Meditation showed me: Mercy to light is shade, to darkness is light, to the miserable is joy, to night is day, to drought is rain, to floods is the sun, to suffering is beauty and in that meditation came this bird – the inward light of fire, walking in the spiritual waters of the soul.
“My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.” -Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words
You can visit this image and other inspiring images and quotations Nineteen Months.
1. When is the kickstarter for Magic Fish Dreaming running? We’ll let you know when this launches and the kickstarter page is live.
If you want to see this book happen please keep inviting people to the facebook page and blog in preparation for the kickstarter.
The video is in production, the rewards for supporters are being sorted and well there’s all that behind the scenes stuff you have to do before LIFT OFF!
The campaign launches in a few months from now.
2. Why are we kickstarting the book? The world, with all its challenges and joys, most definitely needs poetry for children and their families to read together and to each other, to perform and enjoy and which reflects their experiences of environment, family, and adventures but . . .
The situation in publishing is that poetry books are not taken on by most commerical publishers and yet it remains a loved art form supported by independent small presses and literary presses, and taught in school curriculum.
A major tendency in creating poetry books for children is to publish collections of much loved no longer alive poets (who did not necessarily write with children in mind) like Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman, centred around themes, and illustrate them. Exceptions to this are well known poets for children and families like Shel Silverstein, and Pam Ayres who have written some fantastic books of poetry that are not really just for children.
Another tendency is to publish poetry for children that is all about rhyming and sing song rythmns or completely tied to school curriculum needs and to stick with spelling list words. There is nothing wrong with poetry like this but poetry is much, much more.
Did you know a poet is considered a best seller in Australia if they can sell 500 books? Most poetry presses have their publishing books full up for up to three years in advance.
It seems poetry is one of those things that is really up against it when it comes to traditional publishing. Yet, it is something so much part of our everyday lives, especially when we consider songwriters at their best are poets at heart and the growing popularity of spoken word poetry events – slam poetry.
3. Why Poetry? Poetry is powerful. Poetry has champions like Maya Angelou, Judith Wright, and Oodgeroo. Poetry can move the heart and change the world.
Poetry can be many things, and appear in all sorts of shapes and forms and appeal to all ages and background- perhaps though it is its capacity to explain things through similie and metaphor, and to take on the point of view of others that gives it, its greatest power to help humanity cross boundaries.
Poetry is something you can take with you beyond what is taught in the classroom and the home, into a way of being and relating to the world.
This poetry book is about breaking down barriers, and sparking a love of poetry and language for children and their families with themes that are relevant to their lives. It is about working together with an illustrator,Helene Magisson, to attract children and families to poems, and bringing the visual and poetic art forms together.
4. Are you with us? My dream is that you will be enchanted by our samples to want to see this book happen, and will help us kickstart this book into the world. I have chosen to have this book illustrated by a wonderful artist who knows how to appeal to children through her art. I am enjoying this collaboration greatly.
We’d love it if you can invite any of your friends who you think would love a project all about the love of poetry, nature, family, adventure and more!
Join us on facebook and the blog, and at Kickstarter soon.
This year I did one of the Children’s Book Academy Courses -‘ how to run a successful kickstarter campaign,’ with Mira Riseberg and Jed Alexander.
It was brilliant for helping me focus on why I write and in ‘kickstarting’ and skilling me to pick a children’s book that would be suitable for launching with a kickstarter or other crowdfunding campaign.
The Academy have many other courses available and have educated, mentored, and skilled people up to achieve their dreams to publish children’s books. Mira draws upon her many industry networks to bring in guest faciltators to teach portions of the course on offer, or teaches collaboratively.
By next year I want to have a children’s book ready to share with the world. I am determined to achieve this goal, and have confidence and some new skills to move forward with my project after completing a course with Mira and Jed. …
We’re at Nellie’s house
full to the brim of
and as if she has read
our thoughts on what we have seen
‘These people await houses
I adopted three children …’
She takes us to visit
including her mother who is
She is calmness
21 November 1993
Reading through the journal entry accompanying this fragment I am struck by the the story of Nellie. We went with another family, the Tais, to meet her. Now I travel back in time and meet her at her front door. In my journal account she emerges as the backbone of her community. She is ‘calmness cadence circles.’ She cares for the sick, avoids bingo, loves fishing, and knows and loves her community.
She had just become a Baha’i and we were visiting her to see what kind of support she needed , and came home so impressed by her family and extended family. We discovered a true world citizen, in a tiny town on the so called ‘fringes of Australian society, ‘ and what’s more she could teach many about the abundance of human spirit, patience, generosity and forbearance.
I find myself wondering what became of the people we met on that trip as shortly after we moved and we never met them again. Yet, they are in my heart and I hope that their lives went well. Walgett, for me will always be somehow spoken through the spirit of Nellie.
I continue a journey through my journals and it is inspiring me to want to keep a detailed one again. I find lists of trips we made, parties we went to, wildlife parks we were at, names of all the people we spent a lot of time with, books I read and more.
These days I have scatty notes on facebook and the occassional writing session once a month and a letter to my children once a year, that’s not to say I haven’t been writing but then I journalled so many things.
I came across this piece (p.347) written for friends – I’ve removed their names though.
I don’t know if I ever gave it to them or if it only remained a thought bubble to develop.
Mother and child
Sand printing her spirit
into the imprint of her baby’s smile
taking a multicoloured blanket
and rippling it for his delight.
Teaching him early – we are all one
all the people blanketing the earth.
Hoping he’ll want to serve humanity
from an early age.
Father and child
Eternal didgeridoo player blows
love’s texture betwixt father and child
cradled by Baha’u’llah.
They rock back and forth
cocooned in the covenant
reaching for music and dance.
One day he’ll earn his name.
Agoo, agoo, agoo
[translation love you, and you and you]
Inspired by Ali’s post I am exploring some of my journal poems going back to 25 years ago. I found a black journal with a red spine with an index to poetry pages. The year was 1995.
push in around my soul
squeezing out the joy
I found in you.
Labels of types could
spring so easily to mind.
The thought of leaving this place
could rid me of this insecure need
for island borders.
Here I know people
who spend all their time in one town,
rarely venturing out 50 kilometres beyond
what they know.
I know people who will never experience
Here I know growing
country towns with pubs and
new shopping centres
young families broken
elderly people retired
at Sandy Bay. Young drunks
who hang out in Launceston’s City Mall
on Saturday nights
and at Milk bars along the Midlands.
Some people are kind
and others push you if you’re black
and your boyfriend is white;
they pull your hands away with such hate.
They still believe in the ‘Black line’
And they believe these lush green hills were
always theirs to own because of their birth right
because of their colour.
not yours or mine.
They can have their island borders
parameters and lines
and flat earth
their labels and types
their black line
their country pubs
I will find a joy
not in place
but in spirit
a new love
a new dream
where everywhere is home
there are no borders, no islands
lines on my map disappear.