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22 September 2017

Poetry on the Move, the festival of poetry sponsored by the University of Canberra ended yesterday.  A week of poetry and poems and poets… Delicious.

In between poetry readings, I wrote two very short poems. The first one was just after I left an evening session and was walking through the campus back to my car.  The second was right after a poetry reading.

•  •   •  •   •   •   •   •

talking to myself

walking to myself

thinking to myself

looking to myself

watching to myself

singing to myself

jumping to myself

leaping to myself

speaking to myself

asking to myself

learning to myself

telling to myself

forgiving to myself

•     •     •    •    •   •   •

Pamela at Boodoree National Park, ACT, Australia

•   •   •   •   •   •   •

time jumping

space splitting

heart thumping

mind shifting

head shaking

breath escaping

word singing

poetry emerging

 

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Nature Reserve

 

The gate signing

what can and

cannot be done

Walking on

path rutted

shaped by many feet

Scraggly natives

Yellow strawflowers

Grey green shoulder

broken by embedded stone

Piercing red rosehips

Screaming noisy miner

birds signal invasion

Swinging head

back and forth

Kangaroos watching

waiting, then

fleeing from unknown

Arriving at summit

Grey clouds open

slivers of gold

above blue ridges

defining the end

     Sunset      Red Hill Nature Reserve                     Canberra Australia

 

Thinking of my brother Lon Hutchison.  His birthday is 22 June.  He would have been 62 years old.  He was hit by a bus and killed in Mazatlan Mexico 5 May 2014. 

 

Rounding a bend

something shiny

glinting in the sun

a car

Intruder

in a forest walk

that should go on forever

The weight of

tradition

on my finger

between

middle and little

A golden ring

an amber stone

from my mother

 

Today wearing

her Egyptian gold necklace

her gold and jade bracelet

her gold bangles

and the heavy weight ring

 

A couple from Perth

I offer to take their photo

No selfies please

in front of the red and white

recycled, solar lit

Year of the Monkey

sculpture

at the Australian National Library.

They commented

on my jewelry

I was pleased

someone noticed

 

My mother left it to me

knowing I had none

Influencing my behavior

from beyond death

No grave

Cremated

and a wind sculpture

memorial to her

in a Kansas City park.

I wear her jewelry

in her memory

 

The Chinese woman

from Perth told me

Treasure that bracelet

Jade plus gold

Unusual

 

Back at home

I remember her words

as I remove the

gold and amber ring

from my finger

with soap

Mom Golden jewelry
                        My mom, some years ago,                                                                   wearing her amber and gold jewelry

Kangaroos Red HIll 014

The gate signing

what can and

cannot be done

Walk through

path rutted

shaped by so many feet

no need to look

Scraggly natives

Yellow strawflowers

Grey green shoulder

Broken by embedded stone

Piercing red rose hips

Screaming noisy miner

birds signal invasion

Swinging head

back and forth

Kangaroos watching

waiting

Fleeing from unknown

Arrived

on top

Viewing all

under control until

Grey clouds

open

slivers of gold

above blue ridges

defining the end

 

Vista Red Hill Sunset_0391

Gum Tree 20002

 

White skeleton

of a gum tree

against green

deen deen deen

Bell birds

toll slow death

of the forest

 

Gum Trees 20005

Below are comments from people who have read my book of poems and drawings, Silence Spoken, available on http://www.lulu.com

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.44.14

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

Thank you very much for your awesome publication.  Sketches look lovely & will enjoy browsing too.

Khalida, Blue Mountains, Australia

There is another side of you, a contemplative one that I would not have guessed.  I am no poet and so can’t comment on the poetry but I like the sketches.

Anita, Canberra, Australia

2. Ink Tucacas Sea 3 web

I just browsed through it and your art work is powerful.  I especially like the brush painting from Pakistan. But then your “essentials only” style on Langata, Nairobi, Kenya is so spot on. I’ve read some poems too, but you know me, the art is so immediate.

Sheila, Berkeley, California, USA

Thanks so much for your book of poetry and illustrations!
It is really lovely.  Keep creativity alive!

Margot, Berkeley, California, USA

3. Pak Karkoram 772 webKarimabad, Pakistan

I have looked through it and read several random poems and David has spent much more time with it. We both are enjoying looking at these snapshots of your life.  Your drawings give life to your travels.

Linda, Baldwin, Kansas, USA

I am enjoying reading your poems and I like your sketches very much. You have experienced so much in your life. Your words are an eloquent expression of your suffering, joy, awareness and appreciation of the natural world. The book is very attractively designed and printed. Congratulations on publishing it!

Anne, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

7. Ink Nairobi Person webMan walking, Langata, Nairobi, Kenya

The poem Somewhere, snagged my eye. A knee jerk response to seeing my birthday near the bottom of the page. Reading it through I can only say, thanx for the birthday present.

The poem, Fishing at Sunset, I was timeported to Elk California doing that same such thing using carpenter’s line with old spark plugs on the end for weight. Holding the line for the twitch of the rockfish that might be dinner or dining on smaller fish if it slips the hook.

David, Baldwin, Kansas, USA

 

 

Sunset Red Hill vista_1730

 

climbing Red Hill

2 mushrooms

1 dead rabbit

countless kangaroos

 

 

Sunset Gum Tree Red HIll, Canberra, Australia

Sunset Gum Tree Red HIll, Canberra, Australia

So this is what it is

The famed or dreaded

Jet lag

Humans are not supposed to

travel so far so fast

leaving bodies behind

in different hemispheres

crossing several time zones

Pushing on

in that robotic state

called international travel

Till arrival

Pretending to have always been here

Such arrogance

Defiance collapses

You came from somewhere

And left the essence of

your body

your energy

your curiosity

your spirit

your joy

your life

somewhere behind

On the Rim, Kings Canyon, Australia

              On the Rim, Kings Canyon, Australia

Neither awake nor asleep

Squirming in discomfort

Impatient for energy

to find and re-enter

your body and mind

A ghostly presence

Faking life by

reading about exploits

and explorations

in the Red Centre

of Australia

Entering another world

barely glimpsed

everyone swallowed up

in great hot sandy gulps

 

Pretense of living

while lying

in a narrow bed

opening the blinds

looking up

exploring clouds

The world is out there

You are in but not of it

7 October 2015

Dear Friends,

I am reposting the blog below about SIEV X that I posted in January 2014.

Recently I returned to the SIEV X memorial and walked and read each post. This Sunday 11 October 2015 there will be a protest against the incarceration of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru Islands, instead of bringing them to Australia for processing and resettling.  The struggle for human rights goes on.  JOIN US!

———————————————————-

In my last blog, I asked when does a death become a tragedy?  Death is a normal event. When is it a tragedy?  What does it depend upon?  The relationship of the deceased person to you?  The age of the deceased?  The circumstances of their death?

The examples I gave were from my own life – my friends and family members.  Each death had a meaning – an impact on me and many others.  Only one death, because it was preventable, that of my friend Tausi who died of stigma attached to HIV/AIDs, did I describe as a tragedy.

Another criteria for tragedy is numerical.  If there are many preventable deaths, is that a tragedy?  What if we don’t know personally any of the people who died?  Do we experience their deaths as a tragedy?

On 20 October 2001, in international waters off of Australia, a small, very overcrowded fishing boat sank.  This boat was not being used for fishing.  This small boat was transporting 400 desperate people, mostly women and children, who were trying to get to Australia to seek asylum.  The boat was labelled SIEV X – Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel X.

353 people drowned – 146 children, 142 women, 65 men.

The drowning of 353 people jammed onto the small fishing boat called SIEV X is a tragedy.  Although it happened over 12 years ago, SIEV X is a continuing tragedy for Australians.

SIEV X is a tragedy that is burrowing away inside the heart and soul of this very large, mostly arid continent and country.  The response that ignored the tragedy of  the deaths of SIEV X is a tumor that is silently growing.  Some people in Australia are trying to excise it, but many are feeding it, helping it to grow bigger and bigger.

The mainstream media and political parties in Australia feed the growth of this ugly tumor.  They categorize  as “illegals”, the asylum seekers, most of whom are fleeing for their lives and have a genuine claim, according to international conventions signed by Australia.

As a huge continent with a population of about 23 million, enjoying one of the highest standards of living on the planet, politicians and media have again and again whipped up fear of  the “others”, who are supposedly planning to invade and take over Australia – much as the Europeans did to the original indigenuous Australians over 200 years ago.

Opposed to this fear mongering, thousands of Australians are bringing people together to expose and destroy this tumor burrowing deep into the social fabric.  One of the most splendid and inspiring examples of this positive response is the SIEV X Memorial, which acknowledges a profound tragedy that affects us all.

SIEV X Memorial sign Canberra Australia

SIEV X Memorial sign Canberra Australia

I first discovered the SIEV X Memorial by accident.  After a picnic in Canberra, Australia, I walked around Weston Park. I saw a number of white poles, similar to Aboriginal memorial poles, on a hillside overlooking Lake Burley Griffin.

SIEV X Memorial, Lake Burley Griffin in background

SIEV X Memorial, Lake Burley Griffin in background

Each pole has a unique painting, a plaque with the name and age of the person who drowned or “unknown” on it and a second plaque with the name of the group in Australia who painted the memorial pole.

I looked carefully at each pole – 353 for the people who died when the SIEV X boat sank  in October 2001.

I walked the entire 400 metres reading each plaque, overwhelmed by the pain of this tragedy. At the same time  I was encouraged that thousands of Australians throughout the country participated in creating the SIEV X Memorial.

SIEV X memorial, Canberra Australia

SIEV X Memorial, Canberra Australia

If you live or visit Canberra Australia, be sure to visit the SIEV X Memorial in Weston Park.  SIEV X is not listed in the free tourist booklets  or on the Canberra website. You can find out more information at http://www.sievxmemorial.com

SIEV X Pole commemorating death of a child, age 2

SIEV X Pole commemorating death of a child, age 2

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