Country Boys and Country Girls

Image by June Perkins

A song lyric

Country boys and country girls
dream more than sugar cane.
Country boys and country girls
want more than endless rain.

They’re picking stars from skies above.
They’re catching pieces of the moonlight.
They’re running to the canopies
of light.

Country boys and country girls
often hide their pain
but they’re still holding
onto all their dreams
looking into the firelight
to find the global streams.

They’re picking stars from skies above
They’re catching pieces of the moonlight
They’re running to the canopies of light.

Country boys and country girls
often leave these towns
‘cause when the pickings done
there’s too few jobs around
and when a cyclone’s been
it’s even harder still
but now they’ve just got to
have a stronger will.

So they’re leaving behind the sugar cane
they’re saying goodbye
to endless rain
And they’re still looking
for the canopies of light.

Country boys and country girls
they’ve long left these towns
and now they’re longing
for that precious rain,
picking up the pieces of their lives
dancing under starlit skies.

They’re dreaming of the sugar cane
and they’re longing for the precious rain
and they’re still looking
for the canopies of light.

They’re picking stars from skies above.
They’re catching pieces of the moonlight.

They’re running to
the canopies of light.

(c) June Perkins

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Grey and White

Maria Popova – Flickr Creative Commons

Grey and white streaks
begin to lace themselves
through my hair.
I embrace
the signs of wisdom
chasing through me there,

And all around me others
dye and tease their hair
to conceal their age
but that is their affair.

I don’t mind that they want to do this
and hold onto their esteem
but why does one say to me
‘You should dye your hair
you look so ancient and so old’

I explain to her
‘when I was younger
I looked younger than my age
and am happy to embrace
the white and grey that now
dance through my life.’

She cannot take a hint
and simply doesn’t understand
I don’t need a bottled colour
to conceal the process I’m now in
and now she wants to know
the colour of my youth.

Why do so many worship
forever staying young?

I am happy to see silver starlight
in my hair.
It doesn’t make me blue
to become an ancient woman
with an ancient wisdom.

When did aging gracefully
become so easily scorned
and not needing a disguise
become so fervently despised?

I take the process of my life
and seek an inner dye
where my soul’s forever dancing
outside my body’s time.

(c) June Perkins, words

Paper Boats

Creative Commons Flickr Geson Ratnow

Paper boats conjure dreams
of petals soaked by
scents of the
ocean.

Traveling boats
float in shadows
people
who have a simple hope
for happy lands,

but white markers sink
in sandy earth
marking graves of people
who cannot resist new germs.

‘Once watched paper boats,’
paternal grandfather says
in Vietnamese
but nobody understands

No translators here.

So shadow puppets dance
for petals
falling from kumquat boughs.

 

(c) June Perkins

Requiem

I regularly read the poetry at this blog.  Thanks Robert for your inspiration.

O at the Edges

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Requiem

That it begins.
And like a wave which appears
only to lose itself

in dispersal, rising whole again
yet incomplete in all but
form, it returns.

Music. The true magic.

Each day the sun passes over the river,
bringing warmth to it. Such

devotion inspires movement: a cello in the
darkness, the passage of sparrows. Sighs.

The currents are of our own
making. If we listen do we also

hear? These bodies. These silent voices.

* * *

“Requiem” was written in the 80s, in response to a piece of music. It made its most recent appearance here in November 2016.

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Cyclone Inspired Poetry 1

Feluga after cyclone Yasi – by June Perkins

After Yasi

He said, ‘You are not out of the ordinary if you feel a little apathy.’

She said, ‘We’re still sleeping on our veranda. It’s so cold.’

He said, ‘Scaffolding arrived on Saturday mornings well before breakfast,’ then yawned.

She said, ‘Will we really have to leave?’

He said, ‘Let’s build our lives again.’

She said, ‘I will sing ballads by the sea,’ as she strummed her guitar.

He said, ‘Let’s salvage and rebuild.’

She said, ‘Will you ring the insurance?’

He said, ‘Can I have a cuppa first?’

She said, ‘I’ll see all our memory moments every time we see this farewell couch.’

He said, ‘Let’s give out medals.’

She said, ‘So many quiet heroes.’

He said, ‘Banana prices are too high.’

She said, ‘I’m going to meditate.’

He said, ‘Are you off to yoga?’

She said, ‘I’m going to see our daughter’

He said, ‘The papers say we’ll nearly all be home by Christmas?’

She said, ‘Just as well.’

He said, ‘Yes just in time for cyclone season, I wouldn’t want to be in a dongah for another one of those.’

They sighed. They hoped. They dreamed.
The sun rose.

She said, ‘I can almost breathe.’

He said, ‘I know just what you mean.’

Then they heard a strong wind.
For a moment it scared them.

The next day butterflies returned.
She said, ‘I’ll paint butterflies on our old roof.’

It was then they knew the secret of insight.

(c) Image and Words June Perkins

 

Beyond Frames


Image by June Perkins

I am looking for the frames
to help me break the frames;
remembering Playschool windows
round,oval,and square.

I am remembering how my dolls
were broken hand-me-downs
and how I thought my frizzy hair
made me look a clown.

I was a little mother
to my brothers growing up
and wondered if they would
ever dare to break the frames.

I always wanted to have the
straightest hair.
I never understood why.

Fighting back those tears of growing up
I’m still looking beyond the frames
living in the land of sugar cane.

I’m seeing all the kids running off to school
They’re so caught up trying to be cool
a little bit of facebook, a little bit of blackberry
but bullying’s the same
hasn’t much changed.

Everybody’s trying to be the same
no one really wants to break the frame.

But every now and then there’s one
young kid who leaves
looking for the frame to fame
looking beyond the sugar cane.

(c) June Perkins, from Under One Sky.

Grass Skirt

My latest poem published by Australian Children’s Poetry in response to the prompt word association.

Australian Children's Poetry

Grass Skirt

Kilt clan patterns

Mother’s hands twisting string for homemade

video to keep tradition strong

Once made from plants now plastic too

Scratching identity from legs to ankles

Calling out for head dress and for beads

Bare feet beating dance on earth

Sway and swish

Past, present and future steps

Given by my mother to say

You are grown

By   June Perkins

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Bird of the Heart and Illumine Exhibition

(c) June Perkins, Words and Image

I am busy preparing for the  ‘Illumine Exhibition  with Ruha, Minaira and Temily.  Just 4 weekends to go!

I’m not absolutely decided on which of my pieces are going in, but I enjoy the process of creating things and then working out how to present them.

I have been searching for the best specials and reasonable quality for printing and mounting, so that things attract the viewer but are not super expensive.

We are exhibiting at Magda Community Artz, which is not often used as an exhibition space, but is more regularly a performance space.  To adapt the space we will be using easels as well as the walls, and finding safe places to hang things from, and may even make use of some of the outdoor space. This is making me think carefully about how to print and mount the photographs and what kind of materials to print them on.  You can print on canvas, metal, fabric (cotton, silk), wood board, different kinds of paper and more.  Each of these has a different quality.

I have been on big searches in pinterest to look for inspiration.  One day I might even write a blog on it!

Another thing I have been looking at is how to present the poems.  Will it be on posters with the images like the photograph on this post, or will they be simply written under the photograph on foam core?  I might also read the poem under the image it goes with?

We’re having some performances of dance, music and poetry on opening night and charging a small door fee to help us cover the costs of the exhibition. If you are in Brisbane and able to attend you can book for our special opening night HERE