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Extract from Pen and Pixel, May 2022

Wow! I can’t quite believe this has happened.

It is going to be a busy next couple of years.

All the candidates were immensely talented, experiences, and any one of them would have made an excellent contribution (and still can), including the outgoing chair, and yet I am grateful for this opportunity, as a woman of colour, of faith, and mixed heritages, and of place – to take on this role and see what I can bring to the table and who else I can bring to the table with me.

When living in a regional area, QWC helped me locate a local writing group, later they sent workshops, poets and others to our area.

I pitched an article to Writing Queensland on Blogging Cyclones – which they accepted, and later articles of Poetry Advocacy through poetry in galleries, and most recently guest edited. Other involvements have been participating in videos for kickstarters to assist for raising of scholarships of students, and submitting books to Books in Our Backyard Catalogue. From time to time I have been to a workshop when it’s up my alley.

With Write Link critique group

Yet, also there are so many others who have also inspired me as a creative today QCAN (sadly no longer in existence), Cassowary Coastal Writers, Queensland Music Festival, QAGOMA, QLD Poetry, Share Your Story, ASA, Write Links, SCBWI, Tropical Writers in Cairns, Townsville Writers, Interplay 1994, Illumine Team, Kookie Magazine, Australian Fairy Tale Society, ABC Open, CYA, and the Ink of Light Team (and many more). Engagement with these various groups, their members and readers, and institutions and publications has enriched my life.

It is just too difficult to name individuals – and without stories for each of them I can’t do their role in my life justice, but there are many! You might find their stories on my various blogs! I could feel this post with many delightful moments.

Meeting Trent Dalton

Memories of Festivals in Cairns, anthology launches, readings, book shop launches – and then Brisbane, and an explosion of things to go to, and be part of. So many writers, well known, emerging, striving, regional, global- met read, appreciated, including the dear, dear children’s and young adult writing community.

Meeting the amazing poet Sarah Holland-Bat

I love the writing community of Queensland, and have long found writing like a light in my life, especially in the aftermath of great and little traumas as well as mega and micro joys. So if you hear a little less from me on my blog you will know I am busy seeing what else can happen for those with stories in their hearts and fire in their fingers, to share the visions, dreams, herstory, history, memories, a very special part of the world.

Leigh Hobbs just gave a lecture!

It’s the journey not the destination, sounds like such a cliche, but really it is just that – how we do things not just a brilliant outcome needs to be the goal. As for the role of stories in all of that, stories that excavate and understand the past, that communicate to the present possible futures, that imagines, extends, and reinvigorates.

This is the day for the stories that will move us, shift us – to connection.

And whether the form changes, from spoken, to written, to filmed, gamed, online, on a gallery wall – combining multimodalities, it is the heart of the story that illumines and elucidates for us the human conditions – loss, grief, hope, and more.

Fathomless

A meditation

Ripple Poetry

What is this fathomless and
           surging Ocean?
                 
Can you hear it 
          in the flooding rivers and creeks?
                 Brisbane is upturned.

Can you see it 
        in the tears of hiding children 
        in tunnels of Ukraine
        
A child sings her nation and 
      everyone knows her name 
          for a moment.

Can you touch its life vein
         when tears are thickened
                from all that threatens life?

Surging trouble, deeper, harsher, 
          cutting into skin and bone
                removing every comfort of home 
                 every wall, door, window
                 streetscapes scarred.

Where is this feeling 
       that just nearby are 
               loved ones ?
          
Sending them letter like prayers
            framed by the eternal postman
can I  wish 
              reach
                partake
                     take deep breaths ...
                          
 Pause 

                  behold ...
                       astonishment
Feel
bounty rush closer
                glorious...

(c) June Perkins words and image, inspired by the quotation.

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Lights Leviathan

A poem for now…

Ripple Poetry

Lucia Tyson ©

“In every age and cycle He hath, through the splendorous light shed by the Manifestations of His wondrous Essence, recreated all things, so that whatsoever reflecteth in the heavens and on the earth the signs of His glory may not be deprived of the outpourings of His mercy, nor despair of the showers of His favors. How all-encompassing are the wonders of His boundless grace!”
-Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah

Inspired by this photograph and Gleaning from Nineteen Months

Outpourings in darkness
                       soul frames longing
                       lost, lassoing, looking 
                       twisting twirling torrential
                                   light.

Thoughts into action
                  flight from fancy
                 focus flowing freedom singing rungs to
                            heaven.

Ripple rising through the water
                torch like
                from torment,  terrifying, tenacious
                     hope's
                            leviathan.

(c) Poem by June Perkins


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Reflecting at midpoints

Infinity community solutions

I have reached almost the mid point of the masters in teaching.

This term has been all about learning and development theories – and understanding how to develop a growth mindset, and see how empowering a teacher can be through the power of modelling the attitudes and skills they want to see in their students – as well as empowering the autonomy and independence their students will need in life. Bandura, Dweck, and others have lit the way. For Dweck, praise for process is so important. For Bandura, models need to be aware they are unintentionally modelling all the time and people can vicariously learn. Both agree that processes that enhance agency and resilience are important.

I am contemplating taking a brief break from studies, to take a deep breath before the home straits. I am keen to do creative writing and study for my numeracy test. All teachers have to sit compulsory literacy and numeracy tests. I was confident and completed the literacy one, but I do have to brush up on my numeracy skills to ensure they are reasonable.

June Perkins – After the Floods

I worked hard this first term to balance, studies, friendship, service, studies and family. It can be difficult to do it all. And really do we have to? Sometimes something has to take a back seat, as long as well being remains. Interestingly we tackled this as a topic for supporting our students as well.

I don’t ever want to lose myself in only one world, creative, social, work, spiritual but keep it all in flow and connection.

I was so happy to see one of my best friends after a year! How quickly time passes if we are not careful. We decided that it would be lovely to collaborate on something again. I am thinking it would give us a lot of joy!

On my break, I am going to read books I have been unable to, try and finish some writing projects I have always wanted to, and make sure that my numeracy skills grow. I also want to grow courage!

Interfaith International

This is the virtue of my break – as I contemplate what is broken in the world.

So much is broken. Floods, decimated things, Ukraine and Russia, the Academy Awards (the slap!), the way people speak to and of others on social media. And yet personally my heart has been healing from great hurts. And for the first time in almost two years I feel stronger.

I feel the building of this courage, and a spilling of love for the world from my heart. I can move forward by loving the world even more, from writing even more stories, from working towards goals like becoming a teacher.

I close this post with a memory picture of my dear husband and I. He is an immense source of strength. I have placed on here images of us in childhood before we met.

Even back then I was finding a solace in art! We keep writing our joint story, but also our own stories as independent beings and that is the beauty of equality. Be well.

Alone, with others, connected, within, and beyond the self.

Personal Archives, June Perkins
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