Posts

The US did this

The US did this

The US did this

The tragedy of Afghanistan

Used the people of Afghanistan

as collateral damage

in their Cold War

against the Russians

The US did this

The pain of a poet

writing about his father

with Alzheimers

Compare the pain

of being born in

a country of Imperialism

A country of

death and destruction

Crisscrossing the world

like an all-powerful global tornado

creating a wide path

of death and destruction

The poet

trying and failing

to get his father

with Alzheimers

to use the toilet

The woman born

in the USA

trying and failing

to get her country

to respect human rights

to give up global hegemony

to give up militarism, war

and nuclear weapons

Watching Afghans trying

to escape the Taliban

created by the US

to attack the Russians

The pain becomes anger

shouting at the television

The US did this

Objects Around

Objects around

are not mundane

Each one is unique

Handmade by someone

I purchased them

Their provenance forgotten

Their creator unknown

Undocumented

The objects are here

Surround me

Everyday

Do I see them?

Do I overlook them?

The strange polka-dotted beast

from South Africa

A gift from Gabriel

The soft sculpture of a woman

Diddy-wa-diddy

A craft shop visit with Pilar

in the Midwest USA

Once my best friend and confidante

who years later rejected our friendship

The horse and carriage

from recycled bits of metal

Made in Pakistan

The Kansas City ceramic cow

The Kibera 8 collage, a slum in Nairobi

The beachside print by Sheila

inspired by Tucacas

Emerald Suites Venezuela

The camel train oil painting

from a door-to-door salesman artist

in Islamabad Pakistan

The Faberge glass cat

from my aunt in Florida

How did it get to me?

Muddled past

All are here now

Objects around me

Unreality Check

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!

Re-reading the Heart’s Garden

Rereading The Heart’s Garden

The Garden’s Heart

By Kenneth Rexroth

has sustained me

through decades

His words continue

Almost unknown

Almost forgotten

But they are there

And re reading

Tears of recognition

of thanks and also of sorrow

What else have I forgotten

What else have I left behind

What else is there

To think

To do

To write

To paint

To believe

To remember

What happens to the environment

the earth

the forest

the birds

the plants

the animals

encased in layers of concrete

glass and steel

overwhelming the natural

yet doomed to failure

to falling

Thank you Kenneth Rexroth

Why Move?

Yerrabi Track

Namadgi National Park

Australian Capital Territory

Why move

Just sit

Look

Brindabella mountains

Toothy line to sky

View through burned

Gum trees

Silence

Only one bird

Forest burnt out

What now?

Forward

Write your way

through

Words leaving a trace

On the rock

Comfort zone

Voices

distant

Winter day

Let go

Say no more

View of the Brindabellas, from the Yerrabi Track, Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory

What Astonishes?

Underwater

There is so much

we do not see

We watch the waves

Maybe the whales breaching

But what I want to see

is there

underneath

demanding I change

my frame of reference

from warmth to chill

from light to muted

Adjust your body

Adjust your eyes

Head down

Keep looking

immersed

in water environment

as you never are

in air

walking standing breathing

seeing objects colours

floating in the ocean

Adjust

Accept

Lose track

So that

Astonished

When you raise your head

out of the water

the world is still there

And you will return

Over the Moon

Have you heard that expression or did I make it up?

That’s how I felt when I read the positive feedback about my book Tracking the Human in an email from a friend in Kansas City, Missouri, who lives in the neighbourhood where my mother lived.

Here’s what Anne said about Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time:

“You did a fine job on your book Tracking the Human. What a great approach to telling your father’s story – your painstaking search for facts bring him to life through the device of fiction. Your biography is so readable and so poignant. I’m amazed and moved by what your father – and your mother – overcame. Your depiction of the hobo life is fascinating. What a story of survival.

Your book is a generous exercise in reaching out to the past to understand a man who in so many ways was not kind to you. You too are a survivor. Sending love to you and congratulations on completing this project and doing it so well.”

Many many thanks to Anne. Everyone’s feedback to Tracking the Human is much appreciated.

If you haven’t read Tracking the Human yet, you can purchase a copy on http://www.lulu.com. It’s also available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon websites, but they pay the author very little.

Thanks again for your interest!!

My father, the drug addicted vagabond

Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE

I would like to share information about my book Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time  which I finished writing in January 2020. Because of the COVID19 pandemic there was no possibility of traveling from my current home in Canberra, Australia to the USA to launch the book.

Many years after being disowned by my father  and after his death (1971), I made a decision to reconcile with him – with his memory – to construct a portrait of a human being that I could respect. I wrote a novel  Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time based on data I collected about my father’s contacts with the justice system in the USA. He was in and out of jails, prisons and mental health institutions (known as asylums) for many years.

The book Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time is available on line at www.lulu.com.
Also available on Amazon, but they pay the authors very little.

If you do purchase and read the book, I would very much appreciate your feedback,
on my blog  http://www.familyfiction.comor by email at pamela@tucacas.info.

Here’s a comment about Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time from my friend Martha Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve University Professor of English and Law, emerita.

 It being Presidents Day here, I took the day off from politics and paperwork (a euphemism for my present stasis) to read your novel. So delicious! It’s really, really good. I do really wish you’d been able to launch it in Kansas City MO.

If you want to situate your novel thematically in our American literary tradition I’d like to stress its fit into our deeply held embrace of the individualistic self-made man myth — so
destructively sexist and racist in my view — as set forth so brilliantly by F. Scott Fitzgerald in *The Great Gatsby.*

Thanks for your interest!

Pamela Hutchison Collett

 

Talk talk talk

So much talk

about 2020

Such a shocker

Crap year

Extraordinary

Unprecedented

Next year must be better

Over and over

Talk talk talk

Yet 2020 was

just another year

On it went

and now it’s gone

Another year arrives

2021

How long will it take

to remember

to write it down

Instead of continuing

to write 2020

with the symmetry

of the repeating numbers

Pamela hiking somewhere in Australia

Tracking the Human: a book

To my family, friends and readers of my blog,

A year ending. Over and over again people made comments that this year 2020 was “unprecedented”… Yet there are always precedents… previous bush fires, previous pandemics, previous elections…. This year they all came together in a powerful punch.

I finished a book in January 2020, but because of the COVID19 pandemic there was no possibility of traveling from my current home in Canberra, Australia to the USA to launch the book. I ordered a few copies for myself and put the books in a closet, postponing my plan to launch the book in Kansas City, Missouri, Vinita and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I had spent a few years thinking, researching, writing, rewriting… a book about my father W. Lon Hutchison…  about a person I didn’t really know.  To say I should have known my own father is not correct.  At the time of my upbringing, (born 1945), at the place of my upbringing, (Kansas City, Missouri, USA), parents were unknown quantities to their children.  Parents were power, control, but not people.  Children had no “rights” to know anything about their parents.  Children were just there to do what they were told to do, go where they were told to go, like objects on a chess board… moved around according to their all powerful, all knowing parents. 

Many years after being disowned by my father, many years after his death (1971), I made a decision to reconcile with him – with his memory – to construct a portrait of a human being that I could respect.

I wrote a novel based on data I collected about my father’s contacts with the justice system in the USA.  He was in and out of jails, prisons and mental health institutions (known as asylums) for many years. 

With the current reality of COVID19, travel from Australia to the USA to launch the book is very unlikely for many months.  Meanwhile, the book Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time is available on line at www.lulu.com.

If you do purchase and read the book, I would very much appreciate your feedback, on my blog or by email at pamela@tucacas.info.

Thanks!