silverstein.

My list poem topic – cyclones.

Love Poems (1/4): Memories & Metastases

I have been enjoying some poetry at Peter Hulme’s very interesting blog. He blogs on philosophy as well.

Everybody Means Something

As further background to Monday’s post about the five dimensions disrupting my practical patterns of action, there are some earlier poems relating to the first two – death & dough. I thought it might be useful to republish three of them, along with a new one that is to be posted tomorrow. So, there was the one yesterday, this one today and there will be one on Saturday.

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The New Century is Found

Art by ZedettaArt – song lyric in cut out shape

Star Song

The new century promises
the eternity of song

holding binoculars
in every mood.

a bunch of flitting fireflies
liveth here.

A telescope can show you
songs I’ve heard.

Beyond the asteroid  belt
lie songs like grass.

The giver said
to be a backyard sky watcher
simply go outdoors
and look up to
see creation’s music.

Come and see the road map
locate the Southern cross.

Constellations can be
bright and easy to find
melodies of earth and sky.

Crowds and cities pass away
in journeys from star to star.

(c) June Perkins


Today I created a found poem,  using some of the Jigsaw poem technique.  With the Jigsaw poem Sidman uses a found poem and reshapes the poem.

With the found poem any document that is not a poem is used to construct a poem.  It can be anything from a list, postcard, letter to graffiti, travel guide  and history book.  These are mined for interesting images and words which are thrown up into the air and used to inspire a new work.  It is a collage of words found in other texts.  You can of course add more of your own words to make it all make sense.

I am going to pluck words and ideas out of two contrasting books: An Astronomy  guidebook and The Collected Poetry of John Clare.

I have picked them because of John Clare’s attention to small details – and the astronomy books sweep of the universe.

Looking closer the poem I want to be inspired by is John Clare’s Poem -‘Songs Eternity’, which does have a slightly expansive feel to it, and any section of Robert Burham’s, Astronomy (Home Reference Library) that is interesting.

This is a fun writing game to play.  I found using two texts more inspiring than using a single one.  I wasn’t that keen to write about snow and winter as in the exercise of Sidman.

Invitation Poem

Beckoning Autumn

leaf life

Come bring your burnt orange, golden yellow and burnished red leaves.
Bring us much needed relief from the heat wave malaise.
Remember your invitation to wear light jumpers and dressy leather boots.
Loosen your leaves to reveal the sculptural shaped trees on the horizon.
Let the fading days of summer whisper afternoon autumn jazz with mocha.

(c) June Perkins

This is an invitation poem.

Post it Notes

June Perkins's photo.
One of the dragons my daughter has created

Here I am with my daughter catching a bus to the art museum.
We don’t talk but with our dark brown eyes look for
inspiration out at the land scrolling
past the windows.

What we share most is a love of the creative.
For her it’s online comics, art and stories.
She has a recommended reading list for me and
is itching to beta read my current book in progress.

Here anyhow’s one decent thing – the way she leaves post it notes
concerning dragons on the loose
and how she hopes I have the best writing day
on my desk.
She’s just making sure
a dragon makes it into the story

Today I attempted an important person poem.  I have written these before but today’s inspiration is to use three starters to stanzas inspired by Wilfred Sassoon. I am not in a rhyming mood though.

Ducky, light bulbs and having fun with the pictorial fonts

2012-08-02 2012-08-02 001 043
One of my true love’s nicknames is ‘Ducky’

So today I am attempting an ideaogram.  I didn’t want to do the Sidman exercise just as it was suggested  because I have written a poem like that before, so instead I came up with a variation on her exercise.

For this one I went looking for some further inspiration and found some in googling images.  It seemed obvious one way to write something like this might be to play with the ideogrammatic fonts on my computer.  But how to play with them?  I used the geotype font and the following images came up when I typed my name, june: Light bulb, Duck, Globe or Sign and a Hand.  I thought why not use them as inspiration. That’s pretty random isn’t it, but here goes.

For ‘Ducky’

I look for my light bulb moment
Married to a man whose nickame is Ducky (because he impersonates Donald Duck)
We are world citizens by nature
Who after twenty years or more still remember to walk hand in hand

(c) June Perkins

Let me know if you try this, now I’m off to experiment with some other fonts.  Is this a true ideogram, well I really don’t care, it’s fun.  Pictorial font fun.  Another variation of this would be to then extend the metaphors and expand the piece.

(c) June Perkins