Collaboration of Poetry and Art

With Ruha at the Launch of Magic Fish Dreaming 2016

I am presently working on a chapbook of poems accompanied by some black and white  illustrations from Ruha Fifita.  Working title The Dreamers.

This work is inspired by  poems I exhibited during the Illumine Exhibition.

Some of the poems reflect my spiritual upbringing as a Baha’i and depict stories from Baha’i history.

I have spent some time inviting friends of different religious and spiritual backgrounds to respond to these works, and thank them for their input into being beta readers for the poems.  They have asked some beautiful questions that have assisted me in the process of poetry as building a bridge of understanding.

I read some of them at the Ink of Light Festival as well.

I was very keen to work with someone who has a diverse background, and for Ruha to give a visual contemporary Pacific feel to this work.

We don’t have an exact publication date yet, but will let you know once it is more planned.

Absolutely love collaborating with my creative friends and enjoyed working with Ruha last year.

The work has already passed the Baha’i Review process, but just working out the best format and platforms for publishing and distribution of the work.


Talking about writing as a bridge at the Ink of Light Festival


How to Write a Poem to change the World

‘I want to change the world,’ said the young poet
‘with a poem that makes you think
long after reading it.

You don’t feel like you were lectured
but something subtle crept into your heart
made a hole that penetrated
all you thought you once were sure of
so you started asking questions.

Questions about what you could do to make
the world more peaceful as one individual
in one family in a number of communities
and in a neighborhood and a country.

And when you reached that point of asking your questions
the hole in your heart became
something that you climbed into, and healed with an action
and whilst your action might not be a poem
it could be a song or a class that you took
at school as a teacher or
maybe you had an opportunity
to do something enormous like make an invention
or start a project, perhaps very small, perhaps very large,
that would heal the world
and thinking back you felt changed because the poem did something
powerful whilst you were reading, it empowered you.’

And the young poet went looking for her poem that could
change the world – with a heart full of love that overflowed, and a strong desire to avoid lecturing others when she was full of questioning holes she herself had to fill- by looking at the poems and poets that had changed her. She sought poetry seeds for a peaceful poet’s tree.

To be continued….

(c) June Perkins

The World is Singin’ its Blues

Guitar Boy by June Perkins

The world is singin’ its blues
askin’ for a bit of time to heal
askin’ why it’s so hard to feel
that nothin’ we do is gonna make
peace be real

askin’ for a DJ who understands
the need for peace
who can give us some
musical release
to bleed out the fears
dress them in a mother’s tears

The world is ringin’ out its questions
why, oh why’s a piece of land
or your religion
something to kill or die for
and why are people so quick
to tie their fate to
those noose of hate?

askin’ for a DJ who can change the down beat
into an upbeat
bring some kind of optimism into play
dress that sorrow
in a technicolour tomorrow

The world is singin’ its blues
askin’ for a bit of time to heal
askin’ why it’s so hard to feel
that nothin’ we do is gonna make
peace be real

(c) June Perkins, words and image.

Handle with Care


the morning news unsettles
and reminds
for many there is no luxury
to look for daily balance

only the beginning of an end

lives blasted out of the sky
children bombed on the beach
apocalyptic movies due
at the cinema soon

and on the way to when healing arrives
the places where there is the

beginning of a beginning

every moment
is now handle with care

the places where tear drops
bomb the hope just out of reach

longing for the time
visions of one world
might be in the real world soon

the temporary bandages we put on things
attempted treaties delicately achieved
are never enough

when will they make way for the time
when unity might
beam its sunlight
through leaves of green
to blind the apocalypse of now?

(c) June Perkins

Sister Basket

for Poetess Tahirih

My sister made me a basket
Woven in a rainbow garden
Where petals soft and warm
Didn’t want to fade in the sun.

She could enchant any carpet snake
Yellow or black
They’re still swaying to her music’s tack
Forward and back, forward and back.

Light sang of colours woven into a spirit kite
Skimming the river of rainbow sisters everywhere.

Her basket of poetry was tossed
Into the centre of the sun
There it burnt strong and true
Until red flames became blue.

The Faith in her basket
Said “Send me to the sky
I’ll come back like a Phoenix just you wait”

She danced around a square and found
She couldn’t really fit.
She found a circle and could not

But nine doors of a temple opened out
And she found a basket woven in a daisy,
Wrapped in a rose.

It was no time to pose
No time to fade in the sun.

She sang a song that spiralled out
Into her rainbow garden
Left petals soft and warm
On the path that she first laid there.

(c) June Perkins

Weaving Sunset

Weaving Sunset – June Perkins

for sunset
to weave me
into memory
of her triumphant story

songs of sore fingers
waiting for mercy’s respite

is sunset’s daughter
sunrise’s sister
weaving freedom’s future

(c) June Perkins


Geranium Lake

Orquideas, pajaros y flores . Medellin - 2009
Medellin – Flickr Creative Commons

For Vincent Van Gough

I am a lover
Without love.

My church takes away
My Priesthood.

I am a Vicar
Whose church is
Esoine red,
Geranium lake.

I am a painter
Who half sees
Empty chairs
Geranium lakes,
Black crows.

I am Beethoven’s
Right hand man.

Curated light cancers
My cherry trees.

Our orchards bear white apples.

I am my painted
Yellow sunflowers.

I am a
Painted love geranium
Esoine red.

By June Perkins

Blue Bonnets

You can find my poetry and that of people who inspire me at Ripple Poetry.

This is my latest offering.


Funerals like rain
Fall from clouds
Young boys say ‘goodbye’
As father’s lowered to the ground

Mother stands alone
Tears become her shroud
Funeral goers utter not a sound.

She hears blue guitar strums
She’s pounding melancholy’s drums.

Texas and Tully are so far apart
Yet they share skies
Where hawks and ibis fly

Storms and troubles rock both their shores
Warn their people to depart.

She tells her children
the legend of the Texas Blue Bonnet flower

A young girl gave up her warrior doll,
The last reminder of family,
To invoke a higher power.

She burnt her warrior doll
Its head dress of blue feathers
Offered up its ashes
To the North, South, East and West Winds
So hunger and loss it would tether.

She cried herself to sleep.
Let her memory weep.

When she awoke
Never before seen flowers,
Clambered the mountains
Birds made their bowers
People drank from hope’s fountains.

The mother with the shroud
Inside’s the little girl
Who’ll burn her own warrior doll
She knows what must be done

She’ll let her dreams unfurl.
She’ll wait till all sleep then
Pull out her favourite guitar
Take those blue cords
Burn them, banish them

Scatter their ashes,
North, South, East and West.

The dry season will begin
Floods have had their fun
A looking- to-the-future music
will now begin to grow.

By June Perkins

blue bonnets
Herself- Flickr Creative Commons

For All the Worlds Women

ayyamiha 2012 149
Feather for Flight - June Perkins

Feather for Flight
Here is a feather for Flight
To strengthen your wings
To put the world right
Take this peace feather
For all of life’s weather
Add to it
more for your wings.
Who are the women you treasure?
Who helped you into the sky?
Speak to them, pray for them, work with them
Strengthen them –
Give them a feather of peace.
Give them a feather of joy.
Here is a feather for flight.

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved.