Ruth Hartley’s Birthday

Tanvir Naomi Bush Poetry 4 Comments

Cheese, please!

Cheese tower of different cheese rounds mounting from large to small, to celebrate the birthday of Ruth Hartley, mother, artist and author.


My Mum is the artist and writer Ruth Hartley. Last week we threw her a 70th birthday party. That was because she turned 70…not because we were trying to freak her out.

My older sister baked cakes and made soups and dips and organised a tower of wonderful cheeses. There were old friends and new wines, speeches and thank yous and Silent John even sang her a song! A super do!

Mum’s New Book

Snapshot of Ruth Hartley in a yellow dress, laughing as she looks  to her right, while her partner John Corley reads or sings from a sheet he holds in front of him. They stand behind a vase of yellow-orange roses.

Silent John sings to Mum!

Mum’s book The Shaping of Water is being published on 2nd January 2014 and this is the link to her website for further details and artwork:

My contribution, apart from pushing furniture around and then testing all the Pinot Grigio, was a poem.

This one. It’s called ‘Life-Painting’.


My Mother speaks colour;
A language of taupe and tumeric, orange and ochre.
All the blues collide in her mouth
Her words are scumbled mocha.

My Mother bleeds colour;
Carmine and crimsons of setting suns, the Raw Umber of dry riverbeds,
She is an incandescent storm,
wreathed in violet thunderheads.

My Mother breathes colour;
She mixed my skin from Rose Madder Deep, Phthalo Blue,
And Flake White Number One,
My brother and my sisters too
A splodge of Vandyke Brown, a hint of Buff Titanium,
I dare say some Permanent Magenta,
Veined with Viridian Hue.

My Mother is colour;
Her green leaves turn to gold,
Her eyes still casting prisms as
Her luminous tales unfold.

By Tanvir Bush

Celebrate Ruth Cake!

Comments 4

  1. Post
  2. Oh that was FABULOUS! I'm sure your mother was bursting with pride (and she probably felt inspired to paint – I did, & I don't even paint!)

    Happy birthday to her!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.