The Poet at Play 3 – Working with Metaphors

Find out how I created this first draft

People still
fear
the Trojan horse

Somehow this horse
is a boat
or a truck
full of people crying

It can’t be real
it is just a tool
to make us open
borders

We won’t be fooled
We must protect our
citizens

Oh for a portal to freedom
a falling Berlin wall
and all the Humpty Dumptys
falling down,
down,
down

toppling
from the wall
they installed

Oh for a portal
to compassion
hidden somewhere
in that wall
that is going
up, up, up, up

When will you believe
what you see
is not just a trick
and when will we all
sing a welcome song?

(c) June Perkins

Ripple Poetry

Image by June Perkins

This week I have been playing with metaphors.  Metaphors give us a memorable comparison to understand something which seems inexpressible at a deep level.

Some metaphors  have been so used that there have become clichés; so as I write I have to approach them with care and ingenuity.   I have to strive for originality.  But also intertextuality and allusion are going to be helpful.

I have been working with the ideas of gates, doors and walls, of barriers, and openings, of welcomes and denials.

My journey with gates, doors and walls is triggered by all the news about refugees around the world not being allowed to cross borders, and being put inside prisons, and separated from their children.

Historically walls are set up to protect from invasion of enemies. They surround cities, castles and more. But all walls have a gate for those who can be…

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Words to Music – Lamp Lighters

Ripple Poetry



Stories Break

A loving couple separated
and no compassion forthcoming.
What will happen to their future
as his flowers never reach her
is detention all there is?

Indigenous children tortured
gassed and tied
not given hope or rehabilitation
and the past seems full of lies.

So much invisible
until the stories break

And the stories break
my heart
the stories break
my day
the stories make me
want to say:

Time to be a lamplighter
lamplighter of justice
lamplighter of love
lamplighter of unity.

(c) June Perkins

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Blue Curtains

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Blue Curtains – June Perkins

She cannot sing it
but only play it

note by note
key by key

in empty theatres
where you can listen

to Him who is
the cause of its hunger

for that sorrow
which makes the artist
whole.

She will play to me
skipping a beat

and finding a beat

the melodies that
remind you of it

sulking in the smoky air

dripping down the blue curtains
to the dark past

where His heart is torn
by starvation,

for it,
for you and I and her.

She will make the music

a spell of pure notes

magic which you can hear
filling pages
from emptiness

causing my heart,
torn by His life,
to see.

(c) June Perkins

from p. 14 Shadow Puppets

Blue 2 – by June Perkins

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(For more images visit the original post at Ripple Poetry)

Ripple Poetry

Even when I am not writing
I am.

Seeing things like statues
in the park
makes me wonder
why they were put there.

A statue of  perhaps local Indigenous people
a family
at the water
is a tribute to first peoples
making them ever present.

Does it mourn the massacres
or celebrate their survival?

I need to find out more.

I like to stop
to photograph tiny details
like grasses of different
textures and maybe later
I will ask my friends who
know plants well – ‘What’s this one called?

I love the wildlife so close
everywhere in Brisbane city.
Someone was thoughtful at town planning
and valued keeping small pockets
of land for lakes
and ponds especially for the birds.

The swamp hens and the ibis are so close.

Sometimes one could
almost forget the traffic surrounds
and mini sky scrapers
going up and up.

Brisbane what is your…

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Grey and White

I don’t mind that people dye their hair, but why did someone mind that I didn’t dye mine. At the moment I have chosen to not worry about the grey starlight in my hair…

Ripple Poetry

cloudgirl4 - Copy

Grey and white streaks
begin to lace themselves through my hair

I embrace
the signs of wisdom
chasing through me there,

And all around me others dye
and tease their hair to conceal their age
but that is their affair.

I don’t mind that they want to do this
and hold onto their esteem
but why does one say to me
‘You should dye your hair
you look so ancient and so old’

I explain to her
when I was younger
I looked younger than my age
and am happy to embrace
the white and grey that now
dance through my life.

She cannot take a hint
and simply doesn’t understand
I don’t need a bottled colour
to conceal the process I’m now in
and now she wants to know the colour of my youth.

Why do so many worship forever staying young?

I am happy to see silver starlight

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