Suitcase Home #draft 1

Gumbootsgirl – by June Perkins

We were talking about
we need
versus things we think we do

she told me
she would
be selling
all her material goods
to do good in the world.

I thought about the book boxes
and extra kitchen gear
flooding our floor
and wondered why everytime
we move I realise
we have things we don’t need
and could do without.

She offered me some
potential solutions
to shelving
and I could see her rummaging
through things to find them homes
including maybe at mine.

I thought of suitcases.

Suitcases of books are much easier to
move than shelves
perhaps I could do away with bookcases.

In a sincere way
She made me laugh at myself.
Perhaps instead of shelves
I can do away with the things
that need to go on them.

She doesn’t expect
everyone to do without
but it is her choice
her 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.

Travelling lighter
means freedom to move

He says he’d like it down
to one back pack or suitcase
as long as he had a tablet
to watch and read and communicate 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.

What is home?
Not the things in it
but the need to be in a neigbourhood
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.

I remember my children grabbing their guitars and a bag
of clothes on the night
of cyclone yasi.

If all my world could be contained in
one suitcase what would I take
to give me a sense of home.

(c) June Perkins

These are just some preliminary ideas for poems on suitcases of home and learning detachment.
I will be back to rework it into some different forms, but this is the first entry.
It is a bit prosaic at the moment, but thinking of how I will poeticize it.

An important part of any writing is working with an idea and developing it. 

My next few poetry posts will be on that process.


Fourteen Summers of Discontent

I have a Dream Wall – June Perkins and wall artist

It’s my first poetry festival and I’m about to take a risk and read a rebel poem about a fight with Mum, can I do it? What will Mum do?

I had to read it. Fourteen summers of discontent as the big sister came over me.

It was my first poetry festival. Mr Kidd, my English teacher had encouraged me to share some work.

The garden of faces looking back at me included: my short Mekeo Mum and tall Australian Dad, fellow poets looking kind of poetical, people who I assumed liked listening to poetry as well as a few of the town’s local English teachers.

For the rest of the story and to leave a comment please head over to ABC Open’s 500 Words.

Virtue Hands

Virtues hands, virtues hands
Palms that knead the bread that could feed us all.
Fingers you strum the heart of a guitar.

Type the words of freedom’s song
Making daisy chains for him
It’s your homage to a king.


Hands that plant a tiny seed
Words becoming a mighty tree.

Virtues hands virtues hands
You dig and plant
You nurture you sow.


You’re the hand prints in the wind
And the angels put you there.

You lead and you do
What the Hidden Words say.


Virtues hands, virtues hands
Palms that knead the bread that could feed us all
Fingers you strum the heart of a guitar
Type the words of freedom’s song

By June Perkins

virtues box
Virtues Box – By June Perkins


Open Windows

01pioneering art by Paulien Bats- words June Perkins
Pioneering art by Paulien Bats- words June Perkins

Always so positive
Giving life and love to her children
Supported by her husband,
Painter of trees
Doorways and open windows.

Soul of Dali
Van Gogh
Once restless
But now finding that
Which they did not,
Finding her spirit and art
Can intertwine
Like the roots of a mangrove tree.

And what I know
Is they lived in the Outback
Spend time with the Aborigines
That she used to ride a motorbike
With a death wish
But now,

She can be Berneard Leech
Soft clay in God’s hands.

She can sing with her
Blowing out notes with the brush
To rival a Dizzy Gillespie improvisation.

Closing her eyes to the world
And all that is therein
She will travel a pathway
To pioneer with her art.
The lonely journey
To look inside
To not hypothesise but to activate
And re-activate
The energy around her
Energy from a bustling gum-booted
While fulfilling mother’s pledge to a sure Eleanor.

Yet always,
She has energy to
Give to thers
To support others
When work with other art forms.

She is pioneering,
Not to a distant land
But in art
To find the spirituality that has been
She will pass through the open windos
And leave a handprint on this mortal

By June Perkins

Spirit of This Tree

Inside I am Tree

Inside I am a tree
I want to spring forth
And grow throughout the nine planes.

I know that there are many lands at my feet
Frost lands and Tropical lands
And many will form in my branches
I spread shade far and wide
And filter out the light.

The Hawk waits to hide herself in my branches
She is waiting for my journey upward
To become a canopy separating earth and sky.

I wait.

Inside I am tall and I will reach
My hands up and from them will
Spring leaves.
Leaves of books, leaves of learning
Leaves to sing and rustle
All the music of my birth.

Inside I am a tree.

By June Perkins


Starts from snow
Avalanche Avalanche
Starts so slow. Avalanche
Avalanche has nowhere to go.
Causing destruction, CRASH
BANG SNAP. Houses are swallowed up
By a white big Strong Giant. I can’t sleep
I can’t sleep. I hear the howling and
Cracking of the avalanche. STUMBLE, TUMBLE
CRUMBLE it goes. I go to my room
And look out the window
The Avalanche has stopped.

By Alexandra, Mission Beach State School.

Rock Pool

reflecting beach
Reflecting – June Perkins

I look upon a rock pool
Crystal clear just like glass
I wonder if there is a hermit crab
Is it a starfish?
I wonder if it is a prawn?
I look very closely.
I can see a sea urchin or a tiny fish.
I hear my Mum call so I run to Mum
She says, “Lunchtime”
And I eat all my lunch and go
Back to look at the rock pool.

By Riley, Mission Beach State School

rock pool mission beach
Rock Pool – June Perkins