We were talking about
the flotsam and jetsam
things we think we need
when we don’t.
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
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
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-
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
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.
” Wert thou to hearken to this mortal Bird, then wouldst thou seek the undying chalice and pass by every perishable cup ”
Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys
You sing us to
that is not
where your words
build ladders in
You shelter us
so unlike Icarus
burnt by the sun
we will not tumble
through the valleys
leading to you
you give us wings
By June Perkins
Leonard Ericks was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Resided, studied and worked in Florida, Colorado, Texas, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Costa Rica. He graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design with Honors, and currently resides in Costa Rica, Central America. Leonard is a painter and sculptor, writes and illustrates children’s books and teaches art. You can find out more about him on his facebook page.
Basking in your orchard
admiring your yellow
a song says your tree is very pretty
but you are bitter and impossible to eat.
Cheesecake says ‘no,
you make me stand out with
your moreish zing of bitter.
We are the perfect marriage of opposites.’
I have great expectations of what I could do with you
if I was given you on
an episode of Master Chef
but is this dangerous?
There may be things in the mix of the secret box
you should never be combined with.
I paint you with blue plates
on a French cloth
into patterns on wall paper
with me dreaming in your orchards.
I write you into a story
of biscuits and blankets for
you are the thread of love in
a starry, starry lemon blanket.
To the lost friend who never recovers
a bitter heart is
senseless lost expectation
impossible to take.
To the writer you are manna
melancholy that inspires songs
of lost love