Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Archive for the ‘Gumbootspearlz’ Category

Leaf for the Past

with 6 comments

leaf girl

Leaf for the past

Leaf for the future


Living on the branch

Falling to the ground

Learning and growing

From seed to sapling

Leaf girl

Girl of leaves

Grow strong.

(c)  June Perkins, images and words all rights reserved

More work on   World Citizen Dreaming

Written by June

August 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

Posted in A Poem a Day, Gumbootspearlz

Tagged with


with 4 comments

water studies 1


We dive deep into the

Blue swirl

Looking for a dew drop

Our hands

Swirl through the salt

Renunciation at our finger tips

Blue Swirl

Blue dew drop

To sprinkle like

Soul fragments becoming

Like glitters from glow worms

We light

Up the dark

With the

Blue swirl

End up seeking more pearls

Our hands

Reach out to turn the page

Swirl through the power of words

That come from some

Other world

We light up the dark

With the pearls

Hung around the borders

Of our soul

Renunciation not just on our lips

But deep in the soul swirl.

Inspired by 2 Ruhi section 1.

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved on images and words

umbrella girl walks 2

For more poetry Unity’s Garden

Written by June

August 12, 2009 at 3:53 am

Posted in Gumbootspearlz

Tagged with

The Red Typewriter

with 5 comments

Ocean girl dives for poetry dreams.
She looks for words out windows.


Her red typewriter tapped away in her imagination. It was an old typewriter, like one you see in those mystery movies when the secretary is typing and then her boss enters with a request for a file, or a phone call she must make. Her fingers pressed the keys hard to get each one to mark the page.

As a young girl she would lie flat on her stomach on her bed to write in her diary. It was thick blank paged book, light blue in colour with a dark blue binding. She spent so many hours filling it with words: words of frustration about her mother, vivid description of foods as she was always hungry due to their relative poverty, and sometimes words from the news. She spilled them out, and changed her pen colours every now and then to make the page look more interesting. The pages if you could have eaten them would have tasted of rainbows. Sometimes she even had those scented pens and the pages reeked of the perfume of letters. She saved her pocket money and went to a special store to buy them.

There were words of secret loves and calculations of how many times a certain boy had looked at her, and what colour his eyes really were if you looked closely enough. Hazel eyes, green eyes, blue eyes? Sometimes she wrote about stories her friends told her, especially a girl named Leesa.

Leesa was the storyteller legend she followed around and asked again and again to tell her stories. Lessa was from Mornington Island, and her skin was a wonderful scorched brown just like her Papua New Guinean Mum’s. Leesa was her first Aboriginal Friend.


Ah there were many diaries and many words. She had boxes of them by the time she left home. It may surprise you that she burnt all the words when she left home. Or maybe it won’t. She worried that some of her words might hurt someone somewhere, most especially her mother. She didn’t want her secret diaries to ever make it into print after all they were the immature words of a teenager trying to find her way. She wanted her words to only be somewhere inside her ready for her to retrieve but no one else. She had not really considered the limitations of memory to retrieve those words. The words could not sit in the red typewriter. Or could they?

She read The Diary of Ann Frank and was amazed at Anne’s openness within her diary. She cried when she read that diary and thought of Anne locked up in a cupboard, dreaming, frustrated and wanting to make it out into the bright world where the rainbows waited. She felt her own efforts were nothing compared to this girl who poured even more than she could ever imagine onto a page. Did she know that her fate would be to be that series of precious moments of life seized and lived and written of and that she would be a powerful testimony to catastrophe? What was Ann’s significance when she began to write the diary and what was her own significance when her diary outlived her fate and she too became part of history- ‘Oh the power of voice.’ She wondered about the power of voice. She imagined herself in conversation with Anne Frank, like many other girls across the world. “I am no Anne Frank, history like that will not be repeated. Although watching the news one couldn’t be sure.”


She knew that she had always wanted to be a writer. She had gone through an over use of adjective phase. She had searched for her identity voice and spoken of cultural issues of being a second generation migrant. She had been TS Eliot with her smoky alleyways of thought poem and had searched for a lost albatross like Coleridge.

The red typewriter was from her European grandparents. They had lived in Geneva. Every year her grandmother sent her two cards. The letters were always rather formal. Sometimes though she made homemade cards, and pictured on the front were bunny rabbits with purple aprons and winged seeds that made their ears. There was a sense of fun to the covers that was at odds with the inner formal tone. Maybe her grandmother did care for her in her own way.

Her European grandparents were remote figures who she met only three times in her life that she could remember. Her father was particularly distant from them because they had not accepted his Papua New Guinean “coloured” wife. Nor for that matter had they accepted her uncle’s first wife, a Jewish Lady. Yet, it was these same grandparents who were pleased to hear she wanted to write, and who when she visited them a few years later gave her the red typewriter.

She wondered what they expected her to write of them. She remembered breakfast at their beach house. It was a boiled egg with runny insides that you dipped finger toast into, followed by some hot Milo. She remembered her uncle taking a big boxer dog for a walk and feeling kind of strange to be the child chosen to be the visiting grandchild. Perhaps though it was because she had become the family scribe and dutifully wrote her grandmother letters. She could not remember for the life of her what she specifically wrote about- maybe school, the weather, what her brothers were up to, at least what was okay to put in a letter as one brother in particular was getting himself regularly into strife.

However their red typewriter had some competition. It was the songs of her bubu, her Papua New Guinean grandmother who she heard might be coming to live with them. She was always on her way but never with them. She was a song rising from a village many miles away. She was a chant on a tape deck and there was no photograph, nothing to picture her but to imagine maybe she looked like her mother.

Her European grandmother although remote was more tangible to her. She was not highly educated. Her Dad said she spoke French with a gutter accent, and her grandfather by contrast spoke it at university level.

Her bubu (grandfather) was a carver excommunicated from the church for his heathen art- all these stories, all these words they were not hers but her parents. Their memories were singing out from the memory of the red typewriter asking to be written. They wanted to have their own voice.
She looked for her own story ‘is my story their story.’ Sometimes there were experiences that came straight out of books, like meeting an anthropologist who had studied her bubu’s village and who had actually met her grandfather, old Malolo. It felt so strange to her to finally see a photograph of a relative and to see an image of an Aunty just like her mother! She would have known. She would have run to her and hugged her.

She remembered her European grandfather learning Maori every week, and taking her to meet his teacher. Why, as her Dad’s stories had it, did they not accept her mother? Why did they now accept her? She remembered looking at the carvings with him but she did not think of her other bubu for she had never met him. She was the discarded wife. He was so far away and would be dead before she would ever meet him.

None of this was in those diaries she burnt, because all this knowledge and experience came later. She wished she could say to that young girl and her red typewriter, notice everything, plants, people, food, colour, aromas, tastes, everything that happens as you travel. Remember because this is your story, your testimony.

She pressed the keys harder and harder and stories began to flow. Once she began to get them down it was impossible to stop.

Extract from Island Rock Girl
(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved

Written by June

July 20, 2009 at 5:26 am

It begins with ….

with 10 comments

believe in the possibility - dream

It starts with the lap top, the voice of a girl and the rain. It begins with no distraction, a desk, a window, and ends up following the distraction of imagination. It beats down like the water from the boats travelling in the sky and cuts up the clouds.

The memory rains down and says, ‘they will give you a red typewriter and you will never stop writing. You are the girl with the red smiley stories.’ It says ‘Your life was a fairytale,’ to which you say, ‘I don’t know what you mean. How can that be so?’

Yet, looking back you see, the witches, the fairies, the birth of a dragon from the rainforest and you know there is a fairytale to be told. You still resist and in contempt fire back: ‘I haven’t done anything heroic, I haven’t survived a tragedy, climbed a super tall mountain, become a movie star, who would want to read my stories.’

‘Look again,’ says the memory rain. Now you see it, the mother who lets go of her children to send them out into the world with a shell song, the sister who hears messages from the soul garden as the Willy Wagtail comes to visit, the mother who must make sense of death and recover from an attempted home invasion, and a woman who has left the South to live in the North and in her attempt to leave is haunted by ghosts from the north who hide in her boot.

You can hear story ghosts singing out in the cane, smell pumpkin pie, transform rusty tin into gold coins- because you are a storyteller’s Godmother, you are memory and imagination dancing hand, in hand with constant change.

People can change, can transform, can write everyday just like breathing and they can change what they understand the past as I cannot cry for what I cannot predict, rather I hope for what I dream into being.
Is this your real life, or your past re-imagined- is it fiction, faction, myth or fantasy? Is this a dream from which the story is woken? Now you are off to be a ‘story catcher’ as Christina Baldwin describes.
It ends with the lap top, the woman, the rain and the opening of tub after tub of honey full of story.

believe in the possibility - dream

Image: believe in the possibility dream – by gumbootspearlz
(c) June Perkins all rights reserved —Excerpt from Work in progress Island Rock Girl

More of June’s work is at Unity’s garden

Written by June

July 16, 2009 at 1:59 am

Moon and Fire

with 3 comments

meditation on fire2

Look into the flame
What do you see?
Do you see stories
Of how the fire came to be?

Look up to the moon
What do you imagine?
The bush lemon
Looks so much bigger
From this angle
It could roll away the moon.

Dad has put some bush lemons
Into the fire
The moon has had the final laugh.

(c) Words and Images June Perkins

More of June’s work can be found at Unity’s Garden

Written by June

July 9, 2009 at 4:02 am

Keep on Riding Horseback

with 6 comments

For Heather and others in the soulfood writing networks.

Keep on riding bareback until you are free
through the wilderness
all around you and me.

Keep on riding bareback until you can write
and writing is no longer
a fight or your only light.

Keep on riding bareback until you reach the sea
and see the journey was your liberty.

Keep on riding bareback through your first draft
realise when it’s time to polish your craft.

Keep on riding bareback like those of the past
like those of the future,
like those of the present
you won’t be the last…

(c) June Perkins

painting a sunny day

This was posted elsewhere in the Soul Food network of blogs, maybe the Rose and Swan Theatre.

More of my work can be found at

(c) June Perkins, words and images.

Written by June

May 28, 2009 at 1:31 am

Posted in Gumbootspearlz

5-6 word memoirs – a Haiku life…

with 2 comments

Someone in my writing group suggested doing summaries of your life in 6 words-

seems like a haiku life almost, anyway did a few in 5/6 words- here they are.


Ocean girl dives for poetry dreams.

I look for words out windows.

Rain is my memory eulogy.

Dry plants beat my brother’s coffin.

Mother dreams big daughter banker.

Father dreams big daughter academic.

Daughter dreams big great parent.

Brother dreams sister stops hopeless dancing.

Sister dreams brother stops hopeless attitude.

Yellow are my feathers to fly.

Blue are my weaknesses denied.

(c) june perkins- words and images all rights reserved.

More of June’s Work can be found at World Citizen Dreaming

another year another flower

Written by June

May 7, 2009 at 11:45 pm