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
book
boxes
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
shelving.

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
lighter.’

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
quickly.

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

The Conversation

theconversationsmall

Written in Response to Australian Children’s Poetry Prompt 6#

Perhaps this a young adults poem though rather than for children. What do you feel are the themes of this poem and what age group would you share it with? As for the structure, the key to that is the word window. . .

I will keep thinking about the prompt and see if I can create a poem for younger children.

Shelter

My cocoon of glow wormed light
swaddles me as if first born,
so quiet, it’s full of heart beats,
and it lights my way to
safety within its cold cave walls.

Those outside can’t see it because
the grass haired roof
would confuse them.

It is camouflaged and
the oasis of cool within the searing heat
would remain hidden, unless
they knew just where the doorway sang.

(c) June Perkins
(Written during  Writelinks workshop with Marianne de Pieres)

Words to Music – Lamp Lighters


Stories Break

A loving couple separated
and no compassion forthcoming.
What will happen to their future?
His flowers never reach her.
Is detention all there is?

Indigenous children tortured
gassed and tied
not given hope or rehabilitation,
The past seems full of lies.

So much ‘invisible’
by choice or design?
until the stories break;

and the stories break
my heart
the stories break
my day
the stories make me
want to say:

time to be a lamp lighter
lamp lighter of justice
lamp lighter of love
lamp lighter of unity.

(c) June Perkins

 

cropped-frangipanigirl.jpg

Once Paper Boats

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Byron Bay – from the Cliffs – June Perkins

Paper boats conjure dreams
of petals soaked by
scents of the
ocean.

Traveling boats
float in shadows
people

who have simple hope for happy lands,

but white markers sink
in sandy earth
marking graves of people
who cannot resist new germs.

‘Once watched paper boats,’*
ông nội, grandfather paternal says
but nobody understands
Vietnamese words, no translators here.

So shadow puppets dance
for petals
falling from kumquat boughs.

Extract from Shadow Puppets, p. 4

(c) June Perkins

*Would like to have this line in Vietnamese
chiếc thuyền giấy theo dõi is the google translation
but will have to do some more research as these translations
are sometimes clunky and want to make sure it is poetic.