The Poet at Play 1


If you don’t like knowing the secrets to conjuring tricks read no further.  But if you like to have an insight into how to do them then you will like this series, the poet at play.

In this series I explore how the poet, and creative writer can make their words more powerfully appear on the page, and their metaphors more astounding.

It’s about ways of pushing beyond the boundaries of a cliche, and the obvious.  It’s based on the belief that EVERYONE can potentially make their words salsa, waltz or tango or do the cultural dance of their origins or liking.

I’ll introduce you to some of the text books I like to work with, and some of the things I have found that work for me through my own personal reading, practice and study.

This week, I am working hard on new poetry for competitions and submissions.

I have two metaphors that have been preoccupying me for a couple of weeks. They simply won’t go away. I even had a vivid dream based on one of them last night!

I have put preliminary words down on paper. Now I am faced with the task of playing with them until they become fully formed poems. As part of this process, I am doing some creative writing exercises from Hazel’s Smith’s  The Writing Experiment.

I spent nearly two hours reworking two ideas, and these may turn into two poems or a suite of poems.

I loved particularly Smith’s exercises on additions and substitutions, which were my main focus of this first experimenting stint.

Whilst I can’t share the new poems, I thought I would demonstrate how some of the techniques from Smith’s book might work on poems I have already shared on this blog. Applying some of the techniques of Smith to past poems, here is what might happen to ‘You strip me back to the bones’   Beyond Prejudice where I substitute a new word for bones.

You strip me back to the bones
You strip me back to raw emotion
You strip me back to my outlines
You strip me back to my thoughts
You strip me back to my music
You strip me back to my soul
You strip me back to me

After I have done one of these experiments I can then do some of my own work and strip away the repetition and rework again. I pull out these words: emotion, bones, outlines, thoughts, music, soul, me.

A short poem emerges.

Emotions bones
Thought outlines
Soul Music
Me

Me
Music
Soul outlines
thought bones

Then these lines emerge as another starting point.

The music of me
In outlines

And looking at  ‘I refuse to see myself through your eyes’ from the same poem – and I continue the process as just outlined to discover new lines.

I refuse to feel myself through your hands
I refuse to hear myself through your music
I refuse to move to your expectations

But I stop because now I can mix the ‘music of me’ with some of the experiments just done, into the beginnings of a new poem,

The music of me
In outlines
you refuse to hear

You think you strip me back to my music
You think you strip me back to my soul
You think you strip me back to me

But I refuse
to feel myself through your hands
to hear myself through your music
to move to your expectations

(c) June Perkins  (This series to be continued)

Ted X Morning


For Deb, Justine and Renee


Ted X Morning

The light and zing of commercials
between my favourite shows
is not nourishing
but rather requires the mute button green
of the remote to take me into a greener zone
and better still a turning away from entertainment
that leads to momentary escape from the
sorrow, pain, and heartbreak.

Finding out my friends
favourite tedX talks
and watching them one by one
becomes the new forest I build
which will still have heart break
but the kind that’s a ladder
over the wall of sorrow in
watching or a doorway into inner understanding
and there’s a garden
where I can foster the self outside
my physical now reality.

Poets, Teachers, Parents
build insights that make me laugh
and know I am not alone
but all parents hearts can break
no one is perfect
it is okay to say I made
a mistake, I am sorry
and often those we love
may hurt us the most
although not through intention
but just because they know all the
weaknesses we think we hide
but to them are clear because they love us.

A silent clap
can bring me to tears
and reflecting on moments
of clarity and calm lived between
intense pain brings realisation
that need not be explained
but simply lived.

(c) June Perkins 22/03/2018

A Poet’s Review of Magic Fish Dreaming

 

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In secret spots, hidden pools, fields of sugar cane and tangled rainforests, June Perkins and Helene Magisson’s enchantingly illustrated poetic adventure, Magic Fish Dreaming, delves into the delights of the Wet Tropics, where poems are waiting to be caught by children curious enough to notice and question.

Beginning with a hunt for a giggle poem, the sounds and sight of the seashore are collected in a net. As the materials are gathered up we are invited to look, wonder and explore with the senses of a naturalist, reveling in the fun of learning about the world and the spell of pouring it into words.

This effervescent collection of poems is perfect for adults and children to share, in the spirit of its community of people, plants, animals and places. With their insightful stories and dialogues, June’s poems are perfect for reading aloud or performing together.

It is also a book to be relished alone, quietly absorbing the reflective verses that celebrate the wonder in looking into the waters or up to the stars in stillness and silence. Magic Fish Dreaming should be out, open and working its magic in every kindergarten, primary classroom and home—it will certainly stay with me as I set off on my next poetic expedition.

Helen Ramoutsaki, poet, lyricist, performer and educator  

Secrets to Living your Best Life

Thank you Maya Angelou
now gone to be universal ancestor
so glad you leave your words to guide
the people’s hearts away
from hate
to the very best they can be
to become empowered social participants
who see ancestors –
who were the rainbows in their clouds
who paved the way for the people
they would become.

They could not see who they would become
the music they would make
the poets they would foster
the roads they would build
the fields they would reap
the rise of their souls beyond –

the slavery that was theirs
and she says we need to name those
who were our origins
who were the rainbows
the foundation of who we would become
and listening to her wisdom
I name them:

she is Paisa in her village
racked with tuberculosis
and she sings of far off grandchild or bubu.
She never sees bubu when
bubu leaves Papua New Guinea’s shores.

He is a miner in England
struggling to make ends meet
I do not know his name
great grandfather striving –

so his children
can escape this life –

and in the future their worlds will join
and their descendants
will lead the world into

-oneness
where rainbow families dance into
the light.


(c) June Perkins

No barriers

wall

Love recognizes no barriers.

It jumps hurdles, leaps fences,

penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

Maya Angelou

gate

The day wall came tumbling down in Germany
I was answering a university exam question about how it might never come down
hope was confirmed the exam turned upside down.

I hope that day comes again and
many more walls that need to be shaken
receive the sledge hammer of
human love global love so walls of
war, poverty, prejudice are overturned.

By June Perkins