An art workshop

Bringing together

Me, my mum

and objects from her life

Looking back at photos

Her house

A meeting place

Painted pumpkin and turquoise

Erased by new occupants

Replaced with

a white picket fence

Starting with her photo

on my external hard drive

creating a watercolour of her

with objects all around

Her pumpkin and turquoise house

Her dark green Oldsmobile convertible

A metallic sun burst

A bright green lizard

A dancing woman sculpture

Bringing together the every day

with my mother

She transcends these objects

Yet they are her

She is with me daily

The jewelry I wear

She left for me

In a handwritten will

Out we go

together wearing her jewelry

Literally walking in her shoes

Bringing together

the everyday

with the sublime


Gathering flowers

from a garden

where there are none

Only shrubs

native plants

Flowers spontaneous


Part of the life cycle

of plants

of people

Going next door

to cut flowers

from my neighbour’s tree

Why am I doing this?

I don’t think flowers

should ever be cut

to adorn a table

bringing colour

at the end of their lives

A phone call

while in my neighbour’s

front garden

My mobile stuck

in my jeans pocket

Pulled out


A call informing me

what I must have

already known

Or why was I

gathering flowers?

My friend


In Baldwin Kansas


On the mobile phone

Ten days ago

Linda in hospital for cancer

treatment in Lawrence, Kansas

Me in Canberra, Australia

Her detailed explanation

of all the treatments planned

Her last words to me

spoken with energy

and strength

I want to live

Thinking of Linda Hixon, in Baldwin Kansas, USA , who died 9 March 2022


Why is it

Feeling strange


Is it the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol

Is it reading Rebecca Solnit

Reminding me of



I’ve forgotten

Harvey Milk

Mayor Moscone

Jim Jones

Lyons Street

Western Addition

San Francisco

My voice carries

The blues

The disconnect

An art workshop

bringing together

me and my mum

Looking back at photos

Objects from her life

Her house

A meeting place

Pumpkin and turquoise

Erased by new occupants

Replaced by a white picket fence

Starting with her photo

On my external hard drive

Creating a watercolour

With objects all around

Her house

Her dark green Oldsmobile convertible

A metallic sun burst

A bright green lizard

A dancing woman sculpture

Bringing together the every day

with my mother

The ordinary with the sublime

She transcends these objects

Yet they are her

She is with me daily

The jewelry I wear

She left it for me

in a handwritten will

She lives on and on

with me

Out we go


Wearing her jewelry

Literally walking in her shoes

Bringing together

The everyday with the sublime

I’ve succeeded

Bette Jo Hutchison Silver

I wrote this a few months ago. Came across it again today, 11 August 2021.


A strange equation

Camping plus a slight cold = 4 great books! 

While camping, and relaxing in a hammock  (a habit acquired in Venezuela) at Mimosa Rocks National Park, I finished two outstanding books by Australian authors:

The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton


Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe

When I first began reading The Shepherd’s Hut, I thought, no, too fast, too much slang… I can’t stay with this.  But I kept going and going and going until it was over.  Some references to plants, land and Aussie slang that I didn’t know, but no matter… terrific read. 

Easier entry to Stone Sky, Gold Mountain a novel about the incredible suffering of Chinese migrants in the gold fields of North Queensland, Australia in 1877. 

Returned from Mimosa Rocks (on the south east coast of Australia) to Canberra, I had several days of not feeling too great – runny nose and congestion.  So more reading!  I finished Ta-Nehisi Coates novel, The Water Dancer. Densely written, submerging the diligent reader into the underground war on slavery in the United States.   (Look up the Underground Railroad on Wikipedia for information about the underground).

Fourth book: Louise Erdrich, The Night Watchman, a novel based on the life of her grandfather Patrick Gourneau, who successfully fought to stop the termination of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe by the United States Senate in the 1950s.  Gloriously written, with poetic language, memorable characters embedded throughout.

I tend to immerse myself in books, read them very quickly and then regret when they’re finished, as if I’ve lost a good friend.

All of the above HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Joyous reading!

How can clouds


  • wispy
  • sweeping
  • changing
  • swirling
  • accentuating
  • shifting
  • intersecting
  • overlaying
  • whirling
  • inspiring
  • enlivening
  • twirling
  • flowing
  • revitalizing

How can clouds


After a mediocre movie

highly recommended


Flat affect

Flat dialogue

Narrow opening

on a profound subject


Late night reading

a wonder of a book


Like reading a long poem

All words


Hints of a story

provide an opening

to embrace humanity

Leaving the cinema at night

surprised I can still drive

I am not a character in a film

The streets are Canberra

not France

The lights are shining

on Lake Burley Griffin

Watching movies

brings another reality

a heightened unreality

of the real

Movies take me

in and out of reality

With more space

More options

Everything slightly off

Not quite right

Not quite normal

The reality of movies

More than real

Life worth living

Even if it’s not my life

I love movies

Africa Australia Beijing Bette Hutchison Silver Bette Silver birthday California Canberra Caracas China Death dolls drawings Family Gum tree Hsiao Li Lindsay Jim Lindsay Kansas City Kansas City Missouri Kenya Kibera Lake Burley Griffin Langata Lawrence Andre Lon Hutchison Mazatlan Mexico Michelle Sikes Nairobi Nathan Collett Oakland Pakistan Pamela Collett Poems Poetry Red Hill San Francisco Silence Spoken Somalia Sunset Travel trees Tucacas Venezuela winter

A ship went down

Lives changed and lost

On the rocky coast

Lives above expanded

Love prevails

A rocky shore

A place to share

With whales, wallabies, lizards

 Not mine alone

Push aside

Selfish thought of control

No limits of rocky shore

Lines of whales

Twisted gum trees

Yellow flowered vines

No limits of sharing


Watching clouds

occasional birds

Cockatoos fly by

A kurrawong pauses

on the balcony

Swallowing something

long and thin


Trying to manage


in the house of my son

Suspending my plan

My need to


Get things done


to the realization

He is engaged



to ideas

on his computer


Accept possible chaos

Rejoice in art

Embrace creativity

Remember the film

In Your Hands

Rather than hands

It is in your head

In your thoughts

Where are you going?


Poetry the precise

Yet unexpected

Capturing elusive


With minimum words



Paint by numbers

Is that what you want?

Is that what the School of Art and Design

Is all about

Providing a template

a formula

for what it is to be an artist

How could they possible know



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