Writer’s Dream 9 – Reviews After Yasi


Carol from Writer’s Dream 9, has blogged this review of After Yasi Finding the Smile Within.  She is an active poet whose focus is empowerment through spiritually focused poetry.


“What would I do if I found myself facing a major cyclone in my town?” is the question I keep asking myself as I read the heart felt descriptions contained in June Perkins’ book, “After Yasi”.

I guess we really can’t answer that until we are put through the experience. Scattered on the virtual pages of this book, you will find incredible examples of the role that community really plays in our lives when facing a hardship. You will be inspired by the stories of so many souls who, through the arts, reached out to find healing from the winds of destruction that ripped through their towns. June and her family were there photographing and interviewing as a part of the very creative healing process that took place, and probably is still taking place in beautiful Australia.

You will meet many neighbors, friends and townspeople who valiantly helped one another to reconstruct their homes, find their belongings and regain, at least in part, their sense of safety and security. Truly they are heroes!

People from all over the “Land Down Under” came to break bread and pitch in including musicians, politicians, and even a Prince. When you look at June’s pictures, please note the joy and comfort that people from all over the world brought to the faces of the citizens of this hard hit area.

June has included before and after pictures also, which bring home to me, in part of course, the sense of desolation they all must have felt. When hearing about this kind of thing, we don’t think of all the layers of pain that call for inner strength and fortitude because we have never been through the likes of Yasi. Maybe some of you have. If so, this will be a healing read. Even if we haven’t gone through it, we do know from life that the winds of trials and tribulations are part of life’s journey and you will be inspired by their progress on this journey to wholeness. Truly a metaphor for life.

Two things that struck me were, one, the children’s participation on all levels, in the activities of reparation that took place around the communities in unity. Secondly, the fact that this is truly an ebook, because, it provides links to other sources for numerous pictures and stories that were painstakingly recorded by June and her family. It opened a whole world of possibilities in the cyber-world of books!”

To the people of Australia, I honor you and wish to say thank you for sharing your very personal triumphs and struggles with us. It offers such inspiring lessons to apply to, really any, difficulty! It is my prayer that someday you may see what a service has come from the selfless gift of your authentic truth! God bless you all!


You ripped through our home

powerful force of nature

Serenity has returned to us now

In time you will be forgotten

(c) Poem Carol Campbell


I encourage you to visit Carol’s blog and thank her for taking the time to explore the ebook and so many of its links.

She is a poet with a generous heart.

To read and comment on Carol’s Blog on visit this link –  After Yasi


Winter Sounds 1

I wanted to share this poem focusing on ‘sound’ for all those poets visiting this space who want more examples of how to use it well. I visit Melissa Shaw-Smith’s blog regularly to catch up with her profound poetry and photography. Thanks so much for permission to reblog. I encourage you to visit her blog and read and view her work.

Melissa Shaw-Smith

IMG_8222I close my eyes and listen
To the impeccable silence of a January day.
Only it isn’t silence,
Just absence of human noise—
Except for that one small propeller plane
Droning across the blue sky.
The breath-fogging air is filled with bright pockets of sound.
In front of me the rapid flutter of chickadee wings,
Followed by a shrill chirp announcing safe arrival in the spirea bush.
Behind me a hairy woodpecker’s rhythmic rapping
Up and down the trunk of the maple,
Probing for insect larvae stunned into stillness by the cold.
Above, one long keening call from a red-tailed hawk,
A triplet of croaks from a raven,
Their swirling flight paths intersecting over my head.
In my right ear, a squirrel rasping the shell off a black walnut,
In my left, the wind riffling through a cluster of persistent oak leaves.
And let’s not forget the cat,
Mewing around…

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Suitcase Home #draft 1

Gumbootsgirl – by June Perkins

We were talking about
we need
versus things we think we do

she told me
she would
be selling
all her material goods
to do good in the world.

I thought about the book boxes
and extra kitchen gear
flooding our floor
and wondered why everytime
we move I realise
we have things we don’t need
and could do without.

She offered me some
potential solutions
to shelving
and I could see her rummaging
through things to find them homes
including maybe at mine.

I thought of suitcases.

Suitcases of books are much easier to
move than shelves
perhaps I could do away with bookcases.

In a sincere way
She made me laugh at myself.
Perhaps instead of shelves
I can do away with the things
that need to go on them.

She doesn’t expect
everyone to do without
but it is her choice
her generous heart.

My son tells me ‘moving so much
has taught me
the need to travel

He never wants to own too much
so if he should ever need to move
he won’t have much to burden him.

Travelling lighter
means freedom to move

He says he’d like it down
to one back pack or suitcase
as long as he had a tablet
to watch and read and communicate with the world.

I read how Barbara Streisand downsized
and that makes me giggle
she went from several houses
to just one
when all I would want is one simple forever home.

What is home?
Not the things in it
but the need to be in a neigbourhood
to not have to move at the whim of a developer
or because someone who owns the house you rent
wants to sell it and
move onto their next investment

When we first moved to Brisbane I saw
an exhibition of an immigrant’s suitcase.
One suitcase to another land
that was all their family could take.

I remember my children grabbing their guitars and a bag
of clothes on the night
of cyclone yasi.

If all my world could be contained in
one suitcase what would I take
to give me a sense of home.

(c) June Perkins

These are just some preliminary ideas for poems on suitcases of home and learning detachment.
I will be back to rework it into some different forms, but this is the first entry.
It is a bit prosaic at the moment, but thinking of how I will poeticize it.

An important part of any writing is working with an idea and developing it. 

My next few poetry posts will be on that process.

Shadows into Light

Here is one of my earlier light themed poems. This one was written after cyclone yasi. The After Yasi ebook blog tour kicks off tomorrow.


farm visit 128-005 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…

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Suzanne says, “I’m an artist and a writer. My current creative expressions include photography, digital imaging and writing haiku. I live in s.e Australia and spend as much time as possible in nature.” A big thanks to Suzanne for permission to share her poem for the light theme on this blog. Suzanne is the third poet in my light series and I have been following her blogging and haibun journey for sometime..

Light in the tunnel

Thanks to AB for permission to reblog this poem. You can find more of his poetry at Perspectives on life, the universe and everything.  AB is the second guest poet on the Light theme.

AB Writes:
When I was young I created a long list of things to do and places to visit. I also created a set of skills which I thought would greatly benefit me to live a fulfilling life. Finally I also promised myself that whatever happens I don’t want to live a life which is just ordinary. This is the place where I will tell you what extraordinary things are happening around me. ..’

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Circle within circles, illumination store
Lightening beams spiralling out of a floor
Random thoughts, distractions immense
travelling through time, still wishing for more
20140618-015640 pm-50200262.jpg

View original post


This poem is featured in After Yasi, Finding the Smile Within.  

The blog hop tour of this ebook is about to take place.

Box painted by Barbara Baker Johns

There’s a lady with coloured birds
who knows how to breathe
long and deep
from head to toe
all through her body.

She told me it’s easy to take the
thoughts and put them aside
good or indifferent, stressed or
restless and
just breathe

in and out watching the breath
aware of the presence
that keeps us alive
taking in the oxygen
forgetting all else but this

She tells us not to sleep
as we become aware of each toe
and each part of our hand

And our chests rising and falling
our thoughts are not welling up stillness
except for the breath.

But someone is snoring because
she has become so calm
but that is alright too
as she is free for a moment

from the broken tarp rooves
wind gusts
insurance companies
and all that interrupts
the breath

And she breathes…

In goes the pain
but out comes a dream
a dream of a calm sea
and a green rainforest
but she must let go even of this
future dream
and breathe.

Sinking in as she leans
on a chair and feels all the tension
drift away
fall away and she can fly
in a way
she can swim in a way

With the breath . . .

By June Perkins

Best comments for each blog will be given a PRIZE, either a free copy of the ebook or a choice of a signed print of one of the photographs from the book. Would absolutely love it if you retweet, reblog and share this post – and the blog hop posts, to all your friends.
The After Yasi Blog Tour includes visits to:
Jan 27   (Tuesday) http://open.abc.net.au  ABC Open  (guest blog, June Perkins, storytelling tips)
Jan 27   Karen Tyrrell http://www.karentyrrell.com/
Jan 28 (Wednesday)  Dimity Powell (interview) http://www.dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/
Jan 29 (Thursday) Charmaine Clancy (guest blog) http://charmaineclancy.com/
Jan 30  (Friday) Michele D’Acosta https://micheledacosta.wordpress.com
Jan 30 Jedda Bradley  – (interview)https://www.facebook.com/jeddabradleyartist
Jan 31 (Saturday) Carol Campbell  (review) http://writersdream9.wordpress.com
Jan 31  (Saturday) Gail Kavanagh  (review) http://gailkavanagh.com/blog/
Feb 1 (Sunday) Owen Allen (focus Dance) http://owen59.wordpress.com/ http://placestories.com/folks/Oen
Feb 2  Ali Stegert (Monday)  http://ali-stegert.com/
Feb 3   Melinda Irvine http://businessonblue.com.au/
Feb 3   Wrap up and thankyou blog from June http://pearlz.wordpress.com
You can find sample pages of the ebook here: http://gumbootspearlz.pressbooks.com/
More on the book at After Yasi 
You are welcome to attend from wherever you are in the world -the online launch – February 3rd
See the facebook page: The Launch Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/866286073402069/?pnref=story Program being prepared.
*This schedule is still subject to  minor changes but I will post any changes closer to lift off.

Stepping into the Limelight

moon from mt cootha
Moon over Brisbane Lights – June Perkins

This year I hope to share lots of poems from friends and myself on the theme of light.  Why?

It is the International Year of Light.   

Here is the first offering from Celia Berrell of science rhymes. ‘Stepping into the Limelight’

Stepping into the Limelight

Before the days
of dazzling electricity
nocturnal shadows
shrouded performers in gloom.

A candlelit room offered
only tepid flickering for bravados.

Then charismatic chemistry
came to the show.
Quicklime (calcium oxide)
seared to two and a half
thousand degrees Celsius
caused a sizzling sensation
at Covent Gardens in 1837.

Torched nodules of lime
radiate a fanfare of photons
that splash radiance on those
who dare to step into its limelight.

So eminently white
and applaudingly bright!

Now it’s our turn to shine.

(c)  Celia Berrell

Circles of Light
Circles of Natural Light – June Perkins

Celia says, ‘I’m celebrating the International Year of Light and light technologies by appreciating one of the aspects of our somewhat hazardous history of brilliance.’

For more of Celia’s work visit:

Website: www.sciencerhymes.com.au

Facebook: Celia Berrell’s Science Rhymes

Twitter: @ScienceRhymes