Hidden in Brisbane – Chainsaw Sculptures

When you look up
you will see
attached to the trunk
a giant gecko.

When you look around
carved in a tree stump
a kangaroo;
hours of chainsaw artistry
not to take a tree down
but to adorn or transform it
to art about nature;
to make you want to connect
with the creatures
that live there;
leave the world of your phone
as you walk
with nature converse.

Now look
there’s a real possum hiding there
bounding out when you notice it
saying, ‘remember you saw me
you don’t need to take
a photo of me with your phone.’

Thankyou Matty G
for your clever artistry;
Thankyou Far North Queensland
for making me always want to look up
down and out…

2/05/2015

(c) June Perkins

Research reveals that the two chainsaw sculptures above are done by  Matthew George, a Queensland creative chainsaw artist.

You can find out more about the reasoning behind the project here  Chainsaw Art at QUT’s Kelvin Grove. 

The main idea of the sculptures is to connect the viewer (most likely a student) back with nature, and to encourage them to look up, and at the ground, rather than stick to their mobile phone.

They certaintly captured my eye.  After seeing two I knew there should be more and my curiousity was lit and I went off on a web search.

I love making discoveries of real animals, but these art ones were also intriguing.  Some even looked freshly done.

The other day when I was looking around QUT, I noticed a real live possum!  It was staring at people wandering past, and was a gingery colour.

So far I have just found two chainsaw sculptures, but there are a few more hanging around the campus.

For even more information see Matty G Inc.

(c) June Perkins

What Makes Me Read a Poem?

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Art in nature – June Perkins

The first lines and opening must avoid cliché
and even better still intrigue and invite me
into the poem’s world.
It really mustn’t tell me how much love is like a rose.
 
If there is metaphor it needs to flow and extend naturally
and there are so many metaphors that have been overused
it might take some experiments to find something original
but too original than perhaps I won’t relate.
 
The poem could profound
I don’t mind having to do some work to understand
but if it totally confuses, leaves me lost,
then I am unlikely to read until the end.
Please don’t let it have an artifice of depth
but actually be a shallow pool.
 
It might leave me with a question, an impression, a mood, a challenge,
a pertinent observation and
a constant musing on its end.
I might want to read it again and again.
It might be the poem I’ll forever carry in my head.
 
It might enchant and seduce with its
delicate impressions that capture
the natural world I love.
 
It might introduce me to words
I have never heard before but instead of shutting me
out make me curious and willing to go and look them up.
 
It might touch a nerve
crawl into my poetry sense
with its metre and cadence
burrow into my head
to create comfort or discomfort
to unnerve me
with its truth.
 
Perhaps it is clever beyond belief
an artful crafting of sonnet, haiku, prose poem
or villanelle
but if it’s clever just for clever’s sake
I might not give it a second reading
even though I admire the technical skill.
 
Or maybe it’s just what I needed to read that very minute and
it just came into my life
in the feed, in the poetry book someone gifted to me
in a random search online.
 
Maybe it says what I am feeling
trying to do
trying to understand
trying to remember
trying to encourage in the world
trying to forget.
 
Now I’ve told you my reasons
I wonder dear reader
Why do you read a poem ?

(c) June Perkins  

Ecology Quest – am I living a second childhood ?

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Stories in the Stone, Land, and Songs – June Perkins

Whilst thinking about how to deepen my writing about place – a love for ecological writing, nature writing, and an idea for a new book of poetry and story has been born, or surfaced.  Looking back I see there are hints of it, that perhaps I didn’t take notice of at the time, even though artists like Sasi Victorie and a writer/philosopher Nell Arnold told me it was there.

Every new essay and book read has been triggering an outpouring of thought. I follow trails, that seem to connect and double back on each other. Connections I could never have forseen appear – opera, wandering men who make the land their home, crocodiles, and plants weeping flowers that want to be named,

Songs of birds and humans, layers of land, story, culture, – the power of names, and the biographies of ecologists have been adding themselves to my consciousness, and rather than confusing they are clarifying and deepening my love for understanding the world around me.

An adolescent love of biology, a delight in the many documentaries of David Attenborough, and a love of stars have been combining to take me on a new writing journey.  I find myself watching documentaries on the origin of black holes. I look up the stories of the places I live in to find out: what the street names mean, who the Original peoples and Indigenous language groups are, and what are my old and new suburbs current cultural  and age demographics.  

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Art at the Goma – in Brisbane

In a picture book idea I find myself searching for a bird call I want to represent in language and following a trail of bird sites  This leads me to exploring side track after side track, but the time is not wasted. I am creatively gathering – building a nest, or is it wings.  I am asking questions like what did the birth of the moon cause?  I alternate between a nature essay and a notebook of ideas for poems, with snatches of yet to be fully formed verse.

Am I living a second childhood, or discovering this is a way I want to be more in the world?  Why is this way of being in the world, being more aware of its many layers, actually making me feel closer to my own soul?

Ah it seems something to unpack in poetry, that is for sure.

 (c) June Perkins, words and images

The Forests Speak

For the Tasmanian Forests

In my slow growing long lasting huon
There are the stories of your grandfather’s hands
And gaze taking me all in

I carry you in my arms to the safety of Earth mother to
Shield you from storms and yet you would
Forget
I belong to your children and grandchildren

Would you unfriend my many shades of green
Lime and moss on rolling hills
See them parched yellow crying
Stripped pine

Would you delist me from your protection
Hold me at a distance
Forget that I am your breath
Forget my distinct scent
In timber in new life as your love seat

Would you let me be overharvested
So people of today are the last ones
To say they saw the Ancients
Who had to make way for too many tree farms

Together we braved the tempest
Of droughts and fires
And as we survive should not our
Bond be stronger?

Would you lie down in
My green tears
To cleanse your heart?

Could you learn to bless me
Let me be the forest at your back
The open arms that
Lovers long for?

(c) June Perkins

Sea Dragon

Sea Dragon, Birch aquarium
Asparrot – flickr Creative commons

I hear the wind
The sea dragon must be on its wingless flight
So far from its underwater palace.

Where are the places through which my
Footsteps wander without me?
Jeweled hearts are there.

The sea dragon is dining
Chewing away the past and future
Breathing out fire
Spreading through water
Purification.

The sea dragon rises to the surface
The ocean surges as it flies to
The superior heavens.

I hear the rains descend
The sea dragon must be on its wingless flight.
Far from the feeding frenzy it hears
From its four sisters
Who wander through palaces of Jade and Jasper.

I see my house unrooved
Metal darting down the streets
It must be the breath of the Dragon King
Sending out his eternal din.

I hear the wind
The sea dragon must be on its wingless flight.

By June Perkins