Lemons

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
bittersweet.

(c) June Perkins

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Visiting Words and Pictures with Family and Friends

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Thank you friends and family who have keenly visited Words and Pictures at the QAGOMA and given me your feedback.

Thanks for taking pictures of me with the exhibition as well.  I am not so good at selfies.

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John Perceval’s Angel, Queensland Art Gallery

 

‘Art is a sign; signs can be art and art can be light.

But the real question is, what will you design in response to loss?’

(Perceval’s Angel)

 

It adds another layer to reading the poems, if you take the time to meet Perceval’s Angel and head to Yvonne Koolmatrie’s Hot Air Balloon to set out on this adventure.

After that you can read the poems and stories whenever you find that feather – the order doesn’t really matter.

There are ten pieces to find after the two orientation pieces.

Star Song

 

 

The new century promises
the eternity of song

holding binoculars
in every mood.

a bunch of flitting fireflies
liveth here.

A telescope can show you
songs I’ve heard.

Beyond the asteroid belt
lie songs like grass.

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,

Art Zedetta.

 

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.

Belonging

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
of freedom
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
victim,
but also teaching me, uplifting me,
freeing 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
harmony flow
in all the air around you and
within you?’

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,
we cry.
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
common ground?


(c) June Perkins, words and image.

Impressions

War of the Worlds, Currumbin, Gold Coast, Swell Sculpture Festival, Taken by June Perkins

 

Reflections on an art installation by the sea

 

The artist sees
the War of the Worlds
as aliens land on the beach.

When the art is there
to the people who walk by
they are more like friendly ones
visiting from space.

The people confidently walk by
with their family
friends, pet dogs
and stop with cameras.

The photographer sees
the installation
a metal family in the sunset.

People do not run
or scream
they walk and if there
was a foothold the children
would be tempted to climb.

The poet viewing
the photograph
sees acceptance for even those
who at first seem alien.

(c) June Perkins

War of the Worlds, Currumbin, Gold Coast, Swell Sculpture Festival – Taken by June Perkins

Hot Air Balloon – Art Adventure Begins

Yvonne Koolmatrie’s Hot Air Balloon, Queensland Art Gallery

Climb on board, dreamers and travellers
Whoever you may be, take a journey with me.

Feel the woven textures beneath your feet.
Smell the Murray River in the weave.

Take yourself to the balloon’s edge
Feel the breezes through the sedge.

Touch textures of the air as we fly.
Sense the depth of sky below.

Search the windows that we pass
for the dreamers beyond.

Ask yourself, Am I afraid?
Or am I brave?

Sense the strength of angels
Ignite reconciliation’s flame.

 

(c) June Perkins

This poem is currently on display at Words and Pictures, Queensland Art Gallery and viewable as a pdf

 

Quiet: Contemplating the Collection

Embrace the Australian Collection as a place of quiet contemplation through poetry, drop-in drawing and calm living meditation.

Words and Pictures – Drop in Daily

Ongoing | Galleries 10 – 13 | Free
Discover a fresh perspective on the Australian Collection with Words & Pictures, an ongoing project that invites local artists and writers to respond to artworks in the Australian Collection. Take inspiration, and use the pencils and paper provided to create your own response through drawing or writing.

SPRING 2018 | This season’s Words & Pictures inspiration comes from poet and children’s author, June Perkins. June has developed an interactive journey through the Australian Collection through poems and micro-stories for visitors of all ages, with particular appeal for children and families.

For more information VISIT THIS LINK

 

 

 

Spirit of the Plains

Sydney Long, Spirit of the Plains, Queensland Art Gallery

 

Brolga! Brolga, follow me, dance with me across the plains,
for you are me, and I am you, if only though I had your wings.

Brolga! Brolga, bring your friends; I know you cannot live alone.
Listen, as I play for you, a wetland filling up with food.

Brolga! Brolga, I bless you; may your wetlands always be here.
Let them not be cleared away, let the sedge grow tall and well.

May the people hear our song, then dance with us across the plains.
Brolga! Brolga, I am you, and you are me: let us both grow tall and well.

 

By June Perkins, Brisbane based, poet and children’s author, This poem is part of Words and Pictures, Spring 2018

**

Embrace the Australian Collection as a place of quiet contemplation through poetry, drop-in drawing and calm living meditation.

WORDS & PICTURES: DROP-IN DAILY

Ongoing | Galleries 10 – 13 | Free
Discover a fresh perspective on the Australian Collection with Words & Pictures, an ongoing project that invites local artists and writers to respond to artworks in the Australian Collection. Take inspiration, and use the pencils and paper provided to create your own response through drawing or writing.

SPRING 2018 | This season’s Words & Pictures inspiration comes from poet and children’s author, June Perkins. June has developed an interactive journey through the Australian Collection through poems and micro-stories for visitors of all ages, with particular appeal for children and families.

For more head to the Gallery or the webpage (other poems and stories at this site until November only)