Ink of Light Presenter: June Perkins

This year I will be presenting a workshop on the Powers of Poetry on Sunday May 19th at the Ink of Light, Baha’i Writer’s Festival. I have been assisting Naysan Naraqi and Ian Hallmond with organising the festival and it is so exciting for all of us to be about to see it happen. I am especially looking forward to the panels.

Favourite Books

My favourite books are many and varied, and I enjoyed during this interview series discovering that I shared some with the presenters who will be attending the festival. A special favourite is The Secret Garden though and I love books by Jackie French and Morris Gleitzman. I’m a huge fan also of Trent Dalton’s, Boy Swallows Universe.

Heroes

My poetry heroes are eclectic and I especially love Tahirih, Mahvash Sabet, Robert Hayden, Maya Angelou and Roger White as well as numerous song writers such as Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda Bull, Wendy Matthews, Troy Cassar-Daley, and Sara Storer.

Motivation

My main motivation in life is to encourage unity in diversity and the realisation of justice in the world, whilst in my writing it is to explore this through narratives and poems that are still imbued with beauty and optimism and which invite the reader to think about what they can do rather than dictating this.

Favourite Quote

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

You can join me for the Poetry Workshop at the Ink of Light Festival, Sunday, May 19th.

Belonging

A recent reflection on Belonging and a continuation of my series on the common ground.

Ripple Poetry

The earth we stand on
whether sand, grass, concrete, gravel, dust
is the same earth;
it’s our common ground.
Can you hear it breathe?
I am always inspired by its sounds
ocean, train, nightingale, gospel song
and a little bit of country and blues.

The common ground feels the ache of
salt tears given in hunger and loss
to those who feel invisible
who want shelter
and safety and the transformation of visionary
art that no one should be kept from;
you can’t silence the poets and songwriters
of freedom
and the painters of truth.
Maya Angelou, Albert Namatjira’s, Tahirih
so many more heroes I could name,
they remind us of the common ground.
But to honour them our lives might
find the profound and make it live.

The common ground says, ‘Tell me your story
I care, and
wisdom will be our friend through
dialogue where I listen
and…

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Hot Air Balloon – Art Adventure Begins

Ripple Poetry

Yvonne Koolmatrie’s Hot Air Balloon, Queensland Art Gallery

Climb on board, dreamers and travellers
Whoever you may be, take a journey with me.

Feel the woven textures beneath your feet.
Smell the Murray River in the weave.

Take yourself to the balloon’s edge
Feel the breezes through the sedge.

Touch textures of the air as we fly.
Sense the depth of sky below.

Search the windows that we pass
for the dreamers beyond.

Ask yourself, Am I afraid?
Or am I brave?

Sense the strength of angels
Ignite reconciliation’s flame.

(c) June Perkins

This poem is currently on display at Words and Pictures, Queensland Art Gallery and viewable as a pdf

Quiet: Contemplating the Collection

Embrace the Australian Collection as a place of quiet contemplation through poetry, drop-in drawing and calm living meditation.

Words and Pictures – Drop in Daily

Ongoing | Galleries 10 – 13 | Free
Discover a…

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Haystack

This appeared on Australian Children’s Poetry blog today, and is also up at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Ripple Poetry

Image: William Delafield Cook A haystack 1982, Courtesy of the Queensland Art Gallery

Look! Rats and the children run out from
their hiding places in the haystack to
dance in front of us in a merry line?
Who else do you think hides here?

Do you have a memory of haystacks or
artist’s haystacks?

(Perceval’s Angel)

Tumble down the Haystack
dreaming columns of Greece.

Tumble down the Haystack
​             with childhood farming friends.

​Tumble down the Haystack
​             to horses and the cows.

Now,
climb up that artist’s Haystack
and tumble down again.

June Perkins (Brisbane-based poet and children’s author)​

***

June cover page-4 John Perceval Sculpture: The Herald Angel 1958 Ray Crooke, Woman with Blossoms

Dr June Perkins, a Brisbane based poet and children’s author, has developed an interactive journey, through the Australian Collection, through poems and micro-stories for visitors of all ages, with…

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