Asked about a Category 5 cyclone

A few days ago, I was in a creativity bubble and not paying attention to weather news for the first time in years.

I received a call from ABC podcasters the Signal, who wanted to interview someone who knew what it was like to be in the pathway of a massive cyclone.

Here is a link to that interview. It starts at 7.35 but do listen to the whole thing.

When a Hurricane Hits (This link won’t stay up indefinitely but for now you can listen to it).

I had a take home message, about communities dealing with the aftermath, long after the media have stopped paying attention to the community.

It is so sad, that the brilliant Aftermath project, which tackled this process not only for cyclones, but for floods and bushfires, and was done by the now dismantled ABC Open is no longer on line for people to turn to.

You can find my cyclone recovery posts stored at my personal blog HERE

The photograph collage below is a map of some of the people, events and processes that helped a community find their smiles again after a cyclone has been and gone.

I will soon be sharing some of those stories perhaps on a panel for CREATIVE RESILIENCE  September 21st at COMIC CON Brisbane.

Thinking of the people in the Bahamas and other people affected by Cyclone Dorian. All the very best in your recovery processes!  May you all have a recovery journey full of kindness and good humour.  Wishing everyone stability as soon as possible.

You will be in my thoughts!

Much love

June

 

To check up on the people in the Bahamas presently visit

CNN

BBC

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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Blogging the North

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A House Destroyed by Cyclone Yasi but the Roses are Growing – by June Perkins

16-06-28 WQ Perkins June 2016 Facebook link image replacement full width

I’ve had an article Blogging the North republished by the Queensland Writer’s Centre.

It covers the story of how I become a blogger for community for ABC Open’s aftermath.

This was the time my Smile Within Book  and exhibition began to be created.

You can still purchase the ebook online through the Australian Society of Authors.

You might like to visit posts like Tupperware Houses and A Guide to Documenting Disasters.

Other Relevant Links

The Smile Within Blogspot

Smile Within WordPress

 

5 years on from Yasi

It’s coming up to the 5th Anniversary of Cyclone Yasi.

This was our cyclone night.

 

But you know it’s not what I choose to remember. . . for me it will always be the community spirit afterwards.

I was compelled to photograph and video this recovery process – both in nature and community, and compiled it into a book, which is now also an ebook.

I spent time as a guest blogger for ABC Open, and learnt what it is to write and tell stories from the community, for the community – an experience I will never forget.
afteryasiFINAL1pressbooks

 

More about   After Yasi EBOOK 

Five years on from Cyclone Yasi, and I am about to launch a kickstarter for a book of poetry Magic Fish Dreaming for children and family celebrating the very area the cyclone made a huge impact on, the Cassowary Coast.

Two of my children are in senior school, one is going into second year.

We all live in Brisbane now, and are really starting to feel like part of the Brisbane community. My husband is still a science teacher but at a different highschool.

We ask after our friends in Tully, but many are down here as students now, and many have moved away.

The one thing that will always unite us is the shared experience of the night and the recovery process and the unspoken realisation that you must always actively care for your family, before, during and after such events.

Sadly some of the families and couples we knew, and many businesses in the local area, did not stay together, but nevertheless those involved have found strength to move on with their lives and rebuild.

May they find peace and happiness, and for all those who were able to give others strength and keep your family, farms and businesses together, good on you.

Although it is true nobody died as a direct result of the cyclone, the untold story of anyone going through a natural disaster is the social and economic impact made on their lives afterwards by such events.  Australia is very blessed to have many charity and emergency services as well as funds from governments put towards this recovery process.

Such events challenge people to consider what the real priorities in their life are, and for some, like one dear friend I know currently doing a lot of work in the Philippines, they rise to another level of courage and strength to empower others.

I will always remember the Cassowary Coastal community, its peoples, and natural environment with the greatest affection and happiness.

 

 

You can purchase the ebook of After Yasi  HERE

or HERE

For the hard cover book   HARD COVER  and PDF

For the soft cover SOFT COVER

After Yasi 4 year Anniversary – nearly here

February 2nd in Australia.

It’s been  weekend of reviews and this morning a profound chat with Ali.

Tomorrow it will be 4 years since Cyclone Yasi made landfall.  Presently Tropical Cyclone Ola looks like it won’t be too much hassle.  One of our sources of information during Yasi, other than the BOM site and ABC, were Oz Cyclone Chasers.  I still check their site to see how things are brewing in the Far North.

There is just one more blog hop  for the After Yasi Virtual Book tour, and then a wrap up post and launch.

The final blog we’ll visit is of profound and compassionate musician, Melinda Irvine, who is herself now working in Aftermath recovery in the Phillipines.

Over the weekend Carol Campbell,  Gail Kavanagh and Owen Allen posted reviews of the ebook.

“The eBook is an interactive experience that links to blogs and sources that show how people coped with the cyclone and the aftermath. It’s a rich trail of material that celebrates the human spirit in all its facets – despair, pain, recovery, optimism and resilience.blghopchristine

Among the highlights for me are Christine Jenkins and the anchor she tied to her house; Mr Hardy and his chainsaw optimism; and the wonderful poem Cassowaries Can Fly.”
Gail Kavanagh

GailKavanagh

“Having an interest in contemporary dance, I particularly appreciated that one of the recovery events that June documented was a dance workshop run by local dancer Danielle Wilson. Contemporary dance is still a less well-developed community art form in Australia.” Owen Allen

Owen

This morning Ali Stegert has shared her interview focusing on yasi and its impact on children and youth,  with thought provoking questions inspired by her background as a school counsellor.

ali

Don’t forget that if you leave a comment on any of our blogs included in the virtual tour you will have a chance to win a free copy of the ebook or copy of the photographic print from the book.  Your chance to comment for a prize continues until the 6th of February.