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Archive for February, 2014

14PaddyDOTMusic

So proud of my brother Paddy who’s just released his first album of original songs called “Avartarian Summer”

He’s also made a video with one of the soundtracks of our beautiful South West forest featuring one of our iconic birds, a Kookaburra!

Please let him know if you enjoy his sounds and pictures.

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For my 50th birthday I wanted a university degree in creative writing, something I’d done all my life but never formally acknowledged.  A new course was launched at Edith Cowan University which seemed tailor-made for me.

When I applied I didn’t really expect to be accepted because I had left school early in the mid-sixties and sat an entrance exam which I was sure I’d fluffed by going off at a tangent (as usual).

But no, to my continued amazement I was accepted and made my trepidatious way to class surrounded by clever youngsters, fully expecting to be left far behind.

The Return of Rainbows

Driving down Alexander,

(early morning rush hour)

lecture on documentary film.

Eager for knowledge, I noted

low, broad bands of color

spanning the sky above Uni.

Ignoring the grey clouds,

I welcomed the return

of rainbows to my life

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1999

2002Graduation Leonie & Sue

Friend Leonie and I at Graduation.

I got through, only with the uncompromising support and encouragement of  Honorary Professor of English at Edith Cowan University and Director of the University’s International Centre for Landscape and Language, Glen Phillips. 

His poetry has always connected with me and I buy as many of his books as my budget will allow, unfortunately I won’t be at the up-coming launch of this next (three ) books because I will be working elsewhere.  

In my last posting I referred to my Jacaranda carpet in my poem ‘Renovations’ directly inspired by a poem from one of Glen’s early books:

lovesongs

“Lovesongs/Lovescenes” by Glen Phillips

When my first book of poems ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ was published in Ireland, it proudly contained a Preface by Hon. Prof. Phillips:  ” A brief word by way of a preface to a unique book.  “ and concluded with “Sharing this book could change your days and I wish every reader a happy and rewarding time with it while congratulating Frances very warmly for the achievement.”

See what I mean?

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Reading Vinny’s blog  and his wonderful ‘Wind Chimes’ poem reminded me of a poem I wrote in 2002 when I found my life was suddenly turned upside down, down-under.

I had to pack up the house I’d lived in by myself for 28 years after divorce, while I explored the possibilities of returned love at the age of 52 and learnt to share my sacred space again.

It was not always easy but my reward was a love I didn’t know was possible.

450px-BlueJacarandaFlowers

Wiki Photo of Jacarandas.  I had planted one  to remind me of my Zambian home.

Renovations

house loud

full of colored voices

frequently gathered

while fancy-dressers

danced in yellow

.

purple walled

creative spaces

where words poured

like leaking taps

Bali knick-knacks

.

replaced by exercise

machines marching

across gym-lounge

to a new beat

sparse spare look

.

quiet everyman

wants resale

erasing all memories

of trees – too many

for the block

.

each shading the other

fighting for sun-space

whispering familiar songs

on the wind-chimed

Asian tinkling

.

mellow sunsets

through leaves

attractive natives

dragon flies

hand-long

banjo frogs

.

moaning

children at night

now disturbed

environment dusty

denuded earth rubble

.

on a bared land

eight pots

represent my effort

to scramble bits

hold onto my old home

.

garden spikes

colored leaves

rainbows fast

disappearing

like me

.

palms wave

goodbye fronds

like giant hands

Lillipilli twitters

dancing on bough

.

Jacaranda carpet

my regal path

to happiness

contained fields

of unruly daisies

.

white and purple

self-seeding

not needing input

this house face

lifted to halt age

.

contemporized

sold out

beige-d

like every other

me-erased

.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

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Two quick apologies…

12FebProfile

1.  Sorry for not posting for a couple of days – busy (obviously) with other stuff but must make a better effort to spend a few minutes posting something!

2. Sorry the sound on my recordings is very soft (apparently) so as soon as I’ve got time, I’ll re-record them with the volume up and see what you think.

One promise: I will do better for you.

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My niece Ashleigh’s visiting from Canada where she lives with her partner Will – a wonderful surprise! 

I’m very, very proud of her – she’s the ballerina I always wanted to be.

First steps at three followed by years of tutor-ledge by her devoted sister Tenille at West Coast Dance Company and finishing at the world-renowned WAAPA in Perth.  

Of course you never finish learning, so Ashleigh has honed her craft with many prestigious dance companies since.  

Her art has taken her all over the world on ships and stages in Sydney, LA, London, Edinburgh and more recently Victoria.  

Performing makes Ashleigh smile inside.

Ashers13yrOld

At The Beginning: Thirteen year old Ashleigh won Runner-up in the National Cecchetti Congress Awards, competing against 16 year olds.

Many (too many) years ago, when I was about the same age, I wrote this poem.  Not so long ago I read it at Ashleigh’s Ballet-teacher big sister Tenille’s 21st.

The Prima Ballerina

She lives in a world of fairy tales,

all fantasy, happiness & woe.

Floating across the stage in tulle,

fine silk or organza, softly

pirouettes through the mist

or dies upon the snow.

This is the world of the Ballet

– of the Prima Ballerina.

 

So lithe, so fine, so beautiful,

so graceful and serene,

On stage supremely untouchable,

yet so frail behind the scenes.

She’s the queen of the Corps de Ballet

– the star with the golden feet

dancing her way through Petrushka,

Swan Lake or The Nutcracker Suite.

 

The audience, transfixed with awe

watch silently, as in a dream,

for gripped by suspense and beauty

such as they’ve never seen,

they observe the scenery so real

– the superbly made costumes

but they eyes are fixed on the Bluebird

and all it’s fine blue plumbs.

 

And when the ballet is done

and encore after encore taken,

baskets and bouquets of flower dispensed…

There’s such a feeling of despair

and longing at the end of so much

un-forgettable enchantment.

.

Frances Macaulay Forde @ 1962

FlowersLargeBunchFullSmall

We all dream of dancing through life but few of us have the commitment and character to carry it through.

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08MayPCABAWMJDL2-ABaudienceA

Andrew Burke hosting Poet’s Corner, May 2008.

I’m shocked!  Andrew Burke has always seemed particularly inspired but wrote on a FB message to me that his writing “has stalled and needs a push start downhill, in gear – like in them good old days” ending with a smiley face.

It shocked and saddened me; I honestly can’t imagine that quick, witty, incisive brain NOT being inspired.  He’s always been such a  prolific poet  dabbling in many genres (even documentary inspiring and supporting others with his blog.

But first I got to wondering why…  As John Lennon once said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  A totally appropriate quote to use for Andrew because he’s an accomplished  writer, but very much a musician in his soul.

He even has a Wiki page!  (How do you get a Wiki page?)

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I also discovered an e-book ‘Blue Rose’ on Smashwords which I have just purchased for a measly $4.99 (!) and because Andrew has inspired me (once again) I’ve joined the site to explore the possibilities for my own words.  (Thanks, Andrew.)

Often as writers needing the head-space to write,  life overwhelms us with what we HAVE to do.

Be selfish sometimes and take a moment to do what you NEED to do, too… we’ll all be better for it.

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1

Apart from the name (although there’s no ‘e’…) when I saw he was a guest at the 2003 Cork International Short Story Festival, I booked my place to hear him read.  What a treat that was – both being in Ireland and being able to attend in person!  I learned a lot about short story construction and writing in general.  

Wish I could have attended the  Munster Literature Centre  – Cork Spring Poetry Festival last week too!

What a writer: Happy 70th Birthday  Richard Ford   (a very good interview).

Now to order his latest…

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