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Archive for the ‘Rail Tales’ Category

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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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Mitchell Freeway photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The train I catch to the city rides on a railway line between the North and South lanes of the Mitchell Freeway.  I loved gazing at the cars streaming on their way to or from work.  Comfortable in the air-conditioned, clean and very fast, with someone-else-driving carriage, I filled my notebooks as other commuters wondered what I was saying about them.

Short stories and poems written on my train journeys between Edgewater Station and Perth City, appeared in my book  Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey  and later  separately, in my Rail Tales chapbook. (Both books are sold out.)

Trips into Town.

However, there is a game I play on my way to work. Wearing my HBF corporate uniform, another day of routine smiles and customer queries beckons.

When the no-name monotony gets too much, I shrug off that persona and step into my imagination.

On the most normal and usual of journeys to and from work, strange things happen because I wear the seahorse broach my son gave me for my birthday. It seems that when I touch it, caress it, the cold metal seems to warm.

I can actually feel his love, the time he took to find exactly the right broach, the money he saved and his joy when I opened the wrapping, laughing and smiling with obvious delight.

A different me seemed to take over: moveable me, a nebulous entity able to drift like an invisible tide on air thick with wanting. I could change my life – become someone else by feeling envy or wishing for what others seemed to have…

Though the first time it happened, I was terrified.

Work at the Bank held no attraction that day.  In fact, I had finished up the previous day out of balance, fully expecting my pretentious I-play-the-game supervisor to take me to task.  Not a workday to look forward to.

So with the announcement “Next station Perth”, I was focusing my energies on someone who seems to have it all.

As we squealed into the Leederville Tunnel, the lights flickered then dimmed. I don’t know why but in that fraction of black, a thrill of anticipation ran through me.

The last person I concentrated on wore a lot of good jewellery, expensive clothes, bag and shoes.  She was attractive, with immaculate nails.  When the lights burned fully again, I was wearing the expensive clothes, lots of jewellery and immaculate nails. I had shed myself, metamorphosed into this perfect being.

What next?

Unlimited credit cards, meeting a friend for lunch on The Terrace, more shopping – check out the bank account and then, pop into the Italian jewellery for a new bracelet. I would of course decline dinner at the Hyatt because I have to get back to feed my cat.

Do I still have a cat?  Who’ll feed Soxies?

This dream couldn’t last and I had to try to return to my own skin but first, I had to find myself.  A creature of habit, I make sure I get the same train every night, waiting in the usual place on Platform 2 with sore feet and tired stance.

Just managing to board before the doors swished shut, I gratefully sat down. As the carriage pulled away from the station, I placed ‘her’ handbag between my feet.

We swayed to the left and the lights flickered then dimmed. There’s the fraction of black again and I concentrated, staring at ‘myself’ two seats away, firmly clutching Angela’s purchases.

It couldn’t really happen. My family would wonder how I managed to acquire such gorgeous clothes and new jewellery on my wage. They’d think I had a secret admirer and why weren’t they told?

They don’t know about the games I play to relieve the boredom. 

It’s all in my head of course…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:HiddenCapacity  #BOOK:RailTales  #Prose&Poetry  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #TrainStories  #RidingTheRails  #TrainWriting  #TrainStories

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Well loyal readers, I’ve taken the plunge and opened up not one, but two ETSY shops; one to sell my BOOKS and one for my much loved SOFT TOYS.

I’m busy working on a little SOFTIE Elf and a SOFTIE Santa to make available in time for the holidays.

So if you’d like something made for someone special, please make sure you order before 15th November to get your purchases in time for Christmas.

I’ve updated my Books for Sale and offer two poetry chapbooks and a children’s story:

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& created a new page full of adorable Softies – unique gifts for special people: Soft Toys for Sale.

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@FrancesMForde   @FrancesMacForde   @francesMF   @SoopsSofties   @FrancesMacaulayForde  #FrancesETSY  #ETSY:SoopsSofties  #ETSY:FMF   #SoftToys  #Christmas  #HandmadeGifts  #UniqueGifts  #BooksForSale  #BOOK:Santa’sSwim  #SantaBooks  #SantaStory  #ChristmasStory

 

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Jean, through her Social Bridge blog, has inspired this posting by asking to see a version of down town.  It’s hard to get me out of the bat cave as I don’t often venture into town if I can avoid it, but when I do it’s usually for a meeting at the cultural centre, so straight to that carpark and up the lift to the meeting rooms.  I don’t dilly dally.  Not good with large crowds.

The Bat Cave.

My down town couldn’t be more different to Jean’s, so to give you some idea; I live in the (near) northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, 29.5km from the city which takes 26 minutes by very fast train.  (When I choose to drive often the train overtakes me while I do the speed limit of 100k – the train, it seems, has no such limit.)   

When I was studying for my degree between 1998 and 2001, I frequently used the train to go from home to Mt Lawley and WAAPA or ECU Campus.  I kept a notebook of poems and prose, ‘Rail Tales’ was re-printed in 2012

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“Rail Tales” re-published chapbook, 2012

 

I did do a ‘Coming home, 2003’  blog entry with lots of photos of the car trip, taken when we returned from Ireland.

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Ocean Reef Road leading to the sea, 5 min from where I live.

I recently Re-Blogged a post about our city which has amazing photos of the buildings; “Perth, is that you?”

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From the blog entry “Perth, is that you?’

Everyone drives a car here, it’s necessary because there are distances involved in going anywhere.

Two Rocks is an outer suburb at the northern edge of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia, Australia, located 61 kilometres north of the city’s central business district.”

My hubby does most of the shopping because we run a small food production business (registered) from home and I hate shopping.  If I go when I’m hungry, I buy all the worst goodies; so best I don’t go and I hate shopping for clothes.  I’m a maker, so my favourite shops are also within 5min (Spotlight) and 9min (Office Works) respectively.

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Coat made for a recent wedding.

As I mentioned, I very seldom go down town.  We have wonderful shopping centres near us ranging from HUGE (Whitfords City, Lakeside, Joondalup just one train stop away North or South, or 5 -10 mins by car) to smaller local shops with a large supermarket plus more than 20 retail outlets including hairdressers, chemist and post office plus the obligatory fast food outlets, within walking distance of home.

However, I do often drive down south (skirting the city) to visit my children and grandchildren; a trip of 50.2km there and another 50.2km home again.  The city boundaries extend about the same distance down south.  This map shows the Transperth Zones where my children live in Zone 3 to give you an idea of the distances.

Depending on the time of day the trip can take anything from 42min to more than 60 min  each way on our freeway, so I usually leave at home 10am and get back before 3.30pm.

Always worth doing; my grandies are (naturally) adorable and because it’s cold and wintery at the moment, I’m busy making beanies for them in various colours.  Of course, that means lots of trips to Spotlight for more wool and perhaps some more material for dresses, dollies etc…

What are you focussed on – right now?

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@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:RailTales  #DownTown  #PerthCity  #TwoRocks  #NorthernSuburbs

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Avail. ‘For Sale’.

 

Melissa

Another routine journey before ‘vibrate’ became the norm.

Muffled music begins and everyone near searches in pockets and pouches for their mobiles. Melissa speaks loudly and I observe.

So busy performing, she appears to ski over life!

What people wear and what they say seem more important than any action.

Melissa looks sixteen, but is probably twenty-odd. Her eyes hold age, but not on first impression, you have to look deeply.

She is the sort who falls madly and passionately in love with the best looking guys who orbit her world. But it never lasts.

The falling ~ the flirting ~ the first act of sex…  The games, are enough.

She doesn’t really like sex, but knows how to use it, anything after that pales, and Melissa exits without even a backward glance.

Sometimes, she’ll tell them, sometimes not. Often left wondering what they’ve done wrong they’ll question, “Was it my performance?”

The world is slowly becoming populated by good-looking, emasculated guys asking each other “Why?”

Melissa flits happily between her trendy unit in Scarborough Daddy pays for, the city where Mum lets her use her own Gold Visa card and University; a playground of fresh meat every new semester.

Swapping courses frequently, she dabbles in a little bit of every discipline, not concerned with marks, just passing to keep the coffers open.

Melissa has no intention of finishing anything but wants to stay in her young world. She doesn’t intend changing her life and enjoys being looked after.

Daddy’s little Princess.

She has no ambition other than to decorate her reality and be seen and heard in all the right places.

For most people, it’s easier to let her have her own way – her tantrums are awesome.

Because she demands it, she always gets exactly what she wants!

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:RailTales   #ObservationsOnATrain  #PeopleWatching

 

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I’ll admit it – I’m hooked on KINDLE at the moment.  It is so easy to put writing you’ve wanted to share for years, up in a KINDLE book and let the world judge it.

I’ve signed up for the Lending Library as well, so people can just borrow the book for a short time, read it and hopefully purchase their own copy – or not.

I still get a fee… so if you feel like reading some short poems about falling in love at my age, I’ve just uploaded another chapbook called appropriately ‘Love’.

I’m also working on “The Return of Rainbows” poems written while a mature-age student at University and some short stories which I hope someone will enjoy.

When I’ve put those two new books up on KINDLE, I am going to attempt converting my children’s book “Santa’s Swim” on there too, so watch this space.

Meantime, buy or lend my latest KINDLE  “Love” or “Rail Tales” but remember I have a few printed copies left, which you can purchase directly from me.

Before you…

… I slept in a bed

without creases

only pulled up

the sheet to straighten

smooth – no effort at all

ready for the next dreamtime

now I love my wrinkles…

ReUnion

stepping softly

you trod the path

to my front door

never rang the bell

played favourite songs

over and over until

senses on overload

surrounded by romance

you kissed me quick

heart pumped electric

singing over barriers

erected years ago

against pain and hurt

welcomed as veins

formed highways

joined the chorus

zinging with heat

barely contained

thrumming melody

words all ready

rhymed with roses

thorns ignored

fresh and bloody

us young again

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#francesmacaulayforde #mcalpinebellpublishing #RailTalesBOOK  #LoveBOOK

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