Poetry Blog by Frances Macaulay Forde (2017)

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Recent Comments

Frances Macaulay Forde on In my African childhood (Fri, 31 May 2019 01:51 am)

jennifer Malden on In my African childhood (Wed, 29 May 2019 04:24 pm)

Martin Elder on In my African childhood (Wed, 29 May 2019 11:03 am)

Wolfgar Miere on In my African childhood (Wed, 29 May 2019 06:18 am)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Inspiration (Wed, 29 May 2019 03:01 am)

Martin Elder on Inspiration (Mon, 27 May 2019 04:43 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Inspiration (Thu, 16 May 2019 03:59 am)

Jon on Inspiration (Wed, 15 May 2019 07:32 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Renovations 1 (Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:47 pm)

Frances Macaulay Forde on Inspiration (Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:43 pm)


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This poem was written for submission to the 'Rhino in a Shrinking World' Anthology Irish/South African poet, Harry Owen was putting together.  It was not included but I am still proud of it and treasure my copy of the beautifully  illustrated, published anthology.   http://www.kariega.co.za/about-us/help-save-our-rhino-project




Imagine slow, deep heart beats

echoing inside...

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I'm posting this after reading Chris Hubbard's poem about the Nullabour.

(Photo: my hubby and daughter at the launch of the anthology where this poem was first published.)




before cultivation the water flowed

bouncing on leaves falling, falling

to pool on fertile forest floor below


before cultivation the water flowed

flora bursting with life and c...

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Surface Tension

Surface Tension


A Muslim science teacher in a US school,

OKays a student making a clock in a briefcase,

‘But don’t show it to the other teachers...’


A ‘gag’, lesson or unconscious irony; perhaps

deliberate indoctrination of the young - coolness.

I don’t trust it – I remember recent past mistakes.


A belief that no-one could be so cruel, so calculated

as to mur...

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FearNew StoryObama AwardsStudent prizeSuspicion

Did you know...

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(This free verse is from my 1968 teenage notebook... )


Did you know that Cancer

was compatible with Virgo? 


Well, it is. 

So now, you

should take notice of me.


You’re so tall

you have to bend

to come through the door.


I’m so small

I have to jump

to reach the top shelf.


Funny, hey, that I

should fancy you

for myself?


And m...

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Roots and Wings


When someone asks for a memory
of Africa, I always remember
those dusty hours spent outside
Katie’s Khaya under the Mopani…

Quiet melodious chattering,
the smell of sunshine and family.
Bright white sudza plops in the pot
while bundu sticks crackled with fire.

Low stools where we crouched
in total concentration on a square
of a dozen small indents for stones,
scratched ou...

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Tall Tree Tanka

Tall Tree Tanka



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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Lotto Life



It unites us.

This dream

  to have choices.

Whether to work or laze.

Decide our futures

  instead of waiting for opportunity.


The universal language of need

not greed.


We’ve lost control.

Caught up in the flow

   of magazine lifestyle.

The one we desire and reality.


To walk through town

  not asking the price.

Carrying the l...

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corporate cultureFantasyLotto dreamswork life


  “Is this the point where you tell me              

       you’ve been bullshitting 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…


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New Book by David Cooke

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Look what arrived in Perth, Western Australia, today!  

I look forward to a cup of coffee and some peace and quiet to concentrate and enjoy 'After Hours', by David Cooke.

Thanks to the publisher, Bob Carling and (of course) David.

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Red Lipstick

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Red Lipstick


Standing in reverence of a mighty giant

his Nobel words remembered, this fan notes


exaggerated bat-like shoulders enhance his

thoughtful gaze - watching the Horseman?


Others have stepped up on Galway stone; held

those long, thin legs as they balance, head bent


to leave a lipstick imprint of their awe for him

on the space his left hand noncha...

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My Life as a Sari

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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 ...

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Young woman sits

while an old man stands.

She gazes through layers

of foundation.


Does it screen

the opposite wall?

Can’t she read the

“Who are you fooling?”


Fake fur-collared jacket

and label shoes.

Large black leather bag

clutched to protect her


– it doesn’t – she’s mean!

The old man has turned

his neat and clean

but well-worn back



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Foetal naked at fifty

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I’ve followed signs to Yield in Ireland

when I’m used to an Aussie Give Way. 


As I put on bright lipstick, tell you stories

of Africa when we were both young,

I watch my words seduce you again.


You remember young Chianti;

full and round, ruby red, peppered

with berries.  I remember

a Hotel in Kitwe - Blue Nun. 


You say your taste has matured,

you now pr...

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2nd chanceAussieIrelandred wine


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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 M...

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The Boffin

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The Boffin


bookshops are like lovers 

they numb in black & white

then seduce you with colour


titillate and tempt your soul

until you finally let go

find the courage to close


the book ~ pages which leave

you gasping ~ the breath of air

on your face feels like a slap



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2004

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Love & Marriage

Hearing a Corella as it flies across grey skies, together.

Anticipating the squall, clearing showers of life.

Gutters flowing from Heaven to Earth,

giving birth to clean growth.


The sudden green as parched soil erupts with change.

A fresh day, sun rays, line of pinks or orange,

pale to a bright blue, herald the new;

promise of happiness to come.


Painting walls, ma...

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Bohemia 1

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Like crystal

I am many faceted

not see-through glass

I proudly wear my life colours

individuality scratched into my skin


gaze deeply into my painted experiences

shared memories etched in bright reflections

see strength and character in the vines which

grow in defiance - spirited independence in

the starbursts of my femininity - purposeful

illustrations of origina...

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An Easter Tragedy - REPOST

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An Easter Tragedy

At the Magistrate’s Court in Harare, a crowd gathered outside

weeping for men and women who carry an invisible cross.


Thousands have suffered at the hands of baton-wielding zealots,

masquerading as Police, in a land where lives have little price.


Is this commercialism gone mad?  Trading in muscle and limbs

feeding their families with the blood of co...

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'Turning The Page'

(I have the audio but can't seem to upload it here, it will only play on Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/francesmf/turning-the-page?in=francesmf/sets/poems-2014-sounded )


Turning the Page


you were focussed

on study so I waited

peeking through the crack

watched you turn a page

rushed to kiss you quick


I twirled to leave, let you

get back to reading

but ...

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The Bar of Grief

The Bar of Grief    


Upturned bottles once lined with military order

on dusty, termite-rotten shelves. Fingerprints,

clear spaces of use, caught by the shafts of daylight

through pin-holes where nails have been.


A puddle of spilt pain, beneath an upturned bench.

Life, wasted in boozy stench lies forgotten,

punished for excess, while determined creatures

march with...

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Poem Hunter e-books

Do you ever do an ego-search on Google?  I did today and discovered and e-book available of all the poems I had posted on Poem Hunter probably up until 2004?  They must be making money selling my (and all the other writers') poems on screen with the amount of advertising they have next to the most awful metalic automated voice readings, etc. https://www.poemhunter.com/i/ebooks/pdf/frances_macaulay...

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Isradella waits

for ghosts of lovers past

to homogenize


Perfect recipes of want

ingredients elusive

beg materialize


Abundant beauty falls

shorter than ideal

too rarefied


Hope ever lives in one

who strives for vision

so eulogized


Reality proves tepid

in life-dreams eye

and Isradella cries


Disbelieve the sellers

unattainable pe...

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Lakeside, I watch 

the Coots bouncing

on top of the water.


They throw their heads

with intention and abandon.

Plunging - immersing themselves.


I want to bounce,

immerse myself.

Plunge into you...


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001

*Coots: small black waterbird related to Moorhens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coot

(1st Pub. 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's jo...

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Without Wheels

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Without Wheels


Old-fashioned suitcases, the ones without wheels...

Such treasures themselves for the memories they held.


Skippered with no regard to a life-time of service,

disposed of - as I myself have been disposed of...


Perhaps a keen eye will fall over the rubbish bin’s wall

and take you home, give you a new life, if only


as under-bed storage.  Or repa...

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Like Mr Bo...

my heart jangles 

when your smile

misses your eyes.

The face of a clown

soft shoe shuffling

through my soul.

White hands clasped.

The generous frill

framing your mask,

flutters like a wing

across the circus tent

of my broken heart.

Funny shoes walk strong,

confidently skirting around

landmines of feeling

clothed in ...

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Sketching in Ireland.

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I sat myself down on a low stone wall,

a semi-circle that splits St Mary’s Road in two. 

I’m just visiting Midleton, you understand…

But I fancied a go at drawing that house -

number 23 – the smart one covered with ivy.


Everyone who passes offers a gentle smile,

a quickly delivered non-committal comment

about the bright, …hasn’t it turned lovely?

surprisingly beautiful...

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Suits and Ties

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Suits and ties…                                   


Your Corporate wardrobe titillates.

Challenges me to abandon -

invite you to swim with me –

in a sea wet with desire.

Throw off your hard shell,

your calm, controlled exterior

and reveal the let-go you.


The knot of your tie,

like seaweed trapping

the unaware swimmer,

restricting your neck -

choking.  ...

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My mouth is a gun with a silencer, stopped

mid-sentence from telling you how I feel –

actions speak louder especially when they hurt! 

You see, you say but I can’t speak.  You speak,

I hear but no words are offered because I can’t reply.

I see, I hear so please, throw your words my way

so I can at least aim in silence.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009


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Bohemia (2)

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It’s not about pain

although each graphic tale

was born of needles...


It’s not about regrets

although in retrospect,

there is always blame...


It’s not even about relationships

although painted stories

pay homage to my past.


It’s actually about celebration:

love - my constant companion

nature - inspiring motivation.



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Banana sliced

like a carrot


its peel flayed


in the rubbish bin


like a pale octopus

desperate to score.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013



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Eros Strikes Again

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Eros strikes again!

Valentine’s Day. You

pierced me with the past.

Forced me to recall

feelings suppressed…

and reminded me

of my ability to love…


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2012


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Chlamydia Rap

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And now, for something completely different.

Years ago I was employed by our major hospital to write an advertisement to be played on the Emergency Room TVs, in-house aimed at a mostly younger audience.  

My script required visuals acted by Barbie and Ken dolls dancing to this song, at a party.


Listen here! Y’all need to know

Chlam – ydd-ee-ah Trach – o –mat – is is


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I recorded this on Soundcloud but can't see any other way to add it... https://soundcloud.com/francesmf/romance




beadwork is intricate 

novel-like in the detail 

the chase a known pattern  


crochet hooks the reader 

burrows through cotton/wool 

knitting thrusts and parries


everything to do with 

the size of the needle

and how it is manipulat...

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RomanceRomantic poems

Pigs might...

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Pigs might fly…


Who says they can’t?

Is there an omniscient

oinker monitor float-

ing in the same tree?

Who has the right

to tell watchers

who dream

the impossible

that pigs might…?

In deepest despair

we need hope,

need dreams

to fall back on.

A competitive spirit…


Who says we can’t?

I need to soar

above my world

sometimes, believe


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Pigs Might FlyPoetic Friendswhimsy

West Australian Writers' Festival.

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Photo: https://perthfestival.com.au/perth-writers-festival/authors/nick-earls/  

Nick Earls is only one of a dazzling array of Australian and International writers who will speak, discuss, workshop and generally promote words over three days, so don't miss out!

The WA Writers' Festival begins on the 23rd February 2017 and runs until the 26th February as part of the PIAF International Festiva...

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#PIAF #WAWritersFest #WAWriter #NickEarls #Writing

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