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I’ve been nominated for the Awesome blogger award by The Fluff Is Raging.  Thank you Niall McArdle.  Though not sure why…

http://www.westernaustralia-travellersguide.com/perth-australia-beach.html

Perhaps because I live 10 mins North of Hillarys Boat Harbour.

http://www.westernaustralia.com/au/Things_to_See_and_Do/Sun_Surf_and_Sea_Life/Pages/Beaches.aspx

Although I don’t like sand or surfing but spend hours in coffee shops gazing over the ocean at Mullaloo

I suspect, it’s because (like Niall) film and particularly Australian Films like The Sapphires  The Dressmaker  or  Red Dog are a passion of mine.

The Rules:

#1. Copy and paste the image with the rules.

#2. Share one thing that you thing that makes you truly awesome.

#3. Nominate other bloggers for the award. 

Perth Daily Photo

SOCIAL BRIDGE ~ Jean Tubridy connecting with you from Ireland

 

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jimmy mcgovern

 

https://cinemaaustralia.com.au/

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1974: When we were young…

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POEM:ReUnion #PoeticSounds  #ReadingPoetry  #ExploringPossbilities  #SketchingInIreland  #Love&Romance  #Poetry

 

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FMF Art © 2011

An extract from my next poetry collection: ‘Exploring Possibilities’.

 

Before you returned, I slept in a bed

without creases.  Only pulled up the sheets

to straighten.  Now I love my wrinkles. 

Today following signs to Yield in Ireland,

I’m used to an Aussie Give Way while 

I put on red lipstick, tell you stories

of Africa when we were both young

 

and watch my words seduce you again.

You remember  young Chianti; full

round ruby red, peppered with berries. 

I remember a Hotel in Kitwe – Blue Nun. 

You say your taste has matured, you now

prefer an Aussie Shiraz; sharp, punchy,

still youthful – allowed to ripen with time.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:ExploringPossibilties  #POEM:BeforeYou  #Poetry  #Writing  #BOOK:SketchingInIreland  #LovePoetry   #RomanticPoetry  #Love  #Romance

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Traveller

 

train conversations drift

snippets of gossip

electronic reassurance

folded into the seat

it’s safer to stare

at your own reflection

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003 

*1st Published in ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ Ireland 2003, MMB.

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:HiddenCapacity  #BOOK:RailTales  #Poetry  #TrainPoems

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Photo from cover of ‘Rail Tales’ 

PRIORITY SEATING No. 2

Young woman sits

while an old man stands.

She gazes through layers

of foundation.

 

Does it screen

the opposite wall?

Can’t she read the

  “Who are you fooling?”

 

Fake fur-collared jacket

and label shoes.

Large black leather bag

clutched to protect her

 

– it doesn’t – she’s mean!

The old man has turned

his neat and clean

but well-worn back

 

and solidly sways,

not expecting courtesy.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:RailTales  #POEM:PrioritySeatingNo2  #Poetry  #Communting  #TrainPoems  #RailPoems

 

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‘Water over Stone’ by Laura Jan Shore published by Interactive Press, Brisbane in 2011.

I have so many books, it’s time again to clear space for my new ones.  If I buy new shelves, it won’t solve the problem – I have a very small home. So.

Faced with such a hard job and before I give my copy to someone else to enjoy, just as my poetic friend and colleague Glen Phillips gave me this one, I hope to convince you to buy your own copy.

Opening stanza includes my favourite tree;  a Jacaranda:Leaning up against this gnarled tree,/bark shredded/and dangling like loose skin,/’ .

After 44 life-exposing pieces, I found the last poem didn’t seem to fit with the journey, but seemed to be included to placate someone else…

Personally, the book ended nicely for me just before the last with my favourite car, although not a car in this last stanza of  ‘Jaguar’:  ‘ …and the laws of balance snap/the tender neck/of my desolate/youth.’

But it’s all about the page 44 for me and the stand-out poem by Laura Jan Shore from ‘Water over Stone’.

Embracing The Wind

Whipped to a froth, surf

suds the shore.  

Wings churn as the crown, blown back,

surrenders and shifts course.

 

The echo of your words clatter

with dry leaves against stone.

The gum tree groans.  Parrots cuddle

three pairs in the banksia.

 

Air tangles my hair, clutches at

my clothes and like your strong hands

curved around my waist, shoves me

towards the rocky point.

 

Unresisting, I rush headlong

into swirls of sand

chafing my ankles like the harsh

intimacies of our long marriage,

grit between my teeth. 

 

Eyelids at half-mast, arms akimbo

my tousled thoughts

rinse clear.

 

This spring quickening

all biff and bluster

unfurls my ragged nerves.

 

None of the houses we’ve built

can shelter us from these gusts,

so unlatch the door and join me

in this great whoosh – 

 

see how the crow glides now,

wings outstretched

sustained by the wind?

 

Laura Jan Shore © 2011

(Laura’s latest books are available from Dangerously Poetic Press.)

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POET:GlenPhillips  #POET:LauraJanShore  #BOOK:WaterOverStone  #POEM:EmbracingTheWind   #Poetry  #GuestPoet  #MyBookshelf  #ShelfPoems

 

 

 

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From my inbox: a poem; agent advice on being an ‘Influencer’; the presence of food in writing.

Folcum Park

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The Family Recipe

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #PoetreeCreations  #FolcumPark   #SoutherlyJournal  #TheFamilyRecipe  #Poetry  #Writing  #FoodInWriting  #AgentAdvice  #Influencers

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Burns Beach – Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

Some may know I was the resident poet at a local cafe for 6 months as part of a program with Poetry Australia during 2013.  Going through my notes of meetings, I thought I’d share these.  I presume the married owners were in dispute about who was the boss:

30th May 2013:  THE POETRY READING.

After rushing around Joondalup frantically trying to source a small amp to use at the reading and $167 later, I was 10 minutes late for set-up with the advertised event due to happen in 20 minutes.  It was pouring and I looked like a drowned rat.  The hubbub in the cafe was loud because every customer was squashed into a small space with the heater turned up high.

As I lugged the amp and my bag of books etc in, I rushed to my usually reserved table to find it occupied.  “Good Morning, are you ladies here for the poetry?”

Frowns; “No.”

“Oh, OK, sorry – it’s just that’s usually my table but I see they’ve reserved this one for me.” and smiled.

I bend to my task of plugging in the amp and about to test the microphones (one for me and one for my guest poet, Rashida Murphy) when a sour faced woman approached (looking quite similar to one of the ladies at the 1st table).

“I am the owner and I don’t want my customers disturbed.”

“Sorry?”

“You can’t use that – I don’t want my customers disturbed.” pointing to the amp with a nasty smell under her nose.

“So you don’t want me to do the reading?  It’s been advertised for three weeks and this was all arranged…”

“I don’t want my customers disturbed.”

“OK, but a media statement went out and the newspapers mentioned they may attend.  I have no idea what they look like so if anyone asks would you mind apologising?”  I’m not really good at sarcasm.

I think that did it – and she walked away.

The atmosphere had changed and you could have cut it with a knife.  I’d never seen that ‘owner’ before and the wait staff who usually looked after me so well, were obviously feeling bad.  They knew how much time and effort I had put into the event, not to mention the advertising with brochures and posters.

The whole experience was to offer customers a chance to share their words as well – many had expressed real interest and said they secretly wrote poems.  I wanted to hear some, so was very disappointed.

I packed up the amplifier and made some frantic phone calls to say it was cancelled.  Thank goodness the international poet I had invited had been unavailable; I would have been mortified to have her arrive with my friend, the Professor of Language and Literature at Edith Cowan University – and both unable to read!

So, with my face bright red, I took a deep breath, did my usual and placed a poetry postcard on each table inside and out, smiled and chatted when customers expressed interest.

One chap outside greeted me with “Hello, Poetry Lady” and a big grin.   He said he’d been looking at my face for three weeks and seemed quite happy about it – not ‘disturbed’ at all!

I couldn’t get hold of Rashida in time, but she was good about the cancellation and we thoroughly enjoyed catching up and reading poems we’d worked on since our last chat.

7th June 2013 Update:

Yesterday although I was at Burns Beach Cafe, I was outside, distracted by photographing the waves crashing, so walked in a couple of minutes late. There stood the manager,  Lynda waiting to let me know there were two ladies waiting to see me – locals Maureen and Ginny.

They said they’d just completed a 6 – week poetry course at a near-by writers group and had heard about me from Maureen’s hairdresser who picked up one of my poetry postcards from the cafe. 

20 minutes into our poetic chat Maureen remarked ‘how much (she) had learned from me – already!’ We’d shared our work, critiqued a poem or two and did a short exercise which we promised to write and bring back to critique next week. 

Our session ended just short of two hours because they were off to attend a prose class. They’ve promised to come back next week and every week they can…

And they did, for the rest of my residence!  We even met each month for 6 months afterwards at Ginny’s house to talk about her book and Maureen’s play.

#FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BurnsBeachCafe

 

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My (current) ten favourite poems for World Poetry Day 2016:

  1. “Don’t make me fall in love again…” by Nan Witcomb © 1979, from ‘Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, The Thoughts of Nanushka, Vol I – VI’.  I discovered Nan in the early  80’s when I needed to find solace in words and simply beautiful illustrations.  Soaked with romance, this poem resonated – seemed to speak from my own heart.
  2. “The Dolly on the Dustcart”  by Pam Ayres © I’ve loved this poem since I first read it, even before I watched her perform it at the Perth Concert Hall in the early 90’s.  It was hard to choose just one of her poems (I have a few of her books) this one makes me smile with its many layers.
  3. “Fascination Waltz” by T.A.G. Hungerford © 2005 p. 223, ‘Whatever Happened to Joseph’, 1st pub by Jacobyte Books.  Tom most graciously allowed me to spend an afternoon with him, talking about his writing while a full Pages Cafe/Poets Corner audience listened to him reading his wonderful words.  He told us about this being his wife’s favourite, so Kevin Gillam kindly played the song on his double bass for Tom – I know he was touched.
  4. “Honey” by Gerry Murphy © 2002  P. 14, ‘Torso of an Ex-Girlfriend’, Dedalus Press.  I met Gerry whilst attending workshops at Munster Literature Centre in Cork, Ireland and instantly connected with his searingly honest, concise poetry.  No fluff. 🙂
  5. “As Autumn Leaves”  by Bee © 2014 on ABC Tales.  Such a close examination of feelings and beauty – micro writing, which like many well-woven words, has stayed with me.
  6. “Making Tracks” by Gregory O’Donohue © 2001, p.59, ‘Making Tracks’, Dedalus Press.  This man was an absolute inspiration.  He read and considered my work with great experience and knowledge, so every critique was harsh but helpful.  This poem is sad but then, he often seemed to be…
  7. “Wounded Leopard” by Harry Farrell © 1968 from ‘Copper Dust & Other Gleamings’, self-published in Northern Rhodesia.  I met Harry in Africa in 1971 and tried to buy a copy of his book but he had sold all he’d printed.  So he lent me one to copy, for my own enjoyment.  I still have and treasure the original, typed on an old Olivetti.  Africa comes alive for me, through his poetry.
  8. “Fifth of November” by Esther Morgan © 2001, from ‘Beyond Calling Distance’, Bloodaxe Books.  Glen Phillips introduced Esther to my class at Edith Cowan University and I’ve been a fan ever since.  She was good enough to edit a series of poems I wrote in Ireland, while based at UEA and editor of ‘Reactions’ New Poetry;  three journals of which I still read.
  9.  “Just for Raema” by Glen Phillips, © 2005.  This poem was sent to me privately.  It spoke to my heart of pain and loss – but never ’emptiness’.
  10. “No Bowl Of Cherries” by Silver Spun Sand  a.k.a. Christine Ann Chatworthy © 2012 on ABC Tales.  Seems a very suitable poem to end this list on… all about life and the cherries thrown at us.

I can’t believe how difficult it was to list just 10 favourite poems, I know there are so many more!

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde   #WorldPoetryDay2016   #NanWhitcomb  #PamAyres  #TAGHungerford  #GerryMurphy   #ABCTales:Bee  #GregoryO’Donohue  #HarryFarrell  #EstherMorgan  #GlenPhillips  #ABCTales:SilverSpunSand  #Begorrathon16   #Poems  #Poetry  #Word-weaving  #Top10FavPoems  #MunsterLiteratureCentre

 

 

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Has anyone else found scissors inspiring?  Never thought I would but as my favourite Professor said, the scissors chose me – I didn’t choose the scissors.  Very Zen.

To encourage you, here are the first & final versions of a poem written after 10 minutes of  Scissor contemplation & manipulation…

1st Version:

Cutting into my life.
Sharp edges that define.
Cruel severance.
Pointed.
Cold steel ‘ shiny, hard, distant.

Cream/grey plastic
warm, smooth, closer.

Why is?
Unnatural – closer?
Cut/pain ‘ endings,
Death/severance ‘ no going back.
No return ‘ finality.

Blades slicing together
teamwork ‘ severance.
Teamwork – blades;

actually touching.
Wiltshire Staysharp,
a warning of actuality;

‘THIS IS WHAT I AM’

engraved,
scoured into the hard steel,
un-erasable,
undeniable.

Circular pivot – the turning point;
the axis of action.

Inspired by these original words – I linked them to my (then, 2002) romantic dilemma: a man I loved 28 years before, contacted me on the net in 2002 – only I’d  sworn never to be fooled by love again!

Shear Love

You sever my reason,

shape my feelings with your

steely blades of perception.

 

You use the twin edges

of measured analysis

and practical application,

 

to rotate on my axis of impatience,

 

defining our new existence

with that swinging efficiency

of open – closed action. 

 

You manipulate me

with metal precision,

held in a warm moulded grip.

 

My paper reality

waiting for words

that define an Us.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2002

Here’s My Challenge: 

Get a group of writing friends together & tell them to bring something odd.  

If no friends willing, do it by yourself…  I still use this exercise to kick-start a writing session & have loads of bits and pieces on my study desk.

Pile the odds & ends in the centre of the table (or desk).  

With eyes closed, mix them up & hover a hand over them.  

Still keeping eyes closed, pick one thing & take 10 minutes to write about it.    

Please share your results in my comments – I’d love to read them.

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POEM:ShearLove  #Poetry  #PoetryChallengeNo1  #WorkshopWriting  #Writing  #Poems  #PoetryPostcards  #FMF:PoetryPostcards

 

 

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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