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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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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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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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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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030620JuneIrelandORIG (10)

Senses

hear

tender words
questions answers
your current reality

see

furtive glance
visual dance
clever hands and fingers

touch

tentative press
to shy flesh
still clothed in other loves

smell

breathe you in
where’ve you been
through all my loves and life

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007

From my book “Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey” published in Cork, Ireland, 2003

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POEM:Senses  #Poem  #Ireland  #Romance  #Love  #ExploringPossibilities #HiddenCapacity  #Poetry  #Touch  #Sight  #Sound  #Smells  #Sensory  #SketchingInIreland  #WAWriter

 

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Being introduced at the Avon Valley Writers Festival, 2012.

Talk about booking well in advance: the West Australian branch of the Society of Women Writers asked me at the beginning of the year, to run a workshop ‘Writing for the Screen’ in October.

I’m told they expect around 60 people to attend the General Meeting and stay for my presentation – so I’m looking forward to the challenge.  🙂

Well used to presenting to an audience either in person, on a stage or on screen, I’m not really worried about showing a short film made from my script then talking about my experience.

???????????????????????????????

Some of the audience for my Avon Valley Writers Festival workshop having a go at a one pager, 2012.

 

The intention is to also get them to have a go at a one pager, then pick a couple to read out and critique. A similar workshop during the inaugural Avon Valley Writers Festival in 2012 was very successful.

So if you’re around on the 20th October – a Wednesday lunchtime and are interested getting an IDEA – because it’s a HUGE subject, of writing for the screen… why not book your place now by contacting the WA branch of the Society of Women’s Writers.

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AvonValleyWritersFest   #SocWomensWritersWA  #WritingForScreen  #WritingWorkshop  #Workshops  #Writing  #Screenwriting  #WomenWriters

 

 

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WPBookRoses

Jessica McCallum © 2000

A short article written before my new life began… before 2002.

SYNOPSIS : Valentine’s Day looms and Our Heroine reflects that she will once again, succumb to the hype – the schmaltzy romantic music, the images of red hearts thumping with love and the roses – everywhere!   All those things that are not (though once… long ago…) a part of her life!

I got married on Valentine’s Day. 

That massacred the commercial celebration for me forever!

But I’m not bitter.  Perhaps I should explain… 

It’s February again, in the New Millennium. I’m sitting here, pursuing my writing career. A career I would not have if I were still married.  I’ve got the selfishness to do something that is just for me.  It’s my time now.

My children are grown and beautiful human beings – no small testament to my tenacity to keep going.  Right through the divorce and the poverty of being a one-income family, doing a job I hated for low pay.

The demoralization of society’s label ‘single mother’ is not for the faint-hearted! 

I could have taken the easy way out.  I could have grabbed some poor bloke with a steady income to help.  But that’s not my way.  My mistakes were my responsibility, no one else’s.

On lonely days I’d hide my tears from other people and their erroneous perception that I was a ‘superwoman’… working, feeding, educating and caring for my children while their father settled down with the woman I had caught him with.

Now happily married to her, he owns three properties, travels the world, buys what he wants, when he wants.  Good on him!

Every Valentine’s Day I’m grateful to my ex-husband. I don’t think about our marriage – what would be our 26th anniversary – he’s been married to her longer than he was with me.  And by all accounts, he’s happy! I can only wish them the best.

I have made loads of mistakes along the way, but he made me make the decision to leave – the decision to change my life. 

He made me take control again!  And although the struggle was unbearable at times and still is – I make my own decisions.  I control the direction of my life now.

But the dreaded Valentine-hype has got me thinking. 

I’ve been on my own for fifteen years…  Am I happy?  Does it suit me to be alone?

I’ve been so busy working, trying to pay the bills on time, and bringing up the children, educating them and now educating myself – I haven’t had time to think past my new career. 

I studiously avoid romance now. 

Years ago I was a member of a Romance Writer’s group, and was recently asked to tutor on the subject.  Hmmmmm.

The other day my niece took a copy of some old poems to school. I had written them in my peak romance years – long ago.    Long before marriage and serious commitment. Apparently her teenage school friends loved my literary angst. 

My children are of an age where they are not so embarrassed about their baby photos anymore.  Now they want to look at them, copy them – make collages for friends. 

And it’s forced me to look at them too!  To look – really look – at the family happiness that was evident…  the love that was in our house when we were all together and content.

Perhaps the Universe is trying to tell me, that it’s time I re-examined the subject? 

Soon it’ll be Valentine’s Day again.  I know I won’t get a card – I don’t expect one.  But I can’t help the thought entering my head.

I do nothing to encourage romance in my life.  I dress to please myself.  I don’t play the games -although I must confess to being a matchmaker…  I’ve helped quite a few friends find partners and all of them are still together. 

So I know the rules.  I admit it! I am a romantic! I do believe there is someone out there – for everyone – but not me!  I don’t have time and I don’t want the distraction of romantic love.  I am surrounded by love.  I have a close family and fantastic friends. 

I don’t need romance.  Do I?

Love? Does romance have to mean love?  Then by extension for me, a life-commitment and the responsibility for someone else’s feelings?  Well, I’ve had enough of responsibility!  I’ve paid my dues.  Now I just want to be responsible for myself.

Love’s too hard!

Can you have romance in your life, without love? 

I’m not the type to be half-committed.  I’m all or nothing.  And besides, it wouldn’t be fair to only give half of myself.  I’m a passionate person who needs to relate completely.  I can’t just use a person for company, for dinner dates, dancing – things I love to do…

It’s hard being single! Out in public, women who you don’t know and who don’t know you; are suspicious.  They consider you are competing or about to steal their partners!  You must want to be like them – anxious to be a full-paid-up member of Couple-dom.  There’s no other way to live – to be completely happy, is there?

And it’s got nothing to do with how I look or how old I am.  I believe love is possible at any age.  But it’s just not that important! 

Your sexuality is questioned if you choose to be out of the Manhunt.  Who gives people the right to ask these questions?  And what the hell has it got to do with them anyway?

I’ve got other things I am passionate about, my children, my writing, my family and friends.  But most importantly, my desire to make a decent living for myself, doing something I enjoy.  That’s all I have the energy for, these days.

Am I ready to try again?  I still don’t know.  I do know that when Valentine’s Day comes, I won’t be able to help myself – I’ll look in the letterbox. 

Then I’ll be disappointed that some knight in shining armor hasn’t scaled my protective walls and declared his love. But just for a second…

Then I’ll get back to my real world.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #Valentine’sDayMassacre  #Prose  #Valentine’sDay  #romance

#NotSoRomantic

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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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My novel… that is.

So I’d be the perfect candidate for a course to be run by award-winning Natasha Lester with UWA Extention called “Nailing your novel”:  “Designed for those who’ve always wanted to write a novel but don’t know where to begin, as well as those who’ve started writing a book, only to put it away because they’re not sure where they’re going.”

Natasha won the TAG Hungerford Award (my dream) for her manuscript and debut novel, ‘What Is Left Over After’.  Her latest; ‘If I should Lose You’ is wowing reviewers and me-thinks also on an award-winning path.

How she finds time to do her very informative Blog for book lovers and writers in between the writing and teaching etc.  I’m envious!

If I had the time, I would do the course because I know I would identify why I’m stalled, get the impetus to keep going with my novel and hopefully, make it worthy…

Meantime  I need to take heed of  Natasha’s Writing Tips.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #NatashaLester  #NailingYourNovel  #BookLovers&Writers  #UWAExtention  #TAGHungerfordAward  #Novelists  #Books  #WritingYourNovel  #Writing  #FinishingYourNovel

 

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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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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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