I Choose Love

I choose love, not hate;
I hear Martin Luther King knocking at the door.

I choose poetry, deny so called fate
I hear so many poets as they roar.

Maya Angelou says, ‘be the rainbow
in someone else’s cloud.’

I am a rainbow and I forgive, but still call
for injustice to be ploughed.

Mahatma Ghandi shows people how to resist
with non violence, so I wage peace not war;
I don’t wait for it to come knocking at the door.

I read ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Paris Talks
and picture when he brings Louis Gregory to the table
and makes acceptance more than a fable.

Actions always speak louder than words
but words have power
that can be absurd
or turn humanity into
a soaring bird.

I choose for my children
more than debate.

May they educate
illuminate, radiate then eradicate
prejudice forevermore.

I dream we’ll walk through unity’s gate.

June Perkins

I Choose Love

Ripple Poetry

Dedicated to all those
who visited my facebook wall this week

I choose love, not hate
I hear Martin Luther King knocking at the door

I choose poetry, deny so called fate
and hear so many poets begin to roar

Maya Angelou says be the rainbow
in the clouds

I will forgive but still call for injustice to end
Mahatma Ghandi shows people how to resist
with non violence so –

I wage peace not war
I don’t wait for it to come knocking at the door

I read Abdul-Baha’s Paris Talks
and think of when he brings Louis Gregory to the table
in the United States

I choose for my children
more than debate

I dream we walk through unity’s gate.

June

familypicbest5 My family in the seventies

I spent this week having discussions in my facebook space about racism and prejudice and what we can do about it.

It…

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Diving into creativity, changing perspectives

 

2014-05-10 2014-05-10 001 058
Abstracting Nature’s Reflections – June Perkins

At the moment I am working on three short stories;  one about homelessness, another racism of the insidious subtle kind, and the last one introduces and captures a deep thinker trapped  in his falling apart (but maybe he can put it back together) country life.

But these themes whilst they appear deep and meaningful are carried by compelling characters who don’t speak like philosophers but like everyday people with particular lingo/slang/dialogue that is real and natural.

As I create each story I am thinking extensively about the voice of the narrator and which narrative point of view will work the best.  One story has me writing from several characters’ perspectives,  something like in Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper.

I find that shifting the point of view in my stories is deeply challenging as I have to jump inside the head of a racist for art, and that character  is letting me know she has many redeeming features, and the possibility for growth and change as much as any other in a tale of broken friendship.  Yet the empathy is discomforting and I still want the character to change and grow but I am not sure if she can.  I don’t want to judge this character, and yet I could be biased in the fate I give to her and not let her be organic and make sense if emotion gets the better of me.

One piece about homelessness is very poetic and seems to like being a piece of flash fiction, or it could become a performance poetry piece.   I’ve opted for a third person narrator seeing a scene, but I may well experiment with it more, as that might lead to some new discoveries about that scene.  As I write it I keep thinking of Elizabethan songs with crows in them, only my story has a different species of bird.

Often I use photographs to inspire my writing, and in the same way I like to abstract an image as the one above in this blog,  I think about how to abstract characters – make something straightforward more ambiguous, questioning and creative, create characters that ripple and flow into and around the river of existence.

I have no idea yet, what age each story will suit, and whether they will lengthen or shorten.  All I know is that the characters want to leap off the page and speak to a wider audience.  I don’t want to put them on my blog, but  into competitions or publications, maybe some might even join together and create a novel, yet I do want my blog readers to know a bit about the journey of these characters as they come into being.

I worried that when I moved to the city, my inspirational muse of nature might cause me to close up in my longing to write and photograph.  Instead my memory of the country becomes more vivid and has something to contrast against.  The country becomes a place to move into as a storehouse of experiences and characters to consider representing.  The city is vivid too, as it is all around me.  It is strange and unsettling to hear sirens everyday instead of twice a year.

I still keep up the life writing.  The city sparks memories of times I was a student in the city and those stories become clearer as I travel again on trains.  Yet, there is a freedom in creating fiction that calls ever more strongly.

(c) June Perkins

The Power of Excellence and Dolls: Piece 14

My idea of beauty as I grew up was fair skin, straight blonde hair and green or blue eyes.

Why did I choose the opposite of my own curly dark hair, dark skin, and brown eyes?

Are we naturally inclined to opposites, or was I being shaped by the popular culture around me?  I was given hand me down dolls when we were growing up in a housing commission area in Devonport, and they were always blonde with blue eyes.

When I first went to school I was often picked on for my dark olive skin, called names I don’t want to repeat beginning with N and A and B, and subjected to hearing jokes about dark skinned people.  I was teased and taunted on the bus trip to school every day in my first year and began to walk to school to have some peace and quiet.

I had stones thrown at me in the street and names called out.  ‘Go home, back where you came from’ the neighbours’ kids would say.

My Dad trying to make me feel better would say “white skinned people like me, we get sunburnt more easily, and why do you think people tan themselves, they like olive skin” but then he would always say “you’ll have to do twice as well to be treated equally.”

Mum and he later told me that they had been upset when one of my teachers had said “she is so smart despite her “background,” I have her help teach the others.”  They didn’t tell me until I was much older, in case I stopped liking that teacher when in her class.

Later I went to a small school of rainbow coloured and cultured kids, where for the most part you were accepted regardless of your colour or age, although sooky spoiled kids weren’t well regarded.  It was cooperative based and we weren’t graded but passed milestones we set in written contracts with our teacher.  I went to the houses of the other children on visits and we were all like one big family.

We went on lots of interesting trips throughout Tasmania, and did art, music and movement.  Once we went out to see mud brick house built.  We kept journals and went on regular outings to the town library.

One day my parents could no longer afford to send me there, and put me back into the mainstream system.

Whilst I missed some of the freedom and acceptance of my old school mates, my new school had an inspiring footballer for a teacher.  He encouraged me to excel at sport and told my parents to sign me up to athletics, swimming and netball. He was a true coach to the students, a former footballer, and strict but fair.

I began to feel hungry for excelling at things, as he encouraged healthy competition.  Awards came my way and I liked the feeling receiving them gave me.  It made up for standing in the free list line to obtain my free paper and being yelled at by the office lady.

‘How can you use so much paper?’  So her inquisition would begin

Undaunted I would say ‘I have a lot of assignments.’

Our football coach teacher was amazing.  He gave me the courage to compete without making me feel it was just to fit in, like my Dad unwittingly had.  He also made us run around the block of the school every morning so we could concentrate better in class.

Although I had loved my cooperative school there was a competitive streak within me that needed an outlet.  Later I would learn the best person to compete against is yourself, and some of the cooperative learning from my small school would come back into my nature.

I would also come across a dark skinned barbie doll, with movable joints and buy it for my daughter.   She was glamorous and fit, statuesque and I realised I no longer thought of myself as needing to have straight blonde hair and green or blue eyes. I still love the feeling doing my best gives me, and I know that knowledge and excellence do give you power.

Today I think fondly of that school where children cooperated, supported and could be like one family – and where I was always allowed to have as much paper as I wanted from the school supply cupboard.

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open, this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them! Goal 19 pieces on Who Shaped Me.