profile image

Frances Macaulay Forde

Updated: Mon, 16 Oct 2017 04:43 am

Contact via WOL



Frances Macaulay Forde has a diverse background in poetry, children's literature, film and theatre. Her first book of poems "Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's journey" was published in Ireland in 2003. Heavily involved in organizing festivals, writing events in previous years, Frances hosted Poets Corner at Pages Cafe every month until Oct 2008 welcoming more than 60 new and established poets to share their words. She gained a Writing Degree for her 50th and still has her poetry notebooks from 1968. Currently focused on a feature film script "No Strings", Frances lives on the Sunset Coast of Western Australia writing for page and screen... I have a WORDPRESS BLOG: and recently published 3 books (2 poetry and one children's).


This Poem was featured in 'the Spring Issue of 'The Scruffy Dog Review' thanks to the amazing Colin Galbraith. ------------------------------------------------ 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 countrymen and women? Who weeps for Mugabe ~ he who styles himself after Jesus continually resurrected, who pretends to heave his country away from Colonial roots? Why should we cry for a Chinese Palace, wifely shopping sprees in Paris; a man protected from his own voters by his army of security enforcers? His people no longer believe he leads for them ~ have seen how he dictates, feathers his own nest and the cronies he keeps very close ~ walled in by sin. How long will millions of starving, beaten people wait for their turn at life, their chance to eat, to sleep peacefully in a khaya built in prosperity and peace? Will the tears shed this Easter encourage the world to stand up for Zimbabwe? Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007 ------------------------------------------------ The following two poems were published in the Poets Union Anthology 2007. ------------------------------------------------ Live, Here On Sky 6th August 2005 A capsule of lighted hope lay in the deep black depths, seven Russian submariners trapped on the Pacific floor. Although “satisfactory” in their red striped white sub, freeze as only hours of oxygen remain. Kursk memories flood Moscow, but she pleads straight away for US and UK Super Scorpios who help raise the vessel to rescue depth – averting another disaster. But no one can help the Discovery’s seven in their cocoon of light circling our world in un-ending space. They wait in zero gravity, remove foam chips, listen to Beatles and pray. The world held a collective breath before touchdown as NASA remembered the awesome, fiery power of Columbia’s broken tile. Dieback between Pinjarra and Waroona jarrahs and tuarts evening dressed fluff their leaf skirts expose naked arms reaching up appealing to the endless sky for a cure Frances Macaulay Forde © 2006 ------------------------------------------------ These cinquains have proven very popular on poetry websites so I thought I would share them... She lay prostrate. Waiting. Will he stay a while when their beating hearts have calmed down? Never. You glow with love for me. Accepting all I give, never questioning if I love. I don’t. Tears fall like rivers of pain. Rejection will hurt. Just touch him and say goodbye to your heart. It glows. The safe ribbon of light, meandering on toward home. But my path was unlit. Trust -------- I have taken your words folded both hands over then held them tightly to my heart Have you? Don’t let me drown in a cruel sea without that life raft of honesty. Promise? Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007 ---------------------------------------------------------------- Bio note: My parents took our family from UK to Africa for a fresh start. We arrived in Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia in 1955, then moved to Kitwe on the Copperbelt in 1961 and I left the first time in 1968 to nurse in UK. I kept going home for the next 7 years until eventually flying from Zambia to Australia for my fresh start and where I've been every since. Africa gets into your blood... I still have my notebook from 1968 and wrote this when I took off for another working holiday in UK. Journey from Victoria Falls to the Copperbelt. --------------------------------------------------- They say that once you’ve crossed the Zambezi, you’ll always return. You’ll come back to this country, for its beauty you’ll yearn. How many times has that theory been proven so true, we’ve said goodbye to our friends, packed up and left you. Only to come back in a few years time, to the river winding its way through this country so fine. The Victoria Falls with enormous gorges, rushing water as if from a thousand rivers, rainbow of colours, the noise of the falls, the excitement of watching those solid water walls. Cruising down river on boats with game guards, watching for hippos or crocs in their paths. Sunsets on Lake Kariba as birds all rise over game that runs free on either side of a lake that’s so big it has waves like a sea… Sundowners on the terrace looking over the water, watching the sun’s death at seven and a quarter… Driving through the escarpment, that range of hills forming a border between two countries, a vital road link that’s little-used now as they quarrel over things that don’t matter somehow... Bowling along the road to Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Across the Zambezi again, while the heat melts. Arrive in Lusaka at lunchtime to see the streams of traffic in that busy city, then on through the maise fields and sugar cane, up to Kabwe where it’s stacked ready for the trains. A long empty stretch and you reach Kapiri - if you blink a lot, you’ll miss it completely. Straight flat roads to drive ‘til you’re bored. The turn-off at Fisenge to get on the right road and you’re on your way to Kitwe and the Rhokana Mine - the Hub of the Copperbelt and a town that’s fine. One of the largest and best-equipped mines around where they hurl the copper-bearing ore up from the ground. Under the surface, the tunnels are huge - all white tiled and sparkling – nothing crude. Perfectly safe for all the workers below, stepping into the cages as they go, down in the depths to seek the country’s life-blood. Working long hours earning money to buy food for their many children and wives, who’ve gone without for most of their lives. Now wages are better – conditions more fair, good health and happiness no longer so rare. Neat houses and gardens well-tended line the streets. Lots of shady park benches where gossipers meet. A way of life that can’t be compared; peace and quiet, beauty in the sunshine, fresh air… Days to laze and lots of time to contemplate how good life can be, before it’s too late. Relax, while you’re young, enjoy the sunshine and happiness of home surrounded by friends you’re never alone. Make a point of crossing our Zambezi River sometime - take a long, long holiday – come see this fabulous country of mine! Frances Macaulay Forde © 1973

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by Frances Macaulay Forde

Mute (27/02/2017)

Eros Strikes Again (14/02/2017)

7 Poems for Valentine's Day 2014 (12/09/2014)

7 poems for Valentine's Day (20/02/2014)

Viewed 4690 times since 22 Sep 2007

Do you want to be featured here? Submit your profile.


Profile image

Hannah Collins

Wed 10th Jan 2018 18:31

Hi Frances,
Happy New Year !
Thank you for your comment on my poem .
Much appreciated.


Profile image

Ian Whiteley

Mon 23rd Oct 2017 20:55

thanks for your kind comments on 'Safety Off' Frances - pleased that you liked it and took the time to comment

Profile image

Hannah Collins

Sun 22nd Oct 2017 18:45

Hi, Thank you for your comment on my poem Mail Order Bride.
I am so happy to hear about your son and his wife.
I wasn't trying to be judgemental in my poem.
I do believe I was trying to show the alienation and loneliness people sometimes feel, even with other people.
I look forward to reading more of your work.


Profile image

Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 30th Aug 2017 19:55

For goodness' sake, Frances, I didn't appreciate that yours is one of the first names I met on-site in 2008. So many delightful 'friends' have come and gone since I started here on WOL. But there you are - one of my first 'site friends' from years ago. Back then, I was so nervous, and unsure of 'the 'net'. Actually, still am. The 'poetry crowd' here is very valuable to me, even those who come and go rather quickly. I often think about Ann, and wonder how she is. Bonds really do develop.

Profile image


Wed 23rd Aug 2017 21:09

I'm so embarrassed. I just found 'Roots and Wings' on this thread. I am the type of person who loses their glasses when they are on their head. (I don't wear glasses but if I did, I would do that).
It's a terrific poem, I love the juxtaposition, the sense of a genuine appeal to the human spirit, it's great.
Take care and thank you.

Profile image

Greg Freeman

Sun 20th Aug 2017 18:55

Hi Frances. Thanks for looking at a couple of my poems, and for your kind comments. Having discovered your Zimbabwe background, I've added a poem 'Midnight Train From Bulawayo' on the samples on my Profile page, in case you might be interested in looking at it. Best wishes, Greg.

Profile image


Sun 13th Aug 2017 17:25

Hello Frances,
I have searched for your poem 'Roots and Wings' but can't find it. Perhaps you could inbox it to me? I'd love to read it.
I have no connection to Africa, I haven't even visited, but I'd like to.
To be honest, I'm not even very well researched on Africa, but i know that my country (UK) is responsible for countless atrocities there.
I also know that for a long time, Zimbabwe was named after the colonialist: "Cecil Rhodes", as in Rhodesia. I know that this disgusts me- I am very much in favour of felling the statue. I am bitterly disappointed that so much effort was put into keeping it. It makes me ashamed of my ethnicity.
- I originally posted this on my page but just realised that you wouldn't see it haha
Peace x

Profile image

Ian Whiteley

Sun 6th Aug 2017 13:39

Thanks for commenting on 'After The Storm' Frances - I appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback. I've sent you a PM as I wanted to make a couple of points clearer - hope you don't mind

Profile image


Thu 3rd Aug 2017 20:59

'An Easter Tragedy' really speaks to me stylistically. I thank you for setting an example, that one can write dignified, elegant verse with starkly stated brutality.

Profile image

David Cooke

Fri 16th Jun 2017 10:30

Thanks for that Frances and you never know, One day I might be big in Western Australia!

Profile image

David Cooke

Thu 15th Jun 2017 17:44

It's a small world - at least where poetry's concerned. David.

Profile image

David Cooke

Wed 14th Jun 2017 17:11

Hi Frances I didn't realise you were in Oz. I was actually in Perth briefly a few months back. We did a cruise around the whole of Oz for my 60th birthday treat. The weather was mostly brilliant but it poured when we got to Perth so we didn't get to see it at it's best maybe. Do you know a poet called Jackson in Perth? I think she organizes poetry events in the city. I hope my publisher can get the book out to you. David

Profile image

David Cooke

Tue 13th Jun 2017 07:52

Hi Frances You said to remind you when my new book is out. You can get a copy from the publisher here:
or if you contact me directly I can get you a copy. Best wishes David

Profile image

Ian Whiteley

Tue 6th Jun 2017 21:32

thanks for commenting on 'This Flower' Frances - I'm pleased you liked it - apologies for delay in replying

Profile image

Tom Harding

Fri 2nd Jun 2017 23:40

Frances, thank you for exceptionally kind comments. It was very nice to come home from work and read this and also read your blog entry! Thank you! I've been reading your writing and will read more over the weekend, you have a great lyricism and style so compliments from yourself are greatly appreciated.

Profile image

Mikhail Smith

Wed 31st May 2017 13:37

Hello Frances, thanks for your kind comment. Hope I'm not inspired to any more like that ! cheers.

Profile image

Paul Waring

Sat 20th May 2017 10:24

Hi Frances, thanks so much for your comments about 'Bitchin' .....' and, please, feel free if you'd like to link it on your blog, that's very kind of you.

So grateful to you for your encouragement Frances. Hope all is going well with you and with your writing.

Paul x

Profile image

Chris Hubbard

Wed 22nd Feb 2017 11:13

Hi Frances,

Thank you for your interest and information about the poetry scene in Perth. I'm certainly aware of KSP in Greenmount, the Fellowship of Australian Writers in Swanbourne, and the Peter Cowan Centre at ECU, Joondalup.

On the latter, and Glen Phillips, surprisingly enough Glen was the catalyst for my awakening to poetry way back in 1994, when I attended Glen's First Year Creative Writing class (I stayed at ECU for over seven years doing my Doctorate and followed his work for quite a while).

I'm aware of how important he is for the Perth poetry scene past and present, and it would be a real pleasure to re-make his acquaintance after so many years.

I will be in the UK for the summer this year, and hope to get to open mics via WOL as much as possible.



Profile image

Laura Taylor

Wed 15th Feb 2017 14:19

Hi Fances - many thanks for your note on 'revelations'.

Profile image

Paul Waring

Sat 11th Feb 2017 09:43

Hi Frances

Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read through some of my earlier postings and for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I am so grateful to you and so pleased that you enjoyed so many of my poems. For me, being relatively new to this site, it is such a lovely feeling when something you write is so well appreciated.

Once again Frances, many thanks for reading and commenting.... and for adding me to your list of favourites.


Profile image

David Cooke

Wed 8th Feb 2017 09:19

Hi again Frances

Glad you liked Last Orders. It'll be in my new book called After Hours (out in April, hopefully). It's actually about my father-in-law. He was different from my dad in many ways, but both Irish to the core. Here's a tiny little thing which brings them together. It's part of a longer sequence that has the same title as the book:

5 Fathers
If mine had survived
they might have had some sessions,
the union man,
the ganger, their red
and blue dissolving somehow
into shades of green.

Profile image

David Cooke

Wed 8th Feb 2017 09:14

Hi Frances Thanks for casting your eye over THW. Just back from three weeks' holiday but will check out your site as soon as I get a minute! David

Profile image

David Cooke

Thu 26th Jan 2017 11:39

Hi Frances just seen your message. I'm out of thecountry in Dubai. Glad you liked thepoems. I must update that profile. It's a bit out of date. You might like to check out thejournal i founded andnow co-edit. It's called the high window. If yougoogle it and add 'poetry'. It will come. Otherwise you mightendup eith double glazing. David

Profile image

Ann Foxglove

Tue 5th Jan 2010 09:11

Hi Frances - thank you for your comments.
Re: Basque - I guess I wanted to give the poem a sort of breathless excitement, hence the "I's" and "ands"! It didn't need to flow poetically so much as pant passionately!
Regarding HD, I wanted to put more than "you're beautiful to me", as it is about not minding age and a few wrinkles in the one you love. The "we never really were" perfect is important too, because no-one is really perfect, even when young. When we look back from middle age at old photos we may think "wow, I looked rather good then!" but at the time we were maybe not confident enough and only saw the flaws. And, hopefully, if you love and desire someone, you love their flaws. Thanks for your comments. I have never had so much feedback, don't know why this poem has caused so much interest. I'll read yours now!

Profile image

Frances Macaulay Forde

Wed 23rd Apr 2008 16:52

I spent 14 months living in Midleton, near Cork until 2003 and this is one of the poems I wrote there:

Left Field

Lined up like the Waterford cows,
metal bodies glitter in an Irish field.

Black rubber circles squelching
acres of reconstituted bovine cud.

A Friesian audience has gathered
to ruminate on two-legged animals

with red and white coats, running
and Hurling a stone to each other,

between showers, near Carol’s Cross.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

Profile image

Frances Macaulay Forde

Wed 23rd Apr 2008 16:45

Thank you Tomas,
I spent my formative years between 1954 and 1974 in Northern Rhodesia which became Zambia in 1964. I'm in touch with friends who still live or have family there.
My heart goes out to the people of Zimbabwe who are suffering - the ordinary person in the street is dying although he has millions in his hands, he cannot buy food or milk because there isn't any in the shops and his millions are worthless.
Any change at all, must be an improvement! When Independance was granted and for quite a few years afterwards, Zimbabwe was THE place to holiday or to live because the ordinary man in the street was happy and could afford to be very comfortably.
Now, no-one can except those in power who live in Chinese palaces and shop in Paris on a whim!
It's time... and here's another poem for you. This one appears on here
It's called:


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 out of Africa’s skin.

Today Eddie talks of ‘roots and wings’,
of flights of fear or stoic stance:
the holes left by those who uproot
and the bravery of those who stay…

I visualize a map of Zimbabwe
systematically marked with holes.
Is this just another game of ‘Stones’
where only one man gets a turn?

Frances Macaulay Forde ~2007

Profile image

Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Wed 23rd Apr 2008 16:24

A lot of people are concerned about Zimbabwe, but who is to say the opposition will be any better?

The feeling in the piece is expressed well.

Profile image

Frances Macaulay Forde

Thu 14th Feb 2008 01:02

My poem needs to be read aloud to your Valentine:

Like Dust...

…in the brightest moments of your life you will see me, know I am here,
but most of the time, forget you are surrounded until I pile myself onto
the surfaces of your life, obscure the view ~ stop you seeing clearly,

for I will blind you with dust. I have finally found the perfect place,
will settle proudly, content to exist in your garden, even when you shovel
me around, stack me on the side or toss me away turning me into mud

with tears… I will still be here. You’ll see me hurrying as the sunlight
streams, to nestle happily once again in the nooks and crannies
of your everyday. As you work, I will lay waiting patiently on polished glass

for you to draw, or write, or whisper a reminder of me. When you move
or brush me from your shoulder I will find a way to climb up, to be near
your heart once more, to hold you, to cover you with many, many particles

so light, so soft, so tender you won’t be able to ignore me because I want
to go where you go and be where you are. I am found in every corner
of your life, all of your rooms, all of your emotions and all of your actions.

Remember I absolutely exist. I am on your breath ~ your clothes ~ your food.
I am outside, around and in you. I will multiply with every puff of kissed air,
each gentle breeze moving over your body, every cloud that shadows

the brilliance of your day, each current of warmth, every time you touch.
I am here resting on every surface of your life. You’ll see so much dust
you’ll want to claim it, write your name in it and make me yours ~ forever!

© 2008

View all comments

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message