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1974: When we were young…

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

 

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11OctArtHibiscus1W

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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2005_0811Aug0019

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

klout-influence-matrix

The Family Recipe

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

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160319WorldPoetryDayW

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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160315ScissorsW

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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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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Artwork 2 of 4 from the ‘Play’ series, sketch in progress. 

Jessica McCallum © 2011

 

ELEPHANT WALK                                                                      

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.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2011

 Written to the art of Jessica McCallum for her 2011 Exhibition:  “All the pretty Ones Are… “

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #JessicaMcCallum  #ArtAsTheSpark  #AllThePrettyOnesAre  #AnimalArt  #ForTheLoveOf  #ElephantWalk  “ART:Play2  #Poem  #Poetry

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joondalup_railway_line#/media/File:Mitchell_Freeway_100_N_Stirling_Civic_with_train.jpg

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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Stephen Page

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