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Paintings and drawings

Drawing of Afghan women by Latifa

 

piled up in a corner

Art reflecting life

In Berkeley

In Afghanistan

In San Francisco

Ink sketch of San Francisco by Pamela Collett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a refugee camp

All originals

Drawing by Afghan girl, Nafisa, age 13, in a refugee camp

All true statements

in different styles

Different mediums

Different lives

By different artists

Will they survive

Will anyone remember them

And what they sacrificed?

 

I place my computer

in its purple jacket

Carefully on the floor beside the art

out of the way

I must have a clear path at night

Remember

the secret to a long life is

hold on to the handrail

Do not fall

on your way to the toilet

with the nightly insomnia of age

And you sometimes sleep walk

Keep the path clear

Always

Hold on to the hand rail

even when there is none

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written at Life Before Death,  Poetry Workshop with Paul Collis, 17 April 2019

National Museum of Australia, Canberra

 

Dead possum

Dead thylacine

Dead people

How to be alive

even when dead

How to continue

with no story

no land

How should I bury

the dead possum

in my front garden

How to show respect

How is it that today

this very day

there is death at my door

and on the radio

a program on

environmentally appropriate burial

listening while on my way

to Life Before Death

a poetry workshop

 

We need to change everything

The way we live

The way we die

The thylacine

could not change

trapped by invasion

The koala

cannot change

trapped by deforestation

We are trapped

By coal

By corporate greed

By subservient politicians

We are trapped

But trying to break free

 

Young people on strike

Urging us to escape

To do so requires change

and the changelessness

of indigenous cultures

who lived

with the land

with the animals

with the plants

with the rivers

Too late for that

But we must break out

And go back down

Down down

into the deep past

Embrace the deep past

For a renewed future

 

I do not know how

to bury

the dead possum

in my front garden

Perhaps I will learn today

The thylacine will teach me

Thank you for the lesson

I hope I have learned

Dead possum found in my front garden

 

Musical instruments from Kenya

Post script:

I did bury the possum

I read this poem.

I dug a hole in my front garden.

I used music makers from Africa

to send the possum on its way.

 

Your comments are always most welcome.

Please check out my other blog about the

novel I’m writing.  https://familyandfiction.com/

Thank you!

 

 

 

Haiku walk during contour 556 biennial public art festival

Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra Australia

21 October 2018

 

pushing a stroller

upright man

Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra Australia

gazing at lake

companion

walks head down

 

circulating

tree fluff

from foreign trees

 

brown leaves

white fluff

floating

dull green lake

 

red shirt

red pants

green meadow

two men

far apart

 

sculpture

unmoving

landscape

changing

 

large boat

small lake

artificial

 

headless

floating

dead magpie

 

Trash assembled

people attracted

 

Snake in tree

hanging down

tempted

 

White floating fluff

brown slow moving stream

 

zig zag in stream

sacred submerged

 

zig zag above

sacred beneath

Sculpture

minimal

stream

reflected

 

Cat on a leash

owner trained

 

Long dress

high heels

out of step

by the lake

Why can’t I read

novels

prose

as I once did

Devouring stories

lives

characters

immersion

I open a book

and close it

then another

and close it

within minutes

 

Is it the fault of poets

such as Clive James

Where every word counts

causing

prose

novels

to fall flat?

 

Or Samuel Wagan Watson

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Eleanor Lerman

Kenneth Rexroth

Other poets

names forgotten

sitting on the shelf

to be read and reread

 

Emotions linger

Specific poems

unremembered

Poets’ words

pierce

shine

penetrate

Leaving novels flat

colourless

Spoiled by chance

or choice

 

Now and then

poetry escapes me

the terms foreign

the language English

the context unknown

unwanted

unseen

 

A sometimes thing

poetry’s direct hit

reaching the heart

Pelicans Tucacas Venezuela

 

 

 

 

24 Oct 2012

revised 11 July 2018

 

Sorting books

moving between

continents

Why do I choose

to keep poetry books?

Profound emotion

captured

in a few words

Like Chinese landscape

brush paintings

conveying

intense connection

with a few strokes

Sketch of Beach at  Tucacas, Venezuela

 

 

Silence Spoken

Poems and drawings by Pamela Collett

Available with a discount on http://www.lulu.com or

on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

with no discount.

Thank you for your interest.

A new blog coming soon about my novel

                                          Life Expectancy. 

Thank you for your generosity to let me read your poems and take delight in your photos and sketches.

 

You have the sensitivity and ability to catch the moment, in sparse words and sparse strokes.

 

I understand it is a joy to have  these gifts, like having a secret drawer in your desk.

 

Eva

Sweden

 

 

 

Silence Spoken is available at a discount on http://www.lulu.com

or full price on Amazon.

Thank you Eva and all the people who have given me feedback.

Much appreciated

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?

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

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

 

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!

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