We were talking about
the flotsam and jetsam
things we think we need
when we don’t.
she felt free every time she
sold nearly all her material goods
it gave her
that angel’s touch
to do good.
She left a light
that kept glimmering
after our conversation.
I told her about
and extra kitchen gear flooding our floor
would anyone really long for all
and our new rental home
with no cupboards.
She offered me
potential solutions to
I thought of suitcases.
Suitcases of books are much easier to
move than shelves
perhaps I could do away with bookcases.
Perhaps instead of shelves
I can do away with the things
that need to go on them.
My friend is no sanctimonious
do gooder, goody too shoes.
She would never claim flawlessness
nor would she confess
and search for absolution in that process.
She is balanced.
She is what they call a ute angel
with gumboots and a shovel
and maybe a touch of guitar and song.
She is someone I admire
the 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-
means freedom to move
Perhaps he is an angel in training.
He could be an apprentice to
my adopted sister, his adopted aunty.
Although I don’t quite picture him in
gumboots, he does have a guitar too.
He says he’d like all he owns
well just so long as he had a tablet
to connect 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.
Unless I learn to live like
a snail and carry my home in one
suitcase on my back.
What is home?
Not the things in it
but the need to be in a neighbourhood
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.
It made me remember
my children grabbing their guitars and a bag
of clothes on the night
of Cyclone Yasi.
If all your world could be contained in
one suitcase what would you take
to give you a sense of home?
The answer to that
I leave to you?
(c) June Perkins
DRAFT 2 – I want to keep working with this idea. I like to sometimes share drafts and then show my readers the development of a work.
I have been thinking about a conversation with one of my friends which revolved around accumulation of stuff. It seems an apt one to revisit during the Christmas season.
Look back at the earlier version and tell me what you think?
I don’t think the journey has ended with this piece yet, but what can I do next to keep on working with this piece. Look out for the next instalment.
(Not quite everyone could make the launch but we were thinking of them!)
It was a joyful, festive atmosphere in which we celebrated the official launch of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.
And such a delight to hear people read their work. Contributions varied from gentle poems and stories, to hilarious stories. There really is something to suit everyone in this collection as well as a delicious and sometimes very humid taste of celebrating christmas in Australia.
John Duke’s work was particularly loved by the children gathered and would I think make a brilliant picture book in its own right. With so many infectious giggles rippling through the room it was definitely a big hit!
All the other readers did a wonderful job, many presenting fragments so that families were just itching to read the rest of the story. OCD elves, toys longing to be reunited with…