After Yasi – he said, she said


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

She said, ‘it’s so cold as we’re still sleeping on our veranda.’

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,’ she took 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.

The butterflies returned.

She said,’I’ll paint butterflies on our old roof.’

It was then they knew the secret of insight.


By June Perkins


So many stories spinning around, and asking to be remembered. This is what happens when cyclone, tidal waves, twisters arrive at communities, and leave people in their wake.

It is theraputic for the creatively express that swirl of experience, until something emerges to give comfort.   

The he and the she in this poem are not a single he and a she but a combined he and she of the whole community.



For more stories see After Yasi


A Baby Smiles

Kyaabo – Flickr Creative Commons

A baby smiles
she survived the rubble
in Japan

a writer smiles
she saw a rainbow

a walk with bright yellow umbrellas
in the rain

a feeling that life
will go on once again

sending off packages of illustrations
and words
to meet dignitaries

wondering if they
will hear our joy
as well as our sorrow

a walk with purple orchids
in the wind

true friends emerge
to give us

firm and staunch
hearing our sorrow
and our joy

turning myself inside out
and upside down
to walk with peace

harmonicas on a Sunday
show that birthdays
can be cool in
a Bob Dylan kind of moment
for the young

cyclone forged friendships
will go on

surviving all the loss
we cannot know

embracing all the human depths

By June Perkins

Blue Bonnets

blue bonnets
Herself- Flickr Creative Commons

Funerals like rain
Fall from clouds
Young boys say ‘goodbye’
As father’s lowered to the ground

Mother stands alone
Tears become her shroud
Funeral goers utter not a sound.

She hears blue guitar strums
She’s pounding melancholy’s drums.

Texas and Tully are so far apart
Yet they share skies
Where hawks and heron fly

Storms and troubles rock both their shores
Warn their people to depart.

She tells her children
the legend of the Texas Blue Bonnet flower

A young girl gave up her warrior doll,
The last reminder of family,
To invoke a higher power.

She burnt her warrior doll
Its head dress of blue feathers
Offered up its ashes
To the North, South, East and West Winds
So hunger and loss it would tether.

She cried herself to sleep.
Let her memory weep.

When she awoke
Never before seen flowers,
Clambered the mountains
Birds made their bowers
People drank from hope’s fountains.

The mother with the shroud
Inside’s the little girl
Who’ll burn her own warrior doll
She knows what must be done

She’ll let her dreams unfurl.
She’ll wait till all sleep then
Pull out her favourite guitar
Take those blue cords
Burn them, banish them

Scatter their ashes,
North, South, East and West.

The dry season will begin
Floods have had their fun
A looking- to-the-future flower
will now begin to grow.

By June Perkins