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Archive for March, 2014

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Photo: G.Forde © 2014

My very clever brother has written some more music to his  videos of  Kangaroos Boxing  in the early morning,  taken at a nearby park and blogged on  Perth Daily Photo.

Western Australia has preserved ‘green belts’ so kangaroos (and other fauna) can roam from one feeding ground to another.

Those areas usually include a lake, providing natural habitats for our native flora and fauna – particularly in my region near Yellagonga Regional Park.  (Also the subject of a Picture Book I’m working on.)

We’re used to seeing kangaroos around but know not to go near as they are deceptively cute and can be very dangerous.

Those strong back legs are used to rip open the stomach of their opponent while they rest on that ‘third leg’ – their extremely strong tail!

Driving from the city, just before turning off the freeway for home at sunset, we often see a ‘mob’ feeding near the access tracks on the left.

While studying at University I sometimes attended lectures at our local ECU campus here in Joondalup which also was regularly visited by a local ‘mob’.

 

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 RRCockatooChorus

Artwork: Jessica McCallum © 2000

Although actually written at university and included in my chapbook  ‘Return of Rainbows’, this poem was first published in ‘Peace & Freedom’ Magazine,  in London, 2001 with my daughter’s artwork.

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos  are a highly endangered species of native birds only found in Western Australia.  Because of us, these noisy birds who possibly mate for life and can live 40 – 50 years, are in great danger.

Later the poem was included in my first book  ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’  published in Cork, Ireland in 2003.

COCKATOO CHORUS

“We’ll meet in the eucalypts down by the lake.

Discussion is needed – you have to partake!”

Black clouds flew from the oval, park and golf club

to raucously weigh down trees out in the scrub.

“Juicy larvae and insects prove harder to find

all the spraying and logging – ground being mined

has taken our homes, our gathering sites.

Together, in numbers we’ll fly up for our rights.”

.

From once sacred ground now suburbs, they flew.

From gum-tree nesting hollows, so precious and few

hundreds gathered early, in loud morning debate –

the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo parrot’s fate.

Discussed at great length in the eucalypt trees

for young; less food, meant less ability to feed.

“Stop clearing, spraying – playing with our lives!

If we die, what hope have you got, to survive?”

.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000

Peace & Freedom Mag'CockatooChorus' 001

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Totally star-struck while Alexander McCall Smith signs my books.

 

Last Thursday at the Octagon Theatre in the University of Western Australia, I spent a most-enjoyable hour giggling as a master storyteller regaled us with quick peeks into his world.

As a HUGE fan who had the affectionate nick-name ‘Susie Matwetwe’ when I lived in Africa, I remain in awe of  Alexander McCall Smith; his energy, his easy characterizations and perfect stories…

I love his Botswana stories and find his list of publications absolutely inspiring – he only came to fiction in 1998 and has not stopped producing delightful stories since.

Presented with so many of his wonderful words lined up in boxes in the foyer,  it was very difficult to decide what to buy.

He generously signed two books for me.  The queue was so long, I was grateful I’d lined up quickly and was in the first 20.  (I think every one of us wanted a quiet moment with the master.)

My first purchase that night was  “44 Scotland Street” .  I’ve heard such lovely things about this series and although I haven’t finished reading all 15 of the “No I Ladies Detective Agency series, I’m looking forward to plunging into this one.

The other is “Trains and Lovers ~ The Heart’s journey”.    Although my copy’s cover is different from the one shown on his website, how could I resist reading this one when my I had written my own  ‘Rail Tales’ from the same ‘platform’.

When it was my turn – actually came face to face; I smiled and said, “How are you?”  I know, such an inane thing to say – but I was in awe!

I did recover and ask the question I had wanted to ask in the Q & A after his talk:  ‘What about a new TV Series?’

I loved the TV Series Anthony Minghella produced, co-wrote with Alexander and other wonderful writers, and naturally directed with such affection, beautifully.

I’ve always been a fan of Minghella’s ‘big’ films, starting with ‘The English Patient’ – he directed so many.  He “used expansive tastes in literature and a deep visual vocabulary to make lush films with complicated themes that found both audiences and accolades. “   His films were so layered, he  “used a careful eye for cultural and historical detail”  and he brought all that to the TV Series.  (Quotes from: New York Times.)

Although it will be difficult to find someone who can ‘read’ the characters and the location so well, I’m hoping one is found, soon.

 

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Hyde Park in February… too hot to be out of the shade.

I’ve just found this beautiful poem on ABC Tales , so when you have a moment indulge yourself.

As a fan of the site for many years, I’ve benefited greatly from comments, encouragement and the sheer joy of reading wonderful words from writers I wouldn’t have read otherwise.

The very first item I posted was on the 15th March 2006 was a short story ‘Write to Romance’.   (I’ve posted loads of poems and stories on ABC Tales since.)

That story has since been read by 874 people (blows my mind!) and earned a ‘Cherry’ from the editors – such a huge boost in confidence.

So I recommend, anyone with stories or poems to share, join this fabulous FREE site and see what others think of your words but importantly,  receive some very constructive feedback from talented and experienced others.

Such a safe and nurturing environment is rare on the net.  I’m often inspired by what I read on there so I’m about to post this poem posted on here  in February, in response to ‘Bee’ and her poem ‘As Autumn Leaves’.

 

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Although it’s Autumn here in Western Australia, so many of my readers in the Northern Hemisphere, are enjoying the first flush of Spring, enjoying the gorgeous flowerings of a new season.

Hopefully you’ll find lots of moments to be outside in the glorious sunshine.  

Thought I’d share one of my ‘Spring’ poems and a couple of my photos of our WA Wildflowers

Western Australia is the only place you’ll find different species of Blue  flowers growing in the wild.

2005_0923JamOpenDay0011w


Photo taken in Australian Spring,
our wildflower season, September. © 2014

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WA Wildflowers: Everlastings © 2014

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WA Wildflower: ‘Onion Weed’ © 2014

Painting Spring

Fluffy yellow balls appear

near long thin leaves

signaling an Aussie spring.

Jacarandas show specks

of green – soon purple petals

will carpet my patio floor.

Orchid-like the humble

Onion Weed reveals its

stubborn beauty

Forest search for Harden

bergia – purple creeper

where blue wrens flit.

No wonder I’m drawn

to spiky leaf and wild

flowers Everlastings.

Frances Macaulay Forde ~ 2014

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Today, Friday, 21st March 2014 has officially been declared ‘World Poetry Day’.

So where does poetry ‘sit’ in your life and what is your idea of poetry?

Poetry is my way of ordering an idea or response, by moving it out of my head in as few words as possible, to clarify ~ writing the spine of what comes next.

It may stay as a poem, or become a short story, a script for a play or the screen or novel, perhaps even spawn more poems… but poetry is always the key.

Poetry is communicating clearly a strong emotion within me, which combined with the use of metaphor, I hope will find an echo when others read my efforts.

So I thought I’d share my reply to a fun poem Professor Glen Phillips sent and my responding poem (with permission, of course):

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Glen Phillips reading a poem at Poets Corner, Perth Cultural Centre, 2005.

BUT BLONDES PREFER DIAMONDS

(or, Lesson No. 64)

If you think ‘a diamond is forever’,

as advertisements used to say,

(and you’re beautiful) grab whatever

lovely hot rocks come your way!

 

And why not? Centuries of avid men

seeking to turn the head of a cooling lover

resort to this old stratagem well-proven—

how to raise the stakes, get back in clover.

 

So down to the hockshop, make a grand

by selling heirlooms (or grandma’s wheelchair)

and then hare it to the gem store, with hand

on heart, plead a done deal for a big solitaire.

 

Gentlemen prefer blondes, but blondes prefer

rocks and preferably bigger and with more sparks

than those in the eyes of he who would woo her.

You good boys, listen, how to get top marks!

 

Glen Phillips ©  July, 2007.

and my response:

2005_0914PoetsCorner14th0057a

Frances Macaulay Forde reading a poem at Poets Corner, Perth Cultural Centre, 2005.

Lesson No 65

See, diamonds are hard

as everyone knows,

a girl must have metal

for this century’s woes.

 

Getting her rocks off

whether blond, red or brunette

no faking, no waiting – Helen,

woman hasn’t peaked yet.

 

While gentlemen play with image

cream blondes, brunettes achieve.

Red wears stainless steel bands

inscribed with ‘We must believe!’

 

Don’t strive for tabloid wants

look past the surface bling,

there’s more to a woman

tho’ the sparkle is tempting…

 

Frances Macaulay Forde  © 2007

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‘Sleepy’ Perth has been awoken by the presence of the mighty Rolling Stones although sadly their first Australian concert for many years has to be postponed.

My heart goes out to Mick and all who loved and knew his best friend, L’Wren Scott.

While the band members deal with the change in plans, they’ve been forced to keep their tongue logo parked on the tarmac at Perth Airport.

Last night, drummer Charlie Watts found an outlet for his musical talents at one of our best known secrets; the Ellington Jazz Club.

I’ve very sure the capacity crowd of 135 will dine out on their impromptu concert for many years to come.

My niece Aimee has long been a fan of the club and although many of the family have enjoyed the Jazz, we’ve not got there yet.

pcband10

Muther’s Convention playing in Zambia, 1971 – Hubby on the left.

So ex-musician hubby and I were discussing our misfortune in not choosing to go, when he told me about his two claims to fame; acting as local tour guides and helping ferry instruments etc when ‘The Casuals’ visited Zambia in about 1971 and his band ‘Muther’s Convention’ playing as support for ‘The Equals’ on their Zambian tour a year later.

I didn’t recognize the names immediately so good old Google came to the rescue and ‘Voila!’  I’m instantly transported with the sound of one of my all-time favorite songs “Jesamine”  by the Casuals.

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