Tag Archives: POETRY

© Poetry, photographs and painting Copyright To Anne Frandi-Coory. All Rights Reserved 3 June 2019 

*Painting acrylic on canvas*




You Yangs…

Yellow, blue, eucalypts

ancient river red gums,

centuries in the making; naked branches,

petrified arms, gnarled and grey

beckoning, pleading, monster-like

awaiting more fire to sprout new life

darkened cavities like gaping mouths,

homes for many a creature.


Seems a graveyard for once-thriving

river red gums, companion granite rock

cracked and sentry-like, guarding;

fossilized years of earthly rumblings  

groaning low Wadawurrung mountains 

weathered skeletons hovering, creaking

trunks given up on survival?

Crashed to earth, limbs flailing


so dry, roots no longer gripping

many moons of rainless clouds

tortured, pitiful, writhing gums; so

much crumbling charcoal clinging;

kindling amassing for a future

conflagration that one day must come

alas what wildlife lurks beneath?

Koala cling high amongst the thinning gums.


Myriad birds thrive in this strange landscape

in harmony and yet, noisy squabbling,

from long shared and distant pasts;  

Magpies’ melodious carolling,

New Holland honey eaters chattering

colourful feathers fleetingly observed

camouflaged in the skyward flowering gums,

laughing Kookaburra and croaking Wattlebird.


Silence unobserved atop granite peaks in the midst of a sweeping lava plain.




Luciana Cavallaro – *author *writer *historian *teacher *university supervisor

Today, I would like to introduce to you an amazing lady and friend, Anne Frandi-Coory. We connected on Twitter five years ago, when another equally lovely lady, Melanie Selemidis recommended Anne to read my short stories. It was from then on, we found we had not only a common interest in ancient history and mythology, but we also shared the same culture, an Italian heritage. I’ve since read her heart-wrenching autobiographical/memoir, Whatever happened to Ishtar? and more recently, read her latest publication, Dragons, Deserts, and Dreams: poems, short stories and artworks. Her latest book, is a unique collection of poetry, artwork and stories of her familial heritage. Click here for my review of the book.

Anne blog

Anne Frandi-Coory *author *writer *poet *painter *genealogist

I asked Anne if she’d honour me with an interview, and she said yes!  In this candid interview, Anne is honest and her answers will make you want to reach out and hug her. Enough with my ramblings, and over to Anne…

  1. Why did you write this book in this unique compilation?

For a few years after publishing  Whatever Happened To Ishtar?  in 2010 I felt a deep seated  need  to paint and write poetry incorporating some of the memories and family stories I’d written about.  Writing Ishtar?  helped me to organise  my childhood trauma into some kind of chronological order and gave many of the fractured  memories context and adult understanding.  That’s when  poems  and  brush strokes just flowed from me although I’d never written poetry or painted on a canvas in my life before.  Any  task or project I have embarked upon, be it career, marriage, motherhood, writing or painting, I have done with a passion, I know of no other way. Once a particular  passion grips me,  I let no one, or nothing, stand in my way.

I loved reading  to my children when they were little and later  I read to my grandchildren, whenever I helped out with their care. My grandchildren love to share their vivid imaginings with me so when I had completed the painting and poetry of the painful past,  I was inspired to paint images of my young grandchildren’s imaginative stories,  along with the natural world around us, and to write poetry to enhance them all.

Whenever family came to visit they were keen to see whatever painting I was working on and how it was progressing.  I kept a record of these and the rest of my works in a folder. I had intended to write another book when I realised one day looking through my folder, that I had already written and illustrated another book!  Somehow, all the different poems and stories just seemed to fit when I re-arranged them into a certain order. I felt that everything I’d written and painted summed up my whole life. I could see the pain of the past, and the joy that my grandchildren had brought into my life and how much we loved walking around the lakes near my home, watching wildlife and learning together.

  1. How do the poems and short stories relate to each other?

There are two short stories in the book. One relates to my Lebanese grandparents’ emigration from Lebanon to Australia then on to New Zealand, based on my grandfather Jacob Coory’s diary. I wrote the  other story especially for the book because I wanted to encapsulate all the research I’d done into my Italian family history which highlighted the heartbreaking lives of mothers and daughters, especially that of my great grandmother, Raffaela  Mansi Grego.  Compared to the Italian women in my family tree, my Lebanese grandmother and her daughters had a relatively happier existence. The poems pick up some of the hardships the women suffered, and how it impacted upon following generations. Catholicism featured largely in the lives of both my paternal and maternal families, much of it detrimental and in my view, added greatly to the suffering of the women and their daughters. The societies they lived in were patriarchal and certain cultures and conventions  hadn’t changed for centuries. I believe that when a Christian god was installed as the Almighty One and Only God, and pagan gods and goddesses were relegated to nothing more than Classical Studies, life for females became much darker. In this way, the short stories and many of the poems are a literary reflection  of my maternal Italian and paternal Lebanese heritage.

  1. The first third of your book is dedicated to the wrongs done to others and to Mother Nature. I thought the poem, a homage to Daniel, Zahra and Caylee was particularly moving. How does your own childhood manifest in these poems?

The tragic deaths of Daniel, Zahra and Caylee  were front page world news during the years I was writing  my first  few  poems, and their stories really affected me and stayed with me. I couldn’t get them out of my mind, so I sat down one day and wrote a poem especially for them. The words just poured out, and I dedicated it to all abused children. Only then could I get on with my other writings.  My own childhood was full of fear, loneliness and gross neglect by family and others who should have been caring for me, and I felt deeply the horrors  Zahra  and Caylee  had  endured in their short lives from their own families. Daniel came from a loving family, but his last moments at the hands of the  stranger  who murdered him would have been terrifying.  All because a bus driver decided not to stop and pick him up at the bus stop. Likewise, the cruelty that some humans inflict on animals I find deeply disturbing. Life can be fickle, children and animals so vulnerable.  Humans have the intelligence and power to do so much good on this wonderful planet earth,  but sometimes it seems to me that greed and evil are winning. I fight depression by putting my thoughts down on paper. Sometimes they develop into stories and poetry.

  1. It was evident to me from reading your book and from your artwork, this project was filled with love, heartache and triumphs. What experience are you hoping readers will gain from your book?

I wanted women, especially mothers, to soak in my words, to be able to relate to them and for those of us who were raised within strict Catholic institutions, to know that others share the harm done to us and understand.  I would like readers in general to see the balance in my works…that love and the kindness shown by others can overcome tragedy.

Of course I have also written poems which celebrate the imagination of children and the allure of animals and the natural world.  I hope readers can share the joys I have found in my affinity with animals and children, and the solace that the natural world  can bring to our lives if we can accept that we are a part of nature and that we must live in harmony with it.

  1. How difficult was it confronting your own troubled childhood and that of your familial history, when writing the poems, short stories and painting? Did you learn anything while on this journey?

It was much easier than writing Ishtar?  because then I was confronting a jumble of fractured memories without any context. Each time I discovered new information it was another emotional hit and it left me exhausted, depressed and emotionally troubled. However, painting always leaves me in a state of equilibrium and the poems are already formed, seemingly, in my subconscious, so that I am merely transferring them onto an empty page.

Did I learn anything? If I did, it was that much of the emotional pain that I had carried around with me for most of my life, had largely dissipated.

  1. There is a search for innocence, love of a family and tribute to beloved pets in the latter part of the book. Does this reflect contentment and happiness in your life now or are you still seeking solace and answers to your abusive childhood?

When I was a child incarcerated in various  Catholic institutions, the natural world and animals did not feature in my life at all. Any reference to animals or nature were in abstract, that is, told through the prism of religion: God made everything on earth, Noah saved animals on the Ark during  the great flood and St Francis of Assisi loved animals. Most of  the children’s books we were given to read were illustrated bible stories, the images always of perfect human beings and animals.  We knew nothing at all about the actual world outside. When I was a young mum, we had a menagerie of many different animals;  as my children grew up and learned to cherish animals, so did I.  There is no doubt in my mind that animals taught me so very much about motherhood, life, death and loyalty. For instance, as a child, I was terrified at the thought of death. My nights were filled with nightmares of my own and others’ deaths. Having witnessed many times the death of beloved pets due to old age or accident while bringing up my children, I realised how animals accept death as a part of life. Not for them the maniacal scenes of death and destruction nuns and priests often imposed on us as a warning against sin. At first, I could not believe how peaceful death was when our first pet cat was euthanised after a long and happy life. I expected writhing and meowing in  agony and as the tears streamed down my face I waited in trepidation; instead our beloved feline died quietly in my arms. I had paid for the vet to come to our house so our pet who had never left our gardens could be surrounded by that which he loved.  The vet too had tears in his eyes, witnessing my distress. Not everyone I come into contact with is so gracious about my emotional states or as understanding of my passions.  It has been a long process, but yes, the happiness and contentment reflected in Dragons, Deserts and Dreams, is real. I remain  a bit of a recluse, preferring  to strictly control who comes into my life because I still live with trust issues which prevent me from having a normal social life.

  1. What is your next writing project? Will it be inspired by your family’s history or of your life today?

 I have correspondence from hundreds of readers, and both Lebanese and Italian descendants living around the world  which has the potential to be transcribed into a very powerful book.

I’ll await and see what spirits contrive to move me.

  1. Where can people purchase your book?

 Dragons, Deserts and Dreams can be purchased worldwide from Amazon and other online bookstores or if readers live in Australia or New Zealand they can purchase a signed copy directly from me through my blog here

  1. Where can people connect with you?

I’m always happy to receive comments and correspondence from readers either through comments on my blog or via email at


More information about books written by Luciana Cavallaro Here




Publisher’s Forward:  Anne Frandi-Coory’s poetry, short stories and paintings, embody the emotional pain of abandoned, abused children, along with the guilt and helplessness felt by mothers struggling within a hostile environment with little or no support. Her childhood years spent in Catholic institutions has allowed Anne a heartfelt and very personal insight into the harm the Catholic Church has inflicted, and can still inflict, on children without the protection of a loving family. This talented writer, artist also manages to capture the vibrancy of the Natural World, and the fantastical imagination of children and their world.


Hi Anne,
I received the books with much love and gratitude: Let me firstly say, congratulations to you and your wonderful works of art! You’re a very talented lady, artistic, intelligent and inspirational! To be honest l read the book within two days and I loved it, especially the poem ‘Photograph‘ and the short story of ‘Raffaela’s Last Dream‘.  My favourite art composition in the book is your painting next to ‘Sands of Fate‘, the eyes, (your eyes l’m sure), the colours, and the symbols in this work are magic. No detail is lost on me.
Oh and Just so you know l have studied the early Gnostic writings of the divine feminine and its subsequent obfuscations and covering up by the Catholic Church in the name of their men-centric control religion. (John Lash Lamb and his work of ‘Not in his Image‘). So I resonate with you in many many ways. So please allow me to thank you for the kind present to read your book and the wonderful genealogy work you’ve done to bring to life our family’s legacy. 
-Dean Marshel-Courté
Dean Marshel-Courte

Dean Marshel-Courté


True life and make-believe

I love this colourful little book Dragons, Deserts and Dreams  containing poems and short stories, written and illustrated by Anne Frandi-Coory.

She has cleverly woven her poems into evocative, self-contained vignettes and portraits; brief episodes that are obviously dear to her heart.  The short, true life stories, in beautiful prose, convey a passion and a vividness that make you feel as though you were right there when the events were actually happening. Readers will meet Ms Frandi-Coory’s paternal Lebanese grandparents  in the hills of Lebanon and later in the story, join them on their sea voyage to Melbourne then on to New Zealand in ‘Immigration And The Promise’. On the other hand, the life of Ms Frandi-Coory’s maternal Italian great grandmother is very different. ‘Raffaela’s Last Dream’ is more of a drawn out nightmare which begins in Rome when Raffaela is 13 years old.  In this short story, Raffaela is on her death bed surrounded by family, and as her long life flashes before her; readers  are there to accompany her every step of the way.

The author also enters into a world of make-believe, giving readers a glimpse of her affinity with children and animals in her poems about childish imagination, the antics of animals and the value of  Nature here on earth.

This is a book to treasure.

-Zita Barna …  GOODREADS, AMAZON  Book Reviews  2017


Unique, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching is how I describe Ms. Frandi-Coory’s latest book, Dragons, Deserts and Dreams. It is a collection of poems, short stories and endearing artwork. The author has compiled extraordinary creative prose and artwork that compliment and evoke an emotional response.

I am not a big poetry reader and have only recently begun to appreciate the nuances and beauty in poems, and after reading Ms. Frandi-Coory’s poems, I applaud her for the imagery that is evident in her works.

Some are tributes to those who were wronged or abused, other poems were reminiscences, and then there were the personal and painful expressions of a life experienced none too pleasantly by those who inflicted physical and psychological trauma.

The personal short stories, is how I perceive them, especially having read the author’s first book, Whatever happened to Ishtar? A passionate quest to find answers for generations of defeated mothers, a memoir come family history. The stories are windows into the back-story of her family’s plight, especially the women. It also gives insight into the person who wrote this book.

As for the artwork, they complement the poems and short stories, and demonstrate the remarkable creativity and gift of the creator of this book.

I did not know what to expect when I started reading this book, the mix of poetry, artwork and short stories is an unusual blend, however it works really well. This book will make you smile, angry, and saddened. This is an amazing endeavour undertaken by the author, and a fabulous book that I highly recommend to readers who appreciate and enjoy something a little different.

-GOODREADS, AMAZON book reviews…Luciana Cavallaro, Perth. 7 March 2017

serpent 3

Luciana Cavallaro, Perth


When I read Anne Frandi-Coory’s first book  Whatever Happened to Ishtar? I was so moved by her courage in divulging to the world, secrets of the traumatic life which she had so bravely struggled through since being abandoned by her mother, and institutionalized at such a young age at the Mercy Orphanage for the Poor at South Dunedin. Anne tells her story with such passion that you will want to read it again and again. But wait there is more.
Anne has now built a successful life in accomplishing all that she does, she is a Poet,Painter,Author, Book Reviewer and Genealogist and has recently published Dragons,Deserts, and Dreams. This book covers poems, short stories and Artworks and is so cleverly put together. Anne weaves her poems around her life and family,all beautifully written. I love them all but there are two of her poems I especially like:
No Summer Will They See- Not Daniel, Zahra or Caylee
and Ode to Cleopatra
– Rita Roberts, Crete. 21 February 2017
Rita Roberts 2

Rita Roberts, Crete


Wow! That ‘Raffaela’s Last Dream’ in Dragons, Deserts and Dreams,   is just so, so beautiful, and I love it. But then again I love everything you do, my darling Anne. You have put me by her bedside. You have me holding and squeezing her hand as I read and hear her, drifting through the pages of her life, with all the love and emotion of a woman who knows she will soon be flying through heaven, alongside the author of all things in the universe.
For beautiful Raffaela has already experienced hell on earth. And I, the reader was there when it was all happening, so cleverly condensed in, ‘the present tense’. You’re such a great writer Anne, you always have the ability to stir up my emotions.
After I finished reading, in the dark now, I closed my eyes and wept and sobbed out loud, as I often do, when I awake from such dreams. Dreams I have of my grandmother, the one person who never stopped loving me.
Dreams, nowadays in my secret place I call ‘La La land’. A place I find myself a lot lately as my body too, is almost worn out. A place where I’m not really asleep, but then again I’m not altogether awake. All I have to do is remain quiet, usually in the afternoon, close my eyes as I rest alone on my sofa, and I’m there, in my beautiful ‘La La Land’, where anything can happen.
Thank you so very much for introducing me to your wonderful, courageous and most lovely, ‘Raffaela’ Anne, I am so grateful to find her at last. She, like you will remain forever with me, as I know I will never forget you both.

-Arabella Marx, @thatmarxtart Australia 2017

Marx Tart












More reviews here:

Also here on Anne Frandi-Coory’s Facebook page:


I’m Your Man; The Life Of Leonard Cohen

is an authorised biography by Sylvie Simmons published 2012, four years before Leonard Cohen’s death on 7 November 2016.




I have just finished reading this wonderful book which I bought at the Clunes Book Fair earlier this year.

What a book, what a man Leonard Cohen was. Poet, philosopher, author, scholar of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish Kabbalah. Simmons, a renowned music journalist and award winning writer, has written the ultimate Leonard Cohen biography of  531 pages, incorporating his life, his music, poetry and prose, and his deep spirituality. She records word for word, many of the dialogues she had with him, which add to the intimacy of the book. He was a humble man who valued his solitude, a frugal way of life  hidden from the limelight, and of course, his love for women. A man with a magnetic personality, he had many lovers, most of whom he remained close friends with. He could not live too long in a relationship with a woman though, not even with Suzanne Elrod (not the Suzanne who inspired his most famous song), the mother of his two children. But she says that he was a devoted father, generous and loving, although there were recriminations, for a time, following the breakup of their relationship.

The leading rabbi of Montreal’s Jewish community who knew the Cohen family well, understood Cohen’s devotion to a Buddhist monk and to Buddhism, and believed that Cohen would’ve made a brilliant rabbi because of his poetical way with words and his authoritative knowledge of the Hebrew Bible. Cohen was a very disciplined man who also loved to fast. He enjoyed vegetarian food and was always very slim, of quite a slight build; ‘There’s no excess to him at all” observed Simmons.

This is a riveting read for Leonard Cohen fans and anyone who is interested in the music scene of the 1960s through to the 1990s. Such artists as Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Jeff Buckley and various music entrepreneurs; people like Phil Spector, John Lissauer, Nick Cave, and background singers such as Jennifer Warnes, Sharon Robinson, the Webb sisters,  and Anjani Thomas to name a few. Cohen preferred subtle musical instrumentation to accompany his works, and many of his songs feature him playing his beloved synthesiser, and his Spanish guitar. He had a ‘good ear’ for the sound he wanted; simple, so that his voice, poetry/lyrics were enhanced, not drowned out.

When Cohen began recording an album with Phil Spector, it developed into a worst nightmare for him.  Simmons recorded a dialogue she had with Cohen:

There were lots of guns in the studio [during the recording of the album ‘Death of a Ladies’ Man 1977] and lots of liquor [and drugs]. It was a somewhat dangerous atmosphere…he liked guns. I liked guns too, but I generally don’t carry one. There was no firing but it’s hard to ignore a .45 lying on the console. The more people in the room the more wilder Phil would get. I couldn’t help but admire the extravagance of his performance. But my personal life [before he entered the monastery] was chaotic, I wasn’t in good shape at the time mentally, and I couldn’t really hold my own in there [the recording studio].

Almost without exception, people who came into contact with Cohen describe him as being very kind, a gentleman and very generous; a seductive man. His friends and family told his biographer that Cohen was constantly writing and sketching. Many of his books and album sleeves are enhanced with his sketches and paintings. Cohen was always beautifully dressed, and he loved wearing suits, with his shoes always highly polished. Cohen’s extended family were tailors and owned up-market clothing stores, and he worked in one or two stores for a short time, but he really hated being involved in the family business. He once said to his biographer, Simmons, “Darling, I was born in a suit”.  But Cohen was too trusting of others. He signed one his most famous songs, Suzanne  over to a record label, believing he was just signing a ‘normal’ recording contract and later in his career, his then manager stole all of his money (approx.7.5 million) while he was living in the Buddhist monastery after he had given her power of attorney over his affairs. He then had to go on tour, which he never enjoyed in the past, to earn money for his retirement years. He was at that stage, aged in his early seventies. The tour, with handpicked musicians and background singers he felt comfortable with, lasted over three years. He and his band played to packed global audiences and he made much more money than had been stolen from him. At that time he had a personal friend, Robert Kory, as his very competent tour manager, who understood Cohen’s shyness and his need for solitude. Only those who had to be backstage were allowed there, no interviews were arranged, and there were  plenty of breaks for Cohen to recharge his batteries somewhere in solitude.

A deeply spiritual man who was proud of his Jewish heritage, Cohen spent about five years  as a monk (he was ordained) in a Buddhist Monastery, and he felt that Buddhism and Judaism complimented each other. Cohen lost his lifelong depression after his sojourn in the  monastery, belatedly in his sixties. For years Cohen had used a variety of drugs like  maxiton/speed, LSD, Mandrax, acid, amphetamines to lift him out of his dark depression, and many of his poems/songs reflect his angst and those dark periods. Then there were his experiences in the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York City, his home away from home in the early years, and which could fill a book on their own. Simmons also explores this time with Cohen throughout the book.

Cohen’s father died when he was nine years old, and he didn’t believe that his father’s death had a profound effect on him, because he was often ill in hospital or away somewhere else. But after having read this book, I believe his father’s death did have a profound effect on his life, even though he had very strong male role models within his family and the Montreal Jewish community. He was very close to his mother, and was also surrounded by loving women, in his private life and later in his musical life.

Cohen liked to live in simple cottage-like homes, and he spent his last years living in Los Angeles in a small sparsely furnished duplex where he lived upstairs while his daughter, Lorca lived downstairs. He also owned a very small cottage on the Greek island, Hydra which he bought in his thirties with money left to him by a relative, and in which he wrote many of his works and spent many happy days with Marianne, his lifelong muse and one time lover.

Always nervous on stage, Cohen preferred to be supported by musicians he knew well and who understood his type of simple music; music that didn’t drown out the lyrical poetry of his songs. He won numerous global and Canadian awards during his lifetime, for literature, poetry and music albums. He didn’t always believe he deserved them. He has written 12 books of poetry and prose.

Something Leonard Cohen said stayed with me while I read his biography. He said he didn’t rebel when he was growing up because essentially he had a privileged life brought up as he was in a wealthy and close Jewish neighbourhood in Canada, and that he had nothing to rebel against. But maybe he was too much the dutiful son, and maybe if he had rebelled, he wouldn’t have spent most of his life taking all manner of drugs to get him through life, the desperate need to spend so much of his time alone, and his fearfulness of making any kind of commitment to another person.  He was too polite, too shy, too forgiving and far too hard on himself. But then we wouldn’t have his legacy of poetry and songs, would we?

-Anne Frandi-Coory 1 December 2016

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Lucida Mansi sold her soul to the devil………find out more……..


Nexus 4 Nov 027

Silhouette in Bagni Di Lucca


Painting and Poem  Silhouette In Bagni Di Lucca   Copyright  To Anne Frandi-Coory –

All rights reserved 4 November 2013…..

Painting by afcoory –  acrylic on canvas 100cm x 75cm


Read my poem *Silhouette In Bagni Di Lucca




Dedicated to my great grandmother Raffaela Marisi Mansi Grego (Greco) -the Mansi name probably originated in Saxony. Mansi ancestors moved to Italy as wealthy silk traders when Italy was ruled by Germany.

Read more about the origins of the Mansi family name: My Fascination With Italian Surnames

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