Writing /living Country

Finding the Fields of Memory – June Perkins

Standing on the edge of a circle of parents
talking about how many lessons they take their children to
on the treadmill of taxi parent hood
and the dreams they have for their children

Driving past the circling hawks that
even hang out
over the local supermarket
or the carrion on the road

Midday day terrors as a cane truck drives
up behind me too fast and honks on his horn
to push me off the road
and I am driving the speed limit
on a back road home

Listening to poetry on a verandah
about places, and domestic violence,
aids and post colonialism
and treaties that hide in
big words and non meaning words
that are tinged with superiority

Staying at a friend’s house and
wandering out to take sunrise pictures
but waking the dogs

My best friend says she can’t follow more than
four blogs about things that mean something to her
there are just too many blogs and too many stories
it’s cluttered chatter if you
are pulled into the vortex of blogland
And we laugh and continue to plan our book

A room full of marking and
a loung eroom taken over by
end of year teacher stress
and my dear husband who is
in that profession so many put down
but they are underpaid, overworked
and those who care so much work so hard
if only more parents could see our lounge room flood..

Writing country
or is country writing me
with memories and somewhere are the lost youth who’ve
given up on life and I wonder
how we rewrite the country to be a place to grow and dream
and not end up speaking
of yet another suicide

By June Perkins


Inwardly Traveling


I travel inwardly
as well as outwardly
looking for stories to
change someone’s future outlook

& for words that
hang together the delicate
& uplifting

The golden light perches on the cane
& our pet Mynah bird listens
& repeats all the bird song he hears

& then calls to me to have a conversation
about the inward & the outward
ways he sees my world

Looking at our family pull
in & out of the driveway

or my daughter shooting arrows
into cane

I wonder if he would like to fly free
& yet remember that he always
comes back to us
because we are his flock

& that most people would shoot
him because he is a pest

But to us he is our song bird
a feathered family member
calling us to sunrise
calling us to dream

Rain Bird

Rain Bird – June Perkins

I am rain bird
Dressed in black
Singing happy back
Into this sleepy town
Where cassowary give renown.

Here people seldom weep
And secrets never keep
They’re blown around in storms
They’re tossed up in the gossip.

I am rain bird
Dressed in brown
I see the gumboot crown
On the Princess in the grounds.

I am rain bird
Dressed in black
Not a cuckoo without tact
I don’t deal in simple facts.

I am rain bird
In a technicolour coat
I will sing the people strong
Tell them – ‘you can belong.’

By June Perkins