This Season

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THIS SEASON                    

 

The moon tonight is a marble,

perfect and white.

See it there

above the rows of trees

bare-limbed and angular

lifting hands

as if in prayer

in the valley

that continues forever.

 

Comes dawn and warmth for

the slumbering bed of seeds

laid in rows like soldiers,

mute, and obedient to the seasons.

 

Comes a drizzle of rain

and baby fingers unfold,

reach for the yellow hot goodness

of sun.

 

Comes the gardener

Who tends the struggling army

defends it against the enemy,

the battalions of flying and crawling insects

and the dryness of earth;

She sprays, hoes,

waits for the hostage stems to unfurl,

to stretch, to uncurl.

 

Comes the leaves,

the unfolding flowers, and then…

ah yes,

the plant ripe with fruit,

the scent of Eden in the air!

 

© Dianne Bates

Pigeon Grey

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Pigeon Grey

 

 

Way down passed our shed,

Where the realm of humans ends,

‘Mongst the mottled bottle brushes

Live a hundred feathered friends.

 

And ninety-nine of those

Cavort and romp and play,

And the only one left out

Is poor old Pigeon Grey.

 

The magpies are quite striking

And the honey-eaters fair,

The rosellas are spectacular;

It’s tricky not to stare.

 

They gather in the bird bath

Where they primp and preen all day,

But when Pigeon tries to join them

They squawk, “Ew! Get away!”

 

 

 

And Pigeon Grey sighs deeply

Then he sits off on his own,

He watches on with envy

Wishing he was not alone.

 

If only they would speak to him

Those other birds would find

That Pigeon Grey is funny.

He is clever. He is kind.

 

But they all look down their beaks

At his feathers drab and grey,

And then rather than converse with him

They just squawk “Get away!”

 

Then one day there is twittering,

The garden is in shock.

Pigeon Grey has made a friend;

The new bird on the block.

 

And the whispers are quite snippy,

“That new bird she must be dull.

Perhaps another pigeon

Or an imbecilic gull!”

 

But the honey-eater sees her

And she has to look once more.

This new bird is not dull at all.

This bird is not a bore.

 

Her feathers start as brightest blue,

Then yellow, red, and green.

If the garden was a monarchy

Then she would be its queen.

 

There’s a hustle then to meet her,

A bustle and a fuss.

“You don’t have to sit with Pigeon Grey,

Come here and sit with us!”

 

But the lorikeet shakes her head,

“I’d rather stay right here.

The world seems so much shinier

When Pigeon Grey is near.”

 

The other birds they bristle,

“It simply can’t be true.

He is drab and dreary,

He’s not half as bright as you.”

The lorikeet looks surprised,

“You don’t know him at all.

Pigeon Grey is marvellous,

He’s famed beyond your wall.

 

“Have you not heard his music,

As he wakes the morning sun?

If you’ve spent the afternoon with him

Has it not been loads of fun?

 

“Have you seen him cheer a baby bird

As it first takes to the skies?

Have you heard him tell a funny tale

With laughter in his eyes?

 

“Have you come to him with worries

And been sure he’d listen well?

Have you taken on the sage advice

That he will freely tell?”

 

“If you’ve ever asked him for his help

Did he make you wait?

I’m sure that you must know the truth.

Pigeon Grey is great!”

 

Pigeon Grey is humbled

But as he looks around,

His neighbours will not meet his eyes;

They all stare at the ground.

 

But then a tiny bird agrees,

“Yes, Pigeon Grey’s the best!

He taught me to be brave

When I was scared to leave the nest.”

 

And others pipe up too

With their tales that spring to mind.

Indeed, each bird does seem to know

That Pigeon Grey is kind.

 

Way down passed our shed,

Where the realm of humans ends,

‘Mongst the mottled bottle brushes

Live a hundred feathered friends.

 

And each one of those hundred

Cavort and romp and play,

But the one they all love best of all

Is dear old Pigeon Grey.

By Kylie Covark

Poem of the Day

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Nightfall

 

The sun has set in hibiscus

Whose lips still faintly burn,

And now the moon and star drops

Drip down onto the fern.

 

The wind’s begun to whisper

Like a lover in the dark,

And trees caress each other

With hands of leaf and bark.

 

Love drawn birds are singing

Somewhere under sky,

And soft wings brush together

As they glimmer by.

J.R.McRae
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #16

J.R.McRae is a published and awarded poet and fiction writer, who also writes award winning books for children and education  as J.R.Poulter. Word Wings is her collaborative.

Magic Fish Dreaming: Review

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Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins, illustrated by Helene Magisson (Gumbootspearlz Press)

ISBN 9780980731187 PB RRP $17.99

Review: Teena Raffa-Mulligan

 

Words and pictures dance a joyful duet throughout the pages of this beautifully presented illustrated collection of poems.

Magic Fish Dreaming invites young readers to seek out and appreciate the wonders of this world we share and recognise the poetry in the natural and urban environment.

June Perkins’ poetry is evocative and whimsical and their spirit is reflected in Helene Magisson’s exquisite full colour illustrations.

The collection opens with the delightful Hunting for a Poem, my personal favourite.

We can hear the waves

Yes, we can be like waves

Find simile in sky

Clouds whispering ‘goodbye’.

Readers are then led on a journey of the imagination to explore secret places, chat with a cassowary, do a storm dance, sing a rain song and let their imaginations roam free in rainforest country.

Perkins has been writing, performing and publishing poetry in Australia and the Pacific. She won an Australia Day cultural award in 2011 for services to writing and mentoring youth. June has published two books, Under One Sky (2010) and After Yasi, Finding the Smile Within (2013).  In 2008, after moving to Far North Queensland, she coordinated Ripple, a community project for multicultural groups and schools to celebrate poetry and photography and began writing some of the poetry that would become this book.  In 2016 she won an Australian Society of Authors mentorship and has been working on picture books and a young adult novel ever since.

Magisson was trained in the art of medieval illumination in Paris, exhibiting her work in Europe and teaching the history and techniques of medieval miniature in primary and high schools, both in France and in India, where she lived for a few years. When she settled in Australia, Magisson decided to start a new career in children’s book illustration. She has illustrated, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco and Night Before Christmas for New Frontier.  Several other projects are due for release in 2017.

The book was created through crowd funding from 142 backers from 10 countries.

Magic Fish Dreaming is a book to share and to treasure in families and in classrooms.

It is currently available through Peter Pal library supplier, direct from author at https://magicfishdreaming.com/ and from selected Queensland book stores.

 

 

 

 

Poem of the Day

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TAKEAWAY LUNCH

Way up north where the orchids grow, where the coconut palms sway to and fro,

There’s a croc! Beside a rock! And he’s looking for something to eat!

Way up north where the rainforests grow, where the stars at night are all aglow,

There’s a crocodile with a smarmy smile and he’s hunting for a tasty treat!

Way up north where the sea winds blow and the pace of life is lovely and slow,

There’s a scaly beast looking for a feast, not that you’d ever know.

For he lurks in the creek and he takes a peek, but he never makes a sound.

He’ll quietly seek (he’s such a sneak) whatever meal can be found.

And all you can see if you look carefully are his watchful yellow eyes.

He’s disguised you see as a gnarled old tree as under the water he lies.

Down for drink, not stopping to think, here comes his hapless prey,

Right on the brink as its feet start to sink and it can’t keep this monster at bay.

As the prey takes the plunge, there’s an almighty lunge and the croc has his lunch for the day

And he smirks for he knows that as meal-seeking goes, there’s nothing like takeaway!

 

Ann Budden

 

 

 

 

Poem of the Day

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How Trees Grow

 

First, they listen to the wind’s ideas

and take notes.

They suck nutriment from the soil

but never forget their manners.

They bathe regularly in rain

and soak their feet in special solutions.

Measuring distances from star to star

they dream of universal travels.

Also, they touch each other kindly

and play host to thousands of guests.

 

Jennie Fraine

Jenny said: This poem was published in 1993 in a booklet I prepared and printed myself, to share with children as I spoke to them in schools about the mystery and magic, the pure possibility, of poetry. The poems had originally been written for other children, in response to their requests for a poem on a topic they liked. I had created a business called Poetic Licence and apart from lots of work in schools (via three agents) I also worked at festivals as a roving performer (writing on the spot about anything suggested by those I accosted) at literacy camps, on tour along the Murray River, in country towns and suburbs in Victoria, at writers festivals for children, at Georges and David Jones for special occasions, and at private celebrations, and at schools and the fringe festival in the Kimberleys.