‘Universal Soldier’

Yesterday evening I sang Buffy Saint Marie’s ‘Universal Soldier’ and that about sums up how I feel about war…

Today Australia remembers the Anzacs and many other soldiers still out in the field.

Here is Buffy talking about what inspired this song, followed by her singing it.

Here is a poem of my own about loss.

‘Blue Bonnets’

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

The Hidden History Album Project – An Album to Support!

So excited to let you know about Alesa Lajana and her Hidden History Album Project, a song-writing endeavour established for the creative exploration of post European contact Australian history through music.

I first met Alesa, at the Yungaburra music festival after listening to her perform works from her ‘Celtic Gypsy’ Album. My young sons were impressed by her brilliant guitar skills and enjoyed a guitar workshop she ran there to mentor young players.  My daughter loved her singing voice.

With an impressive line up of special guest performers and co-writers, including Bela Fleck, Shane Howard, Amy Saunders, Sam Wagan Watson, and William Barton, Hidden History promises to be something monumental and significant in Australian music history. My family enjoyed the preview concert held at Mt Tambourine.

This crowd funding campaign is specifically to to raise money for Alesa to record her second album: a collection of songs written for the Hidden History Album Project.  She is producing this on her own newly established Record Label Spirit of Country.

Alesa Lajana is the winner of a Queensland Music Award, officially mentored by Shane Howard, and endorsed by Maton Guitars.

Stay tuned as Alesa has agreed to yours truly doing an interview with her.

So looking forward to seeing the finishing touches of this project supported.  So far so good, two crowd funding projects I love look like being supported, hope you my dear readers can help put this one over the line as well.

Share, reblog, facebook, tweet, with whoever you think would love to hear this album come to life.

To find out more about the Crowd Funding Campaign and to leave your pledge to one of those watershed albums, please head over  HERE.

Jadella Lies

 

I am so excited that the Hairy Harold, the kick starter project, I supported last week is going ahead.  Now this week I am encouraging any of my blog readers who love supporting youth living in remoter parts of Australia to support Jadella Lies.

Sonja is a highly motivated and talented young lady who has been doing art and selling her art online and at markets for some time.  She was also a great mentor and friend to my daughter when we lived in far North Queensland.

She has gathered a group of her friends and is this close to creating something truly memorable for all participants, their family, friends and the wider community.

Sonja writes,

“Senthai; a land ruled by magic and chaos. No one person controls another. There are no rulers, and no rules. But legend has it there is one who has the power to seize the hearts and minds of the people. One who can control them… Her power is sought after by many a thief, mercenary and tyrant. But this powerful woman is no more willing to share her powers than she is to use them. She would die before letting that happen.”

This is it. The basic little description upon which this entire book and movie project is based. My friends and I were really just mucking around in an exam block spare, when we decided to make a movie. It was only going to be small, easy to manage (not at all like the ridiculous half-tries we had attempted in the past), nothing too hard at all… Wow, we were naive.

Before we knew what was happening, we were trawling op-shops for costumes to alter, buying swords, making props and puppets and masks and well, everything that we had promised we wouldn’t do. It was fantastic! ”

Sonja goes on to  say:

“During the Christmas holidays, we (8 young women, ranging from age 7 to 18) began filming. We got our parents to transport us to locations around Mission Beach in Far North Queensland whenever we had free time (believe me, coordinating teenage girls is a lot harder than herding cats – it is more like herding bubbles) and we have now completed filming.

Now all we need is that final push to get us over the finish line. We have editors for the movie and book all lined up and ready to go, and have booked dates for an exhibition at the Mission Arts Gallery (the 26th June) where we will exhibit the handmade props, costumes and original artwork.”

So if you want to see some young women achieve their dreams why not lend them some support, and for your troubles they will send you a thankyou card, give you a film sponsorship credit, or post you a copy of their book and the dvd of the movie signed.  I for one, wish them well.

Please reblog this and share on your twitter and facebook!

For more information on the campaign head Jadella Lies Kickstarter Campaign

Note- This project is almost funded only $130 to go (24/04/2015)

For celebration of the ‘glory’ and ‘to make a better world’

JunePerkins_Tully_Glory172

Glory – (c) June Perkins

The realm of glory is not something I can depict in a realist photographic approach. It is something, unknowable, untouchable, and so my focus is more to the essence of the shape of things, the abstract.

“Verily His Call will draw thee nigh unto the realm of glory and will cause thee to extol His praise in such wise that every created thing will be enraptured, and to magnify His glory in such manner as to influence the entire creation. Truly thy Lord is the Protector, the Gracious, the All-Informed.”
-Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah

This year I’ve joined the wonderful team of photographers over at nineteen months.  Each Baha’i Month, we post a photograph we’ve taken and quote that inspires us.

Check out some of the other inspiring contributions HERE

It’s a super busy time as I’m about to begin tutoring, doing an online course on crowd funding, half way through the first draft of my novel,  have a number of works I am editing and keen to begin writing, as well the usual family joys and challenges. My household has three teenagers all embarking on their dreams (one’s at university) and vision for future life. Sometimes I am not sure how I’m going to balance it all. Reflecting on a spiritual theme each month in this way helps to put it all into perspective.

Why create art?  Why write? Why live?  It all seems to be a process of finding balance and a spiritual centering.

So few writers make it in financial and ‘being known’ terms, but does that mean they should give up working on their craft, telling their stories, polishing, sharing and finding joy in that process?  Of course that was a rhetorical question.

Whilst it is true having a wide audience gives authors and artists a sense of validation, and being listened to, yet it is those who write for the way it allows them to connect with the glory in existence itself and build community that will never ever give it up.

This week I have been particularly inspired by Maya Angelou.  I find myself watching many videos where she tells stories and shares her thoughts.  This one truly sums up why I do art – ‘to satisfy my soul’ and ‘to make a better world.’

Wishing you all the best for your week of creativity, and a special thank you to the team of people mentoring and editing my work at the moment.  Your support means so much.

June Perkins

Peer Testimonial

mel irvine at tent-city-evacuation-centre-mel

Melinda Irvine – courtesy of her blog.

June Perkins is a peer, a mentor and a friend.

I sense the creativity that surrounds her whole life as she uses the latest technologies to express the world she sees.

June’s photographs, poetry, videos as well as published written works are shared in her online discussion groups as a source of inspiration and development.

I have also witnessed June working on a community recovery project and personally experienced how her photography and writing bound that project.

It is such a joy that someone of June’s academic knowledge and calibre is so willing to share on so many levels.

Melinda Irvine