We were talking about
the flotsam and jetsam
things we think we need
when we don’t.
she felt free every time she
sold nearly all her material goods
it gave her
that angel’s touch
to do good.
She left a light
that kept glimmering
after our conversation.
I told her about
and extra kitchen gear flooding our floor
would anyone really long for all
and our new rental home
with no cupboards.
She offered me
potential solutions to
I thought of suitcases.
Suitcases of books are much easier to
move than shelves
perhaps I could do away with bookcases.
Perhaps instead of shelves
I can do away with the things
that need to go on them.
My friend is no sanctimonious
do gooder, goody too shoes.
She would never claim flawlessness
nor would she confess
and search for absolution in that process.
She is balanced.
She is what they call a ute angel
with gumboots and a shovel
and maybe a touch of guitar and song.
She is someone I admire
the generous heart.
My son tells me ‘moving so much
has taught me
the need to travel
He never wants to own too much
so if he should ever need to move
he won’t have much to burden him-
means freedom to move
Perhaps he is an angel in training.
He could be an apprentice to
my adopted sister, his adopted aunty.
Although I don’t quite picture him in
gumboots, he does have a guitar too.
He says he’d like all he owns
well just so long as he had a tablet
to connect with the world.
I read how Barbara Streisand downsized
and that makes me giggle
she went from several houses
to just one
when all I would want
is one simple forever home.
Unless I learn to live like
a snail and carry my home in one
suitcase on my back.
What is home?
Not the things in it
but the need to be in a neighbourhood
to not have to move at the whim of a developer
or because someone who owns the house you rent
wants to sell it and
move onto their next investment
When we first moved to Brisbane I saw
an exhibition of an immigrant’s suitcase.
One suitcase to another land
that was all their family could take.
It made me remember
my children grabbing their guitars and a bag
of clothes on the night
of Cyclone Yasi.
If all your world could be contained in
one suitcase what would you take
to give you a sense of home?
The answer to that
I leave to you?
(c) June Perkins
DRAFT 2 – I want to keep working with this idea. I like to sometimes share drafts and then show my readers the development of a work.
I have been thinking about a conversation with one of my friends which revolved around accumulation of stuff. It seems an apt one to revisit during the Christmas season.
Look back at the earlier version and tell me what you think?
I don’t think the journey has ended with this piece yet, but what can I do next to keep on working with this piece. Look out for the next instalment.
Basking in your orchard
admiring your yellow
a song says your tree is very pretty
but you are bitter and impossible to eat.
Cheesecake says ‘no,
you make me stand out with
your moreish zing of bitter.
We are the perfect marriage of opposites.’
I have great expectations of what I could do with you
if I was given you on
an episode of Master Chef
but is this dangerous?
There may be things in the mix of the secret box
you should never be combined with.
I paint you with blue plates
on a French cloth
into patterns on wall paper
with me dreaming in your orchards.
I write you into a story
of biscuits and blankets for
you are the thread of love in
a starry, starry lemon blanket.
To the lost friend who never recovers
a bitter heart is
senseless lost expectation
impossible to take.
To the writer you are manna
melancholy that inspires songs
of lost love
The giver said
to be a backyard sky watcher
simply go outdoors
and look up to
see creation’s music.
Come and see the road map
locate the Southern cross.
Constellations can be
bright and easy to find
melodies of earth and sky.
Crowds and cities pass away
in journeys from star to star.
(c) June Perkins words,
I created this found poem, using some of the Jigsaw poem technique. With the Jigsaw poem Sidman uses a found poem and reshapes the poem.
With the found poem any document that is not a poem is used to construct a poem. It can be anything from a list, postcard, letter to graffiti, travel guide and history book. These are mined for interesting images and words which are thrown up into the air and used to inspire a new work. It is a collage of words found in other texts. You can of course add more of your own words to make it all make sense.
I am going to pluck words and ideas out of two contrasting books: An Astronomy Guidebook and The Collected Poetry of John Clare.
I have picked them because of John Clare’s attention to small details – and the astronomy book’s sweep of the universe.
Looking closer the poem I want to be inspired by was John Clare’s Poem -‘Songs Eternity’, which does have a slightly expansive feel to it, and any section of Robert Burham’s, Astronomy (Home Reference Library) that is interesting.
This is a fun writing game to play. I found using two texts more inspiring than using a single one.
The earth we stand on
whether sand, grass, concrete, gravel, dust
is the same earth;
it’s our common ground.
Can you hear it breathe?
I am always inspired by its sounds
ocean, train, nightingale, gospel song
and a little bit of country and blues.
The common ground feels the ache of
salt tears given in hunger and loss
to those who feel invisible
who want shelter
and safety and the transformation of visionary
art that no one should be kept from;
you can’t silence the poets and songwriters
and the painters of truth.
Maya Angelou, Albert Namatjira’s, Tahirih
so many more heroes I could name,
they remind us of the common ground.
But to honour them our lives might
find the profound and make it live.
The common ground says, ‘Tell me your story
I care, and
wisdom will be our friend through
dialogue where I listen
and see you not just suffering
but also teaching me, uplifting me,
I tell you persevere, be strong
and you will find me, waiting until
you sense me
your common ground.’
The common ground is singing,’We are
all under one sky;
we are all journeying on one earth;
that ocean surrounding us
does not divides us
but is the blue that connects;
Can you learn to feel its
in all the air around you and
The common ground is saying,
‘Everyone has a right
to justice, love, security and safety.
Can you feel your peoples are
to each other like
fingers and hands
legs and toes of one body?
Mountains, valleys, cities
villages, river lands and coastal sands
breathe, but sometimes in agony
they hold their breath.
We flow, we brace ourselves,
Things in this world right now cut me
and I cannot feel numb
when anyone is hungry, scared or sad.
I need to feel your bare feet touch me
your common ground.’
The common ground is singing a song
to tell us we belong
and sending the rains of understanding
disguised in tests like a tidal wave.
Can we let it wash over us, remake us until
we reach the shores of the