Remembering my Father in Law

Following the Crow Song

Memories of Howard Perkins, from Daughter in Law June Perkins

Howard Perkins pictured with his dear wife Helen, and my three children (his grandkids from Queensland).

15th February 2021

The very first time I met Howard Perkins, after visiting the Perkins’s house after a teaching service trip with his son David, he said, ‘You know he’s a good catch,’ about David, with David standing there and blushing, much to his embarrassment. His Dad was keen for him to be married and figured I might be the one.

At the time David and I were friends, only having just met, but a few days later David knew we would be married. His Dad had picked it before he did though.

We lived with Helen and Howard for two years in Melbourne about one year after we married having moved from Tasmania my childhood home.  During which time several other people…

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Bring on 2021

Volta Poetry: Kylie Thompson, June Perkins & Samuel Watson

VOLTA is co-presented monthly by Queensland Poetry Festival and Brisbane Square Library. It replaces Couplet Poetry, which has been well-loved for more than a decade, to bring you ⚡electric poetry, spoken word, and the unexpected.⚡

Fri Feb 5 2021 at 6:00 pm

Brisbane Square Library, 266 George Street, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 4000, Brisbane, Australia


KYLIE THOMPSON is a poet and writer based in Redcliffe. Shortlisted for the Thomas Shapcott Prize in 2020, Kylie’s poetry will feature in an upcoming anthology from Neil Hilborn, due in 2021. Kylie can be found sharing poetry pieces on Instagram as @wildkatpoetry.

DR JUNE PERKINS is a multi-arts creative born to a Papua New Guinean Indigenous mother and Australian father. She was raised in Tasmania as a Bahá’i and combines poetry, blogging, photography and story to explore themes interesting her—peace, ecology, spirituality, diversity, resilience and empowerment.

SAMUEL WATSON is a Wunjaburra/Munanjali/German writer. An author of a dozen publications of poetry and short stories, he was the recipient of the 2018 Patrick White Literary Award. He is proud to be labelled as a Brisbane author.


VOLTA is a free monthly event, with electric live poetry, spoken word, and the unexpected. In 2021 it will be held in-person at Brisbane Square Library (as long as it is safe to do so).

Helene Magisson Dazzles with her first illustrated and written book, Claudette

Sharing news of the publicationHelene’s first illustrated and written book,

Magic Fish Dreaming

We welcome Helene Magisson, the wonderful illustrator of Magic Fish Dreaming to the blog for a conversation which is sure to inspire aspiring author/illustrators.

We are so delighted to announce that Helene has published her first ever written and illustrated book with the equally amazing publisher Red Paper Kite ! In the conversation that follows Helene shares her dizzying and wonderful journey and some thoughts on the power of picture books and story.

June: I have enjoyed following your journey as a creative and having worked with you also the process by which you work, Helene how does it feel now to have your first ever written and illustrated book?

Helene: For me, writing and illustrating CLAUDETTE, is a new and very exciting adventure that I would like to continue and develop. It has been such a real pleasure of great creativity.

June: What was different about illustrating your own…

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Working on Project X

Arrival of a mentor text

My next poetry work doesn’t have a title. It’s a work in progress, drawing on my life, sense of being in the world and Australia as a woman of colour, a lover of actions beyond words, and just to make sense of this thing we call prejudice. It might include photographs, memoir, metaphor, lyricism, and is inspired by the many poets in the world, who in someway might lead me on my own journey, to understand why I write, where I am going and who I might become if I choose.

June Perkins
All the mentor texts gathered!
One of the inspirations for why I write is the next generation!
 So you might ask yourself why do you write?
 Do you like the idea of it?
 Do you like the idea of an author?
 Or do you write to understand 
 to release 
                           the tough memories
 so they dance until they make sense
 so the transcend you and find their meaning in 
                         larger steps to you?
Do you like to show who you are in what you write
                 Or do you hide yourself in there, hoping that one day someone will truly
                          understand the
                    that scraped the inside of your lids wanting to break the eyes open
                        to see the boundary lines of privilege smashed in 
                        a tango show down or a tap dance solo
that made you listen to the 
            rythmns of despair?
What is your lonely island?
                What is it?
                     Why do you want to leave it?
             What is the place that traps you and says you cannot speak it
                   the unspeakable 
                   that happened on that lonely island?
Can you take me inside your grief and isolation
 not as a tourist or an enemy but as a 
               to see your 
               lonely island ? 
By June Perkins - reflection on a mentor session
Zoom mentorship with Nick Makoha

And so it begins, from a conversation – now study, writing, reflecting, writing, and then again study, writing and reflecting.

And my new friends and teachers are Terrance Hayes, Safia Ellnillo and Claudia Rankine.

What is poetry today? What is my poetry becoming? What do I really want to say? How will I say it?


A big thank you to the Queensland Poetry Festival, for the zoom mentorship with Nick Makoha.

Was absolutely thrilled with my mentoring session with Nick. It was a thoughtful, intelligent, guided reflection. A drawing out of the things that I really want to say in my poetry but might not be quite saying right now.

A walking alongside 3 poets I had not read before who will be part of my future reading materials (mentor poems/poets)And I now have a plan for the process to create an unnamed, project; Project X. Had to make the effort to think deeply, but it was well worth it.

Feeling very inspired, enthusiastic and a renewed energy to dig deeper and tackle what it is I really want to say in poetry. Many thanks, for the opportunity to have a conversation/dialogue with Nick. Looking forward to continuing to work on some of the things we spoke about!

June Perkins

Burnish of the Spirit

Meditation Monday , , ,

Pearlz Dreaming

(c) June Perkins, image.

Be swift in the path of holiness, and enter the heaven of communion with Me. Cleanse thy heart with the burnish of the spirit, and hasten to the court of the Most High.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, Persian

What does it look like – this path of holiness?

What does it feel like – this burnish of the spirit?

What does it sound like – the court of the Most High?

I hear its melody in the flute and its back beat in the soul drum.

It brings me to account each day.

It sings prayer is more than words.

Action is more than for the self.

Be, not just say.

Burnish of the spirit

polish provided by tests.

So swift it passes,

so fleeting

the song will end.

And then it gleams – this life of holiness.

(c) June Perkins 26/10/2020

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As One Soul

June Perkins ©

“Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest.”
-Bahá’u’lláh The Hidden Words

For More visit Nineteen Months

For Edward

June pictured with Noel and Edward Broomhall, 2010

Dear childhood art teacher, family friend,

Comforter to many, artist, servant of humanity, believer in the oneness of humanity and unity in diversity.

Remembering your house full of paper and art materials, a rocking horse, and more wonders, of ideas, people, and creative souls, wonderful books, comics, art, photographs and portraits.

Inspirer of my life long appreciation of art.

You and Noel made a place to create, imagine and connect, with many meetings of people from all over the world, including my parents.

Wonderful Broomhall children, forever in my heart, a mini united nations.

Much love to Noel and the children.

And as for Edward M J Broomhall I am sure he is dancing and smiling down at us all in the next world and reunited with old friends, Eve and Dagmar, Ron, my brother Bill, Justin and many more !

This separation from Noel, his beloved will seem but a small breath in eternity.

Very grateful to have known you, Ed and family.

June XXX

Edward passed away on the morning of the 10th of October, in the presence of his family.

An online livestream of the funeral was shared so that many friends and family unable to attend were able to be part of this occassion. His grandchildren presented the song, with trumpet and piano of ‘What a Wonderful World,’ which was followed by A beautiful story of Edward’s life told in his own words, and read by a presenter. Following this was the story of why Edward became a Baha’i. This was followed by a photo tribute of precious family and creative activities and one prayer from ʻAbdu’l-Bahá,

Many of us hope that Edward’s amazing story of a life well lived will one day become a book!

To read more about Edward Visit Humans of Launceston

Ask a Poet – At Ask an Author

It was such a highlight to have this wonderful chat with the effervescent Michelle Worthington, from Share Your Story

We tackled some cool questions from children about what it is like to be a poet!

There are many other inspiring interviews with other creatives, such as Candice Lemon Scott, Dannika Patterson, Karen Tyrell,  just to name a few,  so do check out Ask a Creative with Michelle

There are interviews with a clown, comedian, authors, illustrators and more!

Thank you Michelle for having me as a guest in this series.