Today 22 June is the birthday of my brother Lon, aka “little Lon” because he was Lon Jr. and he was over 10 years younger than me.

In June 1955, I was about to go away for 8 weeks for summer camp in northern Michigan.  I kept waiting and waiting for my mom to have this baby.  He was a month late and weighed almost 10 pounds.  Lon was born just before I was about to get on a train to go to camp.  I got to see him just once before I left.

Lon died 5 May 2014, in Mazatlan, Mexico.  While he was on his bicycle at a corner waiting for a traffic light to turn green,  a bus clipped him and knocked him down.  He died almost instantly.

I am thinking of you, Lon.  Your photo is on my  computer.

We miss you Lon.

My brother Lon Hutchison and me 2011

 

 

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Poetry in motion

(on the bus in Canberra Australia)

 

Grey green rain

Winter grass

surviving

Fog shrouding

Black Mountain

Softening the

harshness of

Telstra tower

Bare tree limbs

reach up

Edging the lake

Ride ending

Get off

Go on

 

Reading Gary Snyder

Grey shale roof

Mountain over village

A few lines

Others go nowhere

Awareness sharpened

By thought and travel

Can we all be poets

If we keep moving?

 

 

 

Pain of cars upon cars

taking up tree space

Metallic invaders

destroying people and plants

Square standing building

Windows in shadow

Books upon books inside

protected forever

Will someone read them?

Why write if not read?

Why paint if not seen?

Why breathe if not loved?

      Lonna, Bette, and Pamela

Reverse

Rewind

Recall

Remember

 

Today is

my sister’s birthday

She would have been

Seventy-one

 

Somewhere

somehow

along the way

we lost touch

with each other

 

We grew up together

then grew apart

Now

she’s gone

 

But I will

remember

her birthday

Here’s some feedback to my book of sketches and poems, Silence Spoken 

http://www.silencespoken.com

Available at a discount on http://www.lulu.com.  Enjoy!

 

 

The poems I liked best are those set in Venezuela, describing aspects of the environment and the sea and those set in Beijing capturing the impact of rapid change – for good and bad, especially “Observed:Beijing”. It’s what I felt when in China, but succinctly and eloquently expressed. I enjoyed the whole book, for what it expressed and also for what was left unsaid, or merely hinted at.

Mary, Canberra, Australia

Facing life changes

a close friend

mentioned face lift

Shocked response

Why do that?

How would you

know yourself?

But age means

not always

recognizing

the wrinkled

sagging

double-chinned

face

looking back at you

An alternative?

Avoid mirrors

 

Path in Canberra Hills                                                                                                       This photo has nothing to do with the poem. Just a photo I like.

 

 

A certain numbness

trying to recreate

a family

both living and dead

Thinking of

my brother Lon

my only brother

Four years ago today

Riding his bike

in Mazatlan, Mexico

Waiting on a street corner

for the light to change

A bus clipped him

Down and dead

within minutes

Charming, intelligent

talented, difficult

My brother Lon

 

Lon with wife Olivia, stepdaughter Josefina, 2000

To be outside

one’s self

Listening

running water

screeching birds

machete chop

Smelling

tall grasses

wild jasmine

Watching

white and yellow butterflies

fluorescent blue-green birds

Trying to remember

what you thought

you’d never forget

A stream in Nanyuki, Kenya

If I could

 

If I could

rearrange his life

like I do his shoes

Move them over here

by the front door

accessible

The ones he needs

to go out

 

17 April 2018

Last night at Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, Australia, a night of poetry reading, speaking out for refugees and human rights.  That Poetry Thing: Not Very Quiet Journal Presents: Women’s Voices for Refugees – Poetry Fund Raiser for Canberra Refugee Support.

I was the last person to read after a series of poems by refugees and powerful spoken word presentations of the agony of asylum seekers imprisoned on Nauru and Manus by the Australian government.

As I listened to the poetry readings,  I had been thinking how could I possibly follow these powerful presentations?  Do I have anything to say? When called upon to read, I got up from the rear of the rather crowded venue, climbed over several people, stepped on a few toes and climbed up on the stage.

I read two poems, one an excerpt from Frontline by Tony Birch, the other poem Identity by me.  I focused on the expropriation of Australia by European settlers.  Why was I allowed to come to Australia but asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru were imprisoned?  Who determined who had a “right” to be here? All of us, except the Aboriginal peoples, were interlopers, invaders and migrants.

Here are the poems:

Broken Teeth: poetry collection

By Tony Birch

Excerpt from Poem:

Frontline Australia

 

we call on all white men

of military experience and

willing to defend

 

at whatever cost and vigilance

our coastlines, our cities

our clubs, wallets & women

 

against the vast mass

of humanity not of us

as we know us to be

———————–

24 Jan 2017 (date of writing)

Identity

By Pamela Collett

 

Mine was never based on

birthplace

religion

family

 

Mine was based on

Getting best grades

Going to university

a pragmatic

empirical

daily

identity

 

No roots

Just a bundle of

values

that could travel anywhere

A floater

living in my head

 

Confused by questions

of identity

in Australia

European people

living in a place based on

denial of place

of country

of those

who have been here

for 65,000 years

Upstarts

destroying records

bones

artifacts

to assert their right

to control identity

 

1 March 2018

Remembering 1 March 2011

In my mother’s house

by her bed side

A few days earlier when she asked, Am I dying?

I replied, Yes and everything is taken care of.

So grateful that I could be there

with her those final days.

I flew to Kansas City from Nairobi

to join the team caring for her at home.

Deedee was the carer closest to my mom.

I was the back up,

listening every night on the monitor

in my bedroom

connected to her sleeping porch.

Listening for any changes, any sounds.

In the final days

my older son joined us.

We were by her side

when she opened her eyes

and looked at us both.

We each said, I love you

and she was gone.

Miss you mom.

Bette Hutchison Silver (date 1996?)

Bette Snidow Hutchison and Pamela, 1945

 

 

 

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