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.
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
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
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.
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose