with john bird


Giving Voice to the Valley


haiku with john bird

The Naked Signalman

Other Side of the Fence

about the poems and poet               about the Brunswick Valley

About the Poems and Poet

John (Jack) Bird is a right-handed poet from the east coast of Australia.

He says (2014):

"I belong to the Brunswick Valley. Giving Voice to the Brunswick Valley is 'poetry of place', a collection of poems about my real and imagined experiences in this Valley as a boy (circa 1940) and as an adult (circa 2000). It is my idiosyncratic contribution to the Voice of the Valley.

"The other collections published here, The Naked Signalman and Other Side of the Fence were less influenced by the Valley and contain some exotic themes and experimentation.
Apart from haiku, about 80 of my poems have been published, mainly through competitions I entered 1997-2004. For those included here, prior publication is acknowledged in poetry credits below.

"I started writing haiku in 1995, became involved in producing the The First Australian Haiku Anthology (1999) and in the formation of The Australian Haiku Society (2000).
My interest in haiku sequences involved joint-author collaborations with Beverley George; some of these were published in Walking into Autumn (2009).
I edited and published Haiku Dreaming Australia (2006-2012) to encourage writing of haiku on Australian themes. My interest in haiku and involvement with the local haiku group, Cloudcatchers, has endured."

John can be contacted at: jbird1997---at---yahoo.com


Poem Credits

Some poems in these collections have had competition results,
or have been previously published, as shown below.
Wollumbini Kangaroo – very highly commended Leeton Eisteddfod Poetry Competition, 2003; published by Kindamindi Publishing Moving On With Giggles and Dreams, 2003; published FAW Summerland Jottings, 2004; published Central Coast Poet?s anthology, Suburbs of the Mind 2004

A Cicada Sings Summer (as 'One Cicada Singing') – highly commended FAW Far North Coast Literary competition, 1999; commended Moocooboola FAW Literary Competition, 2000

District Saw Mill (as 'Stumps') – commended Ballarat Writers Festival, 1999; Equal First Midlands Vacation Literary Competition, 2000; published Central Queensland University Idiom 23, Vol 13 No1, 2000

Anzac (haiku sequence) – Second prize FAW Far North Coast Literary competition, 2001

Anzac Child – commended Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival, 2000; highly commended Eastwood/Hills FAW 2000 competition; First prize FAW Hastings Competition 1998; published Grand National Poetry Stakes 1999; published Galloping On Vol IX, 1998;

Count Your Blessings – published Galloping On, VIII 1997

Home Delivery (as 'Pop') – highly commended FAW Far North Coast Lierary competition 1997 and 2000; second prize Moocooboola FAW competition, 2001

Village Butcher – First prize FAW Hastings competition, 2000

The Greek Cafe (as 'Ks') – Third prize Australian Poetry Awards, 1998

Glory Box (as 'Glory') – Second prize Cedarville Rainforest Literary Awards, 2003

For My Own Good – commended Victor Harbour Writing Awards, 2000; published Fathers' Day magazine

Boy with Dog – highly commended and published Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival, 2000; commended Max Harris Literary Awards, 2000; published Central Coast Poets Anthology, 2000; published Sydney Mosaic (Internet), 2001

The Tribe – First prize and published Kings Cross Literary Competition, 1999; published Central Coast Poetry Society Walking the Bird anthology 2001; published Dangerously Poetic anthology All the way home, 2009

Brunswick Footbridge (as 'Footbridge') – highly commended Manly FAW Literary Competition, 2000;

Riverside Pine (as 'Norfolk Island Pine') – commended Bendigo Writers competition, 1999; First prize and statuette, and published in anthology Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival, 2000

Lady at the park swing – highly commended FAW Far North Coast Literary competition, 1999; highly commended FAW Lambing Flat competition, 1999; First prize Wannabee Publishing Poetry Competition, 1999; commended Max Harris Literary Awards, 2000

Brunswick Heads Revisited – Commended FAW Lismore 2002; First prize Ararat Golden Gateway Festival 2004

Village Keepers (as 'Summer Goalie') – highly commended FAW Macarthur Literary Competition, 1998; published Centoria Poetry Magazine, 1998

Fishing Partners – highly commended FAW Hastings 1997 and 1988 competitions; commended FAW MacArthur Literary competition, 1998; First prize Bundaberg Arts Festival, 1998; published Grand National Poetry Stakes 1999; published Galloping On # X, 1999

News at No2 Tunnel (as 'Country News') – highly commended Henry Kendall Poetry Awards 2002; published Central Coast Poets' anthology Bird Before Landing; published by Kindamindi Publishing Moving On With Giggles and Dreams, 2002

Somewhere to come from – published, University of Southern Queensland Coppertales No5 1998

Down to the Sea (as 'Mullumbimby') – commended Yellow Moon Literary Competition and published in Issue #12, 2002

Out There (as 'Edges') – commended FAW Eastwood/Hills competition, 2004

Jack and the She-Oaks – commended Jean Stone Poetry Award 2004; Second prize Logan City Writers competition 2004

Euchre Night – Commended Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival, 1999; First prize Eastwood/Hills FAW 2000 Lit Comp

Dalley Street (as 'Elm Street') – Commended Centorfold Poetry Comp, 2000; Commended Forest FAW Comp, 2000; Highly Commended Moocooboola FAW Lit Comp, 2000; Second prize FAW Far North Coast Lit. Comp, 2001

Coolamon Care (as 'Long January') – Published NRWC Anthology Body of Work, 2004

Village Blacksmith – Published Creatrix #14, 2011

Gaia (as 'Fallowing') – Highly Commended Moocoolooba FAW 1999; Highly Commended Bundaberg Art Exhibition, 1999

Railway Crossing (as 'Whistlestop') – Commended Maroochy Writers Competition, 1999; Commended FAW Hunter Competition, 2000

A Meeting of Kite Flyers (as 'Kite Flyers') – Highly Commended FAW Lambing Flat Competition, 1999

The Batman – Third prize Melbourne Poets Union, 2001; Published Dangerously Poetic Press

Accounting – Commended Eastwood/Hills FAW 2000 Literary Competition; Published Dangerously Poetic anthology 2012

Glory Box – Published Creatrix #8, 2010

Bush Flame (as 'Illawarra Flame') – Published Dangerously Poetic anthology 2012

Brunswick Valley Flood (as 'Tweed Valley Flood') – commended FAW Lismore 2002; First prize Eastwood/Hills FAW 2002; published by Kindamindi Publishing Moving On With Giggles and Dreams, 2002

Wellhead – Published Creatrix #14, 2011; published Dangerously Poetic anthology 2012

Brief Notes About the Brunswick Valley
a pervading influence on John Bird's poems

The Valley lies near the most easterly point of mainland Australia. It was carved by the Brunswick River flowing east from the Great Dividing Range across the Mt Warning (Wollumbin) caldera, then over coastal flatlands to the Pacific Ocean.

The Valley is in the Byron Shire in the state of New South Wales.
Its towns: Mullumbimby, Ocean Shores and Brunswick Heads; its main villages:
New Brighton and Billinudgel. (maps later)

For more than 50,000 years this rich sub-tropical land was home to many Aboriginal tribes. They were killed and dispersed by European settlers, "white fellas" who first arrived by sea at (now) Brunswick Heads in 1849 and followed the Brunswick River upstream in search of red cedar. When those trees had been cut out settlers turned to harvesting various hardwoods from the Big Scrub which until then densely covered the rolling hills of the hinterland.

Dairy, banana and cane farms were, in turn, established on the cleared land.
Tourism is now the main source of employment.

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