Be Ready – Memory Poem Step 1.

To find my poems, as well as studying art, going for a walk, and remembering, I write from things that happen.  For the next few posts I thought I would share the creation of a poem from an event that we attended and demonstrate how I take something like this and then translate it into something more creative.


STEP 1: Free Write – Journaling the event.

Gary is not seen before the concert.
He’s in the green room.

People wait in their seats
at the Baha’i Centre in Milton
unless they see someone they know
and get up to talk
and hug and kiss on both cheeks
and many of them speak in Persian
we see friends from years ago in Cairns
they saw Gary earlier today
in a market
and now they are beside us waiting
for the concert too.

And then it begins
but he is not on the stage
instead it is a video of a song
introducing the concert
and it is Gary singing with
others Be Ready

The audience are ready and
now Gary walks through the audience
to the front of house
wearing a sparkling jacket
and the audience cheer.

Gary Sterling is in town
and he is talking to us
and waving at people he knows
and ready to sing.

This is a collection of favourites
Lean on Me, Let it Be,
This is Gospel
This is Baha’i Gospel
This is Red Grammar classic
I think your wonderful

We sing along
We question and answer
We are coached with the words
One young man sings loud and strong
soon he is on stage with Gary
standing on a chair
with a microphone
a duet just like that.

There is a song for his gone
to a better place mum.
He is happy for her, and he
sings for her.
Be not sad, you know she is in the place
of Glory.

And the entertainer
sings us stories
tells us stories with a song chorus
tells us a story about
being stranded in Melbourne
and using the time to write a song

And William is the sound man,
and puts on the music.
Gary is performing with his portable
in a recording band.

He is building up soul,
and some songs have a heart
and a place
and invite us to arise in song.

Music is the upbeat
music is the left and the right wing
of the soul that wants to

Gary has a surprise
he will sing a whole song in Persian
for the audience members
exiled from their homeland because of persecution
and right now I am thinking of also
what is happening in Yemen.
so weird to persecute people because they are

And also I am thinking of
the diversity of all the Baha’is
and how we are all one family
and we come from so many backgrounds

Gary is singing of Krishna, and Jesus
and he is a Baha’i Gospel
singer and my daughter later says how cool it
was to hear that style
applied to a song about
Baha’u’llah and progressive revelation
I watch her smiling
she has seen the diversity of expression
that can go hand in hand
with unity.

We don’t all have to be the same
to be part of the common ground.
I hope she will sing strong and loud
for it is her way to Praise the Glory.

And all too soon the concert is over.
The entertainer has given his all.
Now it’s time to purchase CDS
which well help him fly the next leg
of this journey.

The songs live on, after we are gone
and the spirit of this concert
lives on in us.

Self critique

This first journal type free write is very narrative driven.
Can I do more to build the audience atmosphere and Gary’s personality?
How can I use the spirit of the songs to also build this piece?
What do I want the creative piece to be about?
Is there more than one poem here?

(c) June Perkins


Why Kickstarter for Magic Fish Dreaming?

June Perkins – Think Universe

1. When is the kickstarter for Magic Fish Dreaming running? We’ll let you know when this launches and the kickstarter page is live.

If you want to see this book happen please keep inviting people to the facebook page and blog in preparation for the kickstarter.

The video is in production, the rewards for supporters are being sorted and well there’s all that behind the scenes stuff you have to do before LIFT OFF!

The campaign launches in a few months from now.

2. Why are we kickstarting the book? The world, with all its challenges and joys, most definitely needs poetry for children and their families to read together and to each other, to perform and enjoy and which reflects their experiences of environment, family, and adventures but . . .

The situation in publishing is that poetry books are not taken on by most commerical publishers and yet it remains a loved art form supported by independent small presses and literary presses, and taught in school curriculum.

A major tendency in creating poetry books for children is to publish collections of much loved no longer alive poets (who did not necessarily write with children in mind) like Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman, centred around themes, and illustrate them. Exceptions to this are well known poets for children and families like Shel Silverstein, and Pam Ayres who have written some fantastic books of poetry that are not really just for children.

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North Queensland – June Perkins

Another tendency is to publish poetry for children that is all about rhyming and sing song rythmns or completely tied to school curriculum needs and to stick with spelling list words. There is nothing wrong with poetry like this but poetry is much, much more.

Did you know a poet is considered a best seller in Australia if they can sell 500 books? Most poetry presses have their publishing books full up for up to three years in advance.

It seems poetry is one of those things that is really up against it when it comes to traditional publishing. Yet, it is something so much part of our everyday lives, especially when we consider songwriters at their best are poets at heart and the growing popularity of spoken word poetry events – slam poetry.


3. Why Poetry? Poetry is powerful. Poetry has champions like Maya Angelou, Judith Wright, and Oodgeroo. Poetry can move the heart and change the world.

Poetry can be many things, and appear in all sorts of shapes and forms and appeal to all ages and background- perhaps though it is its capacity to explain things through similie and metaphor, and to take on the point of view of others that gives it, its greatest power to help humanity cross boundaries.

Poetry is something you can take with you beyond what is taught in the classroom and the home, into a way of being and relating to the world.

This poetry book is about breaking down barriers, and sparking a love of poetry and language for children and their families with themes that are relevant to their lives. It is about working together with an illustrator, Helene Magisson, to attract children and families to poems, and bringing the visual and poetic art forms together.

4. Are you with us? My dream is that you will be enchanted by our samples to want to see this book happen, and will help us kickstart this book into the world. I have chosen to have this book illustrated by a wonderful artist who knows how to appeal to children through her art. I am enjoying this collaboration greatly.

We’d love it if you can invite any of your friends who you think would love a project all about the love of poetry, nature, family, adventure and more!

Join us on facebook and the blog, and at Kickstarter soon.

For Alesa


For Alesa

Some we know for years
& never really know

others we meet for a moment
& understand

Some take the road to understanding

whilst others forever run from
truths that set them free

It’s woven in stories
in the hearts of those we meet

& shifting in the rhythm
of their journey feet

By June Perkins

You can check out Alesa Lajana’s work on her site 
She has two albums, Celtic Gypsy and Secret Garden.

Hidden Histories is on its way…..

Hospital Vigil – Lullaby

(c) June Perkins


I think of you
sitting by the side
of a hospital bed
I’ve been there too.

You wait for one who’s in coma
perhaps induced
and tears are close at hand
but instead you will yourself
to sing your loved one’s favourite songs.

You’ve been told they can hear you
in their coma dreams
it’s then that you remember the power
of the lullaby.

This time your lullaby is
an invoking them to be allowed to wake once more
for head, heart and soul to be healed.

Your lullaby is to chase away uncertainty
to let them know that
in the land of the awake
love for them
is waiting
no matter how long the journey
whether from wheelchair or not
without speech or not.

Love is the lullaby that keeps
us dancing with those we love
beckoning from the world of dreams
to a world of lived courage.


Wake when you are ready
from the land of dreams.

Know that we are waiting
and we will cheer you on.

Wake when you are ready
to make those recovery steps.

We’ll be here always waiting
to cheer you back to us

You are strong
and to your future you belong

Your sleep it serves a purpose
may it make you strong
don’t forget that
to your future you belong.

Wake when you are ready
please return to us.

(c) June Perkins

So today it’s time for a lullaby.

I think I’ll write one for parents and siblings sitting by hospital beds. Thinking of Phil Hughes’ (Australian Cricketer) family today, keeping vigil by his hospital bed. Note within a few hours of this poem Phillip Hughes passed away. A sad day for the Australian Cricket Community.

Nature Boy

Music as an Inspiration for Poetry…



The poster words were recorded by Nat King Cole.  Nature Boy“is track #10 on the album The World Of Nat King Cole. It was written by Ahbez, Eden but made  famous by Nat.

This poster is my artistic tribute to this song, which has become a jazz standard.

Eden was a singer songwriter, Hippy nomad, beat poet,  who lived in a park in LA.

Online I found recordings by Cher, Celine Dion and  American Idol  contestant in 2011 Casey Abrams.   Furthermore, it was used in the movie Boy with the Green Hair.

I like the Ella Fitzgerald version of  Nature Boy because of the beautiful background guitar.

Another haunting version is by  Afro Blue Nature Boy .

I often enjoy writing with music in the background to find a rhythm and tone.  As a young writer I loved jazz.  Not many people in my household like…

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Thank you so much to all those following Ripple Poetry.  Just sharing a milestone for the blog – we now have 50 Followers.

More dear guest poet friends coming soon.

This week I had the great honour of interviewing and spending time with Alesa Lajana, a fabulous song writer with heart, conviction and immense talent. She is so humble.

Alesa shared her organic creative process and some information about a very special inspirational Hidden Histories project, which we are all going to be hearing a lot more about in months to come.


For Alesa

Some we know for years
& never really know

others we meet for a moment
& understand

Some take the road to understanding

whilst others forever run from
truths that set them free

It’s woven in stories
in the hearts of those we meet

& shifting in the rhythm
of their journey feet

By June Perkins

You can check out Alesa Lajana’s work on her site 
She has two albums, Celtic Gypsy and Secret Garden.

Questions to Music


Have you ever written
unlocking & translating emotions into strings?

Have you adopted metaphors from stories
of a trumpet with his man called Dizzy?

Have you spoken Italian simply because
music taught you so?

Do you make references to songwriters
maybe Bob Dylan & his blowing wind,
or Pink writing to the President?

Have you found music gives poetry power
turns sad words into blue songs where notes bend
& give service to the downtrodden with all their trials?

Have you protested with melodies
enticing your audience to believe, grow & change
& did you stand up for the universal soldier who
needed to be free?

Have you listened to songs of the universe
giving the world purple Princes
& divine guitar riffs . . .

Have you stayed up all night
listening for your special music
to guide you on your way?

Have you asked a million questions
of the universe of song?

By June Perkins



Dizzy Gillespie
fs999 – Flickr Creative Commons

I saw you blow the trumpet
On Sesame Street
Tee, Arr,You, Em, Pee, Ee, Tee.

Your balloon cheeks
Transferring your spirit into The Sounds of Bebop.
My cheeks look funny, but they don’t hurt

This they made your epitaph
On the evening news
That’s all they could say

But you
You did more Dizzy
You loved that Cat God.

You were a Herald
Bringing Unity
Blending a trumpet
With a Didgeridoo.

What did you do?
You loved that Cat God.

When you played at Carnegie Hall
Your music
Blew a portrait of
The Spirit of Olinga;

Servant of Baha’u’llah
Hand of the Cause
An inspiration to you.

Joyful all you trumpeters rise
Dizzy is coming to the skies.

Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk
John Coltrane and Miles Davis
Glory to your bebop King.

Peace in heaven and music’s child
Mr Goh will wait awhile
To hear your golden trumpet smile.

He’ll remember you
At Chinta Ria
With satay sticks and soya sauce,

The Mad Genius of Dizzy Gillespie
Orignauxmoose- Flickr Creative Commons

And me I’ll listen
For A Night in Tunisia
While Groovin’ High
On Salt and Peanuts

I’ll listen
For Melodic Warmth
And Comic Spirit

Man you played the last Dizzy Dime,
But we will put it on
Many more times
John Birks “Dizzy”

Oh Dizzy Bebop
Bop Dizzy be Dizzy
Bebop, bop-be.

By June Perkins

Originally published BAFA Newsletter. June 1993, Also displayed in a music wall.

The poem, Dizzy, an eulogy to Dizzy Gillespie was part of the artwork, Conversations by Sonja van Kerkhoff, on show in a music shop in Leiden as part of the Close to the Wall Poetry festival, 2005.

Dizzy Gillespie
fs999- Flickr Creative Commons