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 2015

Below - Some of the Poets

Poets in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise Poetry Books

Jeff has taken over the production of the Poetry in Paradise books and put out his first edition in September. It looks great, and the poetry inside is of the usual high standard. Keep writing, all, and save your best poems for the next edition.

Below: Some Guests at Jean Watson's birthday party. Jeff the Poet at back.

Jean Watson's party

Campfire Poetry

April Poetry Report 2016

The day started off with apologies from several of the regulars with many having lots to do on such a nice sunny day and others not feeling too well. Seventeen poets came along and we all had a good afternoon of poetry with Mac also joining us, welcome back mate. The optional themes and first lines were represented by nearly everyone, creating another day of wide and varied interpretations of the themes.

Bob started off the day with a poem he wrote and then framed himself and had it hanging in his lounge room as a warning to “drop ins” in his old house at Worangary, titled Houseguests; a really well written poem and leave those unwanted or unexpected guests with no doubts as to his and Carlene’s feelings!! His second poem was titled the “Dapper Crapper” and was a very funny and descriptive about one of life’s most private venues for a King or Queen. Bob closed the day with the tale of two Aussie dogs and the amazing skills that they have learned to impress and indeed feed their beloved faithful masters.

Paul shared his funny poem titled “Uncles Dilemma” he ensured the audience it was fact from start to finish, detailing an unexpected journey from the back yard thunder box after being bitten on a hanging appendage and the ensuing swelling, inspection by nurses and then the Bride finding out on the wedding night. His second poem was “Houseguests” it went along the same theme as Bob’s but a bit more direct and specific and ending with a desire for the “Flick Man” to attend. Paul’s third poem was written by Kim Duritso (?) titled “Like That” a short and sweet love poem.

David’s first poem was titled “Flock of Houseguests” and this one was a happy poem about all the lovely flora and fauna he wakes to very morning at home, with a wide range of native warm blooded vertebrate of the class Aves, their wonderful tunes and excitement for the break of dawn, except for the pigeons they get a free shower from the hose when they choose to invade. David’s second poem was titled “Dunny Seat” and he apologized in advance to the easily offended and then went on in glorious detail about the real thunder down under the term explained “it’s really pissing down”. His fourteen year old Granddaughter in NZ wrote a poem titled “Cari the Blackwatch Song” a log of her adventure with her school choir on a filed trip to Hawaii and visiting sacred places and learning the history of Pearl Harbour.

Ted recited a poem written in 1893 by the other Banjo titled “When Darcy Rode the Mule” a classic AB poem and told with fervor and passion equal to our own Banjo. Ted’s second poem was titled, “Some People Are So Keen On Sport”, inspired by the GC Bulletin article that people need to get outside more and support their local team. Whatever code that may be, a really well written poem.

Trish recited a poem she wrote in 2008 about a houseguest that used to randomly turn up from the UK and stay as long as he chose. His name was Geoff and though they were good friends, he always eventually ended up an unwanted houseguest that was difficult to remove. A real visitor from………. well. Trish’s second poem was dedicated to her doctor’s son, Matthew, to whom she donated all her golfing equipment, post hip replacement surgery, ending her much loved social career as a golfer.

John recited his poem, ‘A Loo With A View’, a funny poem about his outside toilet built outside a corrugated water tank. One day during a battle with invading mosquitos, the occupant and the tank rolled all the way down the hill to Humpty Doo. His second poem was titled, ‘The Cure”, about a friend from when he was a teenager, Bill. Bill was sick a lot, missed a lot of school and spent a lot of time in bed. Doctors couldn’t find a cause or a cure and one day he went to an old-school doctor who prescribed gunpowder and antacid. This cured him and he took it for the rest of his life which he enjoyed good health living till he was 110 but when they cremated him, the furnace exploded. John’s third poem was short and direct telling the story of a drunk driver who crashed into his neighbours fence. Then when he got out of the car he knocked out his own wife. The neighbour came out and knocked him out with a shovel.

Graham’s first poem was titled “The Late Marriage”, it was a funny story about an elderly gentleman that marries a young lady and then they have trouble getting pregnant, they go to the fertility DR and then go home. They then try to do what she advised and though they try in every position possible and in every way they could think of they cannot get the damned lid off the jar for the requested sperm sample.

His second poem was titled “Around the Corner”, a thought provoking poem about having a friend close by and not taking the time to stay in touch and visit often then finding out they have passed away and you have missed the funeral, do what you intend today!!

His third time at the mic was used to tell us about his experiences 70 years ago in Emerald when he and his brother got a job on a farm and they had a toilet with a 100 foot drop, one night after much rain the toilet was occupied by his brother the hole partially collapsed and the toilet slid in a bit and on an angle scared the crap out of him!! Another time later in life when was a bus driver box on South Straddie he was in a thunder box when a snake came in and scared him he pushed the door open and the people that heard the commotion took a photo of him pants down and in full flight. Graham’s third poem was a fishing tale about the one that got away, a large Barra up in Townsville I think he said.

Judi recited titled “Australia Is”, one that she has entered in the Bundaberg Bush Lantern poetry competition describing al the natural beauty Australia has to offer and all the great people living in it. Judi’s second poem was titled “Queensland” the smart state and she detailed how much she loves our great state and some of the specific natural winders that we have right on our door step. Judi’s third poem was titled “A Cluster of Poets” it was very nice poem about our group and the warm camaraderie that we share and the friendships she made in the group.

Lyn attended with her husband Peter and she recited a very funny well-written poem titled “The Dunny Seat” it was brave of her to write it and share it and it was well worth the effort as it went over really well, reminding people of the use of expired newspapers and harsh papered old phone books and the luxury we take for granted today with soft toilet paper. Her second poem was titled “Houseguests” and detailed the announcement of sudden unexpected houseguests. Leaving no time to do the laundry for the unmade spare room. They rushed into town and purchased new linen and towels and got home and made up the room nicely, only to receive a phone call saying they will be a day or two later than expected.

Kathy’s poem titled “Houseguests” was written about an experience a lot of us have shared. The children moving back home between places, or saving for a deposit, or broken up with a loved one again or maybe needing a break from life. Leading to many people dreaming about downsizing so there is limited spare room so they can walk around naked or just do nothing have control of the TV, know what’s left in the fridge and all the other luxuries of independent living.

Kathy’s second poem was titled “Ships That Pass in the Night” reminiscing on the people that come into our life, for a short time a moment and sometimes for a long time. She watched in remembrance of the energy of her youth when she saw a young man just pick up his bike over his head and walked across a shallow river to the next bike path. Then she saw old Murray on his motorized scooter with his eternal positive attitude to life with the chair making a trip along a bike path possible.

Kathy also kindly recited by a request from Paul, a poem Paul’s wife (a Journalist) had written prior to her passing away sadly in 2009. Having been written by a woman and being self-biographical Paul preferred it to be recited by a woman and Kathy did her memory proud. The poem was tilted “The Method Actress” and was a very nice emotional piece and very thought provoking.

Mac wrote a funny poem about dunnies and he recalled many of them from his younger days, his 91st birthday was 21st. His second poem was about house guests and they have had many over their life time, he doesn’t like the part where you lose control of the TV and it’s annoying when they are fussy eaters and want specific meals provided.

Joyce wrote about houseguests and the many that come over for dinner then when she is just being polite she offers a bed for they bloody take it. The other unwelcomed guests we all get were mentioned as well, the spiders, roaches bugs and pests. Joyce’s second poem was about the skill of the tradesmen when constructing the original Aussie Out door lavatory, genuine craftsmanship put into sculpting the seat from fine Aussie timber ensuring no splinters. The hook in the right spot for the lantern and the hanging of the paper, the paper storage box, a place for the candle when the kero runs out and the tin filled with saw dust. Joyce’s third poem was a expression of sympathy for mere males that expected to find daily items in the kitchen or house and their inability to complete such difficult chores even after many years of being in the kitchen and observing the tidying up process a thousand times over without taking in a single piece of useful information, likewise the iron or vacuum cleaner, the poor bastards.

Fred joined for his second visit to our group and did a great job reciting mostly from memory the Rudyard Kipling masterpiece written in 1892 “Gunga Din” The poem is told by a British soldier serving in India; he is expressing admiration for a native water-bearer who loses his life not long after he saves the soldier's. The second poem he recited was another one he had learnt, as a child in the UK and it was Lewis Carol’s “Tis the Voice of the Lobster”, equally well presented by Fred.

Manya, while on the way to an out house in the country side told how she dodged cow pads and navigated jammed doors then lifted the dunny seat to find snakes frogs red backs and cobwebs, battling the heat and the smell to eventually make it to breakfast on time.

Her second poem was written by her younger brother and was about a men’s camp weekend he went on in Tasmania. It was a group therapy type of journey into the inner person with the sharing of the deepest feelings and thoughts in a no judgemental safe trusting environment. With three young Aussie lads stumbling upon the heart circle skinny dipping bonding session and thinking they had found some kind of weird love fest, they were invited to put down their stubbies and join but they chose to high tail it out of there.

Manya’s third poem was titled “Forgiveness” it was short and powerful. She spoke of nightmares where there should have been dreams and asked how can someone ever truly forgive another for a life of being at the receiving end of domestic violence and how even after forty years the pain is still there and letting go of the past is a real challenge.

Roger our newest poet that joined the group the same day as Fred recited another poem by Anon E Mous, titled “Holy Dan” a Queensland Bullock driver that kept his faith in the Lord through the toughest of times and right up to his last few moments on earth when he cursed his maker and his fellow drivers laughed so much they shook the sky around; the lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and Holy Dan was drowned. His second poem was titled “The Lions Den” written about a pub in Townsville and its being the best pub in FNQ by a country mile.

Thank you everyone for another excellent afternoon of poetry and great diversity. Last month I forgot to mark our twelfth year of Poetry in Paradise, it would not be possible without all you loyal supporters and poets coming with new poems all the time and keeping the friendship alive and well amongst your equals and peers. We are all teachers and students at different times in our lives and its good to leave the judging to the one upstairs and that face in the mirror.

See you next month. Jeff Irene, and Joan the Webmaster.

2015 Themes & Optional First Lines

2016 - Suggested Themes

JAN 17th        – The Australian Dream
FEB 21st         – Love is
MAR 20th     – The shape I’m in
APR 17th       – Houseguests
MAY 15th      – Calliope
JUN 19th       – Oh what a beautiful world
JUL 17th         – The Happy Wanderer
AUG 21st       – Petrichor
SEP 18th        – Secret men’s business
OCT 16th       – Friendship
NOV 20th      – Capgras
DEC 18th        – Humidity

2016 - Suggested First Lines

The wind whistles through the trees and ……..
If you are someone’s sunshine it means you…
The face I see in the mirror is ……….………………
April - I sat down on the dunny seat and…….…………..
May - When your undies are inside out you………..….
June - I’d like to leave a legacy……………………….………
July - When you live in the past…………..…………..……
August - Do you know what you mean to me…………….
September - Living in the city and longing for the bush…......
October - Does it really matter what others think when..
November - I’ve walked a path I knew I was wrong ……..….
December - The year is almost over and I’ve …….…………….

Feel free to  create your own!!


Bob Dever
"The Mudgeeraba Budgerigar"


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

Next Poetry Day 2016

May 15th
1pm to 3:45 pm


MAY 15th   Calliope

Optional First Line:

When your undies are inside out you ..

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