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 June 2015

The day started out lovely and sunny and by the time Graham and I got to the library the Centro Tower wind tunnel was running on ‘cyclone’ mode and the chill factor tripled!! Inside the library was a nice sanctuary until 2pm when the buildings air conditioning decided to compete with the weather outside and some poets reported that the room dropped 10 degrees, I don’t feel the cold much but even I noticed the change.

Nineteen poets joined in the day’s recital including John who was there at our the first day at Evergreens back in March 2004.

Bob started the day off well with a great one liner, “Here I stand in silent wonder” then after a minute’s silence he sat down. His second poem was his emotive Aussie explanation of what it means to him to be an Australian in 2015, many of his sentiments were shared by all present especially wishing the death of political correctness, the end of fast food giants and he closed with a wish that the politicians would get tough on drugs. His third poem was a funny fairytale about Snow-white and the Seven Dwarfs and he had us all laughing on the way out the door.

Graham recited his funny poem about the night he got lucky and took a beautiful woman home from the local dance, only to find that once she got into bed and took it all off, the off included all her teeth, her hair one arm one leg and a both things that are normally still there after the bra is removed!!! His second term at the podium was a running comedy monologue of that included nuts, a flat tyre and a deaf cockroach. With his third time at the mic he recited a true Aussie bush poem titled “Limestone Creek” written by a mate of his Billy? a great poem about a young lad making friends with the old man living down by the river and learning about life himself through defying his concerned parents.

David was the first to write on the optional; monthly them and his poem Commonwealth of Nations was very good. He then explained how poetry was included every day at the last games in Scotland and broadcast on the BBC daily. He then recited a poem that was gifted by Scottish poet’s Liz Lochhead and Jim Carruth during the Games Legacy baton handover to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games effort and he has asked me to try and find out if our group can be involved in the next games here on the Gold Coast.

Judi was bopping down memory lane in her poem about her recent dancing at a celebration in Nerang that reminded her of when she a Rock’nRoll dancing queen as a teenager and she danced many a night away; but back then it was followed by stiff joints and cortisone injections for bursitis!! ere ere a few others joined in with jeer. In Judi’s second poem she was waiting by the phone for the man from Oz Lotto to tell her where to pick up her twenty two million dollars, but alas the call did not come, she was consoled in thought’s of all the good things that she does have in her life and she went to sleep that night happy and with a smile on her face for all her good fortune’s and the much love and friendship she enjoys in her life.

Manya didn’t sit in silent wonder as she wondered out loud with the tale of a controlling Mother that was having trouble cutting the apron stings and letting baby have his wings with sharing his life with another woman!! Her second poem was very heart warming and was the gift of life that is given by the miracle of science with the conception of an IVF baby to a couple that desperately wants to share their love with a precious little gift.

Ted sat and wondered about the all the stars in our ever-expanding glorious wonderful beautiful universe that we have the pleasure and privilege of living in. His second recital was one he leant as a child and refreshed throughout his life, written Lord Byron titled "The destruction of Sennacherib”. It tells of actual event near Jerusalem. He was an Assyrian general. Isaiah the prophet counseled the Jewish king against surrender of the city. These events occurred about 690 B.C, Ted did a wonderful spirited performance and David in particular just loved it.

Banjo was in fine voice as he also shared what he reckons it means to be an Australian, by recited a poem penned by Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar when she was living in
England at nineteen years of age and was homesick for her beloved Australia, originally titled “Core of my Heart” in 1908 then later changed to “My Country” in 1911. His second stand at the podium ne delivered a brilliant inspiring recital of a Henry Lawson favorite of mine, Bill of Ages.

John hasn’t been to our group for over nine years but he was there at the third meeting of Poetry in Paradise, which was our first one at the Evergreen restaurant in Bundall in March 2004, a welcome return, he recited a funny and witty poem about “Tone’s Toe” which was well received and applauded by all. He then wrote and then recited a poem on his laptop for his second time at the podium for the day, written on the ‘sit alone’ theme.

Eoin performed another of his fantastic political satire poems and had us all in the palm of his hand with our united mistrust and disgust of today’s political leaders, including ‘Cant Do’, ‘Lie Bligh’ and Annastacia Palaszczuk, try reading that name when ya pissed. His second poem was a very funny tale written from time spent on the loo after six too many ales and a dodgy beef Vindaloo with his head in the sink and pondering where the hell did those bits of corn and carrot come from and then wondering in silence if that’s how June Carter Cash came up with the title “Ring of Fire”???

Tom started off his afternoon with a good joke about Jo Hockey!! His first poem titled “Not Nice Cream” was just about the funniest one he has written and delivered to date, it was borderline at times but that’s what makes its so funny, that is was just so real and as a man I could imagine the pain of nair hair removal cream in the nare regions of the male anatomy!!! Tom’s second poem was “Princess” and it was inspired by a visit to the little town of Babblebrook and watching the travelling circus arrive, then the lioness escaped and found a liking for two meat and veg and had all the males in town clutching themselves as she could not be found and now had a strong desire for seconds. Tom’s third poem was equally funny and was written by Bernard Wrigley, it was about a wedding in a nudist camp and him being invited to be the entertainment and recite upstanding in front of the bouncing crowd. In last months report I got it wrong with stating the author of Tom’s poem being Tom when I should have quoted the author as the one that inspired Tom to write comedy poetry, the poem “Blackpool Beach” was in fact written by Mike Harding “The Rochdale Cowboy”.

Alan was a bit crook last month and wandered lonely as a cloud and didn’t make it to the group so he brought last months poem to this months group, his poem about “Parking Woes” at the local store and his wife being left standing idle at the exit while he still had nor sourced a spot, he was getting hot under the collar and she was battling a dodgy shopping trolley, I could feel his pain as it reminded me of when I went to Robina in the school holidays for some Irene supporting venture. Alan’s second poem was penned by Tom Clancy in 1897 titled “Tom Clancy’s Riposte to Banjo Paterson, Tom and his brother Thomas were friends with Banjo and many believe they were the inspiration Clancy of The Overflow.

Marta shared her pride having a poetry book published in the Czech Republic in her native language as she recited the only poem in the book written in both dialects and it tells the tale of her being homesick for Australia while there looking after Mother and missing David then being homesick here in Australia with David while missing her ailing Mother in the Czech Republic, both countries would like to claim her as their own, so we will just have to share her and her beautiful caring soul with her family over there and with David over here.

Joyce is a true character and an inspiration to us all, she started off telling us about Mac’s recent unconscious experience and the stay in hospital for a few nights and how she wrote a poem explaining it all to recite while he lay resting in their bed at their home, but the bugger got better and he came along with her and she recited the poem anyway. Her second poem was another true story that occurred because of the family and friend’s party to celebrate Mac’s recovery, the next day they were left with the waste part of a seafood platter and its foul stench and a bin full of maggots. They decided to go to the dump and got lost and argued over where it is and what way to go and Mac was sure that the council must have moved it when they finally found it!! Joyce’s third poem was a classic about a dumb persistent customer at the local fruit shop and a smart thinking slightly pissed of fruiter that had to explain that there was no F in tomatoes.

Mac shared that the 22nd of June was his and Joyce’s 64th wedding anniversary; congratulations to them came from us all, loud and strong and with much heart left sentiment and applause. Mac recited his ponderings on sitting in silent wonder about how he also didn’t win 22 million dollars either. His second poem was his version of what occurred with the recent trip to the hospital and we all joined in in wishing him well and to make a speedy full recovery, with Joyce in his corner he has nothing to worry about.

Tracey continues to deliver great poetry and everyone shares in enthusiasm with his or her support of her beautifully written works, her first poem was about sitting in silent wonder while practicing yoga and meditation and listening to her own breathing as she recites the Om mantra. Her second poem was about an 11th Century castle titled “The Hall of Lost Foot Steps”.

Roger wrote about his time wasted in the ‘Shark Tank’ and the non-supportive culture of the supposed professionals in rejecting his idea for a book of doggerel strine and Aussie verse, bastards. Roger’s second poem was more like an Eminem Rap as it was fast paced and full of fire and passion along with rust and confusion, I think it was tilted “My Grumble” and he spoke so fast on so many topics and in so many varying emotions that I don’t know what it was about and cant remember everything he said and I just clapped because he looked so happy telling us he was off soon to visit Pammy the pommy and couldn’t wait to get in the hot tub with her, or was it a sowner.

Jean, in the spirit of the afternoon’s comedic content recited her speech on sex and started with the words, “Good afternoon, it gives me great pleasure”!! boom boom. In her first poem she told us how she has sat in silent wonder atop of so many different wonders in this great country, from Uluru to Kathryn’s Gorge, Devils Marbles, Barron Falls, Sydney’s Coat Hanger, grassy plateaus, wide rivers, sandstone canyons, and how she has seen many wonders in her life from a dairy farm run by robots and computers to seeing the delivery of a brand new little human being into this wonderful awe filled world. Jean's second poem was written to celebrate 40 years of the Gold Coast Bush Walking Club (Roger is also a member), praising the lovely couple that founded it and still participate in it, all the diverse things they have done in their travels on pathways mountains islands canoes bikes and of course, feet. The friendships and experiences that have come from sharing journeys with each other and many pets over the years.

Jean is holding her eightieth Birthday BBQ on the 5th of October this year at her place in Hastings Point and we are all invited to celebrate with her and her family. BYO and bring a plate to share, no presents just presence. Jean can be contacted via my email and I’ll pass it on to her to reply directly to you

Thank you all for making this group such a success and for all the friendship and the wonderful poetry along with the tears and the laughter. Another great month of poetry was shared by all and missed by Joan, Alex, Bram and Marina who were all pre-booked for the date but we went on without them and just scrapped through, see you next month and enjoy this lovely winter weather in the best place to live in all of Australia. Take care and thank your Mother for the rabbits ...

Jeffrey Irene and Joan the webmaster and Toastmaster too!!!.

2014 Themes & Optiional 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

19th July 2015
1pm to 3:45 pm

19/07/2015 Music
Optional First Line:
“I piled all the dishes into the sink ….”

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