Cyclamen Still Life

I could take a picture of the pink cyclamen
that I bought, because
it was on special at the supermarket
as Mother’s day had passed,
and show it to you;
so carefully placed in front of an open window, looking out
onto backyards, where
the ibis, cockatoo and bush turkeys play.

I could draw a picture and
you’d glance at the pink curtain above it;
rolled up and pegged, with
the white lace curtain showing
just a little.

This still life has more,
when you pan back and see
the cream bench top paint that is peeling away to reveal
a pink layer underneath.
This house we live in is old and was in the same family for generations
until someone began to buy the old houses side by side
one by one to rent them out.
The neighbours tell us the old man who once lived here was kind.
We still receive his mail and return to sender.
Has he returned to his sender.

The silver bowl next to the cyclamen has a few mandarins, but they
disappear so fast as my youngest eats them hour by hour
so if I want to capture a bowl full I must photograph it
in the first hours of the bring home of groceries
– today there are four mandarins.

I could take that picture
in just a few moments and avoid the uncertainty
of words and metaphors;
the artistic pain of creating an attempt at the depiction
of still life that underneath it has a layer
of moving life.

Or I could continue to dissect and hypothesise,
look for connections between still and moving life,
and somewhere in there find mindfulness
in a metaphor to extend the cyclamen petals into
the morning light of epiphany.

I layer my cyclamen still life
with poetry of memory
to see Nance’s window sill of cyclamens;
they might have been pink and maybe red.
Near her house was a Quaker Cottage
and inside the house was a visitor’s book
full of stories of city dwellers,
who had left Sydney to
recharge away from the movement of the city.

Seeking their still life.

(c)June Perkins



Requiem II

From Robert Okaji’s blog O at the Edges.

O at the Edges


Requiem II

To say what becomes: this word
bends in the wind of our

breath. Is this too simple to
say? Our bodies gather yet retain

nothing. Numbers, phrases, the way
the ocean rolls. Once I saw
a whale at dusk. Or rather I saw its

tail part the water and disappear
into darkness, an answer too complex
and sweet for tongues to comprehend.

But waves seldom explain. Imagine
something nearby but beyond reach.

Think of clouds and shrines, consider light.


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My micro-chapbook, YOU BREAK WHAT FALLS, is now available through the Origami Poems Project

Another poet I love to visit, shares the news of a micro-chapbook- how cool is that.

O at the Edges

This is pure fun! My micro-chapbook, You Break What Falls, is available through the Origami Poems Project. What is a micro-chapbook, you might ask? In this case, it consists of six short poems on one sheet of paper, folded (hence origami) to form a chapbook. You may download it, free of charge, here:

Oh, yes. Folding instructions are on the Origami Poems Project site.


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Loved this focus on the process of creativity. So many memorable lines
“He holds an eon of coiled energy
Latent In his hands, over and over”

Melissa Shaw-Smith

The man stands pondering
His next move

Turning the dull clunker
Over and over in his hands

Feeling for the bone of it
The marrow at its core

Over and over in his hands
He turns the stone

Listening for the dry chalky sound
Of rough against rough

He holds an eon of coiled energy
Latent In his hands, over and over

His feet draw up
The potent heat of the day from the rocks

Words form in his mouth—
Manipulation, transformation, reverence

Small pebbles of evidence
Are sculpted by his hands, over and over.
Recently I had the privilege of watching Scott Woolsey, an artist who lives in New York’s Catskill region,  build a stone cairn on the banks of the Neversink River.

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Alphabet Father and Son

(c) June Perkins

Version 1.
Alphabet father and son
pram wheels in late afternoon sun
symbols of something
the poet thinks
– transfigured new age men.

Robed in garments
peace and love
beaming letters of transforming light
into actions of their might
– to guide generations on their way.

Version 2.

Alphabet father and son
pram wheels in late afternoon breeze
symbols of something
perhaps they’re keys
– transfigured new age men.

Robed in garments
peace and love
beaming their transforming light
beyond letters to words
past words and ideas
guiding generations into
-actions of might

Version 3.
Alphabet father and son
late afternoon pram trips are such fun
symbols of something
the poet thinks
– transfigured new age men.

Robed in garments
of virtues gifts
beaming letters transforming light
into the flight of a peace dove
– to guide generations on their way.

(c) June Perkins

This poem may develop further or into series. There is so much discussion of domestic violence at the moment and what may stop it. I think of heroes like Rosie Batty who are bringing it into the spotlight of the media with their tireless work

Sometimes I see signs of change – little seeds where there is no violence, only love. There’s a place for fathers, husbands, brothers, mothers, sisters, and children, to move beyond old habits and embrace a world that will be free from violence.

Sometimes it begins with the simplest transfigurations.

I am tossing up between several versions of this poem. Above are three of them.

Which one do you like best?

Hidden in Brisbane – Chainsaw Sculptures

When you look up
you will see
attached to the trunk
a giant gecko.

When you look around
carved in a tree stump
a kangaroo;
hours of chainsaw artistry
not to take a tree down
but to adorn or transform it
to art about nature;
to make you want to connect
with the creatures
that live there;
leave the world of your phone
as you walk
with nature converse.

Now look
there’s a real possum hiding there
bounding out when you notice it
saying, ‘remember you saw me
you don’t need to take
a photo of me with your phone.’

Thankyou Matty G
for your clever artistry;
Thankyou Far North Queensland
for making me always want to look up
down and out…


(c) June Perkins

Research reveals that the two chainsaw sculptures above are done by  Matthew George, a Queensland creative chainsaw artist.

You can find out more about the reasoning behind the project here  Chainsaw Art at QUT’s Kelvin Grove. 

The main idea of the sculptures is to connect the viewer (most likely a student) back with nature, and to encourage them to look up, and at the ground, rather than stick to their mobile phone.

They certaintly captured my eye.  After seeing two I knew there should be more and my curiousity was lit and I went off on a web search.

I love making discoveries of real animals, but these art ones were also intriguing.  Some even looked freshly done.

The other day when I was looking around QUT, I noticed a real live possum!  It was staring at people wandering past, and was a gingery colour.

So far I have just found two chainsaw sculptures, but there are a few more hanging around the campus.

For even more information see Matty G Inc.

(c) June Perkins