Poetry Blog by Frances Macaulay Forde

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Recent Comments

Frances Macaulay Forde on No Love For Valentine (Mon, 20 Aug 2018 05:12 am)

Wolfgar Miere on No Love For Valentine (Fri, 17 Aug 2018 10:31 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on No Love For Valentine (Fri, 17 Aug 2018 05:38 pm)

J R Harris on No Love For Valentine (Fri, 17 Aug 2018 01:30 pm)

Jane Briganti on No Love For Valentine (Fri, 17 Aug 2018 06:36 am)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Big Yellow Taxis (Sat, 11 Aug 2018 11:52 am)

Stu Buck on Big Yellow Taxis (Fri, 10 Aug 2018 09:41 am)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Big Yellow Taxis (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 08:36 pm)

Wolfgar Miere on Big Yellow Taxis (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 01:47 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Big Yellow Taxis (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 12:57 pm)

No Love For Valentine

No Love for Valentine                                    


Valentine’s Day 2003 Hans Blix’

will deliver his report to condemn or

free a rebel country held to high ransom,

ruthlessly sanctioned, surveilled and surrounded.


It’s supposed to be the day we say who we

love (or secretly admire) want and desire.

A day for smiles - not hate and guided missile

range – 93 mil...

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FMF PoemFutilityRepeated MistakesWar Zones

Big Yellow Taxis

Big Yellow Taxi


leather smells

soft skin

water repellant

I sink in


off we go

the television

leads the way

it’s OK


I am safe


in my big

yellow couch.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

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The Surgeon’s Photo

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Intro:  My sister-in-law is an amazing photographer and writes a blog about Perth and its beaches.  This photo of hers caught my poetic eye.  



The Surgeon’s Photo


Like a summer’s day Nessie in her deepest loch

with itinerant Hugh Gray's camera watching on shore,

she bows her head to honour the sparkling blue

and danc...

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Numero Uno

Numero Uno


Do you think those

who always insist

on entering first


open doors for

others - offer help

when it isn’t needed


or ever look back,

except to bask

in their own reflection?



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

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FMFPoemNumero UnoSelfish

Sky Dancer

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Sky Dancer

On a high wire she balances with

strong legs - a sturdy foundation.

Big toes grip the metal string

feeling her way along the fine line.

In moments of uncertainty, legs shake

as balance compromised, waving

steady arms straight out, knowing if

she fails, the safety net will wrap secure.

Sky Dancer isn’t scared of the landing,

she’s terrified of the fall...


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Art is the SparkcircusFMFPoemSkyDancertightrope


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I swapped four solid walls for the Big Top

tent, seduced by the Ring Master’s red coat.

His smile dazzled my eyes, silver tongue

promised to transport my heart & soul

so I grabbed his hook, was lifted high above

the crowd, posed with one leg bent, foot

thrust forward full of confidence – secure,

instead of carefully climbing to the platform.

The ascent is slow, m...

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All The Pretty Ones Are ExhibArt Is The SparkARTIST:Jessica McCallumFMFPoemRingmasterTrapeze




Your quiet smile

loud in my head

listening eyes

speaking when

touch removed


sorrow returns



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2018

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Like tears

Rain hits my umbrella

Bouncing bursting

Droplets scattering

Spreading my pain

Shimmering images

Relections of you


Love like rain

Showers me

With tears.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

Written to the artwork of Jessica McCallum for her exhibition 'Raincheck' at His Majesty's Theatre, 2009.

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First Performance

First performance


Dank, dusty, sweat-smells

in the soft blue light


Rope, sandbags,

tape-marks glow.


props on the table

in regimental order

for Act 1, 2, 3. 

            Black on white sign

            ‘Silence during Performance’. 

Soft sneakers gently press

in front of each other. 

Movements slow

- considered care. 


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David Cooke's 'After Hours'

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Once again, I am re-reading favourite poems contained in a treasury of words from David’s book, ‘After Hours’:
‘Ornithology’ is a stand out, as are every one in the ‘After Hours’ section, lovingly sculpted and so relatable to my own father…
‘Last orders’ – we lived near the Jameson factory in Midleton.
‘Redundancy’ and the name o...

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"These single socks seem to think I have nothing better to do than run a dating agency for them."



A colourful


a well-heeled

single, looking

for a match,

with similar need.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2015



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‘Every revolution needs a soundtrack.’

‘Every revolution needs a soundtrack.’


Sugar Man, America rejected you, six copies sold or so.

Fame laughed and left as your dreams shattered, playing

face-hidden, back-turned, in down-town bars and discos.

Just one of the six carried your voice to free our country.


Searching, it took a fan to reveal your struggle - hard days!

Once we taste your passion, ingest the word...

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American RejectFMFpoemmusicRevolutionSouth African IconSugar Man


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A snake that wraps

its slimy body

around your

good intentions.


It has a bite

that transmits itself

into the other person.


How to ward off

it’s terrible grip?


Best to stand still

heart - bite your lip.


Best not to move

or show when you're

in its grasp,


though your eyes

are green and all



and it's...

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1968 NotebookFMFPoemsGrowing Up In Africajealousy


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stepping softly

you trod the path

to my front door


never rang the bell

played favourite songs

over and over until


senses on overload

surrounded by romance

you kissed me quick


heart pumped electric

singing over barriers

erected years ago


against pain and hurt

welcomed as veins

formed highways


joined the chorus


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Tiyende Pamodzi...

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Tiyende Pamodzi...


Your 50 Zambian years means I am 50 years older.

I was at school when you became independent

but your Independence triggered my own at 14.


Not wanting to repeat a year I had just finished,

I refused and found myself a job, instead. My

idyllic childhood safe in Mother Africa's arms


meant we learnt young to be strong, resilient

finding our ow...

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FMFPoemsGrowing Up In AfricaTiyende PamodziZambiaZambian Independence

Cyclone Love

Cyclone Love


Welcome or not,

uninvited you came

to have your way.


Clearing a path

for your arrival,

making sure all

knew you intended

to make an impression 

- one not easily forgotten.


Lucinda doesn’t

want to meet Yasi.


She knows he will

strip her naked

knock her down flat 

suck all her power

then drown her in his wake.



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I don’t need a Bell Curve

            showing the Probability of Distribution

nor an economist theorizing

            about the Positive Externalities

this is no pie in the sky nor castle in the air

            although this romance a novelty for me

            an invention of a future

            love is a collaborative result

            a breakthrough i...

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The young hare

on country roads,

blurred speed,

dancing with danger.


Ears flat back along,

legs pumping, stretched out

in thumping rhythm.


Teenagers ‘vogue’

among foxgloves,

buttercups, daisies…


Identify fatal perfumes

inviting the innocent,

unwary sniff-er

to twitch

inquisitive noses



Sudden glare


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McDaid's Folk Club

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McDaid’s Folk Club


We carefully stepped through the seated crowd,

she smiled in surprised delight

and pulled you down

to whisper invitingly.


I watched the young guitarist finger-pick,

thought about her possessive

hand placed on

your willing arm and felt sick.



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

(From 'Sketching in Ireland', written during 14 inspiring mo...

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Nice to know poetry
is given such credence:
tabled with four chairs,
expected conversations,
words shared and written.

My take on coffee, sitting
on this Chrystal morning,
right next to the beach?
As waves crash foamed,
I smile at my flat white

and it's feathered froth...



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

Written whilst Poet in Residence for 6 months in 2013, represen...

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Counting Sleep

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Counting sleep...


I have so many Pinterest boards,

they overwhelm me...

but it’s necessary I check them

every night before sleep.

Gazing at the beautiful photos

calms me, prepares me for rest.


It’s a mystery - drives hubby mad

considering  for hours...

glittering jewels, intricate designs,

glamourous clothes.

Royal fashion icons addictively

inspire ima...

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Trips into Town

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Trips into Town.                                             

It’s a game I play on my way to work wearing my HBF uniform.   Another day of routine smiles and customer queries beckons. When the monotony gets too much, I wear the seahorse broach my son gave me for my birthday.

With the announcement “Next station Perth!”  I focus my energies.  As we squeal into the Leederville Tunnel, the ligh...

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FantasyFMFProserailwaysriding the train

Knock, Knock.

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Irish Lourdes

Where it is said ‘Our Lady appeared ‘ to Knock faithful,
enterprising vendors parade their wares on sidewalks.
You’ll find a large range of rosary beads
hanging in silent prayer – necklaces of every hue
to match any outfit you choose – posing for photos.

1 hour processing while you worship, Extra film,
Holy Water Bottles in the shape of Mary,
small enough to send hom...

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Bobbing Grey

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Bobbing Grey


I see red

when you raise spikes

along the metal shaft,

sharply snap it open,

stretching the bright silk

above your head


I see red

a mobile patio –shelter,

protection from storms,

hurling lightning bolts

of tears from women

left wet in your wake.


I see red

in a sea of bobbing grey

between skyscrapers

the calm sway - swagger


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My Car.

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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.)



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Roadside shop.

Roadside Shop


Two fans enthusiastically spin amongst

a pile of rubbish waiting for pick up,



Through wind and rain, even thunder,

“Look at me!” but nothing moves.

Clever stack.


Unlike No 2’s plant pots. Scattered

colourful rattles voicing the gusts.



Drive-bys;  inspection opportunists.

Recycling on a budget or business,

who kn...

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poemroadside rubbishrubbish rulessuburbia

Coral Bay

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Coral Bay


Snorkelling with rainbows

just past the breaking surf,

I see the red rocky shores

of the North West Cape.


Shimmering white sands where

Coastal Daisies, starflowers

and Sturt Peas grope to grip

harsh hot terrain in fighting wind.


At Easter, a hundred yards off 

the bay, coral triggers upside down

snowstorms to invite gentle giants

from th...

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Coral BayFMF PoetryNorthWest Australiapoemswhale sharks

The White Gate

The White Gate


The path is Agapanthus strewn

Freedom for Women colours;

green and purple heads bob

in the Freo Doctor, interrupted

by blossoms which match the gate.


Hung upon squat solid upright stone,

it swings inwards, inviting entry

to this secret garden, lusted with

love, Christmas feasts, familial

fecundity, rapturously shared.


Reluctantly close...

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beautiful gardensChristmas visitsFamily gatheringsgarden gatephoto inspiration

You stare at me...

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You Stare At Me


you stare at me

benevolent eye

knowing why

I am here

what I will do

to you


wear your skin

drink you dry

pasteurise cream

strain and grain

make holes in

blue and vein


you stare at me

benevolent eye

knowing why

I am here

what I will do

to you


             slice and dice

grind your bones

roast and fry


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Epitaph for Gregory O’Donoghue

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Epitaph for Gregory O’Donoghue


Seasoned, some will remember boozy lunches,

Tuna sandwiches peppered with slurred words

plated on sliced lettuce arranged ‘just so’...

Guinness frothed and creamy with subtext.


An Irish summer warm with purpose shared

eloquently with a visiting Australian at exclusive

Wednesday morning workshops obstinately

overseen each week, by a r...

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I Used To Enjoy Knitting...

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‘I used to enjoy knitting…’


…enjoyed the sound of needles, click-

clacking as they struck against each

other plunging between stitches, metal

spearing and separating through soft wool.

Fingers swayed in a romantic dance above

the work to create a loop around its prey.


The whole hand grasps and manipulates,

taking the wool on a move back through,

glorying in the...

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Haiku at Burns Beach Cafe

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Haiku at Burns Beach Cafe


Infant in pink

Nanna’s careful looping

knits memory


Complicated re-

call of life’s patterns

crocheted with love


Wanting to freeze

frame glympses, keep sakes

in dated order



familial purl noted

before casting off


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

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1968 Notebook: Never

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What can you say when a dear friend passes away?

That they were good and kind and loved my many?

That they were respected and stood by their beliefs

And are sadly mourned by the ones who weep?


Though we realise this must come to us all

inevitably ~ how hard to accept when death

is so final.  When someone you’ve talked to and

done things for has suddenly sto...

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Before you...

This is the audio/video of my reading of the poem

"Before you..."  https://youtu.be/JSnBORlfTsk


Before you, I slept in

a bed without creases.


Only pulled up sheets

to straighten - smooth,


no effort at all!  Ready

for the next dreamtime.


Now, I love my wrinkles...



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2006



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Like Fudge...

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Like fudge…


I want to be so sweet

you can’t resist. 


To treasure your desire

by lying in wait for

your lips, your tongue

to lick, nibble, devour

with relish…


swallow me whole!


I want to imprint your

pallet with my being

so no other flavour

will satisfy your hunger

because ~ you would rather

starve than be without

my love…



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Before we met,

my heart was young,

it showed its reactions

to everyone.


Worn on my sleeve,

it was easy to know,

easy to see feelings

come and go.


But since we've met,

my heart's a closed door,

no-one knows the hurt

or happiness anymore.


Not even you - and you

hold the key but what

is the good when

you don't love me?



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11.11am   7th March 2003 

11.11am   7th March 2003                                          


I took a break between

researching bios

for the ‘Broadsheet Anthology’

to make a cup of coffee 

lay watching


ever-present TV News

insistent urgency,

momentary abhorrence,

necessary to keep up with

my other world - the one

I refuse to acknowledge

most of the time…


amongst the t...

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between Pinjarra

and Waroona

jarrahs and tuarts

evening dressed

fluff their leaf skirts

expose naked arms

reaching up


to the endless sky

for a cure


                     Frances Macaulay Forde © 2006

                     Published P65 - Sept 06 -  Poets Union Inc. Anthology 2006


NOTE: What is 'Dieback' - https://www.dpaw.wa.gov...

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Banana sliced

like a carrot


its peel flayed


in the rubbish bin


like a pale octopus

desperate to score

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The first lemon
Squeezing life
Drink the bitter
Taste the craft


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2018


(In the New Year, a friend posted a photo on Facebook of a lemon picked off his tree and the new (hand-made) juicer he's received for Christmas, and I felt a 'poem' coming on...  )

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CreativeSparkFirst Words 2018Happy New Year 2018

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