Breathe

brokenchurch_april2011_0447

There’s a lady with coloured birds
who knows how to breathe
long and deep
from head to toe
all through her body.

She told me it’s easy to take the
thoughts and put them aside
good or indifferent, stressed or
restless and
just breathe

in and out watching the breath
aware of the presence
that keeps us alive
taking in the oxygen
forgetting all else but this
breath.

She tells us not to sleep
as we become aware of each toe
and each part of our hand

And our chests rising and falling
our thoughts are not welling up stillness
except for the breath.

But someone is snoring because
she has become so calm
but that is alright too
as she is free for a moment

from the broken tarp rooves
wind gusts
rubbish
insurance companies
quotes
and all that interrupts
the breath

And she breathes…

In goes the pain
but out comes a dream
a dream of a calm sea
and a green rainforest
but she must let go even of this
future dream
and breathe.

Sinking in as she leans
on a chair and feels all the tension
drift away
fall away and she can fly
in a way
she can swim in a way

With the breath . . .

By June Perkins

Breathe

This poem is featured in After Yasi, Finding the Smile Within.  

The blog hop tour of this ebook is about to take place.

brokenchurch_april2011_0444
Box painted by Barbara Baker Johns

There’s a lady with coloured birds
who knows how to breathe
long and deep
from head to toe
all through her body.

She told me it’s easy to take the
thoughts and put them aside
good or indifferent, stressed or
restless and
just breathe

in and out watching the breath
aware of the presence
that keeps us alive
taking in the oxygen
forgetting all else but this
breath.

She tells us not to sleep
as we become aware of each toe
and each part of our hand

And our chests rising and falling
our thoughts are not welling up stillness
except for the breath.

But someone is snoring because
she has become so calm
but that is alright too
as she is free for a moment

from the broken tarp rooves
wind gusts
rubbish
insurance companies
quotes
and all that interrupts
the breath

And she breathes…

In goes the pain
but out comes a dream
a dream of a calm sea
and a green rainforest
but she must let go even of this
future dream
and breathe.

Sinking in as she leans
on a chair and feels all the tension
drift away
fall away and she can fly
in a way
she can swim in a way

With the breath . . .

By June Perkins

Best comments for each blog will be given a PRIZE, either a free copy of the ebook or a choice of a signed print of one of the photographs from the book. Would absolutely love it if you retweet, reblog and share this post – and the blog hop posts, to all your friends.
The After Yasi Blog Tour includes visits to:
Jan 27   (Tuesday) http://open.abc.net.au  ABC Open  (guest blog, June Perkins, storytelling tips)
Jan 27   Karen Tyrrell http://www.karentyrrell.com/
Jan 28 (Wednesday)  Dimity Powell (interview) http://www.dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/
Jan 29 (Thursday) Charmaine Clancy (guest blog) http://charmaineclancy.com/
Jan 30  (Friday) Michele D’Acosta https://micheledacosta.wordpress.com
Jan 30 Jedda Bradley  – (interview)https://www.facebook.com/jeddabradleyartist
Jan 31 (Saturday) Carol Campbell  (review) http://writersdream9.wordpress.com
Jan 31  (Saturday) Gail Kavanagh  (review) http://gailkavanagh.com/blog/
Feb 1 (Sunday) Owen Allen (focus Dance) http://owen59.wordpress.com/ http://placestories.com/folks/Oen
Feb 2  Ali Stegert (Monday)  http://ali-stegert.com/
Feb 3   Melinda Irvine http://businessonblue.com.au/
Feb 3   Wrap up and thankyou blog from June http://pearlz.wordpress.com
You can find sample pages of the ebook here: http://gumbootspearlz.pressbooks.com/
More on the book at After Yasi 
You are welcome to attend from wherever you are in the world -the online launch – February 3rd
See the facebook page: The Launch Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/866286073402069/?pnref=story Program being prepared.
*This schedule is still subject to  minor changes but I will post any changes closer to lift off.

Hospital Vigil – Lullaby

flighthands-001
(c) June Perkins

I

I think of you
sitting by the side
of a hospital bed
I’ve been there too.

You wait for one who’s in coma
perhaps induced
and tears are close at hand
but instead you will yourself
to sing your loved one’s favourite songs.

You’ve been told they can hear you
in their coma dreams
it’s then that you remember the power
of the lullaby.

This time your lullaby is
an invoking them to be allowed to wake once more
for head, heart and soul to be healed.

Your lullaby is to chase away uncertainty
to let them know that
in the land of the awake
love for them
is waiting
no matter how long the journey
whether from wheelchair or not
without speech or not.

Love is the lullaby that keeps
us dancing with those we love
beckoning from the world of dreams
to a world of lived courage.

II

Wake when you are ready
from the land of dreams.

Know that we are waiting
and we will cheer you on.

Wake when you are ready
to make those recovery steps.

We’ll be here always waiting
to cheer you back to us

You are strong
and to your future you belong

Your sleep it serves a purpose
may it make you strong
don’t forget that
to your future you belong.

Wake when you are ready
please return to us.

(c) June Perkins

So today it’s time for a lullaby.

I think I’ll write one for parents and siblings sitting by hospital beds. Thinking of Phil Hughes’ (Australian Cricketer) family today, keeping vigil by his hospital bed. Note within a few hours of this poem Phillip Hughes passed away. A sad day for the Australian Cricket Community.

After Yasi – he said, she said

poster2flight

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

She said, ‘it’s so cold as we’re still sleeping on our veranda.’

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,’ she took 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.

The butterflies returned.

She said,’I’ll paint butterflies on our old roof.’

It was then they knew the secret of insight.

 

By June Perkins

 

So many stories spinning around, and asking to be remembered. This is what happens when cyclone, tidal waves, twisters arrive at communities, and leave people in their wake.

It is theraputic for the creatively express that swirl of experience, until something emerges to give comfort.   

The he and the she in this poem are not a single he and a she but a combined he and she of the whole community.

 

 

For more stories see After Yasi

What would Emily say?

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The creek is still here
skeleton bush returns bit by bit
but the swinging tree of the waterhole
is gone.

The tiny blue trimmed butterflies hide
with the dandelions
gold and brown ones nestle deep into the green grass
capturing them with camera leaves them free to fly.

Why do some children take the red nets
and break the wings of such beauty,
why can’t they let them be?

Two friends sit at a round table
discussing Emily Dickinson
and how she had to speak to others
from another room.

She needed so much room to write her words
still she hid them away

Butterflies hiding in the grass
sing of Emily
and wonder what she would have
made of cyclones.

(c) Word and images June Perkins

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If Glass Could Talk

8329571144_3a57e71720_z (2)
Image By June Perkins

for Jacque

If only all the tiny shards of glass
bottle brown
wine green
yellow and purple orchid swirls
could talk

What would they say
if fragments realigned
knit themselves back
like broken bones entwined in casts
and heroes walked?

What if the paralysed
could miracle embrace
pain and grief
trauma and loss
till they walked with stars?

I breathe out Vincent’s starry night
from living room wall
to outside door
then coffee table book on my floor

I wonder – would he obsess about lost socks
from cyclone’s past?

 

(c) June Perkins

I wrote a series of poems tackling the responses and recovery to a cyclone, but they could be relevant to any form of recovery from trauma.

Breathe

brokenchurch_april2011_0447
Broken Church – June Perkins

There’s a lady with coloured birds
who knows how to breathe
long deep breaths
from head to toe
all through her body.

She told me ‘it is easy to take the
thoughts and put them aside
good or indifferent, stressed or
restless
just breathe

in and out watching the breath
aware of the presence of that
which keeps us alive
taking in the oxygen
forgetting all else but this
breath.’

She tells us not to sleep
as we become aware of each toe
and each part of our hand

And our chest rising and falling
and the thoughts are not welling up stillness,
except for the breath

But someone is snoring because
she has become so calm
but that is alright too
because she is free for
a moment

From the broken tarp rooves
wind gusts
rubbish
insurance companies
quotes
and all that stuff
that interrupts
the breath

And she breathes…

In goes the pain
but out comes a dream
a dream of a calm sea
and a green rainforest
but she must let go even of this
future dream

brokenchurch_april2011_0444
Lady with birds -Photographed by June Perkins

and breathe

The moment of calm
sinking in as she leans
on a chair and feels all the tension
drift away
fall away and she can fly
in a way
she can swim in a way

With the breath
of freedom
and hope…

By June Perkins

A Baby Smiles

origami
Kyaabo – Flickr Creative Commons

A baby smiles
she survived the rubble
in Japan

a writer smiles
she saw a rainbow

a walk with bright yellow umbrellas
in the rain

a feeling that life
will go on once again

sending off packages of illustrations
and words
to meet dignitaries

wondering if they
will hear our joy
as well as our sorrow

a walk with purple orchids
in the wind

true friends emerge
to give us
wings

firm and staunch
hearing our sorrow
and our joy

turning myself inside out
and upside down
to walk with peace

harmonicas on a Sunday
show that birthdays
can be cool in
a Bob Dylan kind of moment
for the young

cyclone forged friendships
will go on

surviving all the loss
we cannot know

embracing all the human depths

By June Perkins

Footsteps

footstepsoflove
Photo Credit: June Perkins

Footsteps I hear
Loud
Soft
Allegro
Andante

Footsteps to follow
courage
resilience
persistence
recovery

Footsteps of mystery
creation
birth
life
purpose

Footsteps I can’t avoid
milestones
old
memory
death

Footsteps
loss
pain
healing
renewal

Inner footsteps
Silence
Meditation
Journey
Understanding


(c) June Perkins,

Blue Bonnets

blue bonnets
Herself- Flickr Creative Commons

Funerals like rain
Fall from clouds
Young boys say ‘goodbye’
As father’s lowered to the ground

Mother stands alone
Tears become her shroud
Funeral goers utter not a sound.

She hears blue guitar strums
She’s pounding melancholy’s drums.

Texas and Tully are so far apart
Yet they share skies
Where hawks and heron fly

Storms and troubles rock both their shores
Warn their people to depart.

She tells her children
the legend of the Texas Blue Bonnet flower

A young girl gave up her warrior doll,
The last reminder of family,
To invoke a higher power.

She burnt her warrior doll
Its head dress of blue feathers
Offered up its ashes
To the North, South, East and West Winds
So hunger and loss it would tether.

She cried herself to sleep.
Let her memory weep.

When she awoke
Never before seen flowers,
Clambered the mountains
Birds made their bowers
People drank from hope’s fountains.

The mother with the shroud
Inside’s the little girl
Who’ll burn her own warrior doll
She knows what must be done

She’ll let her dreams unfurl.
She’ll wait till all sleep then
Pull out her favourite guitar
Take those blue cords
Burn them, banish them

Scatter their ashes,
North, South, East and West.

The dry season will begin
Floods have had their fun
A looking- to-the-future flower
will now begin to grow.

By June Perkins