The Divine Call

(c) June Perkins, Brisbane, Australia

“Thank thou God that thou hast stepped into the arena of existence in such a blessed Age and hast opened thine ears and thine eyes in such a Promised Day. The Splendor of the Sun of Truth thou hast beheld and the divine Call thou hast heard. To thine ultimate desire thou hast attained and from the sweetness of the love of God thou hast tasted.”
-‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 538 

For More From Nineteen Months

How to Find Peace in a Pandemic

 

How are we all going to find peace in this pandemic?

That is a huge question.

 

Today the Premier  of Victoria said there is a long way to go.

We need a vaccine.

We need to deal with finding peace of mind to make it through the day.

 

What does the world need to find peace from this common foe?

 

Unity of effort to find the vaccine?

 

But beyond that discovery will be administration to share it

beyond that administration to share it will be

share it justly to all nations and

all walks of life.

 

People are panicking.

They want to say the covid19 is not real,

exagerrated, a conspiracy.

 

Should they take a trip to India

to Italy, to America

and walk another nations nightmare

for a dare.

 

They want to imagine we will build immunity

that after many deaths it will begin to roll away

and they think that we can shut all the borders and all will

be well … but this virus is tricky .. monstrous… persistent.

 

And in all the nations where the the death toll rises

and rises

those with a low death toll think they will escape

if they shut it all out.

 

They want to rescue their own economies.

They want to avoid their own recessions.

And nobody wants to live a life as if it is in a prison.

 

And strange things are happening, like mask fashion

like connecting people all over the world

to listen to fairytales

 

And still we wonder if we are not scientists

and medical researchers, what will role will we play

to keep the world going until the vaccine is found?

 

What will it take?

How will we not break into

hysteria and vain imaginations

that the world can be disconnected to win this fight?

 

And we must win it!

We must strive.

We cannot see this

become humanity’s demise.

 

Until then –

 

I visit photographs to take me

all the places   where

I can  find    peace.

 

June XXX

 

Seaspray17: Ocean Photography & Haiku Poetry – Review

Seaspray 17: Ocean photography and Haiku Poetry, (2019) Poetry by Dannika Patterson and photography by Kian Bates. (Morningstar Books, Capalaba) ISBN 9780648577805, 38 pages, landscape, RRP $30.00

Looking for something to dive into this weekend, to just take your mind off the current state of the world, and imagine, transform and connect with nature, then Seaspray 17 may be just your thing.  First, I want to share a little about its two creators, Dannika Patterson and Kian Bates.

Dannika Patterson

Dannika Patterson, the poet is an author, copywriter and marketing consultant, who in the last few years has published five books for children with two of these celebrating a love of nature, outdoor play, and imagination, Jacaranda Magic (2018) and Scribbly Gum Secrets (2020).

In 2019, she collaborated to create a coffee table, photography and Haiku poetry book, Seaspray 17: Ocean photography with Haiku Poetry, with Kian Bates, a photographer from New South Wales with a passion for the ocean. Kian co-owns Raw Edge photography and takes workshops where he teaches others photography.

Kian Bates at Work

Seaspray 17 whilst still as suitable for children as other Patterson works, due to the playfulness and beauty of some of the images, and language,  appeals more broadly to people of any age concerned with the passing of time and the protection of the environment. Photographs are commonly used for non-fiction works for children, but this is not a straightforward non-fiction book dealing with the ocean, but rather a series of artistic photographs capturing the imagination and artistry that is the ocean.

Haiku is an astute marketing choice, because it is commonly studied in school, however it is still a highly relevant choice because this ancient Japanese poetry form often features epiphanies for existence, time, and connection in nature and ensures that Patterson’s ongoing interest and love of nature is expressed in a form that is renowned and well suited to that purpose.

The overall approach of the book is more akin to Haiga, where image and text work together, although traditionally this would have been through ink and watercolour and in this work it is through artistic photography. This adds to the attractiveness of the collection, because the photographs and text elevate each other, and intertwine to make new meanings.

Four of the haiku that I particularly enjoy are ‘Mr Greenback,’ for its direct informal first creature address of the turtle to us the reader asking for us to change our ways for the turtle . . .

Copyright Raw Edge photography and Dannika Patterson, used with their permissionGreen-Back-logo

. . . ‘Mermaid Musings’ for its imaginative quality of the in-between spaces both physically, emotionally and spiritually and ‘With You’ and ‘Your Lead’ a dramatic double spread black and white of a mum and calf,  accompanied by one haiku from the perspective of the mum, and the other the perspective of the calf.  It is just stunning.

89968742_628802481014438_3870698404887658496_nMum-&-Calf-Fine-Art

Copyright Raw Edge photography and Dannika Patterson, used with their permission

There are several haiku that play with the sense of time, and the capturing of a moment in time that will soon be gone. Of these my favourite would be ‘Roar’, where the photograph and words match beautifully and playfully.  I’ll leave you a bit of mystery with this one, and encourage you to purchase the book to see why.

For language, the playfulness of ‘Dive Jive’ is pleasing to the ear.

Shake, rattle and roll
jiving, alive and thriving
rock on, reef, rock on
(The Dive Jive, by Dannika Patterson)

Bates’s photographic imagery, is often focused on the wave, as well as what is within it, which gives the book a universal applicability to anyone living by and interacting with the sea.  Those familiar with Australia’s  NSW coastlines might identify specific Australian coastal geography like in ‘Freeze Frame.’ Small titles to the photographs add another layer into the meaning the reader can take away.  For example one poem, ‘Wild and Free’ the title of the image is ‘triceratops.’

‘Triceratops’, Copyright Raw Edge photography, Copyright Raw Edge photography and Dannika Patterson, used with their permission

Most of these poems work best alongside the images, as they use the economy of expression that a skilled writer for children is often adept at, leaving space to the image to communicate and expand upon the words. The works within Seaspray17 invite the reader to engage not only with the ocean and its creatures but time itself.

Bates and Patterson convey that the ocean needs to be more than a source of a muse, it’s something we can fiercely protect as a mother would a child, or a lion would its pride.

The imagery, photographic and verbal, is gentle, playful, fantastical and, full of light and quiet optimism that the reader will choose to become a guardian of nature.

**

Teacher’s notes are available for this book and many of the images as well as the book can be purchased from Raw Edge photography.

You can purchase from the Raw Edge Website

And also from Dannika Patterson’s site

Celebrating Creative Friends

Just a few inspirational moments with creative people from this year.

I love reading, music, books, henna, and singing.

I love collaborating, listening and connecting.

I love history, picture books, novels, non fiction.

I like studying the craft of writing.

I love celebrating people’s books, cultures, resilience, beauty.

I love people who create sacred spaces , who respect sacred moments,

and friendships.

Thank you to all of those pictured for being you!

In a Gentle Way Shake the World

June Perkins ©

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
–Mahatma Gandhi

I matched this quote and image, because the gentle art of henna, can be a way for people to spend time together to build friendship and community. We had a henna workshop recently, which uplifted all who attended. Whilst we learnt to apply the henna we talked about traveling and feeling connected to the world. There were many nationalities, experiences, cultures and spiritual backgrounds in our gathering, and in our diversity we also felt oneness and unity.

 

This month’s contribution to Nineteen Months, for more visit NINETEEN MONTHS

Towards Spaces Beyond

Butterflies on the wall, a new creation by artists
calls the People of this city to turn towards
the spaces beyond

“Darkness hath encompassed every land, O my God, and caused most of Thy servants to tremble. I beseech Thee, by Thy Most Great Name, to raise in every city a new creation that shall turn towards Thee, and shall remember Thee amidst Thy servants…”
-Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations

(c) poetry words and image June Perkins.  This first appeared on Nineteen Months