Joan Small Poetry and Books


Poetry in Paradise 2015

The Gold Coast's ONLY non critiquing or judgmental
poetry meeting/group

Established 11 years

The Poetry in Paradise Group
Photo December 2014 Poetry In Paradise Joan Small

Below - Some of the Poets

Poets in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise June 2013

The last of the Poety in Paradise Poetry Books

Joan Small Poetry in Paradise

Sad to say, the March to May edition of the poetry book was the last for a while. It has been produced by Joan for nearly two years, and many have obtained pleasure from seeing their poems published, and also having the opportunity to read other people's poems. The book may be re-introduced at a later date, but Joan is doing other things for the time being.

Campfire Poetry

Dave 'The Banjo' Poetry in Paradise Campfire

Poetry Report for August 2015

Our meeting was off to a slow start and at 12:30 there were only three people in attendance. The dreaded cough yourself senseless epidemic has taken its toll across SE Qld and our poets are not immune, myself and Irene were over the worst of it by Sunday but many others were laid low and the apologies poured in.

Joan was on holidays and is back safe and sound. Jean is enjoying her time on the stage in The Twelve Dancing Princesses at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre and couldn’t be in two places at once, with two more shows at 2pm on the 29th and 30th of August.

We managed to pull off the surprise for Joyce giving her a nice afternoon with a delicious cake a round of Happy Birthday and plenty of cards; I gave Joyce a card for each of ten years of her life and filled the card with significant events famous people and the relevant Holden models. None of us smoke so the candles remained unlit. The optional month’s theme of Gratitude and the optional first line “The roads we take on the highway of life……” were well represented amongst the days poetry recitals.

Bob started the day voicing his gratitude to his Mum for teaching him manners and to be thankful for what you’ve got, he thanked his mates for the good times and for bosses teaching how not to behave and some how to behave; ending his poem with his gratitude for our poetry group and the friendships within.

His second poem was a dementia adventure as his mates met over the years at the Ritz, initially in the early years to see the ladies then to see each other and drink beer and then because they thought they had never been there before!! Bob closed the day with a real Aussie love story about a burglar that was an escaped prisoner and tied up the loving couple and how accommodating the wife was to help the burglar.

Graham did a funny poem about the death of a poor ol Grandad that held his breath till the end in the relocated Thunder Box. His second time at the podium he shared the classic poem “Mulga Bill’s Bicycle” and did a great rendition from start to finish. His third poem was a tribute to his mum and his love for her. His fourth poem was his nice poem about the contagious smile and how when it is given away freely it can be passed around the entire world.

Judi shared her poem titled ‘Supermarket Shopping’ about the dilemma we all have in choosing what to buy and the healthy choices we have to make and how much to buy and then realizing that whatever we buy we are the ones that have to cook it all !! Judi’s second poem was on the highway theme as she spoke of all the choices and turns we make and how they all impact somehow on our lives, she reminded us to always try do the right thing and to life a full life.

Eoin wrote a really good poem while he was waiting for the love of his life to come home from work titled “Waiting for my girl” as he waited he had a sip of wine then a bigger sip and a bigger sip and… then she came home and he had a big happy glassy eyed smile on his face as he welcomed her at the door. He had to duck off early and did'nt get a second poem in.

David recited a poem on the gratitude theme written by Anne-Onymous titled “Little worn out pony” he lived on Hogan’s farm, the little fella saved a child from a stampede during a flood and he earned the respect of the whole town.

His second poem was titled “Ride of Life” as he told of the turns we take on our journey and all the different scenes we come across from mountain roads deserts and long bridges.

Ted told a well-received funny joke with a word pun about the bar steward. With Ted’s first poem he had us all laughing and singing to the chorus of the Strawbs song from 1973 “Part of the Union” as he added some of his own inventive new lyrics, oh you wont get me I’m part of the union you wont…………..

His second poem was on the gratitude theme as he explained that gratitude comes from attitude and living at an altitude and not being rude by complaining. Ted’s third poem was titled ‘Road’s’ and covered a settled stone that gathers moss and was well received by all.

The Banjo recited ‘Salt Bush Bill’ and did a rousing rendition of the classic Aussie poem, complete with the squatter’s toffee accent and the gravelled Aussie drover that out witted him. His second poem was equally as brilliantly as he recited and one of my favorite's “Clancy of the Overflow” a poem from a master recited by a master.

Trish lovingly shared her gratitude with her poem titled ‘Gratitude’ as she told of her thanks to all that have helped her throughout her life and all her friends but mostly she owes a mountain of gratitude to the man that has stood by her side and has been there through the good the bad and the indifferent times, the man that she loves with all her heart, David.

Trish’s second poem was a about one of the greatest adventure’s David has taken her on and how alive she felt the night they nearly died together rolling down a mountain in the Pyrenees with a broken down car that had a dead engine and rapidly wearing brakes; but they made it and we get to call them friends.

Joyce wrote on the highway theme as she said that in the last week she didn’t have much gratitude left, she advised us to go straight ahead and stand up for what we believe is right and how the youngins don’t listen to her advice and they better watch out for the police radars on their highways!!

Joyce’s second poem told of her trip to the Doc’s delivering Mac for an appointment and how there were no seats left in the waiting room and she had go stand outside, she came back in a couple of times but still no flaming seats; oh the patience required to be patient. Her third poem was a sad poem dedicated to the memory of the Australian cricket team pride and the once held Ashes.

Mac joined us with a poem about gratitude and he gave thanks to Joyce for being the love of his life and to our poetry group for always making him feel happy welcomed and supported each month.

Before his second poem he thanked us for surprising Joyce and then he recited his poem on the highway theme with lots of puns and double meaning and the funny line about the fish taking the debate!!

Manya wrote on the gratitude theme as well as she recited a lovely poem written especially for her mother that turned 100 recently; the poem made her and her Mum cry and we all felt the depth of emotion in her words as she shared her heart with us.

Her second poem was on the highway theme as she spoke of sensual kisses, love in a too hot Melbourne attic in summer time and how life truly is really worth living and experiencing everything possible is a must. Her third poem was written in 1995 while overseas and enjoying festivals and all the while missing home and her distant lover.

John wrote on the highway theme as he told us of all his travels mentioning time spent in Yamba Cairns The Barossa Valley Port Macquarie Cessnock and climbing Castle Hill in Townsville, we all have different journeys and we win some and we lose some.

His second poem was about a joke about two Mexicans struggling with dehydration while crossing the American desert titled the “The Bacon Tree” this mirage had then confused and frustrated and then they found it was a really ‘Ham Bush’ and they got shot!!

Tracey recited a really nice poem on the gratitude theme with her poem titled “Spirit of a lesser man” written about an aboriginal elder and his journeys across his country with the voices of past ancestors calling and guiding him in mind body and spirit.

Her second poem was one written in 1843 by Charlotte Bronte titled “Poor little orphans” it was well received by all and several present knew of the poem. Tracey wrote and recited a nice little poem to Joyce on the day about her birthday and the cake on the table.

Bob invited his sister Sue, on the day and she recited some poetry as well. His first poem was tilted “The ending of the day” and detailed an old man sitting by the fire place dreaming about the lost love of his life his dearly departed wife, then his daughter came to call him and found him in eternal peace with a smile on his face as somewhere in another time and place he held his wife’s hand and felt her embrace.

His second poem was titled “A moment in tranquility” spending the day at home with no pressure of time and no need to be anywhere but there, enjoying the quiet time and doing all the small things that make up a big life, but then watching his team St George sadly lose. His third poem was a romantic poem titled “Sing to me and I will sing to you”, a very nice poem on that theme. His fourth poem was titled “Blessed are the artist” for we and they are the creators and interpreters of life in what ever chosen form we and they share it with the world.

Sue recited some poems from a book she published nearly thirty years ago along with some more recent ones. Her first poem was about not being afraid of commitment and realizing that life is rarely ever perfect and to make the most of what you have and to never be mean.

Her second poem was dedicated to cats and as cat lover myself I fully appreciated her words on their arrogance and defiance and how we never really own a cat, they own us!!

Her third poem was dedicated to all the sisters mothers daughters and wives and how they all have rights and should never be treated or made to feel like slaves. Her fourth poem was about the fragilities of aging and the fear of falling and failing memories. Her fifth poem was written to her Granddaughter and spoke of advice and having faith in life and to look for all the goodness in the world as she tried to pass on some of the knowledge and experience she has gained in her eighty something years; how much she laughed loved danced and loves her life.

Happy Birthday Joyce thank you for your friendship and your poetry. Thank you everyone for another month of sharing our words and hearts and to all those that are unwell, I hope you feel better soon and can make it to next months recital afternoon. Have a great time as spring comes to us and the days begin to get warmer, spring is my favorite time of the year.

Bye for now.

Jeffrey Irene and Joan the webmaster!!!.

2014 Themes & Optional First Lines

18/01/2015 1 A New Year
15/02/2015 2 Electronics
15/03/2015 3 Graduation
19/04/2015 4 Australia
17/05/2015 5 Hydroponics
21/06/2015 6 Commonwealth
19/07/2015 7 Music
16/08/2015 8 Gratitude
20/09/2015 9 Computer
18/10/2015 10 Callipygous
15/11/2015 11 Shine
20/12/2015 12 Friends, Family, Love

Optional First Lines

18/01/2015 1 “It is New years day and I rise to state that here on the …..
15/02/2015 2 “Some people are so keen on sport…. ”
15/03/2015 3 “As I lie at rest on a patch of clover…..”
19/04/2015 4 “Endless lanes sunken in the clay……”
17/05/2015 5 “I wandered lonely as a cloud…..”
21/06/2015 6 “ Here I sit in silent Wonder….”
19/07/2015 7 “I piled all the dishes into the sink ….”
16/08/2015 8 “The roads we take on the highway of life….”
20/09/2015 9 “I thought I’d get a new computer…”
18/10/2015 10 “Hold me close and tell me what the world is like……”
15/11/2015 11 “Out of the night that covers me…..”
20/12/2015 12 “With fingers worn and Weary……..”

Bob Dever
"The Mudgeeraba Budgerigar"

Merry Christmas

It’s not too long now, Christmas is almost here
And soon after that, we’ll see in the New Year
This is the season for some cheer and goodwill
Time for resolutions we hope to fulfill

We should resolve to be kind to one and all
Offer some courtesies, either big or small
Life is for living, we surely all know that
So let’s get out there and be ready to bat

Poetry in Paradise is here for us
And our togetherness is such a big plus
Thanks very much Jeffrey for all you have done
In helping to unite each of us as One

Here we can recite and there’s no critiquing
We are applauded when we’ve finished speaking
Then we leave the lectern feeling all aglow
And so together as Poets, we will grow

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too
To all the poetry members, I thank you
Wishing you all the best and season’s greetings
And here’s to continuing next year’s meetings

(c) Judi Connor Nov 2009


GCCC Library
Cnr Lawson & Garden Streets Southport
Third Sunday every month
1pm - 3.45 pm

Next Poetry Day

20th September 2015
1pm to 3:45 pm

20/09/2015 Computer
Optional First Line:
“The roads we take on the highway of life….”

Check out the Southport Star here

Korean Boys read poetry
Above: Young Boys reading 'Triantiwontigongolope' - CJ Dennis, encouraged by Jeff The Banjo recites at Robina Library
Above: Dave 'The Banjo' Farrer dramatising Banjo Paterson's poetry

Poetry in Paradise

At Poetry in Paradise
I meet my monthly mates
we chat and laugh and spin a yarn
and the atmosphere is, well, great.

Some stick to subjects that are set
Others do what they do well
One never knows what comes to mind
When we ask: “What story can I tell?”

Paper, once blank, begins to fill
As we jot our ideas down
Our pencils take on a life of their own
Our brows, at last, lose their frown

We ponder all the quirks of life
and tell tales, tall and true
of personal things and make believe
Aaah, some of Bob’s are close to blue!

We’re a higgledy-piggledy mob of folk
Who come from all stations in life
But here we’re all equal, we do not judge
If you slip up, you’re never in strife

There’s them who are traditionalists
Writing with rigid metre and rhyme
Hey, it matters not what we recite
We all have a bloody good time

There are purist poems tightly formed
radical free forms and haiku
Limericks, ditties … even songs
There’s no limit to what we can do!

Our names go up on Jeff’s whiteboard
So we’re queued in an orderly line
We listen distractedly until … oops,
Is it me? Is it now my time?

There’s hardly a subject left untouched
On listening, over the years
Sometimes we smile, or we set free a laugh,
While often, we’ve been bought to tears.

On the third Sundee of every month
You’re invited to come through these doors
One thing’s for sure, I guarantee this
At Poetry in Paradise, you’ll never be bored.

© eoin macdhugail august 2013


Hi Jeff,
     I just had to say that I was stunned by some of the poetry today. I thought Bob's "Sign of the Times" was absolutely fantastic.

I initially felt sorry for Joan having to follow such a great piece. But Joan's poem was brilliant too and I was blown away.

On top of that your rendition of the poem on depression in the outback had me hiding the tears. (softie). I wanted to tell you afterwards how good I thought your delivery was but I suppose I might have cracked up, which I know is not acceptable for a bloke in Oz.

There were many more moments there that were memorable and the whole day passed in a blink of the eye which of course had a tear in it.    

Congratulations on the 9 years. I wish I had been with you all earlier. You must be very proud of your achievement.

... Tom Jones

Hi Jeff
I gotta say I really enjoyed today
For something I've never done before
By the end I was craving more

I'll  be back... :)

The Poetic Virgin

I heard about a poetry group
I thought that I may go
Then I wondered who would be there
And now I just don’t know.

Would they all be professionals?
Even though the ad said they are not.

Will they be wearing poetry uniforms?
That’s something I haven’t got.

Will they all be women?
Will they be young or grey?
Are there any men there?
And would they all be gay?

What if my poems are crap
And they all laugh at me?
The ad did say no judging
And the subject theme was free.

Decisions decisions
Are such hard things to make?
Do I be adventurous?
Such a chance should I take?

Bring your friends along it said
Yes come along one and all
You can be a supporter
Or sip your coffee and be enthralled.

Life is such a dilemma
I just don’t know what to do
Just what does a poet look like?

Are they just like me and you?

I guess I’ll just have to front up,
Stick out my chin and stand up tall
ll my questions will be answered
When I walk into that hall.

I’m sure they're all just human
And most will be more nervous than me.
If I’m not brave enough to read something
Then I’ll just smile and drink all of the coffee.

So come along one and all.
Yes! Lets all decide to go.
We’ll see what a poet looks like
Then next time we’ll all know.

(c) Copyright Poetry in Paradise 2004 Trade mark no. 1028534. Jeffrey.N.Goudy Jeff at the Podium
he made for Poetry in Paradise

Helensvale Writers' Group
Helensvale Writers Group - Joan Small3rd Thursday each month
Helensvale Library - ground floor meeting room
11.30 am to 1.30 pm


Contact Joan:

Poetry in Paradise
Poetry Club
Poetry in Paradise - Joan Small
3rd Sunday
each month
Southport Library meeting room
1 pm to 3.30 pm