From Prose to Poetry: Reinventing ‘The Bubble’ part 2: Morning Vignettes

Blowing Bubbles, by June Perkins


Before applying some ideas from yesterday, I decided

‘The Bubble’ needed to be examined for its observational strengths.

I took a different approach by trimming excess words and shaping them into stanzas.

Then I did a little bit of work on developing the bubble metaphor.

I added a new title  ‘Morning Vignettes.’

I am also thinking about ‘bubbles’ of memory such as in the photograph above in this post.


Draft 2 # The Bubble


Morning Vignettes


Lavender princess chats to her sister.

Mother, whose vigil is her third child

the baby in her pram, turns around to

makes sure they haven’t disappeared. 

Her protective gaze surrounds them

a bubble of protection

that could be broken.


School boys with ruffled shirts

caps tilted sideways

soft drinks in hand, call…

‘John, Josh…’

Friendship is their shield

and their challenge.

Their bubble is boisterous and loud.


Girls, with pony tailed hair

this is the school rule

when it is past the shoulders,

are glued to mobile phones.

They glance down

achieve morning equilibrium

in walking side by side.

There’s no outward indication

they are friends.


A young man strolls alone


to himself something of importance,

in his own bubble.

Walk, mutter, walk, mutter.

Inside his bubble is safety and beauty

no matter how it seems from the outside.


Two school children

pat a dog under a tree. 

Who is around to take him home?

The dog is in the bubble of their love.

He will have to break it when they go to class.


A group of friends gather around a Dad

or is it a granddad with a prammed child. 

They are chatting, and as one leaves,

he calls a question,

 ‘Are you alright then?’

Later, he will be there on school pick up

to catch any tears.


Rainbow coloured

students in a circle

play hand ball.


Other walkers

remember their school days and

how they wore their hats. ‘We had to wear our hats everywhere.

They protected us from the sun.’


Someone says, ‘Good morning,’

to everyone she passes, and smiles,

She pops all the bubbles

to connect and then floats on . . .

in her bubble.


By June Perkins


Next time I will work with the sonic qualities of the poem, its metre, and keep developing the metaphors.

I will think about which characters to keep in the poem and if I want to limit the narrative perspective or think about a character for the narrator.



From Prose to Poetry: Reinventing ‘The Bubble’ Part 1.

Bubbles of Light – June Perkins

This is the first draft of piece of prose that hasn’t yet found it’s form.  It’s just observations for a morning walk filed away in a document file. I ask myself in this series of blog posts:  What can be done to turn it from prose to poetry?


The Bubble

A lavendar princess chats to a school girl.  Their mother from the pram looks protectively back to make sure they haven’t disappeared.  They know they are protected and no one can harm them on the walk to school.

A group of school boys, with slightly ruffled shirts and unruly caps tilted sideways, with drinks of juice and soft drink in hand, call out random names of friends, John, Josh…

Girls with mobile phones glance down, or have them plugged in as walkmans; they are in the zone, a bubble of solitude and protection from anything that should disturb their morning equilibrium.

A young man strolls alone, muttering to himself, unaware of all that surrounds him, and he is telling himself something of importance, in his own bubble. Walk, mutter, walk, mutter.

Two children pat a dog under a tree.  Who is around to take him home?

A group of friends gather around a Dad or is it a granddad with a prammed child.  They are chatting, and as one leaves, he calls out, ‘Are you alright then?’  Perhaps he hasn’t been alright at school lately and needs just a little extra support.

Students play hand ball.  Other walkers remember their school days and how they wore their hats. ‘We had to wear our hats everywhere.’

Girls sport pony tailed hair, this is the school rule when it is past the shoulders.

Someone says, ‘Good morning,’ and smiles, that is unexpected, with all the protective bubbles around.


Beginning its journey into poem


To turn this short piece into a poem the first question I ask myself is:


1. What does this prose piece currently say?

My answers to this are:

  • People create solitude zones when the world around them feels chaotic – they sometimes chose to shut it out.
  • The world outside is full of interractions of parents, and children heading to school, going into places with rules they must follow and sometimes frightened others might not follow the rules and hurt them.
  • Do we really know the back story to the people we walk past, if we don’t talk to them?  Can we play detective and guest what they are thinking?
  • For all the people that travel in groups; there is someone, sometimes multiple people, travelling alone.
  • The young travel protected by the ones they love or by pets, but can they really always be protected and what would make them really safe.
  • A smile can disrupt disconnection and bring people together.

2.  What is the Narrative Voice of this piece?

  • Currently the narrative voice is an observer who is slightly disconnected from everyone.  She has no real character and is trying to get inside people’s back story but is only inventing them.

The closed off person, walking alone, is noticeable, for his difference.  The groups of girls on mobiles, are also somehow alone, but are the connecting to the world on their phones- or are they disconnecting.

I ask myself more questions about narrative voice:

  • What would happen if a particular character or observer was chosen to deliver this piece? 
  • Who would be a good choice and why? 
  • Should the narrative voice remain outside the picture? 
  • Could several voices narrate the piece?
  • Will the narrative voice be distant, warm, cold and why?

I don’t want to answer these sub questions yet, and instead will mull over them.

3. Are there any metaphors in the piece to extend and develop?

The obvious metaphor, not yet fully developed is that of the bubble.  The bubble of inner thoughts. The thought bubble of the narrator around people.  The social media or phone bubble, the ear phone bubble.  The pop of the bubble?  What will make this metaphor dazzle, and zing.

  • What can disrupt of pop the bubble?
  • How could the bubble metaphor be developed and is it the right metaphor for this piece?

So those are my thoughts for now.  I will come back to this in my next blog, and you can see how I went with beginning the transformation of a short observational prose piece into a poem or poetic prose? And you can find out:

What other questions will I ask myself in this journey of turning prose to poetry?



Workshop Review – Powers of Poetry

‘I was delighted to attend Dr June Perkins’s short poetry workshop at Ink of Light, the Baha’i Writers Festival held in Brisbane this year. June’s passion and love of this art form was infectious as she led us through an historical overview of poetry featuring beautiful and significant works from different eras.

Titled The Power of Poetry, her workshop highlighted how poetry can be an act of worship (holding up what is worthy); how it can convey the inexpressible and how it can be used in community building.

June used a fun group activity that had all of us composing lines of poetry in response to a visual stimulus. The end result surprised us all, especially those  of us who previously thought we could not write poetry. I look forward to attending a more in-depth and longer poetry workshop with this gifted teacher.

Renee Hills(Author)


June Perkins presenting – courtesy Renee Hills.

Just over 2 weeks to Ink of Light

With 12 presenters, 16 sessions, 3 surprises, panels, workshops, a keynote speech full of music, and interesting speakers it’s going to be a brilliant couple of days!

Looking forward to catching up with old friends, making new ones, and community building through the arts, especially writing.

Visit Ink of Light for more information and to register.

Extending Evening Similies

Curtains of Mystery

Curtains are like
eye lids that
open and shut.

Eye lids are
between night and day.

Day is longing
for freedom to

Dream is unpicking
the thread of

Meaning is
its mystery.

(c) June Perkins 27/ 04/2019

These blogs are to explore the editing process from initial idea
to playful experimentation with both theme and form to create a piece
that the poet is finally happy with.

I am revisiting old notebook/blog poems and developing them

Today’s experiment with ‘Evening Similes’ involved
1- Extending metaphors of some parts
2- Playing with the lines
3- Thinking more closely about the links from stanza to stanza
4- Re-titling the poem to ‘Curtains of Mystery’

I hope some of my readers find this sharing of process informative
and helpful to their own poetic journeys.

Suitcase Home Draft 2#

From Flickr Photographer StrawbryB

We were talking about
the flotsam and jetsam
of collecting
things we think we need

when we don’t.

She said
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
this junk
of necessity
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
her choice
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-
travelling lighter
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
down to

one suitcase

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.


From at Joy @goabroad

What music do you write to?

What music inspires you to write?

I like instrumental music with atmosphere.  Violin, Cello, Guitar especially.  Impressionists on the Piano are also quite beautiful.

Lindsey Stirling is one of my top picks on the violin.

I love that she is sometimes inspired by Writers,  as with Song of the Caged Bird.  She also has no limitations to what kind of music she plays, classical, rock, and more.


Writing with music gives me, a speaking beat, a mood, changes in pace and the ideas for story.

Sometimes my characters have their own music.

Imagine you have a character who is Jazz speaking to a character who is Rock and Roll.

Perhaps you have a Celtic Folk mother with a Punk Rocker son.

As for Lindsey, her music videos, with their dance, narratives, costuming, lighting and artistry can add another layer of inspiration to the writer.

This week I will concentrate on inspirations from music.


What music inspires you to write?


Be Ready – Memory Poem Step 1.

To find my poems, as well as studying art, going for a walk, and remembering, I write from things that happen.  For the next few posts I thought I would share the creation of a poem from an event that we attended and demonstrate how I take something like this and then translate it into something more creative.


STEP 1: Free Write – Journaling the event.

Gary is not seen before the concert.
He’s in the green room.

People wait in their seats
at the Baha’i Centre in Milton
unless they see someone they know
and get up to talk
and hug and kiss on both cheeks
and many of them speak in Persian
we see friends from years ago in Cairns
they saw Gary earlier today
in a market
and now they are beside us waiting
for the concert too.

And then it begins
but he is not on the stage
instead it is a video of a song
introducing the concert
and it is Gary singing with
others Be Ready

The audience are ready and
now Gary walks through the audience
to the front of house
wearing a sparkling jacket
and the audience cheer.

Gary Sterling is in town
and he is talking to us
and waving at people he knows
and ready to sing.

This is a collection of favourites
Lean on Me, Let it Be,
This is Gospel
This is Baha’i Gospel
This is Red Grammar classic
I think your wonderful

We sing along
We question and answer
We are coached with the words
One young man sings loud and strong
soon he is on stage with Gary
standing on a chair
with a microphone
a duet just like that.

There is a song for his gone
to a better place mum.
He is happy for her, and he
sings for her.
Be not sad, you know she is in the place
of Glory.

And the entertainer
sings us stories
tells us stories with a song chorus
tells us a story about
being stranded in Melbourne
and using the time to write a song

And William is the sound man,
and puts on the music.
Gary is performing with his portable
in a recording band.

He is building up soul,
and some songs have a heart
and a place
and invite us to arise in song.

Music is the upbeat
music is the left and the right wing
of the soul that wants to

Gary has a surprise
he will sing a whole song in Persian
for the audience members
exiled from their homeland because of persecution
and right now I am thinking of also
what is happening in Yemen.
so weird to persecute people because they are

And also I am thinking of
the diversity of all the Baha’is
and how we are all one family
and we come from so many backgrounds

Gary is singing of Krishna, and Jesus
and he is a Baha’i Gospel
singer and my daughter later says how cool it
was to hear that style
applied to a song about
Baha’u’llah and progressive revelation
I watch her smiling
she has seen the diversity of expression
that can go hand in hand
with unity.

We don’t all have to be the same
to be part of the common ground.
I hope she will sing strong and loud
for it is her way to Praise the Glory.

And all too soon the concert is over.
The entertainer has given his all.
Now it’s time to purchase CDS
which well help him fly the next leg
of this journey.

The songs live on, after we are gone
and the spirit of this concert
lives on in us.

Self critique

This first journal type free write is very narrative driven.
Can I do more to build the audience atmosphere and Gary’s personality?
How can I use the spirit of the songs to also build this piece?
What do I want the creative piece to be about?
Is there more than one poem here?

(c) June Perkins

Lullabies and cradle songs

Writing a Lullaby

I am thinking about cradle songs and their origins.
I am thinking of their patterns and intent.
I am planning a poem about a refugee mother singing a lullaby.
That lullaby is full of love and hope.
That lullaby comforts them both.
I am imagining where she sings that song.
I am seeing her when she knows that hope is gone.
I am seeing her pick herself up and keep on dreaming on.
Will you join me and listen to her song?
Will you put yourself into her journey?
Will you welcome her to your shores?
Will you add your own verse?

(c) Image and words