Why I write poetry? – Guest Post by Robbie Cheadle…

Writing poetry, for me, is an escape valve that I use to download my thoughts about situations and circumstances that cause me great stress and turbulent emotion. I have never been a person who wrote poems about beautiful things and nature, although I enjoy reading this type of poetry myself as I find it soothing.

My poetry is usually an outpouring of emotion, often fueled by my own inability to find a solution or remedy to a given situation. I express myself in words to release my anguish and I find it does work well for me.

Open a new door, the book of poems I wrote with fellow poet, Kim Blades, includes a lot of poems about poverty, corruption and the frustration and pain of life for many people living in Southern Africa. Kim’s poetry is like mine in this respect, although nature conservation and the threats posed by global warming and mindless destruction of nature flow strongly through her poems as this is what particularly moves her.

This is one of my favourite poem in this collection is called The Thunderstorm.  It expresses the sadness and frustration I felt during a heavy thunderstorm while watching a group of beggars continuing to stand begging in the rain because of their desperate plight.

The Thunderstorm

by Robbie Cheadle

A deluge of rain tumbles from the sky

like a bucket turned upside down

the beggars impervious to its ferocity

faces impassive, no fear or frown.

 

Young boys stand on the roadside

eyes smouldering with hunger’s pain

need forcing them to continue standing

despite the lightning and drenching rain.

 

One holds a bedraggled cardboard sign

the other a tattered polystyrene cup

each hoping a passerby will pause

and give something to eat or sup.

 

A young mother stands shivering

an old umbrella sheltering her child

his eyes huge and frightened

he’s never laughed or even smiled.

 

In the middle of an intersection

an old man stands bent and alone

his head bowed in supplication to the torrent

he doesn’t complain, sigh or moan.

 

It’s rare to see the elderly on the street

poverty means many don’t live that long

my heart fills with a wrenching pain

for this anguished society to which I belong.

***

This poem is dedicated to the thousands of starving strays thatare also, often completely overlooked, victims of poverty

The stray

by Kim Blades

Small, grimy and alone

a little dog without a home,

scratching and biting at fleas

his ghetto den has no keys,

he lives among lopsided shacks

piles of rubbish and dirt tracks,

and even though he kills rats

people don’t leave him scraps,

bug and dirt filled dung for dinner

means every day he gets thinner,

cool, rainy days suit him best

with water to drink and refresh,

rain washes his hair free of mud

and rinses his wounds free of blood,

he constantly seeks a friendly face

but is unsuccessful in this poor place,

so he remains all alone –

a little dog without a home.

 

Open a new door, a collection of poems

Blurb

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:

What drives me to write?

To share my innermost thoughts

The answer is clear

It’s my personal attempt

To make some sense of this world.

 

Inspiration blossoms

Like the unfurling petals

Of the Desert Rose

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42 thoughts on “Why I write poetry? – Guest Post by Robbie Cheadle…

  1. I love this post, Robbie and Chris. Robbie, I remember this poem very well when I read your book and I was touched by your sensitivity to the boy and poverty in general. I’m glad you find writing poetry a way to reduce your stress!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Miriam, and for saying you remembered this poem which means it did make its mark. I find the poverty I see every day very upsetting. I will never be able to phase it out of my mind like some people seem to do.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re welcome, Robbie, you did a good job writing this poem.

        The poverty is epidemic in the US with so many homeless people. I’m upset about the government system and the social system. When I was in Hong Kong for 10 days, I only saw one homeless person. Families take care of each other and people could find low paying jobs to survive.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading this, Robbie. Its ironic and a little sad that interspersed with your touching poem about the beggers WordPress (or one of the advertisers who place on ads on blogs) inserted an advertisement about how to make money in London. We live in a world where values are sometimes skewed. The very best of luck with the book sales to you and Kim. All the best – Kevin

    Liked by 2 people

      • I appreciate that the ads are generated by WordPress, Chris. I do appreciate that they have nothing to do with your good self, indeed my own site suffers from these pesky ads. In any case they in no way detract from Robbie’s great article. All the best – Kevin

        On 5/19/19, Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kevin. That is the world we live in. Lip service is paid to societal issues but nothing is done because the people with the power want to retain it and don’t really see or want to acknowledged the problem.

      Liked by 2 people

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