Poetry anthology giveaway today!




A quick note to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas, and to let you know that a new anthology has been released by SWN (Spiritual Writers Network). The Kindle edition of  The Best of Spiritual Writers Network 2016 is free today on Amazon, so if you’d like a copy, now is the moment! It’s a delight to have my poem ‘What Time is This?’ included in this collection along with poems in two previous SWN anthologies this year, with thanks to the judge(s) and editorial team.

Follow this link for your free copy…and have a safe and joyful festive season. ❤



“I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”

I’m a little late with the annual ‘Spring ritual’ of posting a series of flower photos from my garden – partly because here in south Western Australia we had a particularly long, cold winter. The rain that came with it in abundance has given us a truly wonderful Spring, with wildflowers in bloom that hadn’t been seen for years. The photos below are a little sample of the ‘glory of the garden’ this year, accompanied by some favourite quotes about flowers. Enjoy! 🙂

The temple bell stops, but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers. ~ Matsuo Basho


A flower never worries about blooming, it just opens up to the light. ~ Anon


Fractal geometry is everywhere, even in the lines drawn in the sand. It’s the cycle of life…you see fractals in plants, in flowers. Within the human lung are branches within branches. ~ Ron Eglash


People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. ~ Iris Murdoch




What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. ~ Joseph Addison


The earth laughs in flowers. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


With love to all,  Joanna. ❤

2016 Poetry d’Amour ‘Summer of Love’ evening :-)

For those of you who live in Perth, Western Australia, or who may be in Perth on November 19th, all are welcome to an ‘evening of love poetry under the stars’, to be held in the Japanese Garden at the Perth Zoo from 7pm. My poem the sheet could be silk is a finalist for this year’s Poetry d’Amour Award, for which prizes will be given and the Summer of Love anthology launched on the night! Hope to see you there. 🙂



Details are available on the WA Poets Inc. website.

2024 ~ Creative Future Visioning Opportunity

I just came across a new writing competition ‘2024’, and as this concept is close to my heart, I’ll link it below.

The theme: “Seeking the best credible positive vision of life in 2024, in a satisfying narrative context.

Entropy being what it is, all that we can create, without first imagining it, is a mess!
So. tell us a story we can believe in, about a world not far in the future where things are not perfect but getting better, not just for a few, but for humanity.
This is not easy to do, dystopias abound in all forms of fiction and “utopia” is pronounced with a sneer more often than not. But how will we avoid a horrible future if it is all we can imagine?

So, if you feel motivated to imagine an inspired and inspiring future Earth, this competition could be a helpful focus. What sort of world would you love to see, walk around in, and co-create with?

More info can be found at 2024!



‘The Light Within’ release day


The Light Within, an anthology of inspirational poems which were shortlisted in the Spiritual Writers’ Network Competition 2016, has just been released, in both print and digital editions. It’s a pleasure to have my poem ‘Heart of Light’ included in this new collection. To celebrate publication, the ebook edition will be available to download from Amazon for free until September 5th!

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If you would like a free copy, please follow one of these links, depending on where you are:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472674087&sr=8-1&keywords=the+light+within+collection#nav-subnav
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472647237&sr=8-2&keywords=the+light+within
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1472647289&sr=8-12&keywords=the+light+within
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472647266&sr=8-2&keywords=the+light+within

Congratulations to all the poets whose fine, heartfelt verses can be found in the pages of The Light Within.

‘Emu Girl, on the day before flying’ wins the Banjo Paterson Awards 2016

It’s a delight and an honour to have heard that my poem ‘Emu Girl, on the day before flying’ has won the Open Poetry section of this year’s Banjo Paterson Writing Awards, which are run annually by Central West Libraries and Orange City Council. My gratitude goes to them, and to the judges of the award.

I first entered ‘the Banjo’ in 2008, and won it with ‘Walyunga’, followed by a second win in 2010 with ‘Orpheus, in the desert’, and several poems which placed for third prize in intervening years; ‘Ledge Beach’ in 2009, ‘Crown of Stars’ in 2012, and ‘Circle of Stones’ in 2013. This Award has become particularly close to my heart, and I’ve used it as a focus-point for inspiration to write poems that have a specific Australian element to them. This has often been a response to the presence and atmosphere of this ancient land that I love deeply, sometimes with a social or cultural aspect, and the interweaving of mythology.

‘Emu Girl, on the day before flying’ is a speculative (science fiction/fantasy) poem which takes a prominent group of stars visible in the night sky from Australia – the Southern Cross and the ‘Pointer’s, Alpha  and Beta Centauri – and blends word etymology and the ancient Arabic names of the stars with the Aboriginal myth of Tchingal, the mighty Emu in the sky whose head rests in the Southern Cross and whose body stretches through the Centaurus constellation. The poem is ‘told’ from the point of view of an Alpha Centaurian ‘descendant’ on Earth, the Emu girl of the title, who recalls fragments of the invasion of her star system by smoke birds, and the battle of the two brave brothers, recounted in the Aboriginal stories as the Pointers, who fought to ward them off….until gradually the fragments weave together in the Emu girl’s awareness.

With thanks again to the judge(s), and congratulations to this year’s prize winners in all categories of the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards, of which a full list can be found here. Here is the poem:



Emu Girl, on the day before flying


Remember that night

last summer under the Milky Way?

‘Why’s it called milky?’ you asked.

‘Could have been snowy, sugar,

baking powder.’ It was hot enough

night after a scorcher, sky sun-bleached

parrot calls staccato’d into SOS.

The night a diamond fell

east of the moon


The brother twins fought bravely

when sky-birds came and broke the light

splattered like Pollock’s Lavender Mist

sparks dipped in suns dragged through coal-black

emu feathers, where Tchingal spread his

flightless wings and laid his beak to rest upon

the Southern Cross. Swallowed, the brothers

hunkered down, red and blue their thundering hearts

Hadar’s weight bore him to his knees

while Toliman sprouted fantastical scales, atonal

shadows toning the Pointers’ siren call until

their gate must open ultraviolet waveforms deep

subtonic scores, vestral lanterns strung across

Milky galactic sector four


The fleet’s burnished arcs shine red and pulse a single note


‘Did you know a tiny gland inside your brain

secretes rhodopsin, catches flashes of invisible light?

Pineal pea cradled in its grail, vestigial holy camera

spooling angel feathers through the Eye of Ra?’

A hawk’s shadow rolls over silvered grass, its call

runs down the hill, I touch your face

stars berth softly in your eyes


4.2 light years from Earth, Proxima Centauri

floats, veiled to human eyes, though Hubble reveals

her pure diminished gold, while her Alpha-Beta brothers

hold Nan Men, the Southward Gate, their hoofs

fresh-shod await a tonal shift, celestial smithy

ablaze, sounds of snow, or milk, cascading

through the belly of the bird. Confederate ships

mass in horseshoe clusters, winking lights –

amber, golden, red – speak a language of the mind

and heated heart, their stare the orange iris

of emu’s eye, watching starlit interface


You notice clouds shift subtly into birds

wingtip pointers north to south

your mind’s eye rotates the globe, while I

consult old world stellaria, Deneb, glittering

blue-white giant, Swantail’s polar rudder

I trace the Northern Cross. Biosphere emissions

echo through hollow bones. ‘Are they coming?’

Your fingers brush strands of down

between my hair. Your smile is kind


Centaurus. ‘Cen’, Classical Greek, conflation of kainos

(new) and koinos (common) – ‘taurus’, Latin bull –

Avian genomes quickened, new bulls multiplied

legs grew long and swift, tails streamed

on interstellar winds, scales hardened skin

vambraces wrapped their forearms, polished

reflecting light of brother suns, gaze turned upward

smoky feathers in their hair, hoofs pressed deep

they raced for young blue planets, thirsty

aeons they rode until swansongs

blossomed in their breasts. Do you

remember that night?


‘Hold them like this.’ You cup my hands in yours

grail-like, or a horseshoe. I squint at the sun too bright

between the mounds of Kata Tjuta. Look up, love, higher.

Lights pulse red, long crescents, burnished

interstitial stars pierce Earth’s magnetic quilt

diving to this southern land.

I spread my arms

to steer them


Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, from the Hubble telescope. Image courtesy NASA.

  Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, from the Hubble telescope. Image courtesy NASA.























Autumn Blooms

Dear Readers, in the southwest corner of Australia we’ve been experiencing an unusually wet April. As I look out through the window now, rain softly falls, and the garden is a lush green more characteristic of May or June. Before its winter sleep, my favourite rosebush (‘Mother’s Love’) has flowered prolifically throughout the month, and I hope the photos below will bring a smile to your heart, as these blooms do to mine.

These few lines came, while I sat on a step beside this rose:


Love walks the spaces
The gaps between words
Its threads cross synapses, invisible
Uncurling between heartbeats
Love flows
Its ribbons twine life with life
In the bloom of constellations
In the touch of a finger
In an unwinding frond
Love whispers
In the spaces between


Enjoy the spirals and spaces of the rose, the golden ratio in living form …. 🙂






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