New Words from June Perkins at the QAG

For More Information visit QAG – Quiet

Spring Program will be up on the site soon!


Reading at Sprout Sunday

To see small video of  June reading ‘Discovering Magic, visit to the  Sprout Sunday event page.

A big thank you from Renee and June for all those families who braved the weather to reach the beautiful  venue, and stopped to listen to story and poetry about nature and Queensland and to the Sprout Sunday organisers, Gold Coast Green Living and Botanical Bazaar, and venue Host, the Surfer’s Paradise Golf Club, for having us at this day.

The indoor fairy lights and the hall of the Surfers Paradise Gold Club were quite magical, and we were happy that the farmers received their rain and thankful it cleared up a bit later in the day.

A special thank you to the wonderful young people  who helped read the dialogue poems and  show many of the animals featured in the Discovering Magic poem.

We hope that all those people who brought copies of the book will love them and would love it if they let others know about them.

Do let June know if you enjoy the educational materials link that she provided for all people wanting to make greater inspirational use of Magic Fish Dreaming at home or in the classroom to spark the imagination of children and their love for poetry, nature and discovery.

Renee and June do school visits, and June is increasingly doing commissions and collaborations and is scheduled to do an activity at the Queensland Art Gallery in October (more details soon).  You can check with them for their rates and the kind of activities they are able to do.

Thank to James and David who provided heaps of support on the day for June and Renee.

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Collaboration of Poetry and Art

World Citizen Dreaming

atmybooklaunchwithruha With Ruha at the Launch of Magic Fish Dreaming 2016

I am presently working on a chapbook of poems accompanied by some black and white  illustrations from Ruha Fifita.

This work is inspired by  poems I exhibited during the Illumine Exhibition.

Some of the poems reflect my spiritual upbringing as a Baha’i and depict stories from Baha’i history.

I have spent some time inviting friends of different religious and spiritual backgrounds to respond to these works, and thank them for their input into being beta readers for the poems.  They have asked some beautiful questions that have assisted me in the process of poetry as building a bridge of understanding.

I read some of them at the Ink of Light Festival as well.

I was very keen to work with someone who has a diverse background, and for Ruha to give a visual contemporary Pacific feel to this work.

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The Diviner

Margaret Barr’s “Strange Children” [ballet], 1955 / photographer unknown

With her forked stick
she walks the surface of the drought.
She walks the future of their farms
calling water to sing through the twig
wherever it may be.

She looks for The Dog stars
in the sky
waiting patiently at the twin’s table.

Cosmic dogs with dry throats sing,
‘the land will once again
have need of boats.’

She throws her forked stick
into the expanse of sky, whispers
‘Little Dog and Dog star hunt for water
Give us rain.’

But for now she must find the underground stores
to tide them over until that rain is found.

The Great Dog rises before dawn
at the end of summer.

Now hunting
of the rains can end.

All will feast on her tears
soaking into earth
giving seeds birth to
and a land without drought.


(c) June Perkins


Notes on the photograph

Margaret Barr (1904-1991) was born in Bombay, India. She went to school in California, USA, and in the 1920s studied dance with Martha Graham in New York and choreographed her first works. During the 1930s she taught at Dartington Hall in Devon, England, an experimental school run by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, and opened a studio in London. The productions of her own dance dramas often featured original music by composers such as Michael Tippett, Donald Pond and Edmund Rubbra. With her husband Bruce Hart, a conscientious objector, she travelled to New Zealand at the outbreak of World War II, where she accepted the position of Director of Movement at the Auckland School of Drama. She moved to Australia ten years later, and for four decades made a unique contribution as a choreographer, director and teacher. She formed the Margaret Barr Dance Group in Sydney in 1952, was Director of Movement at the National Institute of Dramatic Art from its inception in 1958 to 1975, and conducted classes at her Annandale studio. Her choreography was motivated by strong social and political concerns, and her dance dramas ranged over diverse topics such as the work of Mahatma Gandhi and Margaret Mead, drought, and the Melbourne Cup. She died in Sydney on 29 May 1991


Visit for More Details visit Flickr: Margaret Barr’s Strange Children

In a Gentle Way Shake the World

June Perkins ©

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
–Mahatma Gandhi

I matched this quote and image, because the gentle art of henna, can be a way for people to spend time together to build friendship and community. We had a henna workshop recently, which uplifted all who attended. Whilst we learnt to apply the henna we talked about traveling and feeling connected to the world. There were many nationalities, experiences, cultures and spiritual backgrounds in our gathering, and in our diversity we also felt oneness and unity.


This month’s contribution to Nineteen Months, for more visit NINETEEN MONTHS

Prompt#20 “Find Your Treasure”

Love poetry prompts!

Australian Children’s Poetry Website

This week is Book Week and the theme for 2018 is:

“Find Your Treasure”

Let’s use this as a prompt to write poems.

Teachers please share this site with your schools to get the poems out to students.

Please send poems to:



And this weeks quote:

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Prompt #18 Food

This space is worth a visit for prompts and poems. Some very funny ones lately too!

Australian Children’s Poetry Website

This weeks prompt is Food. There are many creative ways food can be presented to children. Let’s feed their minds as well with fun creative food poems.

Please send prompt poems and any other poems to:

A few events coming up.

Celia one of our regulars is having a book launch in Cairns later this week.

Virginia and John Lowe have a poetry book launch in Melbourne next weekend.

Please send me information about other events you would like promoted.

And here are a few photos from our trip. Maybe I’m the only person ever to have taken Mr Snuffleupagus to the tip of Cape York. This was a highlight as well as staying in a rainforest for two nights. The sounds were amazing. We went on a day trip to Thursday Island which included a bus tour. It was very interesting. They have trade winds on Thursday Island 7…

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Responding to Art with the Written Word

Rosalie Gascoigne Lamp lit 1989
Rosalie Gascoigne Lamp lit 1989, Courtesy of Queensland Art Gallery

I have made significant progress on a poetry project, writing poems for The Words and Pictures  project at QAGOMA.

Which is just as well as there are just four days left for my final selections and edits.

Some of the works have  inspired more than one poem/micro story.  One even inspired four pieces.

I now have to select the ones  I feel will be the most interesting or evocative for the people visiting the gallery.  I might share some of the others that don’t go in, here on my blog.

It is not easy as I am quite happy with each version, but then I have a vision of how all the works fit together and want the poems to be spaced  throughout the gallery.

Also my goal is to give the poems and micro stories a broad appeal, such that people of many ages might enjoy reading them, including people familiar with my work on Magic Fish Dreaming.

So now my role is to curate the right balance of my own work, to show that I love writing for children, families, youth and adults.

I look forward to seeing how the public respond to the writing once it is up on the Gallery walls.

I have a few butterflies of course, but it is quite exciting to share poems alongside art works, and have them interact with each other.

If you visit the work, feel free to leave a comment on my blog, or QAGOMA instagram as I would love to know what you think.

I’ll let you know the dates it is up soon.


Ray Crooke, Woman with Blossoms, Fragment. Courtesy of Queensland Art Gallery.