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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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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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Wise words from MLC’s Patrick Cotter – one of the best festival organisers in the writing world: 

How to Put on a Poetry Festival: Patrick Cotter on the Cork International Poetry Festival 2016

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #MLCPoets  #MunsterLitCentre  #CorkPoets  #PatrickCotter  #IrishWriting  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #IrishPoetry  #CorkInternationalFestival   #GO’DPoetryComp

 

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Munster Literature Centre puts their journal “Southword” on-line – treat yourself to some excellent poetry and short stories…

 

http://www.munsterlit.ie/Southword/Issues/29/contents.html

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #MLCPoets  #MunsterLitCentre  #CorkPoets  #GerryMurphy  #AfricMcGlinchey #IrishWriting  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #IrishPoetry

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My friend Jessie Lendennie, the founder (31 years ago) and editor of Salmon Poetry – Ireland’s premier poetry press:

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #SalmonPoetry  #SalmonPress  #JessieLendennie  #IrelandsPremierPoetryPress  #PremierPoetryPress  #IrishPoetry  #Poetry

 

 

 

 

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140320AlexMcCallSmith

20th March 2014 ~ AMcCS entertained us at UWA, in Perth.

Alexander McCall Smith posted a note on Facebook to his fans today and I’d like to quote the last bit:

QUOTE:  May I conclude with lines from a poem I wrote some time ago. I have included it in a small pamphlet I published this Christmas, “The Heart of Each of Us”. It talks about love and about Agape, that form of selfless love of others that is so strong and so important. Here are the lines:

“What we lose, we think we lose forever,
But we are wrong about this: think of love –
Love is lost, we think it gone,
But it returns, often when least expected,
Forgives us our lack of attention, our failure of faith,
Our cold indifference; forgives us all this, and more;
Returns and says, “I was always there”.
Love, agape, whispers: “Merely remember me,
Don’t think I’ve gone away forever;
I am still here. With you. My power undimmed,
See, I am here.”

Happy Christmas!

Alexander McCall Smith : UNQUOTE

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AlexanderMcCallSmith  #LovePoem  #MerryChristmas  #FavWriters  #Poetry

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