Basking in your orchard
admiring your yellow
a song says your tree is very pretty
but you are bitter and impossible to eat.

Cheesecake says ‘no,
you make me stand out with
your moreish zing of bitter.
We are the perfect marriage of opposites.’

I have great expectations of what I could do with you
if I was given you on
an episode of Master Chef
but is this dangerous?
There may be things in the mix of the secret box
you should never be combined with.

I paint you with blue plates
on a French cloth
into patterns on wall paper
with me dreaming in your orchards.

I write you into a story
of biscuits and blankets for
you are the thread of love in
a starry, starry lemon blanket.

To the lost friend who never recovers
a bitter heart is
senseless lost expectation
impossible to take.

To the writer you are manna
melancholy that inspires songs
of lost love

(c) June Perkins



Dundee Park – June Perkins


A cathedral attracts me
Day by Day
To find the way light

I see gaps of darkness
Fade away,
But oh
How I long
For my garden

Red poppies
Flowing river
Waves in ponds
Bridges suspended over
Of a garden in water.

Lotuses form lilies
Whispering to me
Mocking my blindness as
I look through glasses,
See strange tints

Reflecting outside
The way
Time falls.


I think you would have painted the cane
And built a garden in tropical terrain.

Your canvas would have contained the Ulysses
Fleeting life frozen on canvas.

You would have captured the Misty Mountains at every time of day
The golden gumboot would not have been your choice.
You would have liked a hut I see on the way to Cardwell
Or a tiny church I know that’s tucked away in the cane.

You might have spent some time camping on Dunk Island
And joined their artist’s colony.

You would have wandered the beach when you were blind
And listened to the songs of the dugong out at sea.

(c) June Perkins

I shared this poem once before, but only the first part. I began to speculate what would happen if Monet came to North Queensland.

Cyclone Lam

Sneaking in like a thief in the night
masked because you came to somewhere
more remote
not one to draw attention to yourself
because you picked
on people
who are already so far away from everyone
it’s easy for the media
to forget them.

Histories hidden
need to be told
but things happening now
still become hidden history
in a nation too accustomed
to forgetting
convinced she’s a sleeping beauty
and yet sometimes
she’s a sleeping monster.

And just when you think the corner’s turned
well cyclones remind you that the
ink on the changing of the laws
has barely dried

so that’s when the keyboard angels
have to come out and
community correspondents
are the ones who’ll
sound the burglar
tap, tap, tap
remember the Northern Territory
they had a cyclone too.

(c) June Perkins 25/02/2015

For More on Cyclone Lam

Messages to Cyclone Marcia

Marcia, oh Marcia
some panic at the torment you could cause,
but I think you’re just a little sister to
some brothers called Larry and Yasi,
and you might throw a tanty and cause some havoc
but you’re a little sister,
and that makes me relieved.

Marcia, oh Marcia,
stop deciding to get bossy
tough, bigger, fiercer.
Let’s just get this straight.
You don’t need to become a big sister.
I think category 2 was quite enough.
You don’t need to become 3
– seriously the smaller you are the better.
There are so many advantages.
Why not even become a 1.

Marcia, oh Marcia
just remember to not cause too much
damage or disruption as mortals
we just can’t put up with too much of it
although we have proven capacity
we’d rather concentrate on fixing
the problems we create
without having to deal with you.

Marcia, oh Marcia.

Typical, you’re just not listening Marcia.

Isn’t that just the thing that tantruming toddlers
do right at the checkout
where the sweets used to be strategically placed.

Category 4 – Now I’m telling you that is just not on.

You can huff and puff and blow everyone’s houses inside out
sure, but do you really need to do that.

I mean there must be better things for you to do.
There is a lovely ocean view somewhere
without many people around. hint, hint…

Now I don’t want you getting any ideas about heading to
any vulnerable islands, or any other places
not keen for your arrival.

Just go and blow yourself out.
Go on – I dare you.

(c) June Perkins


Links – Cyclone Marcia .