Joan Small Poetry and Books


Poetry in Paradise 2014

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

Established 10 years

The Poetry in Paradise Group
Photo December 2013 Poetry in Paradise 2013

Below - Some of the Poets

Poets in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise - Poetry Book DecemberChristmas tree

'Poems from Poetry in Paradise' is a record of poetry read/recited at each meeting. The cost to members is $2.50. Please pre-order the Christmas 2014 book.

Campfire Poetry

Dave 'The Banjo' Poetry in Paradise Campfire

Poetry Report for October 2014

Poetry report 16/11/2014

The day started off with the sun high in the sky and running on full voltage!! We had twenty-eight people join us on the day and several were new poets and also a couple of poets that had not been for a little while.

The short month snuck up on a few people and they couldn’t make it due to prior commitments. I saw Kathy downtown on Thursday and then the next day I saw Roger and Pammy walking down the street!!

Several poets joined us at the Anglers Arms Hotel after the recital for a social sofPoets in Paradiset drink and a lovely dinner, a nice afternoon, good food and good conversation was enjoyed and shared with good people. Thank you Judi Joan Liseby Graham David Marina Bram and Marta & David.

The poetry was exceptionally good this month and just keeps on getting better with such great diversity inspired by the monthly lines and themes. So many different interpretations make for a really interesting and most enjoyable afternoon.

We had an apology in person from David for Trish not being ably to join us due to feeling a little unwell, we hope she feels better soon and is able to join us for the December recital, thank you very much David.

A local ‘celebrity’ the renowned bush poet and hinterland legend dairy farming primary producer and marketeer Geoff Sharp turned up out of the blue and entertained us all with a couple of his classic recitals of some Jake Drake Aussie Bush poems, his guest on the day was a lady from the ‘bush’ Colleen and she was equally talented with reciting bush poetry and held the audience in her hand at the microphone as well as Geoff did.

Tracy came along for the first time and she really enjoyed the afternoon and said she will be back again to listen to the poetry. We also had two young German exchange students and one student from Brazil; they stayed for the whole afternoon and stated they will come again when able.

The short month snuck up on a few people and they couldn’t make due to prior commitments. I saw
Kathy downtown on Thursday and then the next day I saw Roger and Pammy walking down the street!!

Several poets joined us at the Anglers Arms Hotel after the recital for a social soft drink and a lovely dinner, a nice afternoon, good food and good conversation was enjoyed and shared with good people. Thank you Judi Joan Liseby Graham David Marina Bram and Marta & David.

The poetry was exceptionally good this month and just keeps on getting better with such great diversity inspired by the monthly lines and themes. So many different interpretations make for a really interesting and most enjoyable afternoon.

Bob was in fine form and looked a little taller on top of his soapbox as he shared his dismay at the governments of the world trying to turn us into little tax making robots of the system, he was fired up and letting’em have it with both barrels. His words were written six years ago adding to his dismay as the ‘bastards aint improved one bit’ since then. His second poem was a very wet tale of true loves first kiss; his detail was very specific as he unfolded the event at the drive-inn theatre when he was a young greasy haired Bodgie on his fist date!! His adventure was very funny and he was left alone and shattered in his sin-bin shaggin wagon!! Bob kept with our closing time tradition, as we went over time he recited another tale about little ‘Jimmy’ at school with pretty young teachers counting crows and licking ice blocks.

Joan recited a poem she wrote on the day about robots that contained a bit of a warning about human laziness and the possible implementation of terminator like servants rising against us, so do your chores and enjoy the mundaneness of daily house work because the alternative is scary!! Her second poem was about a childhood dog she nicknamed “Bob the Dog” because her older brother had given the dog six Christian names and all of them were famous explorers, when he should have called him Houdini for reasons that came apparent as Bob grew up over under and out!!

Eoin recited his great piece titled “War is a Whore”, covering the atrocities of ISIS and other extremists around the world today and in the past, the century old conflicts that still rage on as we speak while poverty is killing millions every year and people die daily from no food water clothing and heat; and it is happening right now here on our doorstep and in our neighbourhoods with the rising cost of essential services driving some people to despair. His second poem was sung to the tune of “Advance Australia Fair” and bagged the likes of king Clive and the other crooked lying two-faced politicians that dwell in the troughs of our nations capital.

Alex bought an elm easel from the big hardware store and it reminded him of his childhood days and how his Dad worked with wood of all kinds on the farm and that led to a recollection of “The Woodcutters song” from the 1970’s which he then recited the lyrics to us with resounding applause. His second poem was connected to his thoughts on a similar line and was written by Australian poet Les Murray titled “Singing” a great poem about walking across a freshly ploughed field.

Judi shared her recently published poem titled “In my own Garden”, a very nice poem about the garden inside her heart that she tends to daily with loving care and attention. The poem was published in an international journal of poems titled “Heavenly Hymns” congratulations Judi. Judi’s second poem was a poem she wrote in 2009 on the Christmas theme, nicely written and full of festive spirit and a nice dedication to us all at Poetry in Paradise.

Graham recited his poem “The Boer War” and told how his mates served in other wars and they used to meet at the RSL and talk about the old days, a great poem and well recited. His second pome was titled “The Greatest Whinger on Earth”, how would ya be, how would ya bloody well be! a very funny poem and true of so many people that don’t realize how lucky they are to have what they have in their lives.

Jean recited two poems from her diary kept during her experience of living with the native people in New Guinea and she brought along sheaths and other traditional Dani customary wears, very educational; and very interesting tales. Jean has also published a book on her adventure and their way of life.

John joined us again and shared his poem that is a tribute to his friend Rebecca, a nicely written poem that followed the metre of “Shall I compare thee to a summers day”. His second poem was about love and how it is magnetic for it repels and attracts and is truly a gift given from up above, a nice poem and well received.

Ted recited on the pet theme and told us about his chicken ‘Henny Penny’ his Hawke called Bob, Monty the python, Genghis the Burmese cat, Bunyip the French Bulldog and some Galah that didn’t like being caged, very funny and well presented. His second poem was “When the Chips are Down”, he questioned would you stand up and be counted when you’re needed would you be true blue, do you help out when the need arises; great poem and well written.

Dave 'The Banjo' Farrer recited a very well written poem he wrote himself about Man’s and his best friend ‘Mozzie the Cattle Dog’, he took us on a very emotional journey as we all recalled our own four legged mate that we loved and lost and we all shared his pain; great poem Banjo!! His second poem was a crowd favorite written by Henry Lawson; “Bill” Banjo did a great recital and received thunderous applause.

Marina recited her poem about one of her main passions in life titled “My Karaoke Friends”, she spoke of Alf (Elvis) Judy (Bubbles) Lynette (Velvet) Johnny (High Notes) Melodic Didi, booming Dennis, Georgie Porgy & Jane and her favorite singer of them all, Bram. Her second poem was the spoken version of a song she had published that should be on every Christmas list titled “Kookaburra Christmas”, one of the best Aussie tunes I’ve heard, Marina sang the chorus and we would all love to hear the CD.

Bram recited a poem titled “Doggy Heaven” and he narrated their favorite pet’s journey into the land of smelly bones free shoes, pillows galore and socks to chew everywhere and then to top it off its right next door to ‘pussy heaven’ when the need to chase a cat or two comes over the canine residents. His second poem was very funny and was written to the metre of “Yesterday” as he pondered losing his license at a RBT stop and was feeling a bit despaired, like the policeman’s toe that he just ran over.

David wrote on the Robot’s theme and recited his poem titled “Stobor” nettirw llew and well received by all, a funny tale of his mechanical servant needing and overhaul and getting Clark Kent’s chip by mistake. His second poem was also on the pet theme and he opened his heart and shared his powerful poem written on the loss of his much loved ‘Amy’ his words also brought tears to our eyes once again.

Manya brought her brother John along from their family reunion for their Mums 99th Birthday, she shared her poem titled “Stardust” Inspired by Prof Brian Cox informing the world we originate from the stars, a great poem exploring the horror and the beauty of life in this modern world. Her second poem was written 25 years ago about love lost, blue eyes, poor attention spans and unappreciated words recited to some one that should have just let go!! Manya’s Mother has had a book published Titled “WE SURVIVED; A Mothers Story of Japanese Captivity”, by Nell van de Graaff. (This story of courage is told simply, humbly and gently. It contains no trace of bitterness, only the calm wisdom of a survivor).

John, Manya’s brother is also talented in the poetry field and did two great recitals, his first poem was titled “The Black Leathered Gladiator” it was a very moving poem about life and a Mother witnessing the frailty of life on a motorcycle as she saw it crash on a corner from her office window. His second poem was a free verse description of him witnessing a beautiful lady sitting down at a bus stop, he then reduced it to Tanka verse and wrote five lines on the same experience, then he cleverly reduced the image in our minds to three lines with Haiku verse and we could still appreciate the beauty of the moment.

Alan recited his poem inspired by “Bill” written by Henry Lawson about the civil rights movements inspired by the likes of women such as Rosa Parkes and Malala Yousafzai; two women that have risked their lives for their beliefs and stood fast against what seemed like insurmountable adversity and got their message heard all the way around the world and proved that one person can truly make a difference!!! His second poem was his recitation of a Monty Python song performed live at the Hollywood bowl called the Philosophers Drinking Song, Immaneul Kent was a real pissant he was very rarely stable, Heidegger Heideggar was a boozy beggar he could drink you under the table, David Hume could out consume Willhelm Friedrich Hegel, Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel ………….. a lovely little thinker but a bugger when he’s pissed. Boom Boom

Joyce entertained us with her comedic tale of her, ‘in vogue at the time’ of the eighties, pet and how she had lovingly adopted a cute little rock!!! Her second poem was on the robot theme and she warned us that all this modern technology is turning us into robots with all the artificial organs and limbs inside us humans today, beware!!

Mac wrote on the pet theme and the other combined into the one poem as he told of his dream of having a robot puppy, it can fetch but you don’t have to worry about the pee on the carpet!! His second poem was written by Kath Davis in 1975 and was titled “Top Dressing” and told of a beautiful lady teacher from the ‘city’ that moved to the ‘bush’ and had all the country lads in hot pursuit, she married and stayed there then had to explain the beauty of the bush to her ‘city’ parents.

Tom is always chasing rainbows and today was no different as he told of Mick and Paddy doing the same at the bar of the Ruptured Duck in the Valley of Sugar!! The lucky buggers found their pot of gold and killed Squire Trilones prize stallion in the process, but luckily Paddy being a fast talker they got out of trouble and got to keep the booty!! In his second poem he told about Haiku being seventeen syllables and how “to convey ones mood in seventeen syllables is very diffic….” His third tale was read straight from the ledger being kept on him by “the man upstairs” as he told of a journey of drunken debauchery with him and Harry the lone brain cell annoying a taxi driver assaulting a gnome then upsetting his wife by mistaking a wardrobe for the water closet and they blamed the ‘Nectar of the Gods’ as they dashed off to another round of darts at the local.

Geoff Sharp recited Jake Drakes “The Cattle Dogs Revenge” and told of the day the uninvited city folks third cousins sisters uncles brothers Rottweiler killed Mums chooks and destroyed the serenity at the farm but was then neutered by ‘Woody’ the cattle dog as the dim witted owner searched frantically through his dog psychiatry book and puppy school journal for a solution. His second equally entertaining recital was “The Widow on the Flat” one of my favorites and one I’m trying to commit to memory.

Colleen from Springsure, out by Emerald, came last round the post as she did a great job reciting from memory her poem about the Diamantina River and told of Mankinds useless attempts to change its course and how it is the heart beat of the bush and always will be and should be respected and left alone. Her second poem was one that was accepted by and published by an invitation from former Premier Peter Beattie to all poets to send in a poem about their vision of Queensland; it was titled “Freedom” and she spoke of her dream of a freedom from fear, from hunger greed and poverty for all Queenslanders; for people to want less and to be happy with what they have and not crave for what the corporates tell them they need; two really great metre perfect poems.

Thank you everyone for your poetry and participation in our group, this is our tenth year and I just paid the renewal fee for “Poetry in Paradise” as a registered trade mark to ensure another ten years of our social get together while sharing our hearts words and lives.

See you on the 21st of December if you can make it with all the festivities of the Christmas goings on. Bye for now and thank your Mother for the Rabbits

Jeffery Irene, Joan and all of the poets in paradise

Mudgeeraba School - Kids' Poetry Session - Report

Myself, Graham, Banjo, Ngaire, David, and Bob went to the school's office and they didn't have any of our names on the list to get the "Cuts"! Phew.

Bob and I were particularly relieved about that and my hands twitched in painful recollection of my school days with my daily wait outside the Headmasters door. They didn't even know what the "Cuts" was!!!

We then made it down to the Great Hall and had a great time meeting the children, some remembered us from the classes we did earlier in the year and one boy proudly recited his 'Aussie Bush Animals' poem for us and he did a great job. He then delighted and inspired us with the amazing news that he has committed to memory "The Man From Ironbark" line and verse and also that a class mate has also committed a complete poem to her memory, "The Man from Snowy River" wow!!

We recited three poems each and the group of one hundred 10 to 11 year old children or more remained awake the whole time and clapped and laughed at the appropriate time and many chatted afterwards with us before being dragged off to class. I informed them they could all have the rest of the day off, they cheered but the teachers, just like in the ol'days, overrode my announcement.

The school has a very strong bond with Aussie culture and history and their english classes encourage support and inspire each and every child to create recite read and learn some of our traditional bush poems as well as staying in touch with the many competitions around the country. Great work Mudgeeraba School, Bridget and all the teachers.

2014 Themes

January: 19th – Roads.
February: 16th – Princess.
March: 16th – Farm Life.
April: 27th – Rhabdonmantist.
(Note: Do not look up 'Rhabdonmantist')
May: 18th – Three score and ten.

June: 15th – Sunshine.
July: 20th – What now?
August: 17th – The Race.
September: 21st – Suspense.
October: 19th – Lightning Strikes.
November: 16th – Robots.
December: 21st – What is love?

Optional First Lines

January: I was just being me …………………………………
February: A sting in the tail………………………………………
March: I never should have………………………………………
April: My hinkumbooby was…………………………………….
(Note: Do not look up what a 'hinkumbooby' is!)
May: Laughter is the best medicine, it will………………
June: Softly she trod o’er the damp grass………………
July: The best/worst thing I ever caught was…………
August: Can I last that long I just…………………………………
September: The angelic child……………………………………………
October: Around the corner you will find………………………

November: I had a favourite pet, it was ...................
Speaking of unusual toys, last year I received ...........

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

Next Poetry Meeting
November 16th
(3rd Sunday) 2014
1pm to 3:45 pm

Theme: Dec 21stWhat is love?.........
Optional First Line:
December: 21st – Speaking of unusual toys, last year I received ...........


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