Ink of Light – Some Highlights

(Image credit: Ian Hallmond)

In May I presented at the Ink of Light Festival, A Writing Festival to empower authors of Baha’i background; this was the first festival of its kind in Australia.

Bahai’s are from a rich diversity of cultural and spiritual backgrounds and this can be expressed in their writing through diverse genres, and approaches.  Festival participants were from Queenslands’  Gympie, Byron Bay, Toowoomba, Redland, Moreton Bay, Brisbane as well as the Solomon Islands, and Wollongong, and Melbourne and Country Victoria.

Speakers focused on fiction with characters who are Baha’is (both detective fiction and junior youth), discussing the processes to creating well  written and researched history books,  spiritual education of youth, print on demand publishing for the Australian Bahai Publications future, poetry, as well as the art of photography and different kinds of creativity and how this can be combined with spiritual expression.

I spoke alongside presenters Boris Handal, Michael Day, Melanie Lotfali, Alan Manifold, Fazel Naghdy, Ian Hallmond, Linda Shallcross, Les Endrei,  Peter Warner, Derek Bland,  and Michael Cohen.

The day was MCd by Martha Golbarani.

There was some discussion of creative processes, both in workshops and panels as well as a creative exercise looking at and reflecting on photographs.

There was a display of books from presenters and attendees, and a big thank you to the Brisbane Baha’i Centre’s Bookshop and the Baha’is of Brisbane for allowing the use of the Baha’i Centre for the day.

My main focus was looking at the inspiration writing groups can have for individuals working on their craft and the fellowship they can provide.

There is much we can learn and contribute to the wider community of writers through not only what we write but the way we collaborate with others.

Writing can potentially be a bridge of understanding and connection between different cultures, religions and walks of life.

I shared some poems, as well as responses from readers of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds to a work in a progress, The Dreamers.

Mostly I encouraged writers at the festival to talk to, learn and support each other.

A big thank you to all the new friends and old friends I was able to connect with at this event, and especially to Ian Hallmond and all the other helpers and organisers such as Bizhan.

There are plans to hold the event again next year and keep developing it to explore other genres(such as perhaps song writing) and to expand workshops and performances.

 

Following images taken by June Perkins

 

Final image credit: from Ian Hallmond

Paper Boats

Image by Geson Ratow

 

Paper boats conjure dreams
of petals soaked by
scents of the
ocean.

Traveling boats
float in shadows
people
who have a simple hope
for happy lands,
but white markers sink
in sandy earth
marking graves of people
who cannot resist new germs.

‘Once watched paper boats,’
paternal grandfather says
in Vietnamese
but nobody understands
No translators here.

So shadow puppets dance
for petals
falling from kumquat boughs.

By June Perkins

Appeared on Australian Children’s Poetry for Refugee Week Prompt

Latest Review Magic Fish Dreaming

Beyond the title page is the dedication page, and the following words stopped me in my tracks …

Dedicated to:

All my ancestors
who sing and
dance the stories

And the ones
who listen

 

“When you read a dedication that gives you goose-bumps, you know you are in for a treat, and the fact that Magic Fish Dreaming won several Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, only reinforces the feeling that this stunning book of poetry is one that will capture your heart.

Magic Fish Dreaming is written by talented and compassionate author, Dr June Perkins. Her PhD was on the subject of writing empowerment.

When you open the book, you’ll discover that Magic Fish Dreaming is in two parts.

Part 1 – Hunting for Giggle Poems

Hunting for Giggle Poems is touching, spiritual, and enjoyable. The poetic words will reach out and wrap their words around you, creating a special bond to the earth, making you feel like you must be a protector of all that we have been given. You’ll also find yourself smiling and trailing after the children with their net as they go to capture poems full of giggles.

Part 2 – Magic Fish Dreaming

It’s flowing, soothing, and caressing, with people and spirituality. There’s chats between a father and son, a mother and children, a cassowary and children. There’s magic and wishes and the wonder of creation. There’s fun with the storm dancers, a bottle lost at sea, and a geckos dance, plus many more.

June Perkins has teamed up with talented artist, Helene Magisson, who imbues June’s poetic words with the gift of visual art. Besides enjoying the words of the poems, the reader will spend an age meandering in each of the illustrations, lost in the magical colours, the action, and the flowing peace that leaps off the pages. Helene’s art style is enchanting, making your heart sing.

If you are fishing for a beautifully written and inspiring book of poetry, Magic Fish Dreaming must be on your ‘to purchase list’. If you could ever fall in love with a poetry book, it would be this one.

I highly recommend Magic Fish Dreaming. It will make you feel like the world is a beautiful, wondrous place as the author weaves her gift of words on the page. When you finally close the book, you will be left with a feeling of peacefulness.

June Perkins is right. Writing is empowering: for the author, and the reader.

Purchase a copy: Magic Fish Dreaming

Title: Magic Fish Dreaming
by: June Perkins
illustrated by: Helene Magisson
ISBN: 9780980731187
Category: Poetry
Publisher: Gumbootspearlz Press
17 poems, 48 pages

 

By Julieann Wallace

To see the review with more images in its original location head to Books Tea and Cupcakes Blog

Beckoning Autumn

Collin Key Flickr Woman walking with her dog through an autumn landscape

Come burnt orange

golden yellow and burnished red

leaves.

 

Bring us

relief from heat waves

and air conditioners.

 

Remember my light red jumper

and favourite boots

They’re out once more.

 

Loosen your leaves

to reveal sculptural trees

on the hillsides.

 

Let the fading days of summer

whisper listening to autumn jazz

with a milo.

 

By June Perkins

 

An Invitation Poem

This poetry idea is based on ideas in Barbara Esbensen’s book A Celebration of Bees: Helping Children Write Poetry

You write a poem like this when you want something to happen, like a season, event or a birthday party.

Published on Australian Children’s Poetry

 

Ballad of the Boots

Creative Commons

 

Son to Mum

My boots are made for sleeping
I’ll never take them off again.
My feet are made for keeping
Those leathery brown boots.

My heart is made for boots
They are the world to me
& if you take them off me Mum
I’ll scream the whole house down.

My boots they sing me songs
As the crackle in the night
My heart is made for weeping
For my hand-me-down brown boots.

Mum to Son

Son, please take off those boots
For they are lethal weapons as you sleep.
I know you love them deeply, truly, madly
But they do not make your parents
Meet the morning mildly mannered.

If you stayed asleep on your own bed
I’d have no problems with your obsession,
But as you creep up into ours
I’d rather your boots were dreams
& not your midnight possession.

Creative Commons

 

Boots to Son

When you grow up you won’t remember
the love that we once shared.

But that’s okay I won’t be lonely because
I always travel in pairs.

I just have one small request before I go
Please polish me & check my eyelets

Then sing me a song
to imprint into my sole.

Boots to Mum

One day he’ll be fully grown
& new shoes he’ll own

Boots will be replaced by runners
new challenges be found.

Remember you can write a poem
to reach out to him

Say the things you need to say
as Mum to grown up son.

 

(c) June Perkins

Published on ABC Open 2012

Quart #water #atozchallenge #children

I love to visit poetry blogs from around the world. Recently I came across this one.

The poet is on an A-Z challenge.  Writing challenges can assist writers of all ages to start and keep writing.

Why not do your own A-Z challenge.

poetry penned in moon dust

start with a pint

work up to a quart

neck, shoulders are strong

carrying water always work

Our friend started carrying water on his head at two. It’s part of life when you need to move water from the well to your home. Many heads gets the job done.

Our first trip to Uganda we fought a fire. The children (from 3 and up) were the water carriers. They faithfully moved jugs of up to 40 gallons to put out the fire that was engulfing their school. I can’t even carry one gallon on my head.

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Literature Bird – Write Me a Poem

Literature Bird, by Geson Rathnow

This bird of paper and feathers
sings, ‘Write me a poem
make it from words or letters
on my body like
grans
mer att.

Perhaps imagine
my textures
stone, feather
paper maiche
and find poetic
ways to make someone feel me
through your words.

Maybe you love shape poems
and will make yours
just like a wing
or a feather.

Maybe think of other literature
birds
like Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven
or the sparrow with Thumbelina
or instead a bird that your gran likes?

Maybe I am nothing like those birds
or perhaps I am just the same?
Compare me.

Do you know a famous poet
who likes to call for me everyday?
Perhaps we can have a conversation?

Perhaps you could imagine how I might
sing.
Does my bird song sound like this att att
mer mer?

Do you have a chorus for me,
a refrain like my song
to repeat and make your poem into
a song?

Can you imagine yourself me
and me you?

Am I book, book bird
a novel bird
a story bird
a lost bird?

How do I make you feel
are you frightened
enlightened
giggling?’

This bird of paper and feathers
sings, ‘Write me a poem.’

(c) June Perkins

Education Notes:

1.Discuss several different birds in literature poems and then create a poem about the bird that intrigues you or makes you full of happiness or sorrow.
Pick poems and stories suitable for the age of the children.

2.Study a range of  birds.
Listen to bird songs on line and try and match sounds to bird.
Study birds in nature and observe how they look, sound, fly (an excursion is perfect for this!)
Create a poem based around the sounds of birds and your excursion to collect notes about birds.

3. You could have a discussion on stereotypes and what people feel about different birds, and then have a usually scary bird turn out to be kind and vis versa. Discuss bird symbolism.

4.Have children invent and then make or draw their own invented bird.

5. Anyone reading this poem: make your own literature bird with these media (feather, paper, rock, paper maiche paste, and then write your own poem from it.) Then write a poem about your literature bird.