“Cupid has Struck” by June Perkins


Cupid has Struck


Labrador protects duckling,

while cat cuddles fox,

that’s when you can tell

Cupid has struck.


A dog and elephant water play,

And chicken warms some puppies,

that’s when you can tell

Cupid has struck.


A dog howls with the owl

giraffe and ostrich nuzzle necks,

that’s when you can tell

Cupid has struck.


These dear ones

love beyond feather, furs and skin;

see friendship

Is more than luck.


Inspired by stories of unusual animal friendships and playful Jazz songs.



“Obligation of the Octopus” by Dr June Perkins


Obligation of the Octopus


Arms with minds of their own.

A body that can morph through



Three hearts beating

boom, boom, boom

to the call of the



Like escapologists

obligated when opportunity

presents itself

to freedom

beyond the tank.


Blue blood

beating, beating, beating.


Octopus of song.

Octopus of story.

Octopus of science.


By June Perkins

Key West Octopus



‘Mermaids and Monster Trucks’ by June Perkins


Mermaids and Monster Trucks

Monster Truck Boys, Monster Truck Boys

they love to drive their Monster trucks.


Mermaid Girls, Mermaid Girls

swimming with the dolphins

go the Mermaid Girls.


Mermaid Girls and Monster Truck Boys

Now they go to school

Could there be a duel?


Mermaid Girls watch the Monster Truck Boys.

Monster Truck Boys watch the Mermaid Girls.


Mermaid Girls, Mermaid Girls

super diving Mermaid Girls.


Monster Truck Boys, Monster Truck Boys

super driving monster trucks.


Mermaid Girls and Monster Truck Boys

They’re playing at magic school

which has a friendly rule.


Mermaid Girls can play with Monster Truck Boys.

Monster Truck Boys can play with Mermaid Girls.


Mermaid Girls talk to Monster Truck Boys.

Monster Truck Boys talk to Mermaid Girls.


Soon Monster Truck Boys 

like swimming in the sea.

They’re jumping and bumping 

in the sea.


Now Mermaid Girls 

like driving monster trucks

as if they’re giant seals.


Mermaid Girls and Monster Truck Boys

They’re all cool 

And they all love school

Their friendships are like jewels.


Monster Truck Boys, Monster Truck Boys 

swimming with the dolphins 

now they’re Mermaid Boys.


Mermaid Girls, Mermaid girls

Super driving, super dreaming

Now they’re Monster Truck Girls.


By June Perkins

EDUCATORS NOTE:  This poem was originally written as a song, to be performed by Monster Truck Boys and Mermaid Girls in a prep to grade two composite classroom.  It was to gently encourage them to try different games and not stereotype themselves but also so they could just have fun.  I recommend to teachers who have the talent to write poems and songs for their pupils to do so as it enriches the classroom experience.

Spotlight on June Perkins


About June:

I am presently working on two sequels to my first full length collection, Magic Fish Dreaming,  https://magicfishdreaming.com/ and dearly hope to find traditional publishers for them or to crowd fund them.  

One is another collection of poetry for children filled with a sense of magical realism, fun and optimism, and the other is especially for mothers who might have fallen in love with the poetry of Magic Fish Dreaming, and will include both poetry and prose reflections on mothering and being mothered.  

I have been keeping a poetry blog for several years, http://ripplepoetry.wordpress.com and am presently blogging on the topic of how poets play with words and images to make their poems https://ripplepoetry.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/poetatplay2/



We came
Sang, shared sisterhood
Brotherhood, unity, treasure hunts

Things sing
To the heart
Picking a song’s tune

In camp
Everywhere we walk
Glow worms in line

By June Perkins

EDUCATORS NOTE: This poem was written to reflect on a mentoring camp held at Mungalli Falls.  I wanted a very simple structure to convey this in just a few words and was inspired by, but not restricted by the cinquain form.  A traditional cinquain, would be 

  1. A subject noun – one word
  2. Two adjectives – two words
  3. Three verbs – three words
  4. A phrase – four words
  5. Return to the subject noun – one word

Instead I went   

  1. Subject noun – one word (however, in verse 2 and 3 I put the subject noun at the end)
  2. Short phrase-two words,  
  3. Longer phrase- three words (line 3,4, and line 2 closely linked)
  4. A phrase or a list of things- four words 
  5. Overall feeling or the subject noun

I think it is important when working with set forms to be able to play with them and reinvent them to fit your purpose, whatever is best for the poem

‘Paper Boats’ by June Perkins



Paper boats conjure dreams

of petals soaked by

scents of the



Traveling boats

float in shadows


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.


(c) June Perkins


Creative Commons Flickr Geson Ratnow





Beckoning Autumn


Beckoning Autumn

Come burnt orange

golden yellow and burnished red


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

Poetry Idea

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.


Grass Skirt


Grass Skirt


Kilt clan patterns

Mother’s hands twisting string for homemade

video to keep tradition strong

Once made from plants now plastic too

Scratching identity from legs to ankles

Calling out for head dress and for beads

Bare feet beating dance on earth

Sway and swish

Past, present and future steps

Given by my mother to say

You are grown


By   June Perkins