Carole Johnson, writer, artist, Friend.
Every so often you may receive an unexpected gift - a glimpse of hope, a joy shared. El Duende by Marlene Fulcher is one such gift.
Her many poems weave skilfully in and out of life’s delights and disappointments. This poet understands the importance and intricacy of form, but she delivers so much more. Some appear simple, as in ‘Soft Voice, Rich and Clear,’ yet metaphor imparts a depth of feeling which brought me close to tears. Other poems, first step only one step away, show how few words are needed to say so much.
For this reader, a poem need not have obvious meaning, it may simply be. But it must have something to say, however subtle.
From the opening line of A Celebration of Friendship. ‘There is a time, a time for giving birth’, to the last line of her final poem Yesterday and Today. ‘I loved you through all your yesterdays and I love you still today,’ Marlene achieves this. A delightful collection of poetry.
Saylor Rose, Western Australia
I really enjoyed this playful and creative showcase of heartfelt poetry in this debut book by Marlene Fulcher. It's a wonderful monologue crafted from a cascade of intertwined throughts, and beautiful observations of life
I was given as a gift a small book of poetry, “El Duende” by Marlene A. Fulcher. I was delighted to see she is a West Australian author and couldn’t wait to dip into its pages.
Wow! Such a range of subjects covered – family, loss, nature, love of country, magic and life in general.
The writing was quite visual to me, I could see images in my mind as I read. Some of the poems moved me to tears, others brought a smile. I like Marlene’s take on life, the way she embraces the whole of life – the happy and the sad, the daily grind. The poem Legacy of Love, very cleverly uses old postcards to tell the story of a wife and mother waiting for her husband to come home from WWI – the last line delivers such a blow.
The powerful writing in Recall leaves you thinking. It’s hard to pick a favourite as so many connect on a personal level, but Living Drums seems to call to me at this moment in my life. That’s the amazing thing with this book – it’s full of gems that you can dip into over and over and everyone can relate to this honest and simple way of writing. Loved it!
Osheani Joy Rainbow, Australia
Each Poem had me curious for more. From the hope found in a garden or nature, to the grief of war times. Explorations of family relations, to hints of esoteric themes. There seems a piece that touches on so many of the experiences and expressions of life.
The words dance about fluidly and had me curious and holding on for more to explore the writers experience and perspectives on life. A delightful read.
Writing and crafting words is an art and should be just as visual as painting or sculpting clay. Good writing paints and sculpts images in the readers mind just as clearly as something seen by the eyes. Marlene Fulcher’s skill in visual storytelling is visceral and emotional. You can genuinely feel the words on the page in your gut, and you will need to pause after each poem to reflect on the power of the story told. Poetry is often seen as simple rhyme and rhythm, but Mrs Fulcher has truly turned it into an art form.
Ivy Higgs Writer and friend
The title of Marlene’s book of poetry, El Duende, meaning Wind Goblin – Creative Force, is a masterstroke.
Marlene is indeed a creative force who, with a word, a line, has the power to evoke memories both good and bad. Willing or otherwise, you find yourself lost in the deep, dark horror and fear of war, can almost taste the bile, hear the bombs whistling overhead; turn a page and you are exulting in a young girl’s delight as she watches her father fashion a pair of desert boots for her first Saturday hop.
Despair, hope, love, regret, abound in this wonderful collection. I laughed, I cried, I reminisced. But, most of all, I just enjoyed reading the work of a remarkable wordsmith. Thank you, Marlene.
Dorathy Duperouzel, writer, friend.
How wonderful to hold in my hands, to read a book containing Marlene Fulcher’s poetry, which includes many of my favourites, poetry that shows the moods and quirks of life, in a variety of forms. I enjoy the slinky sneakiness of, Nightmares, the oceanic rhythm of, Sea Sprite, the promised tranquillity in, Song of Twilight, the hoof-beats through, Riding the Wind.
The haibun, Somewhere in France, is complimented beautifully by, Sestina of a Letter home – 1917, To Your Dear Self, In the Stillness and Legacy of Love. Other poems pattern soft words, flowing words, that echo love, loss, regret – and stir memories of my life, my family, my stories.
Thank you, Marlene, for your wonderful collection.
S. Muscat, Dunsborough, WA
I am new to the love of poetry and El Duende did nothing but enhance a growing respect for the craft. Many of the poems left me with a deep feeling of longing and loss; Illusive Shadow and Legacy of Love'; others left me joyfully emotional, perhaps in what the poem had tapped into within myself; Birth of a poet. I found myself reading many of the pages over and over because I enjoyed the feelings they evoked within. This collection is beautifully thoughtful as well as thought provoking. A must for any lover of fine writing. I highly recommend that you slow down, pick up this little book of huge emotion, and allow Marlene to share her insightful gifts of grief, joy, hope, and the ups and downs of life with you.
Lyn Tolliday, writer and friend
Having known Marlene for many years I was excited to get my copy of her book, El Duende. I was not disappointed. From beginning to end I was captivated. Marlene’s use of life events, both happy and sad, her use of poetry and prose, and the use of historical letters and postcards takes us on a journey through relationships. We have a reminder of our relationship with nature in ‘To the Tree Outside My Window’ and of family relationships in ‘Watching Snails’ and ‘Yesterday and Today’ through which love and pride shine. Together with Marlene we mourn the loss of a grandfather never known whose letters and postcards inspire a journey of exploration and understanding (Sestina of a Letter Home-1917, Somewhere in France and To Your Dear Self). We remember our own mothers and grandmothers in ‘Soft Voice, Rich and Clear’ and ‘Smouldering Embers.’ Her use of poetic form is masterful and we see this in the villanelle (Living Drums) and Sestina, mentioned earlier. Her use of Haiku throughout her prose strengthens the writing. The poems that touched me most deeply were ‘Nightmares’ with its rhythm and ability to make my heart race, ‘Between the Lines’ with its headline style of short, snappy lines and clever use of light imagery and repetition - a sad commentary on the darker side of life, and ‘a shadow lingers’ which did more than bring a tear to my eye in its simple portrayal of the pain felt by a parent who cannot keep death from encroaching on the life of their child. Last, but most certainly not least, is ‘My Hearts Crystal Cave.’ With reference to Merlin and Arthurian legend, the use of the raven as a messenger from the other side and the incongruence of that raven wearing a crystal around its neck the story of coming to terms with the death of a loved one through the message of the raven is simple yet powerful in that simplicity. An inspiring use of words throughout by Marlene I use her own to describe this literary offering
“Those special words
that flow heaven to earth.”
I have read ‘EL DUENDE’ from cover to cover and find myself returning again and again to different poems and stories. There is much to hold attention and dwell upon. Marlene’s artistic writing skills stir imagination and emotion, it inspires, creates patterns; she uses rhythm and colour, dance and music, nature and magic. Marlene brings memories of family and friends, past and present, to life with a deep sense of love and gratitude, which I can relate to, and having read them I could say: “yes” that’s it, beautifully expressed. It is an absolute pleasure to read the poetic work in El Duende, and I hope there will be a second volume.