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0906PloughPrizeList

I was very proud to find my name, next to my poem ‘Left Field’ on the long list for The Plough Prize in 2007, discovered quite by accident years later.

So I can imagine how pleased Afric McGlinchey was, I’m sure just as thrilled, when her poem ‘A River of Familiars’ appeared in this year’s longlist.

I proudly own a copy of the E-book  “The Star of Hidden Things” published by Ireland’s foremost publisher of poetry; Salmon Poetry – a literal feast of magnificent word-obsession.

t_luckystar

Like Afric McGlinchey, I was raised in a kinder Africa where, I felt loved and accepted and totally enfolded in the arms of my melting-pot community.

Beautiful book of Photos available © Gregg Robinson

Her poems brought my African childhood back to me so clearly, I’m about to order her latest publication through Salmon Poetry; “Ghost of the Fisher Cat” which includes the Plough Prize longlisted poem, “A River of Familiars”.

ghostofthefishercat

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #PloughPoetryPrize  #POEM:LeftField   #AfricMcGlinchey  #SalmonPoetry  #ARiverOfFamiliars  #TheStarOfHiddenThings  #GhostOfTheFisherCat  #Africa  #Poems  #No1IrishPoetryPublisher #Begorrathon16 #IrishPoets

 

 

 

 

 

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https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tony-park/ivory/

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AUTHOR:TonyPark  #BOOK:Ivory  #Review:IVORY  #StopTheKilling    #Endangered  #Elephants  #WAWriters  #Africa

 

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150515HarryOwen

Harry Owen  on FaceBook today:  “If I can do this, anyone can! Please join in and help raise awareness for the rhino today. Thank you!”   

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde   @StopKillingRhino  #HarryOwen  #Africa  #Nature  #Rhino  #Elephant

 

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An old map of Zambia.

 

Journey from Victoria Falls to the Copperbelt.

They say that once you’ve crossed the Zambezi, you’ll always return.   

You’ll come back to this country, for its beauty you’ll yearn.

 

How many times has that theory been proven so true,

we’ve said goodbye to our friends, packed up and left you.

Only to come back in a few years time, to the river,

winding  its way through this country so fine.

 

The Victoria Falls with enormous gorges,

rushing water as if from a thousand rivers,

 rainbow of colours, the noise of the falls,

the excitement of watching those solid water walls.

Cruising down river on boats with game guards,

watching for hippos or crocs in their paths.

 

Sunsets on Lake Kariba as birds all rise

over game that runs free on either side

of a lake that’s so big it has waves like a sea…

Sundowners on the terrace looking over the water,

watching the sun’s death at seven and a quarter…

 

Driving through the escarpment, that range of hills forming a border

between two countries, a vital road link that’s little-used now

as they quarrel over things that don’t matter somehow.

 

Bowling along the road to Lusaka and the Copperbelt.

Across the Zambezi again, while the heat melts.

 

Arrive in Lusaka at lunchtime to see

the streams of traffic in that busy city,

then on through the maise fields and sugar cane,

up to Kabwe where it’s stacked ready for the trains.

A long empty stretch and you reach Kapiri

– if you blink a lot, you’ll miss it completely.

 

Straight flat roads to drive ‘til you’re bored.

The turn-off at Fisenge to get on the right road

and you’re on your way to Kitwe and the Rhokana Mine

– the Hub of the Copperbelt and a town that’s fine.

 

One of the largest and best-equipped mines around

where they hurl the copper-bearing ore up from the ground.

Under the surface, the tunnels are huge

– all white tiled and sparkling – nothing crude.

 

Perfectly safe for all the workers below,

stepping into the cages as they go,

down in the depths to seek the country’s life-blood.

Working long hours earning money to buy food

 

for their many children and wives,

who’ve gone without for most of their lives.

Now wages are better – conditions more fair,

good health and happiness no longer so rare.

 

Neat houses and gardens well-tended line the streets.

Lots of shady park benches where gossipers meet.

A way of life that can’t be compared; peace

and quiet, beauty in the sunshine, fresh air…

 

Days to laze and lots of time to contemplate

how good life can be, before it’s too late.

Relax, while you’re young, enjoy the sunshine and happiness of home

surrounded by friends you’re never alone.

 

Make a point of crossing our Zambezi River  sometime

– take a long, long holiday – come see this fabulous country of mine!

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1973

 

@FrancesMForde  #Nostalgia  #LovePoemAfrica  #Zambia  #NorthernRhodesia  #POEM:VicFallsCopperBelt

 

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13Jan12thPaudiesBdayORIG (2)

Original ‘Praying Hands’ Painting  by Rosa Niehaus © 1960’s

African Hands

I saw a picture the other day

of two hands clasped in prayer.

The story they told was the truth

about an old man from his youth.

 

The lines of worry were all there

with the happiness, love and despair.

With the death he had seen

of the friends that had been…

 

Showing the scars of war,

all the fights from before.

When he looks at his hands, does he see

how his future’s going to be?

 

A struggle before he dies?–

We should all have eternal lives!

He knows death must be near,

I wonder if he has any fear?

 

Frances Macaulay Forde @ 1973

The painting proudly on show in our lounge in Kitwe,  Zambia, for many years.

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POEM:AfricanHands  #poetry  #ArtAsTheSpark   #Africa

#ARTIST:RosaNiehaus  #ThesePrayingHands  #1968Notebook

 

 

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141024VicFallsExperience

“Buy experience, not things.”

Today, Zambia is celebrating 50 years of independence – 24th October 2014 and I can’t help singing to myself – her 1st President Kenneth Kaunda’s signature song: Tiyende Pamodzi :   “Let’s go together in harmony.”

1962KitweGirlsTennisTeam

I’m still torn between my idyllic childhood in the center of Africa, Northern Rhodesia now Zambia and Perth, Western Australia where I’ve been ever since leaving ‘home’.

elesmana_dickpitman

Mana Pools, Zambezi River.

They say, once you’ve crossed the mighty Zambezi River  you’ll always return. I haven’t yet. I keep in ‘touch’ though, with many friends who have or who also miss ‘home’ and enjoy sharing wonderful memories.

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2014 © Heather Chalcraft

Lowdown Magazine is written by Heather Chalcraft who takes amazing photos of Zambia now.  This is the Flamboyant or Flame Tree, the sight of which takes me back to Kitwe and Lusaka as quickly as Jacarandas do.

In fact, my man and I reunited on the Great North Road website after 28 years and have been married for 10, so I owe Zambia a great debt for a wonderful childhood, fantastic memories and now, my happiness.

 

Tiyende Pamodzi…

Your 50 Zambian years means I am 50 years older.

I was at school when you became independent

but your Independence triggered my own at 14.

 

Not wanting to repeat a year I had just finished,

I refused and found myself a job, instead. My

idyllic childhood safe in Mother Africa’s arms

 

meant we learnt young to be strong, resilient

finding our own way through the jungle.  Confident,

courageous and convinced of our immortality.

 

I blossomed in your sunshine and freedoms.

As pioneers we knew we could turn our hands

to whatever was required to get the job done.

 

And we did.  During the struggles, shortages

were a given but ever resourceful we shared,

surviving together.  The best lesson for life.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #Zambia50th    #Tiyende Pamodzi  #Africa  #Zambia  #NorthernRhodesia  #Poems  #Independence  #Freedom

 

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coming_from_realityCoverLrg

QUOTE:  “Rodriguez was the greatest ’70s US rock icon who never was. Momentarily hailed as the finest recording artist of his generation, he disappeared into oblivion – rising again from the ashes in a completely different context a continent away.”  SBS Television will show the much-lauded documentary on Sunday night at 8.30pm.

I grew up in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia and recognized a song in this documentary from my youth.   My husband was born in Durban, South Africa and played professionally in bands for many years in SA and Zambia.  He also recognized Rodriguez and his songs from Cape Town university days when the lyrics were a national anthem for youth in a rapidly changing South Africa, swamped in “Apartheid”.

QUOTE:  “In the mid-1970s, Rodriguez’s music gained airplay in Australia and New Zealand and he toured here finding limited success in the late 70s, returning in 1981 when Midnight Oil joined him for some shows.”   It’s been announced he’ll be  touring Australia  this year.

The Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugarman” is beautifully made with great respect and admiration for the undeniable talent of  Sixto Rodriguez – an homage to a counter-culture hero they thought had killed himself on stage.   It has many lessons…

Here’s the YouTube link to the full video with subtitles:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg60JmFhTMs&list=RDXg60JmFhTMs#t=8 

 

#francesmacaulayforde  #sugarman  #Rodriguez   #recordingartist  #southafrica  #apartheid  #rockicon  #northernrhodesia  #zambia

 

 

 

 

 

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140718Notebook1968 001w ??????????

In the light of terrible tragedy, my thoughts are with the families of passengers and crew of the Malaysian Airliner shot down today.

When will we learn to care about each other, again?

I thought I’d share a poem written when I was eighteen, in Africa and thinking of other wars many years ago.

It seems the world doesn’t change and we never learn…

ON MY SHELF

No-one knows me, no-one cares

as I lonely through my window stare.

Observing the world all by myself

Sitting alone on  my own little shelf.

 

I watch and judge the world and its ways

never taking part in it’s little plays.

Though some are bad and some are good

some of them I’ve never really understood.

 

Yes, I disagree with many moves

why can’t this world just learn to love ?

Do without wars and fighting – we should –

but somehow, do you think we ever could ?

 

The needless waste of human lives

The sorrow of a family that’s deprived

    (of their loved ones).

 

How unfair it seems that some should have

and others are left to scrimp and save.

How beautiful and rich some lands and

others consist only of sky and sand.

 

One day the world will right itself

while I sit, left alone on my shelf.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1968

#Frances Macaulay Forde

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INStudioPLAY

My daughter’s studio. #JessicaMcCallum © 2011

My daughter Jessica McCallum’s  3rd exhibition ‘All the Pretty Ones Are’  (all things Circus) was held in 2011 at the Heath Ledger Theatre foyer in the new and exciting State Theatre Centre.

I feel the poetry I wrote to the artworks of  that exhibition, was some of my best; particularly this one written from a childhood memory of the circus coming to our small town in Africa.  Although he was an Indian elephant –  African elephants can’t be tamed and I love them more, for that.

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is a call for a world-wide response to the continued senseless cruelty – the terrible things happening to these beautiful, wise, gentle creatures.

Just weeks ago what’s said to be the largest bull elephant in Africa; Satao of Tsavo in Kenya had his face hacked off for his magnificent tusks!

All this information is thanks to  Harry Owen on Facebook:  I’ve  mentioned before, his book to raise funds for the cause of saving Rhino’s and can’t wait for my copy…

Meanwhile  I thought I’d share another of my poems from that exhibition.

play2inprogress

Artwork 2 of 4 from the ‘Play’ series, sketch in progress. #JessicaMcCallum © 2011

 

When I was a child

I remember thinking

that chain around

the elephant’s leg

wasn’t strong enough.

 

Elephants are tough!

 

If he wanted, he

could free himself just

by lifting that mighty foot

shaking the metal loose

and walking away…

 

Why does he stay?

 

No-one could stop him

If he chose to go, take

his own path. No more

performance on command

– he could find some green.

 

Walk through jungles again!

 

Elephants are tough so

why does he stay, stroll

through sawdust, put up

with that lady who leans

into his ear, whispering…

 

It’s because he loves her.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde   #JessicaMcCallumArtist  #AllThePrettyOnesAreExhib  #HarryOwen  #GlobalMarchForElephantsAndRhinos  #SataoOfTsavo

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‘Inspiration’ was written earlier but appears on Page 1 of my book  ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’  © 2000.

So I’m speaking here, directly from my heart, remembering my childhood in Africa and the struggles of my dearest Mum and Dad who died many years ago, who would have been so proud to see my words in print.

I’ve arrived at a time in my life where I’ve finally allowed myself to be utterly selfish.

My children had grown after my divorce into balanced, well-educated adults living their own lives, so I took myself to university.

It was my time to put myself first, my needs first, my dreams, soul and heart first, to follow my bliss.

I finally published the book in Ireland for them and for my brothers, children and extended family, just as much as for myself.

02bedroom

My bedroom © 2000

Inspiration 

Why do I now prefer writing in my bedroom when I have a perfectly good study – a space cleared for thought?

I feel inspired to dream while I’m awake in here – not there.

Is it because I’ve just coated the room and everything in it a lilac pink?

Is that the colour of my inspiration?

Or does it illicit forgotten memories from my childhood?

The baby-pink bedroom of my spoiled youth, the dear faces of my parents still missed after so many years.

I’ve been through so many colours since then.

But perhaps I need to visit them once again, in my imagination.

Maybe this shade is my mood-connection to the past.

I’m alone now, responsible for the world I live in and my painted walls.

Or could it be something to do with the womb – a protective colour – a safe haven for my dreams.  

Help that I need in a harsh world, often too over-whelming for someone totally unprepared or never expecting to be the ‘Bottom Line’.

This softness, which evokes feelings and comfort, allows my mind to wander and explore, knowing I’m enclosed and private, separated from others who see too much.

Or is it the large mirror with its elaborate edge reflecting my thoughts surrounded by soft, gentle, allowing colour? 

I look at myself in the frame and from the ‘truth’ of distance – an inner truth?

Is that what empowers my exposure?

Is distance enabling me to write such secret, forgotten feelings in my journal?

My teenage bedroom was a similar pink – total colour – enshrining girlishness and innocence… protection, before adulthood and reality hit me.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000

#francesmacaulayforde  #HiddenCapacity  #Inspiration

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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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