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Today, Friday, 21st March 2014 has officially been declared ‘World Poetry Day’.

So where does poetry ‘sit’ in your life and what is your idea of poetry?

Poetry is my way of ordering an idea or response, by moving it out of my head in as few words as possible, to clarify ~ writing the spine of what comes next.

It may stay as a poem, or become a short story, a script for a play or the screen or novel, perhaps even spawn more poems… but poetry is always the key.

Poetry is communicating clearly a strong emotion within me, which combined with the use of metaphor, I hope will find an echo when others read my efforts.

So I thought I’d share my reply to a fun poem Professor Glen Phillips sent and my responding poem (with permission, of course):

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Glen Phillips reading a poem at Poets Corner, Perth Cultural Centre, 2005.

BUT BLONDES PREFER DIAMONDS

(or, Lesson No. 64)

If you think ‘a diamond is forever’,

as advertisements used to say,

(and you’re beautiful) grab whatever

lovely hot rocks come your way!

 

And why not? Centuries of avid men

seeking to turn the head of a cooling lover

resort to this old stratagem well-proven—

how to raise the stakes, get back in clover.

 

So down to the hockshop, make a grand

by selling heirlooms (or grandma’s wheelchair)

and then hare it to the gem store, with hand

on heart, plead a done deal for a big solitaire.

 

Gentlemen prefer blondes, but blondes prefer

rocks and preferably bigger and with more sparks

than those in the eyes of he who would woo her.

You good boys, listen, how to get top marks!

 

Glen Phillips ©  July, 2007.

and my response:

2005_0914PoetsCorner14th0057a

Frances Macaulay Forde reading a poem at Poets Corner, Perth Cultural Centre, 2005.

Lesson No 65

See, diamonds are hard

as everyone knows,

a girl must have metal

for this century’s woes.

 

Getting her rocks off

whether blond, red or brunette

no faking, no waiting – Helen,

woman hasn’t peaked yet.

 

While gentlemen play with image

cream blondes, brunettes achieve.

Red wears stainless steel bands

inscribed with ‘We must believe!’

 

Don’t strive for tabloid wants

look past the surface bling,

there’s more to a woman

tho’ the sparkle is tempting…

 

Frances Macaulay Forde  © 2007

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St Paddy's Day in Cork, at the parade, 2003

St Paddy’s Day in Cork, at the parade, 2003

Spending 14 glorious months in Co Cork  and having the opportunity to attend a real Irish St Patrick’s Day Parade on Patrick Street in Cork City; my Irish Hubby and I always raise a glass to our Irish roots.

It turns out (after much family history research) both our families come from Co Cork, about 10 miles from each other ~ but we actually met in the middle of Africa!

E08GreenPartyStPaddyA

My gorgeous Hubby and I celebrating in Oz. 2008.

Inevitably, I can’t help thinking of my dear old Dad who was so proud of his heritage who cannot have  his usual Guinness today ~ we lost him 31 years ago.

2005_0815OldPhotos40022

My Dear Old Dad on holiday in South Africa 1966.

Unconditional

That moment

when I realized

you weren’t asleep,

I couldn’t cry. 

 

I wanted to,

thought I should,

but I couldn’t shed tears

for all those years

when I was loved

unconditionally. 

 

When I knew

no matter what I did

or said, you would always

love me – be there for me.

 

Put a plaster on my hurts,

fix me up with kisses, give

words to make me feel better. 

 

I’ll never forget your strength.

 

How your arms encircled me,

the safeness of a oak tree,

dense, caring and complete. 

I need that care now! 

 

I need to feel safe again,

to sail into your harbour of care,

find you there, waiting

 

with open arms, accepting

all my faults, all my mistakes

and letting them go. 

 

You always helped me

move on to new adventures,

strengthened by your love.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

 

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Climbing The Gloucester Tree 2005© Sean McClean

A Facebook friend lost an ex-uncle in life’s battle recently, Len Buckeridge.  

He was a tall poppy in this ‘small’ town where many of his courageous achievements for our capital city and state were judged by bigots.

But he left many a legacy thousands will wonder at and enjoy every day and probably never know who was responsible.

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Spectacular Perth Arena, built by Len Buckeridge’s BGC

Tall Tree Tanka

Unfortunately

too many enjoy trying

to fell tall trees

when they should be hugged.

We need to learn to look up.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014

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nest-9

I saw this photo by on the net and was immediately inspired:  nature + telephone pole = home.

(http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/02/massive-bird-nests-built-on-telephone-poles-in-southern-africa/ )

 

RECYCLED

Sociable weaver

birds gather Kalahari

sticks, grass, cotton to

construct home-trees for hundreds.

Out-dated rest-points built to

carry distance wires become

capsules recycled for

mobile families.

.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

 

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EMendsStApril0139ADJ

Perth Skyline, taken from the Mend St Jetty across the fiver in South Perth.

Thought I’d share another poem from my first book written during my on-line courtship, specifically what a poetry editor in Ireland deemed a ‘quirky’ title, to see what you think. 

“Is this the point where you tell me

you’ve been bulls*itting all along?”

 

This comment, at 12.33pm on messenger,

stopped me in my tracks – I had to

question you…

Why say that?  Is this where you are?

Role research? Experimenting on me?

 

I have opened the door for you once more.

You are the love of my life returned

to my room…

‘cos of who you are, who you’ve been.

And who I’ve been – where I’ve been.

 

My labels are cheap, used and tattered.

Yours exciting, money new, and ‘out there’.

Can you ignore…

appreciate the journey, walk the same road

remembering why I react from memories.

 

How did this happen and why now?

The director knows the outcome,

my script done…

Nuances of assistance from higher hands…

mysterious determined effort for lasting love.

 

If the future wanes – dumping my heart…

When I prove not to be what you want…

If my love…

can’t match your carefully constructed,

mental and emotional picture of me today…

 

Rejection!  A resounding slap in the face.

Eternal damnation of idealism – romance.

Proving …

my impossible dreams  have no right

to insert themselves into my reality.

 

I will still love you – hate you first but

eventually settle back to loving you again,

sub-consciously….

I will treasure always you careful words,

your considered approach – all the ‘bulls*it’!

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

From my 1st book of poems ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ Published in Cork, Ireland, 2003.

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020517MumMDay&JamE (4)

A photo taken by my daughter at Hillary’s Boat Harbor to show my returned love what I looked like after 28 years (very, very hard to do).

When my returned-love found my name on the net after so long, the computer was both my friend and my enemy, forming a safe barrier to hide behind until I found the courage to step into love again.

Computer Messenger

.

Banter that backfired because

literal interpretations got lost

in considered connotations,

(re-read a thousand times)

of what went way-back-when…

.

Juxtaposition of judgements.

Hastily harnessed how-comes?

Stopping me still, seriously!

Making me question us both.

.

My passionate banshee tears

initiated by tactile responses

to words type-tapped carefully.

Sometimes in casual jest

to test my reactions?

.

Is it natural to anticipate

disaster – dismissal and defend?

Not normally for me – I search

for more of your positive essence,

confirmation of my impressions.

.

I want you – all of you – now!

Every nuance of normality

shared secretly, sensually…

But other stuff too – thoughts,

reasons, why you do what you do…

.

I can’t ‘see’ the whole of you

touch your skin – breath you in.

Sense your hands on my breasts

holding me, stroking me softly.

I want – I need – I crave to.    

.                                                                                              

Insecurity inserts itself

firmly forcing doubt-feelings

to well and grow without witness,

until you answer; you calm; you claim,

.

cover my heart and soul with caring.

Linger in my love, lay there

until we’re both sweetly exhausted

by this power, this perpetual passion

.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2002

From my 1st book of poems ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ Published in Cork, Ireland, 2003.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #HiddenCapacity  #Romance  #LovePoems  #Poems

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Just watched most of the Oscars.  All the way through I expected Sandra Bulloch to win best Actress for ‘Gravity’ because of the many cut-aways and the film won so many other awards and I’m sure she was good.  (I can’t comment on films I haven’t seen so will stick to those I have.)

The camera didn’t cut-away to Cate Blanchette once while I watched, so I thought she had decided not to go – what with all the controversy over ‘Blue Jasmin”s director.  (No, I just can’t bring myself to say his name…)   I presumed she wasn’t there – like Judi Dench and was disappointed.

So glad ‘Frozen’ won best Animated and best song.  So many layers to that film, most unfortunately will be lost on it’s young audience.  (My 4 year old granddaughter loved it – so did I! )

And a huge shout-out to Catherine Martin who became the 1st Aussie to win 4 Oscars for her amazing set design and costumes in ‘The Great Gatsby’ this year and a few years ago for ‘Moulin Rouge!’  

You can usually tell who the academy favorites are by how many times they ‘show’ in cut-away, the ‘star’ in the audience – case in point Best Picture:  ’12 years a slave’ (which I didn’t agree with).   Sure it was a good movie but ‘Captain Phillips’ was better all ’round and should have at the very least won Adapted Screenplay, so was ‘Philomena’ (both mentioned in my top 1o), – Hell! even ‘The Railway Man’ was better.

But I have to say the fashions were beautiful – as expected (expect for Ellen).

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Following on from Friday’s post about Glen Phillips, I wanted to share a poem which was included in ‘Landscapes’ the journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language at ECU.

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Moondyne Joe, the central character in the re-enactment.

The poem was written after we attended the Moondyne Festival, a re-enactment of the Moondyne Joe legend held every year in Toodyay.  

It’s an historic town in WA which had recently been devastated by bush-fires – far too often a feature of our landscape.

I was struck by the horrendous beauty as we drove through the area, illustrated by the aftermath of death and the brilliant resilience of nature.

Toodyay  

black ash still lay
where fire had licked
with devil tongues
across roadside gravel

a careless cigarette
city-slicker thrown
community fun day
re-enacting Moondyne Joe

quick fire prowled up
summer-dry gullies
stand of trees ridge
wind break – not fire-breaker

no escape allowed
as bright yellow jackets
smother white foam
contain the bush fire danger

gum tree pale striped
old bark peeled back
green growth beauty
black trees juxtaposed

fresh life canopies
halt dieback* spores
spiked hair sprouts
thousand years and counting

*Dieback is a fungal disease which decimates our native trees, reducing them to bare branches.

Frances Macaulay Forde  © 2011

Just another example of Glen supporting and encouraging my involvement in the WA writing community.

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For my 50th birthday I wanted a university degree in creative writing, something I’d done all my life but never formally acknowledged.  A new course was launched at Edith Cowan University which seemed tailor-made for me.

When I applied I didn’t really expect to be accepted because I had left school early in the mid-sixties and sat an entrance exam which I was sure I’d fluffed by going off at a tangent (as usual).

But no, to my continued amazement I was accepted and made my trepidatious way to class surrounded by clever youngsters, fully expecting to be left far behind.

The Return of Rainbows

Driving down Alexander,

(early morning rush hour)

lecture on documentary film.

Eager for knowledge, I noted

low, broad bands of color

spanning the sky above Uni.

Ignoring the grey clouds,

I welcomed the return

of rainbows to my life

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1999

2002Graduation Leonie & Sue

Friend Leonie and I at Graduation.

I got through, only with the uncompromising support and encouragement of  Honorary Professor of English at Edith Cowan University and Director of the University’s International Centre for Landscape and Language, Glen Phillips. 

His poetry has always connected with me and I buy as many of his books as my budget will allow, unfortunately I won’t be at the up-coming launch of this next (three ) books because I will be working elsewhere.  

In my last posting I referred to my Jacaranda carpet in my poem ‘Renovations’ directly inspired by a poem from one of Glen’s early books:

lovesongs

“Lovesongs/Lovescenes” by Glen Phillips

When my first book of poems ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ was published in Ireland, it proudly contained a Preface by Hon. Prof. Phillips:  “A brief word by way of a preface to a unique book.” and concluded with “Sharing this book could change your days and I wish every reader a happy and rewarding time with it while congratulating Frances very warmly for the achievement.”

See what I mean?

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Two quick apologies…

12FebProfile

1.  Sorry for not posting for a couple of days – busy (obviously) with other stuff but must make a better effort to spend a few minutes posting something!

2. Sorry the sound on my recordings is very soft (apparently) so as soon as I’ve got time, I’ll re-record them with the volume up and see what you think.

One promise: I will do better for you.

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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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