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
December 2013 Poetry in Paradise 2013

Below - Some of the Poets

Poets in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise June 2013

Poetry in Paradise Happy Birthday Congratulations to Jeff the Poet for Nine Years of Poetry in Paradise. He has been our enthusiastic and totally committed 'illustrious leader' for all of this time, despite personal and work challenges and leading a very busy life. Jeff deserves a medal for how he has nurtured the club and helped it to grow into such a wonderful haven for poets and poetry. ... Joan Small (webmaster and poet)

Book of Poems

'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 if you want extra copies, or if you did not attend the previous P.I.P meeting and present at least one poem.

Mudgeeraba State School Poetry

Thank you to Bob Kathy and Banjo for a great afternoon of entertainment and education. We all learnt a lot from an enthusiastic group of inspired little poets. Some amazing poems were written and every child stood at the microphone and recited their poems!! Several parents made it along and many siblings as well. Probably 50 people at the peak!!! Hopefully the teacher Kelly can inspire some parents to bring the children to our group one Sunday and they can have the first 30 minutes to recite their poems to us all, fingers crossed!! Thanks for doing the whole group proud, Jeff


Campfire Poetry

Dave 'The Banjo' Poetry in Paradise Campfire

Poetry Report August 2014

The day started with apologies from a few of our regulars that were having a busy weekend. The Banjo, Ted, Gloria, Eoin and Paul, it was difficult but we went on without you all and somehow we made it through the afternoon, (must have been all your positive thoughts) shall see you all next month.

I (Jeff) recited three poems on the day and two were on the race theme and one was on the 'can I last that long?' option. Joan gave me a positive supportive comment that the poem I did was just about spot on with a metre but she was not sure which one so I guess I’ll never know.

Bob didn’t think he would last long enough to write a poem about his 70th birthday and he shared his hilarious thoughts on life after you have outlived your retirement fund!! His second poem was inspirational and on a similar theme, it was titled “You’re still gonna die” and he reassured us all the despite our absolute best intentions and positive lifestyle and dietary choices, we all are still gonna die, thanks Bob. Bob as per tradition, closed the day with a poem about the end of his days and his wish not to be dependent on a machine, drugs or any substance to survive, so his ever lovin supportive well intentioned missus, tipped out his beer and sent him packin???

Joan shared her journey to the bottom of the pool on a dare as she laid down there and wondered could she last that long?? Well I’m glad to report that she did indeed survive and went on to excel in quite wonderfully, logical positivism. Joan’s second poem was an insight to her fitness program as she went down the stairs down the hill up the hill and up the stairs, after completing over her life span, water polo, polo, swimming, Pilates, running, walking, dancing and not staying still too often. Joan’s third poem was an advisory tale on thinking positive in your own race and after all it is you that you have to please the most, so be positive and love and look after yourself first.

David penned a poem early on Sunday morning and shared it with us, on the subject of the recently departed Aussie Legend the great Sir Jack Brabham, he reminded us of his race in the USA where he was winning with 500 metres to go and ran out of petrol, requiring him to get out of the car and single handed heroically push it across the line and still finished 4th!!! His second poem was written a while back and was titled “Commodity’, he shared his thoughts on us humans learning to live with less and be still being very happy, grow your own vegies and recycle more.

Judi also gave us some wonderful positive advice on the ‘race of life’ and shared all the different meanings of the word race and her thoughts on how to enjoy as much as we can while we still can. Judi’s second poem was titled “Life and Lasting” and she shared a quote, ‘tough times don’t last but tough people do’ reminding us to always be kind and to care for others.

Manya recited a poem on the subject of the 100th anniversary of WW1, with a reminder of the tragic loss of so many youths of the day and how mankind has continued to allow so many of our young people to die in senseless wars. Manya’s second poem was about the Pan Pacific games and how Aussies will bet on anything, also she assured us we will win win win gold!!! Her third poem was titled “Nada” meaning, nothingness; it was an emotional journey into the throbbing pain that can come with the glory of love.

Joyce wondered comically could she last long enough to play a great round of golf, that elusive dream that those strange people addicted to that silly little white ball dream about at the 19th hole and tell exaggerated tales of the unbelievable ‘nearly’ shots that they ‘nearly’ pulled off!!! Joyce’s second poem was about the great race that stops the nation, not that little one down in Flemington held in November, the one at the Ettamogah Pub on the 26th January every year. The Ettamogah Pub Dunny Races!! up on the Sunshine Coast, everyone, must go there once in their life!! Joyce asked the question in her third poem, ‘Where do ants go for winter’ and will be buggered if I can remember her answer, do you??

Mac joined in with a great poem about the Aussie race, from Adam and Eve and then onto Captain Cook coming out here to look at our bikini clad beauties, right up to PUP members stuffing the whole joint up. His second poem was a tribute to Dan Sheahan the man who really wrote “The Pub with no Beer” but didn’t get the credit or the royalties. His third poem was him pondering on whether he can last that long and realising he is slowing down a bit and the future may not be looking as good as his past, the declaring “What the hell I’m doing well, so I’ll keep on going my way” onya Mac, thumbs up.

Graham recited a letter he received many years ago that told the story of the deeper meaning of the list of names on your Christmas card book containing your mailing list, the names are all the people that have come into your life and out of it, and it reminds you of all the love you have known and still hold inside your heart. His second poem, the bush ballad “The Red Creek Overseer” was written by William Henry Ogilvie (1869-1963), born in Scotland, lived in Qld from age 20 to 32 then he returned to Scotland but continued to write for several Australian newspapers; a truly great poem and a beautiful stirring rendition of it by Graham. His third poem was titled the “Greatest Whinger on earth” and was very funny and equally well presented by Graham.

Alan recited a poem by the ‘Australian’ Newspaper Journalist Phillip Adams, “I love this bloody country”, a very poignant and powerful poem about our great land, well recited and well crafted. Alan’s second poem was on his pondering about the clinking of the glasses when we toast and how every culture has it within it, he recalled how many poets have been known to have a drink or three and he closed with a toast to our continued good health and scribing future. Alan’s third poem was about age old story of the new Pope and the Rabbi and the outstanding bill for twenty pieces of silver.

Alex recited a tribute to Robin Williams and it included words by Walt Whitman used in “The Dead Poets Society” a very nice and moving tribute. His second poem was inspired by the words of Hercule Poirot and was titled “The Elephant remembers” this lovely poem covered all the memories form childhood up to the present; all the physical signs of life and its marks on the dwellings we live in. His third poem was a quick little one and was inspired by a dream from a long time ago, where he was dancing with the dead!!!
Trish reminded us all of one of poetry in paradises greatest and inspirational poets/author/artists, Rina; what a full life she lived and what a great tribute to her was held the day of her funeral. Trish’s second poem took us back to when she was eighteen and living in England when she and a girlfriend decided to travel through Scotland in winter!!! A funny thing happened to them both involving twin beds hot water bottles and not so hot water bottles hidden inside dirty linen.

Tom reopened the comical case of the murdered poets and the arresting of Joan of the rhyme police, very funny and inclusive of all of us poets and ending with Joan being acquitted and no conviction recorded then released!! His second poem was about race number eight at the BMX track and it was great mate. His third poem was “Love is “and was inspired by the late great John Lennon.

Jean travelled up from NSW again to join us with some great poems; her first was about a man wondering how long he could last while he was waiting to run away forever, very interesting and very funny. Her second poem was about one of Australia’s greatest hurdlers Sally Pearson, a very fast moving poem and a very inspirational tribute to one of our Gold Coast legends. Jean was excited to share with us that she had her book published by Zeus Publications, it is called “Jang of the Dani”, it is fictional work and it is based on Jean’s own true real experiences of growing up in the remote Baliem Valley in New Guinea, well done Jean.

We had two new people come along with Jean on Sunday, one a poet and the other an artist that is sometimes also a Poet. John and Leigh-Allen both enjoyed the afternoon; John recited a very well written poem using RACE as an acronym, one being the Royal Armed Core of Ethiopia and the other being the Royal Automobile Club of England both of which he has been a member!! Leigh-Allen stated she would return next month with a newly created line or two.

Kathy came in last as she did in her first poem titled “Lactic Acid legs, the race from hell”, where she told the story of thinking she beat the ‘oldies’ around the pool and win a race, but by the end of third lap she was a goner, but she proudly and painfully hung in there to the end of the fourth lap, well done Kathy!!! . Her second poem was an emotion stirring poem about a discovery her party made while bush walking out near Rathdowney at Mount Maroon, a tiny grave circa 1800, she was to find out later from some ‘locals’ that it belonged to a young pioneer mother and her newborn baby daughter that had fallen sick soon after childbirth, the young husband rode into town to fetch the doctor but on return home he found the tragedy of the loss of both of his loved ones.

Marta was persuaded to recite a poem just before we closed, it was about the circle of life and it went from growing up and getting married to a bossy man then getting divorced and finding her freedom, then getting married to David and living in Australia.

Thank you everyone for a great day and looking forward to the next one on the 21/09/2014. The optional theme for next month is “Suspense” and the optional first line is “The Angelic child……”

Take care and be nice, Jeffrey and Irene and the Poets in Paradise.

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"

Banjo's Camp Fire 2012 - Jeff Goudy

The guests came from miles around with one single heartfelt desire
they all wanted to share the warmth of Banjo's Bush camp fire
Dawn came back out at dusk and welcomed all to the fold
Banjo stoked the campfire. she was all as good as gold

Aussie damper was cooking as we watched the billy boil
the sparks were flying high as Banjo continued with his toil
Tea an coffee were on offer as were lamingtons and dips
salami and cabana were all nibbled thinking of impact on the hips

Irene got in from the Philippines arriving just in time
she turned up in my ute for she is the love of mine
Joan came down from Tennant Creek with tales both tall and true
Proud of where she came from and proud of her Father too

Alex came over from Mt Nathan found the note that he was after
Alpaca's came from some bonogin road up that a way hillside rafter
Roger from South Africa was there and keen to share his verse
generously he fried up his authentic home country made damper an Boerwors

Judi our lovely resident celebrant was there to share and celebrate
sharing her ode to Banjo and we all thought it was great
Sandra seemed to have misplaced her poem for it was not there right on hand
after she ventured all the way over from the long white clouded land

Balmain got a look in too hey with Carlene and O'l Bob
The wine warmed the cockles hey and the saxaroo did it's job
Cathy came so far away I forget how far she drove and flew
folded chair and savouries shared both ole verse and the new

The food was quickly eaten all jaws we did employ
the damper was delicious smothered in ol'cockies joy
The poetry began to flow tales tall and all so true
from aliens to bastards some poems that we all knew

The night was bloody great the campfire chats are our tradition
those that couldn't make it out you don't know what you were missin
Everyone that was there was special we all agreed that we are a truly decent mob
we all hugged and we thanked Banjo for a truly wonderful inspired job.

(c) Jeff Goudy 22/09/2102

Laughter – What Is it?
Joan Small
Laughter’s therapeutic – I wonder why it’s so.
They say it’s the endorphins that make our faces glow.
And then there’s blood that’s pumping when laughing makes us shake,
When letting out that ‘ha ha ha’ our bodies come awake.

Whatever is the cause of it there’s something we agree –
To laugh is to communicate, connect ‘tween you and me.
Uplifting and enjoying, it keeps us healthy too.
For ‘Laughter’s the Best Medicine’ – a saying trite but true.

What makes me laugh? There’s many things – I’ll chuckle at a word;
A misspelt mispronounced pure gem that makes a thought absurd,
Like ‘relevant’ for ‘relative’ or ‘candlestine affair’,
Or spoonerisms, ‘Prandsome Hince’ for ‘Rindercella’ fair.

I’ll laugh at funny movies – Will Smith or Seinfeld’s crew,
At Dibley’s Vicar, Geraldine, who gets in such a stew.
Then Adam Hillls on ‘Spicks and Specks’ invites such comedy
With clever guests to play his quiz and show off musically.

Who would have thought at Toastmasters I’d find a laughing place.
But humour rears its happy head – puts smiles on every face.
While at my active writing club the ladies tell their story,
And laughter’s an important part when gory turns to glory.

But best of all’s the poets club, for members there are fun.
There’s Bob and Tim and Alec too, Jeff, Joyce and everyone.
Vince has his comic microscope and Gloria her tales.
With Marta’s short amusing poems we laugh when she regales.

They say a child laughs many times as they’re absorbed in play,
While adults oft forget to laugh – too serious each day.
So if you’ve lost the urge to laugh; to chuckle and have fun,
Just come to our great poets’ club – we’ve laughs for everyone.

It’s guaranteed if you’ve a heart that’s got the urge to lift,
We’ll put a smile upon your face. It’s the ‘Poets in Paradise’ gift.

(c) Joan Small 2013



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

Next Poetry Day

Next Poetry Meeting
September 21st
(3rd Sunday) 2014
1pm to 3:45 pm

Theme: September: 21st – Suspense
Optional First Line:
September: The angelic child……


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