A cathedral attracts me
Day by Day
To find the way light
I see gaps of darkness
How I long
For my garden
Waves in ponds
Bridges suspended over
Of a garden in water.
Lotuses form lilies
Whispering to me
Mocking my blindness as
I look through glasses,
See strange tints
I think you would have painted the cane
And built a garden in tropical terrain.
Your canvas would have contained the Ulysses
Fleeting life frozen on canvas.
You would have captured the Misty Mountains at every time of day
The golden gumboot would not have been your choice.
You would have liked a hut I see on the way to Cardwell
Or a tiny church I know that’s tucked away in the cane.
You might have spent some time camping on Dunk Island
And joined their artist’s colony.
You would have wandered the beach when you were blind
And listened to the songs of the dugong out at sea.
(c) June Perkins
I shared this poem once before, but only the first part. I began to speculate what would happen if Monet came to North Queensland.
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.
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.