Joan Small Poetry and Books


Poetry in Paradise

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

Established 9+ 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 June 2014

The optional theme for the month was, fittingly, titled “Sunshine” as the day was a beautiful sunny Qld winter day, almost perfect.

We started off the afternoon with a visit from Tash a Journalist student from Bond Uni who did some interviews and a filmed some of our poets performing poetry, for her class presentation. She and her cameraman said they enjoyed the visit and will send me a copy of the video that will be destroyed after she presents it to her teacher only, not her class.

Roger sent apologies as he is off to the UK.

Joan attended as she had just returned three days ago from her dream of a lifetime European cruise holiday.

We had five new people attending on the day and all had been prompted to come along after hearing the talented “Banjo” last month, and then our other little Aussie mate the “Mudgeeraba Budgerigar”, Bob on 91.7 ABC Coast FM radio with Peter Scott this month. We now have a regular spot on the Saturday prior to our poetry afternoon and we will take turns reciting each month amongst those keen to recite ‘on-air’!! Invites will go out soon.

Marjorie, Leonie and Jeannie all attended for the first time and all came along separately, all three of them said they would just listen and may recite a poem next month. Jeannie and Leonie said that they were made to feel so much at home by such lovely people, and that they felt so comfortably accepted into our group that they both overcame first time nerves and recited some beautiful poetry.

Marjorie was similarly so impressed that she walked home and got one of her poems and made it back in time to recite!!

Two gentlemen, both poets sat at the back and were keen to return next month.

Bob started the day off with a great poem about Sunshine and nearly everyone had written on the optional theme and most had also written using the optional first line, “Softly she trod o’er the damp grass…..”. The theme prompts so many different interpretations of the themes and it make for a great variety and brought out the differences in us all. The standard of the poetry is so good and diverse, bringing comments of praise and support from all present.

His second poem was another divulgence of one of Bob’s dreams titled “Food Fantasy” as it detailed his reminiscence of old fashioned true blue Aussie style food. Bob closed the day brilliantly with a unique and comical description of a very unique Aussie garage/lawn sale, (you had to be there because my Mum said I’m not allowed to write those sorts of words!!)

Joan educated us on S.A.D and told us all how to get a pick me up from the sun and to avoid depression by spending more time in our beautiful Aussie outdoors. Her second poem was titled ‘Eucalypt’ and was a great tribute to our Aussie gum trees, remembering her childhood and adult experiences beneath and beside them, especially in the NT. Joan assured us that a few poems inspired by her travels will be forthcoming in the next few months.

Gloria told us how she once spent $1000.00 on an amazing find ‘yourself’ weekend with a genuine miracle producing Guru!!, but sadly she is still looking for that elusive other independently super wealthy self that drives around in a 918 Porsche Macan. In Gloria’s second poem she shared her feelings with her poem titled “Children are our future”, it was lovely poem reminding us of the circle of life and our duty to care for the little ones as we make our way along life’s great journey.

David’s first poem was about all the great things that the “Sunshine” provides to our beautiful planet and how our very existence depends on it 100%, along with every life form down here. David then shared his “Sunshine”, poem co-written by himself and his eleven year old granddaughter; as he wrote the first verse then mailed it her and she mailed back the second then she wrote the third and she replied with the fourth and fifth. David is really trying hard to get young people into writing poetry and it is a long held passion of his that he will continue to pursue.

Alex recited the poem that he revealed to us two months ago titled written in 1974 by Scottish poet, Robin Williamson; titled “Me and the mad girl” a really great poem, thanks Alex. His second poem was a short meaningful poem written by Les Murray titled the “Meaning of existence”. His third poem was a short one tilted “The Bedside Clock” and was nicely written, it was another of his great, ‘deep’ poems as was his fourth poem about the innocence of youth and how a friend went ‘missing’ and he dint understand why or how.

Manya wrote a very good poem about the “she trod…..” theme and it was as funny as it was unique and it was very well received by all. Manya shared some family history as she proudly told of how her mother has just recently survived a heart attack at 99 years of age, how her mother had raised her and her three siblings as children, living for years in Japanese Prison of war camp and that her Father had been one of those unfortunates working on the infamous brutal ‘Burma Railway’; her poem spoke of the trials and tribulations of family and how we are forced to look at our lives and loves when we are united by tragedy and grief, titled “To be Human”.

Judi shared her poem on ‘Sunshine’ with a nice positive reminder of all the good things in life and how we can all get out in the garden and produce wonderfully fresh fruit and vegetables while basking in the warmth of the sun. Judi’s second poem was very well written and it was on the “She trod..” theme as told of a friend struggling with walking on the ‘wet’ grass of life and how she wished the good days would come and the struggling and pain will become a distant memory.

Banjo recited a poem by my favourite Australian legend Mr Henry Lawson first published in October 1981, titled “My Literary Friend”, a great poem with a great message that at first, had seemed to come from within our group!! His second poem was penned by my second most favourite Australian Poet A.B ‘Banjo’ Patterson, titled “Story of the Mongrel Grey”, a poem about the intelligence and nature of one of God’s greatest gifts to the world, the horse, if you’ve ever been lucky enough to have had one as a friend you’ll know where the heart of the story comes from.

Ted’s poem on ‘Sunshine’ was written only four hours earlier and it was a pretty good effort for a lazy Sunday morning, questioning life and all its wonderful colours along with the decision to be a giver or a taker. ‘Softly she trod…’ was the opening line for his second poem and it was a very well written poem about Mary Magdalene and her compassion and devotion to the Son of God. Trish told us all that her “Mother Said” lots of things to her and taught her all about the world in a wonderful way.

Trish wrote her poem so that the last word of each line became the first word of the next line and she wondered if that was a particular style of poetry writing, no one present knew the answer and Google came up with nothing!! Her second poem was about the day she was attacked by a screaming mad swooping attacker that tried to stab her with their thorny appendage and terrified her to her very core, it was tilted “The Plover”!!!

Joyce wrote a poem in the second person pretending she was Mac writing about her and how she bought a shelf from Ikea and then she couldn’t put it together and then finally did and after all that it didn’t fit in the designated cavity because she didn’t measure it properly and then blamed Mac!!

Mac lovingly after 66 wonderful years of marriage, a poem about Joyce being Joyce and creating a shelf that stands in the middle of the room with nowhere to go except maybe to ‘Lifeline”!! Joyce’s other poem was a tricky one about a lonely homeless lady wandering the streets at night looking for a warm place to sleep, the twist at the end was that the lady was in fact a cat, well how about that that!!

Mac’s other poem was on the “she trod… “theme and he wrote about the sunshine state, which he believes is called God’s country, FN QLD.

Eoin wrote on the ‘Sunshine’ and also prompted us all to get up and go outside and enjoy life to the limit, take it all in as we wander and explore all about this beautiful land. His second poem was a sad but true tale of a lost little red book, the journalist’s best friend, companion and soul mate, oh note pad where art thou?????

Jean travelled all the way from Kingscliff again to be at our group and it was well worth the trip as she recited on the “she trod… “ theme, a very nice and funny poem about love, eloping, impulsiveness, wills, car crashes and lost love!! Her second poem was on the ‘Sunshine’ theme and she also encouraged us with her words to go out and seize life, share goodness and partake in random acts of kindness to strangers and loved ones.

Pat returned to the group for the first time this year as she recited her poem detailing her wonderful recent holiday in the UK, travelling around with her granddaughter that lives in London, sounds like they both had a great time and it was great poem.

Kathy came in last and wanted the reciting to start at the bottom of the list not the top, but alas that did not occur. Her first poem was on the ‘she trod…’ theme as she spoke of a secret midnight tryst betwixt secret lovers rendezvousing on a night just made for love. Her second poem was about a thing that really gets her ‘goat’, the pronunciation or rather mispronunciation the letter “H”, how it should be pronounced aitch not haitch and that 60% of Australians use the latter much to her dismay; a quick trip on Google found 25% of UK people say “H” as aitch as opposed to 75% saying “H” as haitch, the reason for this difference is placed squarely on the teaching of the Catholic Church around the world creating the 75%.

Leonie recited a nice poem about a nice young lady being ‘led down the path’ buy a young lad, it ended with a twist as it was the farm hand taking the cow for milking. Her second poem was a tale of love between a rose and a bush rose, the story bloomed for a while then ended in a pruning tragedy beyond compare.

Jeannie recited a funny poem about her husband and his male passion to buy stuff at garage sales because you just never when one day you just may need those extra twenty fishing rods and that fourth power saw under the eight bar stools in the corner of the half full garage cause it won’t fit in the shed!!

Her second poem was a heartfelt verse dedicated to those struggling farmers that are forced to shoot their stock when the drought goes on forever and the sales just don’t happen, such a painful life at times forged on this land that at times can be as harsh as it is rewarding. Marjorie waked home and came back with her really nice poem about words and her lines all ended with a ‘tion’ such as recitation indication hesitation and contemplation and it was written about this great nation and we listened with much anticipation and we were not kept waitin!!

Thank you everyone for a great day of poetry and thank you sharing the day with the film crew and for putting up with the dodgy book created by a dodgy author who at times puts out dodgy flyers with dodgy words and even missing words at times!!

See you all next month, with thanks from Jeffrey, Irene, Joan, Bob, Judi, Banjo, Gloria, Trish, and all 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
July 20th
(3rd Sunday) 2014
1pm to 3:45 pm

Theme: July: 20th – What now?
Optional First Line:
July: The best/worst thing I ever caught was…………


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