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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

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Greetings!

Welcome to feedback on my book of poems and drawings, Silence Spoken.

 

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

You can purchase Silence Spoken at http://www.lulu.com (discounted price) or on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.  Thanks!

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

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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

 

 

Cleaning house

expecting guests

Finding

drawings

under the bed

in the closets

Drawings from

Beijing China

bamboo

mountains

crabs

fish

Ink Drawing fish 228

Ink drawing bamboo practice 227

Ink Drawing Crabs 226

Oakland California

boats

buildings

Lake Merritt

Ink Drawing Oakland port 239

Lake Merritt Pen drawing 232

Mendocino California

sea

rocks

trees

Mendocino 243

Shidu China

cliffs

train tunnel

bridge

Shidu ink drawing

Drawings saved

yet lost

to memory

If no one sees them

do they exist?

 

How is it that

I have been drawing

and writing poems

most of my life

and yet

I don’t remember

I keep them

but don’t show them

to anyone

Did I draw that?

Did I write that?

Surprise

 

•   •   •   •   •   •   •   •  •

footnote:

Before finding more and more drawings and poems, under the bed, in closets, in cupboards, I recently published a selection of poems and drawings, entitled Silence Spoken. Available on www.lulu.com 

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Let me write about Jim’s cousin, Li Anping, who lived in Beijing. How long have I known him? Forever more or less. How many ways has he helped me? Many, but one stands out.

An Ping at a family luncheon September 2015

Anping at a family luncheon September 2015

Over ten years ago I suffered from dizziness – making my everyday life difficult. When I got out of bed some days, nothing obeyed gravity, including my own body. The dizziness occurred off and on for years. Stress related but something more. I went to many doctors and clinics in several countries. With no success.

While visiting Beijing in 2002, Anping took me to Dr. Gu’s clinic. A small somewhat dark place – full of large machines – and people hooked up to them. Some of them jerking from electrical charges. The scene was somewhat off putting, but I trusted Anping. Besides nothing else had worked.

Dr. Gu sent me to a nearby hospital for what? Everything was written in Chinese characters so I had to go with Anping and assume all would be well. Anping does speak English but doesn’t know all the technical terms.

I got a scan of my head. I brought back the picture of my neck and head to Dr. Gu. Anping translated. Dr. Gu pointed to certain regions of my neck and head. His diagnosis: blockage in my neck by calcium deposits, leading to not enough blood circulating in some areas of my brain, affecting my sense of balance.

Dr. Gu started treatment right away, hooking me up to one of those large machines that give small electric impulses. He told Anping I would need several months of treatment. I was about to leave Beijing in two days, but decided I would come back some time and give it a try.

Long story short, I returned the next year, 2003. I went five days a week for several months to Dr Gu’s clinic for electronic acupressure treatment while teaching nearby at Beijing Foreign Studies University. I even continued during the SARS epidemic when everything was shut down. When Dr. Gu had to shut his clinic due to the government policies enacted to stop SARS, one of his assistants brought a portable machine to a hotel near our apartment for my treatment to continue.

The dizziness ended and has never returned. Thank you Dr. Gu. Thank you Anping!

Family Luncheon Beijing, September 2015, An Ping on right, standing next to his wife Zhilan

Family Luncheon Beijing, September 2015, Anping on right, standing next to his wife Zhilan

And thank you Anping for so many wonderful luncheons with Jim’s relatives in China. Thank you for your interest in keeping Jim and myself in touch with China and Jim’s relatives. Thank you for your suggestions for excursions and places to visit in China. Thank you for your big smiles whenever we got together.

Li Anping died 20 November 2015 in Beijing, age 79.

We’ll miss you Anping!

Beijing: the worst
Jintao Palace of Luxury
shopping centre 
Mobile phone cases
with precious jewels
Bags that cost
thousands of dollars
Polished floors
Polished walls
Polished people
Around the corner
a long-haired youth
sleeping on a wall
Man bowing and begging
old woman asleep on a mat
on the sidewalk
Tens of millions 
lifted out of poverty
Doesn’t matter if a cat
is black or white
as long as it catches mice
The black or white cat
gets fatter and fatter
catches all the mice
leaving only the trap
for others

Beijing: the best

Temple of Heaven
Beijing park
Couples dancing
With aplomb
Women dancing
With men
With other women
With themselves
Sheer joy


Temple of Heaven, Beijing      
Temple of Heaven, Beijing
Under an arch
A man playing
a Chinese horn
Similar to a clarinet
Two men singing
traditional songs
Joined by a third
Voices soar
Happiness fills the air

People dancing, Temple of Heaven park
People dancing, Temple of Heaven park
Temple Heaven Singing 1 70568
            Men singing under an arch at Temple of Heaven park

 

I want to go forth

dripping with

bracelets

rings

necklaces

The inheritance

from my mother

But no earrings

None

Not since I lost

one filigree

silver hoop

purchased

in Florence Italy

 

As teenagers

my best friend and I

went to the Country Club Plaza

in Kansas City

to get our ears

pierced

considered

very extreme

in those days

Small gold studs

in our aching ears

But once I lost the

silver filigree hoop

that was it

I knew I couldn’t keep it up

That I would continue

to lose earrings all my life

 

Latin American families

pierce the ears

of their newborn baby girls

Then wrap a pink frilly ribbon

around their bald heads

to be sure

no one says oh what a big boy

as they did to my grandmother

when she came to see me

in the hospital

the day after I was born.

 

If I wore earrings

would that have

made it clear

when women in Beijing

excitedly told me

in Mandarin

with gestures

to leave

Because I am tall

with short white hair

wear flat shoes

no make up

no jewelry

They thought

I was in the wrong toilet

 

Walking out of creative writing class

Talking this poem

aloud to myself

I walk into the wrong

parking lot

 

But the sky is still blue

and the Eucalypts

grey green

I will find my way

 

I sit in my car

compelled to write

watching the trees

shake and shimmer

in the wind

the piercing blue sky

that makes me feel

I am found

Natl Mus Pamela Mirror 848

16 October 2013

The day started in the middle of the night.

A Dream… I was having lunch with an old friend Angel Contreras, who lives in San Francisco.  I am currently in Venezuela.  I woke up.  Feeling guilty.  Our return flight next month to Australia is through Santiago Chile to see old friends.  What about my older friend Angel, recently diagnosed with cancer.  I should have routed my return to Australia through San Francisco.

Sad News… At dawn, my spouse, Jim is already awake.  At his computer.  He looked at me. He was very sad, crying,  Angel died.  I am crying and yelling…What?  How is that possible?  I dreamed of Angel.  And I tell Jim about my dream.

Angel did not die yesterday, but almost a month ago in San Francisco.  The email was just sent yesterday by his wife with the sad news.   I dreamed about Angel the same night that the email was on its way from San Francisco, California to Tucacas, Venezuela.

My day begins, thinking of Angel.  Disturbed by my dream as well as his death.  Is it possible that other, deeper connections between people exist?

My usual routine: early morning and late afternoon swims in the Caribbean Sea (avoiding too much harsh tropical sun).  Early morning already full sun. Just me in the sea.  No one but birds in sight. Even the few fishing boats gone in. The chipi-chipi (a small shell fish) gatherers will come out later in the day to sit in the shallows, digging into the sand with their hands.

Walking through the waves. Walking out far enough to swim.  Very shallow bay.  Male frigate bird with red neck pouch dives past me. A pelicans plops down on the water near by.  Two black cormorants skim the waves, flying by.

I’m thinking of Angel.  Wanting to dedicate something to him.  The frigate bird?  The palm trees?  The clouds? The grey green sea where I am alone, floating?  Nothing in sight belongs to me.  So am I free to dedicate it to Angel?

How to describe Angel? So people who do not know him will feel his warmth, his humanity which reached out to all.  His boundless energy.

Angel, an activist, was born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. Father Mexican. Mother Colombian.  Mother very tough, outspoken woman.  I never knew his father.

The Mission District is “Latino”, that is, many families from Central America and Mexico live there.  Angel was head of Mission Head Start,  a bilingual, early childhood education, community-based program.  I worked with him for several years.

Angel was an advocate of quality early childhood care for all, both in Head Start and the San Francisco School District.  He fought for justice and human rights for all people, wherever they were from.

Angel was fun to be with,  well-informed, energetic.  Angel was a jogger and a cyclist.  We shared many dinners, news updates, jokes, reminiscences with Angel and his family in the kitchen and dining room in their house in the Mission District.

Living a global life… moving from continent to continent,  with family and friends everywhere… means that, at any one time, I am isolated, separated from those I love.  I miss  sharing their lives and their passing.

I am grateful that  Jim  (my spouse) was with his mother when she died in Beijing four years ago.  I am grateful that I was with my mother when she died two years ago in Kansas City.  I am sorry that I was not with Angel and his family to celebrate his life.

Not being there when someone dies, means that I continue to assume I will see that person again, somewhere.  No, wait a minute, not true. Even though I WAS present with my mom when she died, I still from time to time think I see her.  Most recently I thought I saw her on the Metro in Caracas, Venezuela.  When the lady turned in my direction, she was a white-haired woman who looked nothing like my mother.

So will I see Angel again, somewhere, some how?  Who knows.  I hope so.

Pamela, Angel, Margaret (his wife) in their kitchen in the Mission District, San Francisco, California , probably sometime in 2000

Pamela, Angel, Margaret (his wife) in their kitchen in the Mission District, San Francisco, California , probably sometime in 2000

I dedicate my 100th post on this blog to my dear friend, Angel Contreras.

Hsiao Li Lindsay, author of Bold Plum

Jim Lindsay’s mum, Hsiao Li, who died in April 2010 in Beijing, China, was a heroine in the fight of the Chinese people against the Japanese occupation during World War II.

Cover of Bold Plum, photo of Michael Lindsay and Hsiao Li, at their wedding, Beijing, 1941

Bold Plum the  memoir of her years behind Japanese lines contains some of the best commentary on life in war-torn China, said Gail B. Hershatter, a history professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

We are delighted to announce that the Fascinating History Book Club of the Washington DC book store  and coffee house Politics and Prose will feature Bold Plum on Thursday 23 Aug 2012  at 7:30 pm.

Bold Plum, featured at Fascinating History Book Club, Politics and Prose, Washington DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information http://bit.ly/Neanx3  Hsiao Li and Bold Plum in Washington Post

http://bit.ly/PxWt73  Bold Plum at Politics and Prose Book Store Washington DC

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