Joan Small Poetry and Books


Poetry in Paradise 2015

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

Established 10 years

Congratulations Jeff The Poet
Masters in Advanced Practice Mental Health Stream 2015

Jeff Goudy - Degree from Griffith University

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

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 January 2015

Welcome to the start of our 11th year.

Lisa, a Journalist from the GC Bulletin, recently interviewed me on Wednesday the 14th for a mention in Saturday’s paper. Lisa told me that her boss was talking about our group and wondered if it was still going; they have done two articles on our group in the past, last one was 2010 when Rina was in the photo.  I completely forgot about it as I was on my way home from my 3rd night shift and just recalled the event today Wednesday the 22nd. Did anyone by chance read last Saturdays GC Bulletin??

Our first recital for the year was well attended with twenty-three people braving the heat to be rewarded by getting to sit in the beautifully air-conditioned meeting room. Our monthly optional theme was “A New Year” and the optional first line was “It is New Year’s Day and I rise to state that here on the…..”, the start of a Henry Lawson poem titled   “A Word from the Bards”,

It is New Year's Day and I rise to state that here on the Sydney side
The Bards have commenced to fill out of late and
they're showing their binjies with pride

They're patting their binjies with pride, old man, and I want you to understand,
That a binjied bard is a bard indeed
when he sings in the Southern Land,
  Old chaps,  
When he sings in the Southern Land.

Bob started the day off in fine form with a funny four liner about useless New Years Resolutions. His first poem was a great answer to the question ‘What is Poetry’, he spoke of the many meanings and how it means different things to different people but the one common thread was that it is written to be read and shared and to exist for all time. His second poem was very funny and a detailed one about one of the problems that develops with turning grey, the battle to put on clean undies while standing up, a simple task when young and nimble but it can result in dire consequences as time goes by as it takes some of your balance with it. In keeping with our tradition Bob raised the standard and closed the day with a funny poem about choices from the bar while flying with the big Red Kangaroo and how sometimes believe it or not there are better options than an icy cold beer, a true story!! 

Joan followed Bob and recited her poem on Poetry and Joan aired some similar thoughts to Bob but included the feeling of the magic sometimes coming from words and the content of the poem, how they can be inspiring motivational and cathartic. How poetry can describe city life country life and everything in between. Joan’s second poem was written on New Years Eve 1999 leading in to the year 2000 and how the whole world was looking forward with great enthusiasm toward the turning of the new century. Her third poem was a beautiful descriptive poem about rain coming to the Northern Territory, written with great passion about the land she spent many years in.

Gloria wrote on the optional theme for the month for the first time in ten years and recited a great tale of the lengths some people will go to, to win a competition, this one was about Henry and his deception in his clubs annual fishing competition and how even with all his clever work and a visit to the local trawler shop he still didn’t win, poor Henry. Her second poem was inspired by a recent visit to the Tamborine Vineyards and it was well received by all the lovers in the room as she told of the “Fruits of the Vine” and compared the journey of the grape to the blossoming from an innocent child to a worldly and beautiful woman and how men scramble to get a taste of the sweetness, closing with men being compared to a good scotch and are only worth a visit when they have appropriately aged. Gloria’s third poem was about eating a lovely ripe red delicious yummy apple and on her second bite coming face to face to with a little muncher eye balling her form his cosy little spot, then asking herself the eternal question had she eaten one of his colleagues or was he acting alone in his covert mission of stealth??

Graham recited a poem about the “Husband Shop” that he found on the WWW written by Anon, it described available men from the 1st floor to the 5th floor and how a woman could choose from any floor but once going up a floor cannot revisit a previous floor and can only leave via the roof, the choices got better as she got higher and with seeking a better man each time the arrival at the 6th floor was to find that because she always wanted something better she had missed the opportunities on the way and her unrealistic hopes will see her never finding the perfect man.
His second poem was titled “The Greatest Whinger on Earth”, how would ya be, how would ya bloody well be! It was a very funny poem and true of so many people that don’t realize how lucky they are to have what they do have in their lives. In Grahams third poem he told a very funny tale about his struggle a while back with being a newly wed and not being able to keep up at night, he had a few people blushing and wondering what was coming next then he explained how he could only read one chapter a night before falling asleep, not three or four like his mates at work.

David recited on the monthly theme with his poem titled “New Year 2015” a great poem and it was written with a month by month description of the fruit available in that month and was a very positive and tasteful work. His second poem was written by Victor J Daly an Irishman born in 1858 and orphaned in 1870, he then lived with an Uncle in England before sailing to Australia by himself in 1878 to live in Adelaide. He was nearly illiterate and later moved to Melbourne then Sydney where he studied and became a journalist for “The Bulletin” and gained notoriety as a poet while working there and soon became the toast of the Sydney literary scene, becoming great mates with the likes of Henry Lawson, Roderic Quinn, Bertram Stevens and Norman Lindsay. His first poetry collection was titled “At Dawn and Dusk” which was much feted after its publication in 1898. Sadly his health deteriorated and he died on the 29/12/1905 from TB. David then recited Henry Lawson’s epitaph to Victor J Daly and then a poem that Henry Lawson wrote about the poet himself. See its true that you learn something new everyday.

Banjo perfectly recited a poem penned by the other Banjo and published in the “The Bulletin”, on the 16 December 1893 titled “A Bush Christening” a comedic tale about how Michael Magee was christened Maginnis Magee. His second poem was originally a word of mouth song passed on amongst bullock teams drivers west of Sydney in the 1820’s near Gundagai, ‘Bowyang Yorke’ was the first poet quoted as reciting it as poem in 1880 with updated lyrics, then Jack Moses rewrote it and cleaned up the word shat to sat in 1923, his version of the poem was later used for a commemorative celebration for the area and the ‘Dog on the Tucker Box’ bronze statue was unveiled in 1932. Another history lesson, see how important our poetry is to this great nations history, one day school children will be quoting Jeffrey Goudy and discussing what he really meant by cutting another’s mans grass and was he exaggerating when he wrote about holding his own against eight men in the mall as young lad of eighteen.

Ted wrote on the New Year theme with a great positive poem about the future and what a great year 2015 is going to be for us all, it is going to be full of hope and he knows in his heart that with Gods help we will all cope.   

Eoin did a great political satire poem on “Cash an Carry on Campbell’ and his chances of reelection and how much he often resembles and erection, Joh’s son got a mention as did Katters kid and Ms Hanson even Palaszczuk got a toe in the door. His second poem was inspired by air travel and was written while flying into Townsville over the silly season, titled “Through the Window I see Clouds”, a nice poem and well received and applauded.

Alan (with one L) shared the “Big Game” with a tale of a father and Son recording the Grand Final of their favorite team to watch with great anticipation and excitement after ‘Mum” finished watching the soapies, at the end of the tape when she called in the well ‘oiled’ and prepped boys for their turn at the idiot box she left her tape going and it showed the end of the evening news and their team losing the final, bugga capital BUGGA!! His second poem was tilted a “Movable Feast” he explained that he had dined in many countries around the world in his travels and had eaten in everything from a street cafe and market to a five star resort in a major hotel chain and a common thread was maintained by all levels of financial status, a bloody table that wobbles and needs a jimmy under a leg or two, bloody amazing he said with and f in front.  His third poem was about a lady that did not acquire many friends through life and at her funeral her daughters found that her love of music was one of her main endearing features and she had loved Judy Garland and in particular the song “Over the Rainbow” they gave a tape to the assistant at the funeral home and he put it on at the appropriate time and played the wrong side which just happened to be the song composed by Harold Arlen, with the lyrics written by E.Y. Harburg for the munchkins to perform in The Wizard of Oz, “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead”. More history.

Trish recovered from her recent bout of un-wellness and joined us to recite her poem inspired by one of our themes a few years ago “A Cluster of Poets” as she thanked myself and the group members for our support during her time in hospital a few years ago and the long road to recovery, a very nice poem from a lovely lady. Trish quoted some of the names of collectives such as a ‘Murder of Crows’ a ‘Gaggle of Geese’ a ‘Parliament of Owls’ a ‘A Smack of Jelly Fish’ a ‘Shrivel of Critics’ a ‘Pounce of Cats’ and even a ‘Zeal of Zebras’ another very educational poem.  Trish’s second poem was “My Parents Always Told Me” and she recalled always being taught to think before she acts and to not to be too spontaneous and as a consequence she missed out on many opportunities because while she was thinking on the decision the ship sailed the store closed and the door shut!!

Joyce joined us for the New Year and delivered some sad news for us that she and Mac are moving north, good news for her and Mac is that they will be closer to family but they wont be able to drop in to share their poems with us so often.  Her first poem was written about ‘A New Year’ and contained the observation that 2014 was a stinker, our tennis players dropped the ball, airplanes fell out of the sky and disappeared, GC traffic got worse, the drought out west remains, poor people are still staring and many homeless, poverty around the world is on the rise and disease is killing our poorer nations, hail storms were prevalent and bloody petrol prices shot over $1:60 a litre so this year had better pick up its game and deliver some good stuff. Her second poem was very funny and witty and involved a Gentleman dining in a fine ‘how do you do’ restaurant with silver service waiters, the man accidently dropped a spoon and before it hit the ground the observant waiter had a clean spoon in his hand before he picked up the felled one. The diner questioned the waiter to find that in preparation for such events all waiters kept some clean spoons in their pocket for such occasions, while listening the diner noticed a piece of string tied to the waiters zipper and he questioned its purpose which was explained that in the course of the night when the need to pee came the zip could be pulled up and own without the hand touching said object, when questioned on the re-placement of said object the waiter replied he usually uses a spoon!! Her third poem was equally as funny and involved a poor innocent little fella called Cedric sitting in a bar and getting belted twice by some loud mouth oaf quoting the origin of the martial art form used, Cedric left the he bar and he soon returned and knocked out the oaf and quoted “Mitre Ten Crow Bar”!!

Mac also wrote on the New Year theme and reminisced on a not so good 2014 and left us with a hope for 2015 to be a great positive year and he also hopes we have a healthy wealthy and wiser year and that we can all win lotto. In his second poem he questioned Huey about the amount of rain we had in 2014 and how sadly many days of golf were missed because of it, he also wondered how many trees and plants got root rot from so much water and he hoped for less wet days on the course this year. His third poem was about a hypnotist that put an entire audience into a trance with his swinging gold fob watch and before he could tell them what he wanted them to do his watch chain broke and the gold watch fell to the ground and smashed with the hypnotist muttering, “shit”; I’ll leave you to ponder the result.

Bob had his own theme for January and that was “Love”, he wrote three poems in a series; “Love is’ “Declaration of Love” and “On Love” all three combined nicely to express his belief in the power and beauty of love and the hope and promise it brings to each of us. His second turn at the podium saw him share his thoughts on the ever-increasing temperatures around the globe and how “The Heat shall demolish the world”.

Manya shared her poem on the New Year theme as she reminded us that Nina Simone sang “It’s a New Dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me” and Manya liked that positivism in the lyric and mentioned how she did not like New Year resolutions as most go uncompleted. Her second poem was titled  “Modern Life” and she spoke of the cathartic benefits of writing poetry and how when she was unable to sleep the other night she got up and penned a new poem and then had a really good sleep afterwards; her poem was about the stress of modern life and the saturation use of mobile phones and she advised us to live in the now and she shared a thought for us to remember Jo Cocker.

Tracey one of our newest poets joined us with another one of her great poems and this month she also wrote on the theme as she pondered how the indigenous people of the great land celebrated the coming in of a New Year as lived in harmony with nature in the most beautiful place on earth, stress free alcohol free and probably enjoying the wet season and the new life it brings.  Her second poem was written as a reply to a friends comment that her poetry was not very good without a rhyme and in the poem she stated that she is a poet and she knows that in her heart and that is all that matters. Her third poem was about “Flying High” as wrote about her friend a Flight Captain that travels the world and enjoys life to the full and she mentioned that they have discussed the conspiracy theories around planes falling from the sky.

Tom made a dramatic entry at the last minute and drew a round of applause just for entering the room; with his first poem he shared his diary entry for 23:40 hours on the 31st of December 2014 written in the Emergency Department of the local hospital where he witnessed kids with pots on their heads, old men in their undies, stressed out nurses and their combined effort to sing Auld Lang Syne as he nursed a broken nose a swollen face and a sore head from the influence of nectar of the Gods that inspired him to erroneously try and break up a domestic disturbance between a women and her professional boxer husband. His second poem was very funny as he wrote of the friendship he held dearly with Father Pat, the local priest that used to live in the church next door to his unit complex and he remembered the day Father Pat got up to bat in the annual street cricket meet and how the bowler had Bi polar and the way the game played out with teams full of doubt. Tom’s third poem was about the way people state the bleedin obvious like when your changing a flat tyre people walkin past comment “Flat Tyre hey” and he replied “No just moving the air around” and other comment’s like “How do you like this heat” on a bloody hot day.

Roger and Pammy also made a late but most welcome entry and were also applauded; Roger recited his wonderful poem about the ‘deep hole’ and all the people always trying to unsuccessfully catch the old and wise “Jeremiah” the flathead fish, long live Jeremiah!! His second poem was a tall but totally true tale about New Years Day as he told of walking out west and being run down by a Willy Willy and then watching it cross the desert plain and the granite rocks then go across a dam and make a waterspout that rose into the clouds and disappeared only to be followed by a shower of fish frogs and other little water critters.

Jenny joined us for the first time and she arrived early and benefited from her first ever poetry lesson that was given for free by Graham and she actually wrote her first ever poem, Jenny recited two verses but actually wrote four!! Great effort by Jenny and a big thank you to Graham.

Marta completed a trilogy of late entries as she arrived in time to recite just one poem, written on the New Year theme as she spoke of resolutions like eating less cooking more relaxing more and creating less stress and in the words of her poem she asked David what she could do to make herself better for him and he replied with “Nothing darling you are perfect already” and Marta read that line out with the biggest smile on her face that you have ever seen.

Allana and Cienna two young ladies that sat up the back and enjoyed the whole afternoon, they were so inspired that they got up and read a poem from their mobile phone about a Mother and the struggle with life and aging, I didn’t get the name of the author but it was a very well written poem and contained words and themes I would like to hear recited again.

Thank you everyone for a great afternoon and for all your wonderfully varied quality first class poetry along with your warm friendship. Next month’s optional theme is “Electronics” and the optional first line is “Some people are so keen on sport…..” Have a great month and I hope everyone has a lovely Valentines Day and if you’re alone I hope you get to spend some time with a friend or with a beautiful memory of past love that warms your heart.

My beautiful Fiancé Irene will be wined dined and lovingly spoilt on our fifth Valentines Day, including flowers and chocolates and maybe a foot massage.

Bye for now take care and be happy. Irene and Jeff and the Poetry in Paradise Team.

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

Next Poetry Meeting
15th March 2015
1pm to 3:45 pm

Theme:15/03/2015 Graduation
Optional First Line:
15/03/2015 3 “As I lie at rest on a patch of clover…..”


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