Cyclone Inspired Poetry 2

by June Perkins

What Would Emily Say?

The creek is still here
skeleton bush returns bit by bit
but the swinging tree by the waterhole
is gone.

The tiny blue trimmed butterflies
hide with the dandelions
gold and brown ones nestle
deep into the green grass
capturing them with my camera
leaves them free
to fly.

Why do some children take red nets
and break wings of such beauty?
Why can’t they let them be?

Two friends at a round table
discussing Emily Dickinson
and how she had to speak to others
from another room.

She needed so much room
to write her words but
still she hid them away.

Butterflies hiding in the grass
sing of Emily and wonder
What would she have made of cyclones?

(c) Words and Images by June Perkins

By June Perkins

Cyclone Inspired Poetry 1

Feluga after cyclone Yasi – by June Perkins

After Yasi

He said, ‘You are not out of the ordinary if you feel a little apathy.’

She said, ‘We’re still sleeping on our veranda. It’s so cold.’

He said, ‘Scaffolding arrived on Saturday mornings well before breakfast,’ then yawned.

She said, ‘Will we really have to leave?’

He said, ‘Let’s build our lives again.’

She said, ‘I will sing ballads by the sea,’ as she strummed her guitar.

He said, ‘Let’s salvage and rebuild.’

She said, ‘Will you ring the insurance?’

He said, ‘Can I have a cuppa first?’

She said, ‘I’ll see all our memory moments every time we see this farewell couch.’

He said, ‘Let’s give out medals.’

She said, ‘So many quiet heroes.’

He said, ‘Banana prices are too high.’

She said, ‘I’m going to meditate.’

He said, ‘Are you off to yoga?’

She said, ‘I’m going to see our daughter’

He said, ‘The papers say we’ll nearly all be home by Christmas?’

She said, ‘Just as well.’

He said, ‘Yes just in time for cyclone season, I wouldn’t want to be in a dongah for another one of those.’

They sighed. They hoped. They dreamed.
The sun rose.

She said, ‘I can almost breathe.’

He said, ‘I know just what you mean.’

Then they heard a strong wind.
For a moment it scared them.

The next day butterflies returned.
She said, ‘I’ll paint butterflies on our old roof.’

It was then they knew the secret of insight.

(c) Image and Words June Perkins


Beyond Frames

Image by June Perkins

I am looking for the frames
to help me break the frames;
remembering Playschool windows
round,oval,and square.

I am remembering how my dolls
were broken hand-me-downs
and how I thought my frizzy hair
made me look a clown.

I was a little mother
to my brothers growing up
and wondered if they would
ever dare to break the frames.

I always wanted to have the
straightest hair.
I never understood why.

Fighting back those tears of growing up
I’m still looking beyond the frames
living in the land of sugar cane.

I’m seeing all the kids running off to school
They’re so caught up trying to be cool
a little bit of facebook, a little bit of blackberry
but bullying’s the same
hasn’t much changed.

Everybody’s trying to be the same
no one really wants to break the frame.

But every now and then there’s one
young kid who leaves
looking for the frame to fame
looking beyond the sugar cane.

(c) June Perkins, from Under One Sky.

Ink of Light – A Baha’i Writers’ Festival

The First Australian Bahá’í Writers Festival will be held May 19th, 2018, in Milton, Brisbane.

The Program includes book launches, panels and workshops to explore what kinds of fiction and non fiction Bahá’í authors are writing and could be writing; the value of connecting and networking with authors from all backgrounds, writing for the empowerment of children and youth, and self publishing, as well as some workshops to get people writing and thinking about their own projects.

I will be presenting  ‘Outside the Networking box: case studies in connecting through writing.’

For more details on the full program head to Ink of Light Timetable and Registration



Prompt #7 Haiku Poems

Australian Children's Poetry

Haiku: A Japanese poem traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

Vanessa Proctor President of the Australian Haiku Society sent through information on Haiku poetry. I would have instructed you all in the 5/7/5 way it is taught in schools however that is not really correct. Please read below and have a look at the article by Sharon Dean and link to the Haiku society.

Article by Sharon Dean:

The haiku definition by the Haiku Society of America is a good read to gain an understanding of Haiku.
Definition: A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.
Notes: Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables, with the middle line longest, though today’s poets use a variety of line lengths and…

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Grass Skirt

My latest poem published by Australian Children’s Poetry in response to the prompt word association.

Australian Children's Poetry

Grass Skirt

Kilt clan patterns

Mother’s hands twisting string for homemade

video to keep tradition strong

Once made from plants now plastic too

Scratching identity from legs to ankles

Calling out for head dress and for beads

Bare feet beating dance on earth

Sway and swish

Past, present and future steps

Given by my mother to say

You are grown

By   June Perkins

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Prompt #6 Word Association and Easter with Teacher Notes

Australian Children's Poetry

Good Morning,

Thankyou for your contributions in the last week.

Prompt #6 is Word Association poetry and Easter but please send in any other poems as well.

Heads up for those needing a bit more time writing: Our next Prompt after Easter will be Haiku.

Teacher Notes are in today instead of Thursday to give teachers ideas at the start of this week.

Please Email poems to:

Teacher Notes: Jeanie Axton

Easter is another opportunity to create an egg shape poem and write in describing words associated with Easter.

1. Here is a site online with Easter poems and songs you may like to use.

2. Another engaging idea would be to show the students the trailer to the recently released movie “Peter Rabbit”. I think this will be a very popular Easter or April school holidays outing for families.

Don’t forget to mention Beatrix Potter the original…

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Prompt #5 continued Shape Poems

Australian Children's Poetry

Good Morning,

This week we will continue with Shape Poems. The response has been great.

To give you the heads up our next prompt will be word association poems. A really good example is Di Bates recent “Car Sick “ poem. Leading up to Easter it would be Eggsalent if you could send in any Easter Poems as well.

Coming up:

Prompt #6 Word Association and Easter

And please send in any other poems you like.

A few notes:

One of our regular poets was contacted by School Magazine recently showing interest in her work. This is wonderful that publishing poems on the site can lead to other opportunities.

If you have Email addresses of Heads of English departments and other suitable contacts in either state or private education in your state of Australia please send through to me. I’m working on sending the blog details to the South…

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