International Women’s Day; pen portraits, poetry, posts past

Wishing you a happy International Women’s Day.  Wishing you strength in your quests to empower women.


Weaving Sunset A poem.

Poetry of Mahvash Sabet  A review of a poet rising above her situation of being a religious conscience prisoner.

Empowerment of Women A reflection.

It’s all in the Sidetracks When I first met Jennifer Martiniello.

Aboriginal Women’s Writing An overview of Indigenous Australian Women Writers using the power of writing.

Dreamtime Tea A memory of a friendship with a Japanese Lady in Townsville

Lani Wendt Young Attending a book launch of a Pasifika writer in Brisbane

Purple Tips  A poem.

Mother Made it So A tribute to my Mum.



Mother Made it So

To celebrate Mother’s Day.
 Mother Made it So

I was a well groomed young lady because my mother always made it so.

She stressed ironed clothes, well brushed hair, and the best selection of hand-me-downs and St Vincent Wear, with the occasional new bargain thrown in.

Early photo albums always show her well dressed, but not conventionally so.
Sometimes she’s in saris, other times she’s in mini dresses with bee-hive hair.
Sometimes she’s in a grass skirt with a bikini top (because it’s Australia) ready for national dress events.

Make-up carefully applied, long lashes, now she looks like a Supreme.
Later there are leopard print clothes and bright vibrant purples and blues.
She’s usually slim, sometimes a little well- rounded, but only for a short time, then she’s slim again.

She moves (on a budget) with the times.
She moves with new geographies, Australia, not Papua New Guinea now.
She was generous with everything, including my time.
I was often the unpaid baby sitter for her friends and an old lady who once lived next door.

She was adopting the old ones to remind her of her mother.
She was making sure I knew how to clean, wash and cook and care for the old and the young.
She was taking me charity collecting for Red Cross, and we were running from big dogs guarding houses that don’t want charity collectors or anyone else at their door!

I was making mistakes, putting sugar with rice, wearing clothes that were out of fashion plus drawing on my sneakers.
I was trying to learn.
Patience has never been her strong point. Generosity has.

I didn’t know how to absorb what she was trying to teach me so, often I learnt something other than what she intended.

I learnt some people take too much from generous souls;
you can make a young boy leave his wheel chair with sheer will and lots of physical and emotional therapy and
you can change your future no matter how life begins.

She never gave up on the underdogs.
She was and still is critical, caring, and ferocious, all in one day.
She is my mother and she made me so.

My latest contribution to ABC Open.  A new project begins  Who Shaped Me

Image Credit: Mum from the Family Archives

First Published on my blog in 2012

Also check out Motherhood Sky on Pressbooks

Show not tell poetry4peace

Tree planting at the Gap – By June Perkins

Feeling a little heart-broken with all the despair in so many parts of the world. Time to write lots more #poetry4peace

Another bomb

another bomb fell on Gaza
and more people died

more people were feeling anxious
about flying

breakfast television said it was because
of the news and events in Ukraine

mothers and children marched
their happiness through the streets
free from Russian occupation

an Israeli soldier
was kidnapped

another bomb fell on Gaza
and more mothers cried

breakfast television said
children under 7 should not
be exposed to too much gruesome news

in the middle of the night
boat people were flown to Nauru
their lawyers were surprised

I read some poems from a prisoner of Faith
Mavash Sabet
my heart wept for her
missing the great outdoors

and smiled at her strength
and the beauty of her poetic spirit
and capacity to love

another bomb fell on Gaza
a UN official sobbed

we planted trees in a Brisbane park
different nationalities and religions all together
no bombs dropped

another bomb fell on Gaza
and more people died

in the park
families planting
saplings for the next generation
we smiled and laughed
more people were there than expected

(c) June Perkins

This wheel doesn’t turn

For all of us who have had misbehaving trolleys. This is one of my ideas of the nightmares the suburbs hold and which imagination can conquer.

Ripple Poetry


Image Credit Creative Commons, some rights reserved Michael Scott

This wheel doesn’t turn
the way that it should
it just has a soul of its own.

Frustration is crawling
under my skin
wheeling all over my day.

This wheel doesn’t turn
the way that it should
left is right
right is left
oh how I wish it would burn.

This feral stray
ignores toddlers’ screaming dismay
This suburban dragon metal
oh how I long it a kettle.

I want to escape
but not sure that I can
with a wheel that don’t
want to turn.

Time now I be a knight
train this disobedient trolley
left for left
right for right
but its like an unruly
windy upturned brolley.

So now I use logic’s magic
take left for right
and right for left
to help us out through the maze.

I think we can, I think we can
ride our…

View original post 20 more words

Random Angels in the Wings


Image By June Perkins

Ever had random angels in the wings?  They say or do just what you might have needed at that moment.  Afterwards you find yourself thinking, did that just happen?

These angels seem all the more random because they are in public spaces and make you feel happy, helped and safe, when perhaps you could be suspicious, struggling and scared.

I share with you three angels who must’ ve specialised in young mums. I have never forgotten their actions, although to be honest I don’t remember their faces at all.

The first angel

I’m in a university library, looking for some books I need for research.

We can handle this, we have before, my first born and I are intrepid explorers.  However today he starts to get teary. I give him something to play with from what I wished was a bottomless magic mum bag!

This book search is long though and we are running out of options.  The librarian is watching, is this good or bad?

She lets me know although there is not a children’s section as such there is a curriculum section which has all sorts of goodies I can borrow even if temporarily to keep him happy whilst I wander the library. There’s even puppets there.

We go straight to curriculum and I find something which really entertains him. I am able to find the rest of the books for my essay.

The second angel

I’ m stuck at the bottom of some stairs at a railway station. I don’t know where the lift is. There is a massive surge of people going up the stairs. I fold up the pram and ready myself to hold it in one arm and my toddler in another.

Someone just appears and chirps,  ‘need a hand with that.’

He walks beside me, takes my pram to the top of the stairs, unfolds it for me,  smiles and leaves me to go my way.   The day has begun well.

The third angel

I’m stunned, someone just said to me ‘You are a great mother,’ these words came from a complete stranger, watching me in the library, negotiating the shelves with my children.

This was something which I hoped I was and strived to be. I am a bit anxious about it sometimes, and don’t have much of a support network of other young mums or family around me, but I keep trying my best.

I live for the dreams of my children but I do have my own as well.  I have been reading so many books on parenting but sometimes books just don’t hold all the answers on a day- to-day basis.

What did I do? Just kept my cool even when the kids were getting a little snarky. Just gently disciplined them with reason until they just behaved.

It wasn’t creepy to have a stranger say this, this angel seemed to genuinely to want to put a kindness post it note on me and say well done .

It feels like someone somewhere is clapping me and giving me a big cheer to sustain me through any other times when mothering will seem tough.


Then I see the news this week, a young woman on a bus, assaulted, in broad daylight, no-one does anything. How can this happen? Where were her random angels waiting in the wings?

What must her mother be feeling right now?

I hope there are many more angels waiting in the wings of the lives of the mothers and their children who need them.  Even when you practice self reliance they do have the power to make the world seem a better place.

Then I open up the newsfiles and find out about all the people wanting the girls in Nigeria released.  Are they Random Angels,  deliberately joining forces ? Bring back the girls!

There’s a place for global and local random acts of kindness, and deliberate and random acts of kindness.  Just maybe there is hope?