Grey and White

Ripple Poetry

Maria Popova – Flickr Creative Commons

Grey and white streaks
begin to lace themselves
through my hair.

I embrace
the signs of wisdom
chasing through me there,
And all around me others
dye and tease their hair
to conceal their age
but that is their affair.

I don’t mind that they want to do this
and hold onto their esteem
but why does one say to me
‘You should dye your hair
you look so ancient and so old’

I explain to her
‘when I was younger
I looked younger than my age
and am happy to embrace
the white and grey that now
dance through my life.’

She cannot take a hint
and simply doesn’t understand
I don’t need a bottled colour
to conceal the process I’m now in
and now she wants to know
the colour of my youth.

Why do so many worship
forever staying young?

I…

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Paper Boats

Ripple Poetry

Creative Commons Flickr Geson Ratnow

Paper boats conjure dreams
of petals soaked by
scents of the
ocean.

Traveling boats
float in shadows
people
who have a simple hope
for happy lands,

but white markers sink
in sandy earth
marking graves of people
who cannot resist new germs.

‘Once watched paper boats,’
grandfather paternal says
in Vietnamese
but nobody understands

no translators here.

So shadow puppets dance
for petals
falling from kumquat boughs.

(c) June Perkins

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Cyclone Poetry 3

Ripple Poetry

If Glass Could Talk

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 together
like broken bones entwined in casts
and heroes walked?

What if the paralyzed
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, Words and Image

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Cyclone Inspired Poetry 2

Ripple Poetry

by June Perkins

What Would Emily Say?

The creek is still here
skeleton bush returns bit by bit
but the swinging tree by 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 my camera
leaves them free
to fly.

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

Two friends 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 but
still she hid them away.

Butterflies hiding in the grass
sing of Emily and wonder
What would have made of cyclones?

(c) Words and Images by June Perkins

By June Perkins

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Cyclone Inspired Poetry 1

Ripple Poetry

Feluga after cyclone Yasi – by June Perkins

After Yasi

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

She said, ‘We’re still sleeping on our veranda. It’s so cold.’

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,’ as she strummed 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…

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