Joan Small Poetry and Books


Poetry to Inspire - Joan Small

Poetry to Inspire

Uplifting Poems for All Occasions
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My Parallel World

My dream world lives in parallel. It's quite unlike this one.
For I am free to walk and fly where e'er I see the fun.
No tickets, passports, licenses, are needed to go through.
Just instant choice, a whim, a wish to try out something new.

I walk through walls, I stand by lakes, I move from place to place.
My feet leave not a shadow print, my passing shows no trace.
Yet all who meet me know that I am real, but still not true.
And everywhere I venture forth is magical and new.

Each moment is adventurous. I have no future, past.
I just enjoy the present time, and everything is fast.
Perceptions are electric thrills, with heightened senses each.
A juicy grape, a wondrous scene, aroma of the beach.

I think I dream - will soon awake, and find it all not real.
I pinch my skin, I think deep thoughts, and ask, 'How do I feel?'
But then I find this world is mine, and I create each minute.
My own reality is real, for I'm the one who's in it.

(c) Joan Small Feb 2005

I know All The Answers

Now I know all the answers. I’ve known them all my years
But you may not agree with me. You’ve had your fun and fears.
We all live very different lives, And so what’s true for me
May not be what is true for you. You then will disagree.

When I say this is white and clear, you’ll say it’s black and dark.
When you see sparrows in the sky I’ll see the tuneful lark. |
There are but few real questions: who, what and why and when.
The ‘how’ is one that’s pondered by many famous men.

They all come back to just one thing, and that is ‘who are we’?
What makes the individual; the one we each call ‘me’.
Why are we all so different; unique – the only one.
The person that can do the things that no-one else has done.

Who made us each so special? Some say it’s God above.
Who gave us power to hate, destroy, but also gave us love?
Or did we come from monkeys, who dwell up high in the trees?
Were ape ancestors lost and gone when earth went into freeze?

Did big brains make us smarter, or walking on our feet?
What new things will we learn today to make us more complete?
It seems we’re born with questions. The toddler loves the ‘Why’,
And everything is wondrous; the earth, the sea, the sky.

Will questioning improve us, and make us smarter yet?
Should we try to remember. Perhaps instead forget.
Does knowledge make us happy to strut our stuff with pride?
Can answers save the planet or heal the wounds inside?

But no amount of answers will win the worthy fight.
There’s no ignoring conscience, and doing what is right.
Perhaps our brain’s a hindrance, as is our need to know.
Forget the brain and lead with heart, try going with the flow.

Tap into instinct’s power to show us all we need,
And ‘knowing’ will replace that urge for answers – hate and greed.
When truth and love are spoken across the world as one,
Then no one will be hungry, no one will need a gun.

I know it sounds idyllic, but man’ s IQ and pride
Have hidden what is truly there; the person deep inside.
Until we can reveal it; the one who is our soul
We’ll never have the answers. We’ll never meet that goal.

So stop this race for knowledge to be the smartest man.
Just know the answers lie within, what you would do – you can,
Don’t look to past lives, Karma, or magic, gurus, fame.
Just look within – be true to you, and others treat the same.

Your life will soon be easy, and your good fortune share.
Give up your need for answers. Instead – just ‘be aware’.

© Joan Small August 2012

Web of Love

The world is made of love and hate; both sides of every coin.
Is love the opposite of hate or how we all conjoin?
Can we not know true love unless we’ve known the grief of loss?
Does need for love consume our lives, or give it  lovely gloss?

Some sell their souls to gain that love or sell their souls for wealth?
Or even more they sell their souls to have eternal health?
What wars were caused because of love –
what wars for gold were fought
Or is it power that shadows all – is power what men have sought?

What gives us all that drive to live – desire to change within;
Desire to be a better man – to be more free of sin?
Is wealth or power the driving force, or wanting to be well?
Do these three motivate, inspire all people to excel?

I think not. They’re not strong enough to keep us to our task
Nor do they give that happiness which all of us would ask.
Pure love - for one, for many, all - can fire us to live on
When hopes and dreams disintegrate and all we’ve gained has gone.

True love is not a selfish thing, it’s patient firm and kind
It does not boast, it is not proud, it leaves no harm behind;
It is not easily angered; it keeps no thought of wrong;
It trusts, protects and perseveres, and hopes when days are long

Love won’t dishonour others, or deal in evil deeds;
It harbours true compassion and cares for people’s needs;
It doesn’t envy others, no matter what they own
And what comes back to loving ones
is plants whose seeds they’ve sown.

So many have forgotten these truths well-known by all.
Across the world we see it – the hate that leaves a pall,
But we can play our little part, combined we’ll make it through
To build a world-wide-web of love – together love anew.

© Joan Small 2013

Memory’s Illusions

How beautiful is memory that takes us back in years,
Remembering our younger days – the laughter and the tears;
A story-book unfolding in which I am the star.
A baby and a toddler – I remember back that far.

The miracle of memory that allows me to reclaim
The earliest of moments when my dad used my pet name.
As ‘Shoney’ then, so happy, and so cute with pretty dress;
A life within a family, quite free from fear and stress.

But how emotions vary – and memories vary too.
Our conscious mind’s selective and can choose what comes to view.
We colour all our memories with what we want to know,
And filter in the pictures that suit our minds to show.

My scenes revealed a father who was bossy, loud, abrupt;
Who didn’t let me talk at all – he’d always interrupt.
I blamed him for my sadness – myself a victim made,
But one day understood my mind reality betrayed.

I took a backward memory, again that scene to see.
I saw my dad, hard-working man, and one that cared for me,
Was making me a dolls’ pram that he himself designed.
Then Mum with satin fabric, that masterpiece had lined.

My father’s way of showing love was making many a gift.
But through the years his harshness created such a rift,
My memory filtered out the love – it failed to see what’s true .
But now the mind can travel back, remembering anew.

Emotions are a blessing, but can also be a curse,
Because we filter out the love - and what is even worse
We play those silly little tricks to tell ourselves we’re right.
Instead of looking for the good we find a cause to fight.

My father has long passed away, but I have made my peace,
And now with backward sight I know a blessed lift – release;
Relief from anger, guilt, regret – I know he did his best,
And with my memory fresh I now in peace can let him rest.

What lessons can I learn from this? To trust my memory still,
But search within the memory banks and rid them of ill will,
To let go of emotions that true memories deny,
And I will have clear memory until the day I die.

© Joan Small March 2013

Energy Learning

I’m teaching little children back in junior school one day.
I’m guiding them to read and write with sounds and ‘look and say’.
I am a senior teacher, as I’ve done my time, and know
How every child can learn through play. I love to see them grow.

So read kids read – with a passion that will burn
And write, kids write, for in writing you will learn.
And with much imagination, fun and play you’ll get the knack,
That success and admiration will be yours just down the track.

There’s Stephen who is struggling ‘coz he’s born with splitting lip,
Cleft palate - and there’s doubt that in his brain he’s got the chip.
I must give time, attention, hold his hand along the way,
So that he’ll attain some learning and will cope with every day.


Young Philip tall and redhead, is quite slow and not so smart.
So he needs a lot of loving and some teaching from the heart.
Robert has a working father in a pest controlling job.
So he’s not got all his neurons, he’ll not keep up with the mob.


The kids that give most pleasure are the ones who love to read.
There’s no teaching with these treasures, its just knowing how to feed
To their wild imagination all the skills to stretch up high.
For Caitlin and friend Sharon it is reaching for the sky.


I’m learning as I’m teaching it’s the energy that rules.
To educate with fun and play creates those different schools,
Like Montessori, Steiner, and Suzuki with their plan
To follow what the children want, and make from boy a man.


I’m not a teacher any more, a learner on this earth.
We don’t just start to learn at school, but from the time of birth.
Our learning comes from many things, and we must set it free.
So all of us can learn and grow and live more happily.


So read folks read – with a passion that will burn
And write, folks write, for in writing we will learn.
So with much imagination, fun and play we’ll get the knack
And success and admiration will be ours just down the track.

(c) Joan Small 2007

An Energetic Whole

Those famous Quantum Scientists produced the symbol ‘E’;
And told us it had much to do with quantities of ‘C’.
But it is true that energy is more than just a sign
For if we have it every day we know our lives will shine.

For energy gives joy of life. It’s happiness and fun.
It’s living full of gratitude and love for everyone.
And energy means waking up with pleasure in the morn.
The sound of birds, the warmth of sun, I’m glad that I was born.

With cheerfulness I face the day and take it in my stride.
No matter what is thrown at me the energy abides.
I feed my energetic state, I’m careful what I think.
Abundance is my overcoat of faux fur or of mink.

For I repel the hurtful slights and thoughtless other few.
My attitude is mine to make, the thought I think comes true.
My body - I will take good care and feed it just the best,
So all the cells with energy will stand up to the test.

And last, not least, the spirit needs some nourishment each day.
The Universe is on my side because I choose to pray.
A prayer that energizes me and all that share my space,
For it will spread to others too; put smiles upon the face.

With these three things be energized - your body, mind and soul,
And every day you’ll live to play; an energetic whole.
Enjoy the life you live each day - spread laughter as you go.
Your happiness and ‘joie de vivre’ will grow, and grow and grow.

© Joan Small August 2006


Inspirational Poems

Nature Poems

The Rock in the River

I stood in the shallows of a cool mountain stream.
The water was crystalline clear.
I stooped with cupped hand to drink from its sweetness
But paused, charmed by what I could hear -
The soft gentle babble, the river’s sweet tune
As it tumbled smooth pebbles along.
The surface was calm, but the waters beneath
With currents were rapid and strong.

While in the stream’s centre was placed a tall rock
That rose from the water quite steady.
Despite rippling currents and patterns they made
That rock didn’t budge – it was ready.
It seemed to be telling the river these words:
‘You can rush and can push – do your best,
You will not weaken me, I will stand in this space.
I can withstand and pass any test’.

I was turning away when my eye caught a glimpse
Of a leaf that was dancing along
On the surface, afloat, it was having some fun
And it seemed to be singing a song.
‘I’ll go with the flow, wherever you go,
Your path is my path. I’ll have fun.
I’ll follow the stream to the end if I must.
My choice is the currents – each one’.

It brought to my mind the flows of our lives,
How we’re born then we live, learn and die.
When we’re young like the leaf we can play, live in ‘now’,
And every adventure we’ll try.
With no thought of the future we float right along
With laughter and spirit of play.
If we’re swamped we bounce back, we can’t be kept down
Looking forward to every new day.

With maturity we’re like those pebbles that roll,
As life’s problems may tumble us on.
We’re striving for more – money, safety and ‘things’
And we’re feeling depressed – put upon -
Forgetting ourselves and the spirit of play
Lose gratitude, love, even worse –
Our health may be compromised,
worry sets in
And happiness swapped for a nurse.

In the third age these pebbles may soon be worn down
And sink to the bottom to lie,
While the water flows past, the adventure has gone,
The excitement of life passes by.
In order to ‘not know’ the beingness lost
They forget who they are and just dream
Until life departs, and they’re buried in sand,
Lying there in the bed of the stream.

If we don’t want to be like those pebbles that sink,
Are tumbled and worn down with strife,
We can be like the rock, staying steady and strong
Determined to stand firm in life.
When we’re buffeted by many worries and woes
Or attempts made to roll us along.
We can choose to ‘just be’, take a breath and stand firm,
Know ourselves, take a stance and be strong.

For the number one goal of each life that we live
Is to know our own essence, just be
Who we are; love ourselves, with our failings and faults,
For the person who stands is ‘just me’.
We don’t need to follow, unless it feels good,
We can listen to others’ ideas,
But the test is to know which way we should go;
Choose our path without doubting or fears.

When we stand in our space, full of confidence, love,
And face up to life without fear.
Disagreements will vanish and love will abound.
The meaning of life will come clear.
Like the rock in the river we don’t need to push,
Or to go against life’s river-flow.
We can influence others when we learn to ‘just be’,
And wherever we go we will glow.

© Joan Small April 2013

Dreaming up the Good Times

Good times for all - to me’s every day.
No matter with work, in fun or in play.
I’m grateful for all that my life will unfold.
And know it’s the same until I grow old.

When I was a child to the fairies I’d write.
I’d put out the letter and wait through the night.
Next morning I’d peep ‘neath the leaf and I’d find
A small crinkly letter had been left behind.

I’d say in surprise, ‘no writing is here’.
But my mum took her iron, and soon it came clear.
Invisible letters turned brown with the heat.
A message for me delicious and sweet.

One day when my cousin was playing with us
And whispering secrets. I made quite a fuss.
She told me the secret – the fairies weren’t real.
It was only my mum. Did she know how I’d feel?

Devastation and loss – my fantasies gone.
But I had to let go, grow up and move on.
Create my own dreams with the things I could do.
No good crying tears, sitting round feeling blue.

When I was a teen all my family left me.
I had to be brave, and learn how to be.
Move on to a new home, then study, be strong,
For I knew that my life would be happy and long.

I married, had kids and when they grew tall
Lost my home and my car, and my family and all,
But not lost for ever, what we let go comes back,
And now I have everything – nothing I lack.

I’ve grandkids so special I love - they love me
I’ll talk on the phone, or I’ll travel and see.
They’re making their own lives creating with fun.
With giggles and laughter, good times everyone.

Though I love to look back on the good old past days
It’s better to live in the now, to erase
The sadness of lost times, regret shame and guilt.
Each day is a new one, our lives are rebuilt.

Whatever you want are your ‘good times’ right now,
Is easy to get – I’ll just tell you how.
Go dream up your future – just wish, make a plan.
Imagine your life for you know that you can.

© Joan Small April 2009

Moments to Cherish

A moment in time and a chance or a choice,
An instant to cherish, a still inner voice
That whispers of change, of affinity clear,
Of touching another, of one I hold dear.
A murmuring breeze and a glint of sunshine,
A lining of silver on clouds that are mine.
A sky that's bright blue, gum trees swaying in rhyme,
A perfume of freshness, sage, rosemary, thyme.
A touch on the cheek of a babe, Crystal Child,
The chirping of birds flying free in the wild.
My world is magnificent, vibrant and gold.
These moments I cherish, to have and to hold.

© Joan Small May 2005

Helensvale Writers' Group
Helensvale Writers Group - Joan Small3rd Thursday each month
Helensvale Library - ground floor meeting room
11.30 am to 1.30 pm


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Poetry in Paradise
Poetry Club
Poetry in Paradise - Joan Small
3rd Sunday
each month
Southport Library meeting room
1 pm to 3.30 pm