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keep_by_jezebelle

 ‘KEEP’

 

It takes all my strength to pull this life to me,

To claw and tear my way from one day to another

Not counting, just tearing one more here in the glow

of the sun suffocated by rays of light and warmth

holding tight to ties that bind. I want to keep

these precious feelings and bask in your love forever.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

Written to the artwork of Jessica McCallum entitled ‘Keep’ and exhibited in 2009 during the ‘JM Exhibition’, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, Western Australia.

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #JessicaMcCallum  #ARTIST:JessicaMcCallum  #POEM:Keep

#ART:JMExhibition  #ArtAsTheSpark  #Art&Poetry  #Poetry

 

 

 

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Midleton Main St2

In Ireland with my newly returned love we lived in Midleton, a little village 25 km from Cork City.

He enjoyed showing me around his home of only a few years – but the new home of his heart.

Chatting about the ‘mysteries’ of writing poetry, we’d driven into Robinson’s Tyres yard, littered with used product.

I’d just finished saying I never suffered from writers block and could do a poem about anything.  He pointed and challenged me to write about ‘Those’.

So while he organised for a change of Tyre, I wrote about them:

 

Smooth Skin

 

Off Old Cork road, turning into Midleton

stacks of life-saving re-treads have Buckley’s

chance of reliving their youth. Discarded tyres

 

lay stop-piled high; like Auschwitz bodies

deflated, black, aged-old wheel-rings have

reached the end and their final journey.

 

Unlined rubber circles, low profile cushions

await disposal; melting erasure – incineration.

Their job is complete – no longer needed.

 

The largest lay prepared, neatly size-stacked,

ready and resigned, proudly age un-marked

claiming their fair share of the dumping ground.

 

Smaller circles know their place, are thrown

haphazardly because they’ve lost their grip;

swallowed by take-over tyrants, larger than they are.

 

Tractor workhorses are content to rest, miles-tired,

worn out, knowing they don’t count because the speedy

don’t care – don’t notice how many lines are missing.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

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what are you thinking

where are you looking

not at me

why?

 

the times

insecure

scared

private

secrets held

hands grasp bags

pats wallet

life blood exists

reassurance

 

woman in track-pants

yakka green

hunt food

nylon jackets

eat and walk

forget manners

quickly – no time

lighter

hidden puffs

blurred singing

sadness

plastic rustles

stumble

life wins the battle

shame bottle

 

executive black

cash freedom

uniform success

yellow jewelry

sustained work

blood money

 

comfortable shoes

mushy cardies

link arms

coats in sunshine

meander

disregard fashion

first eye contact

traditional warmth

traveling through life

together

relaxed touch

 

look into my eyes

I exist

I breathe

friendship

I’m secure

the day is shining

I give

look at me

I’m whole

I’m here

where are you going?

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000 

* Published in ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ Ireland 2003.

 

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KINDLE edition #francesmacaulayforde

 

Well, that’s it – I’ve just published my first KINDLE book on Amazon of a previously printed  “Rail Tales ~ notes from the Currumbine Line”  and naturally, had to buy the first copy.

“Poetry and stories written while travelling on the Currumbine Line between the City of Perth and the Northern Suburbs in Western Australia.”    

It’s live and available right now so I’m pretty pleased.  (It certainly wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but I managed.)

Here’s another of my favorite short poems from the book:

 

Rail Trail

parallel bars ride the sand

silver bullet steered by hand

expressed in kilometre-d speed

human flotsam to concrete greed

 

 

…and a (very, very) short story I hope you’ll smile at, remembering I was riding the rails when I wrote it.

 

The Great Escape.

Head back, eyes closed. I savor the cool, quiet efficiency of train travel.

I’m alone on this journey.  It is obviously not a popular time to commute.

Silence.  Then a scuffle, a soft knock below me and to the left, makes me

open my eyes. There it is again.  Are there mice on this train?  

It sounds like old crackle-y paper. Rounded, moving haphazardly

in all directions.

I hope the security video can’t see me climb onto the seat. 

Where is it? More importantly – what is it?

Feeling foolish, I gingerly step down. Then cautiously kneel and bend over,

eyes level to the carpet, bum up. 

Oh, it’s O.K. Panic over. Breathe again.

It’s only an onion, enjoying the freedom of riding on the train. 

Do you think it’s got a ticket?

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#BOOKRailTales   #FrancesMacaulayForde

#McAlpineBellPublishing

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RRPauline

‘Pauline’: Jessica McCallum 2002 #jessicamccallum #francesmacaulayforde

Call Waiting

 

I killed you!

I took away your power to insult.

Never again will your strident, insistent beeping
intrude on intimacies between friends.

No. I struck you off.

I pressed the buttons that devoured you.

I ended your reign of terror.

Then Pauline rang
‘A new baby? Wond….’

Beep – Beep!  Beep – Beep!

You didn’t die!

From happy jubilation
brain switches,
buttons pressed,
retreating  “Call me back.”

I lost the war.

I don’t blame Pauline.

Rudeness is forgiven under pressure
from the mighty  “I wonder who it is?”

Someday I’ll explain
and  continue my campaign
for courtesy.

I died a little.

Aren’t I important too?

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2002

(Another from my book  “Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey”. )

#HiddenCapacity   #francesmacaulayforde

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Cover 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's journey'

Cover ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ #francesmacaulayforde  #HiddenCapacity

One from my book:  ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poets journey’, Pub. 2003, Ireland.

 

My Car                                                                                    

 

Red used to be my favourite colour.

I’d just get Tinkerbell (my 1983 Mitsubishi Colt)

cruising nicely at sixty kilometres an hour

then red.

I’d have to slow down.

Pump the brakes.

Change gears gingerly in case her clutch drops out….

An old girl now, she needs TLC…

takes her time to build up speed,

then I see red. (Or orange.)

Bugger!

But, once she’s there (sixty K.’s) she sings like a bird.

I think it reminds her of her youth.

I’ve tried dressing her up (covering the rust).

The silvers don’t match and I know she feels the shame.

The petrol pump makes her feel better.

Once I insert that nozzle,

she almost smiles.

Her seat greets me tenderly

and we smoothly swing away,

high on fumes.

Yesterday,

a young man washed her windows.

She sparkled and purred.

Yes. Red used to be my favourite colour.

Now mottled shades of silver have loyal appeal!

 

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#HiddenCapacity #francesmacaulayforde

 

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I love how sometimes a poem ends up taking you to all sorts of places you don’t expect.

0912DanceSeries

‘Dance’ by Jessica McCallum at His Majesty’s Theatre, 2009. #jessicamcallumartist

My poem “My Life as a Sari” has appeared alongside beautiful artworks.

image001

POETRY POSTCARD available from Jessica McCallum

An excerpt published on a postcard.

09Iindigovolumne3

#IndigoJournal

And published in the INDIGO JOURNAL of West Australian Writing, Vol 3 published by INDIGO books and received lovely comments.

Fremantle Press have recently become on-line partners with the original publishers of the journals and have always been tremendous supporters of those who write in Western Australia, quietly promoting and encouraging new, emerging and established writers by putting their money where their mouth is.

As a result of my inclusion in the journal, Fremantle Press also interviewed  me about my writing and particularly, this poem.

 

My Life as a Sari

 

Securely tuck your fears under elastic

at the centre of your waist with your left hand,

and with your right, hold the remaining

metres of spun silk – your future, facing inside.

 

Measure the drop of the fall

and it’s finely stitched edge

for correct positioning against heels.

 

Wrap yourself in the gossamer fold,

swirling the diaphanous film behind

but stay level and wedge the top border

into your petticoat.

 

Like a bride preparing herself,

you are now ready to pleat.

 

At a distance from the last fixing,

hand-measure the delicate veil,

embroidered with details

important to who you are

toward the middle of your body.

 

Some may need five pleats, some six.

Less is more. Another judgement held on show

– a statement of size, however graciously it moves.

 

Securely fix the perfumed fanning

and grasp what is left, bring it back around

to wrap warmly and return to the front.

 

These days, you can choose to gather all loose

ends onto your left shoulder, secured with a jewel.

But many prefer to throw the remainder

over, remembering to hold an arm half bent,

letting the end float freely – the beaded

edge skimming the inside of your wrist.

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

#francesmacaulayforde

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A pair (female on right) of Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos in my Jacaranda. Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007.

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Those Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos ‘kissing’. Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007.

New Moon

 

Last night, a sliver of silver low on the horizon, above the sea;

The moon visible through the clear sliding door of my patio

but couldn’t wish on it, not through glass – bad luck!

 

So eyes-down  I opened the door, stepped out bare-feet on concrete 

past the patio setting, minding the balls Sonja has strewn

and stood, out in the cool (now Autumn) air and wished.

 

Can’t tell you what I wished for or it won’t come true – it’s not for me.

I am lucky in love.  My family are healthy and happy, I have you.

All that I need.  So how could I possibly ask for more, for me?  

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014

 

If you’ve got time, read more about these magnificent Carnaby’s but also, have a look at the best photos I’ve ever seen of them, up close, taken by Grace and posted on Perth Daily Photo today.

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 RRCockatooChorus

Artwork: Jessica McCallum © 2000

Although actually written at university and included in my chapbook  ‘Return of Rainbows’, this poem was first published in ‘Peace & Freedom’ Magazine,  in London, 2001 with my daughter’s artwork.

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos  are a highly endangered species of native birds only found in Western Australia.  Because of us, these noisy birds who possibly mate for life and can live 40 – 50 years, are in great danger.

Later the poem was included in my first book  ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’  published in Cork, Ireland in 2003.

COCKATOO CHORUS

“We’ll meet in the eucalypts down by the lake.

Discussion is needed – you have to partake!”

Black clouds flew from the oval, park and golf club

to raucously weigh down trees out in the scrub.

“Juicy larvae and insects prove harder to find

all the spraying and logging – ground being mined

has taken our homes, our gathering sites.

Together, in numbers we’ll fly up for our rights.”

.

From once sacred ground now suburbs, they flew.

From gum-tree nesting hollows, so precious and few

hundreds gathered early, in loud morning debate –

the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo parrot’s fate.

Discussed at great length in the eucalypt trees

for young; less food, meant less ability to feed.

“Stop clearing, spraying – playing with our lives!

If we die, what hope have you got, to survive?”

.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000

Peace & Freedom Mag'CockatooChorus' 001

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Hyde Park in February… too hot to be out of the shade.

I’ve just found this beautiful poem on ABC Tales , so when you have a moment indulge yourself.

As a fan of the site for many years, I’ve benefited greatly from comments, encouragement and the sheer joy of reading wonderful words from writers I wouldn’t have read otherwise.

The very first item I posted was on the 15th March 2006 was a short story ‘Write to Romance’.   (I’ve posted loads of poems and stories on ABC Tales since.)

That story has since been read by 874 people (blows my mind!) and earned a ‘Cherry’ from the editors – such a huge boost in confidence.

So I recommend, anyone with stories or poems to share, join this fabulous FREE site and see what others think of your words but importantly,  receive some very constructive feedback from talented and experienced others.

Such a safe and nurturing environment is rare on the net.  I’m often inspired by what I read on there so I’m about to post this poem posted on here  in February, in response to ‘Bee’ and her poem ‘As Autumn Leaves’.

 

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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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