Guest Post: “Poetry & Me” by Robbie Cheadle

Today, Robbie Cheadle, stopped by to talk about a topic that is dear to my heart: poetry. I’ll be reviewing this book soon. ❤

Robbie and her friend, Kim Blades, collaborated on a poetry book called “Open a New Door.” This is a new release and you will find links to the book below.

Author & Poet, Robbie Cheadle

I always like reading poetry. I enjoyed the descriptions, rhythm and word combinations. When I was a very small girl, I enjoyed nursery rhymes and rhyming songs and as I got older, I read books like The Hobbit and Emily of New Moon and really enjoyed the poems included in these books.

As an adult, there have been a few poems that have completely captured my imagination.

“Dante’s Inferno”

The first poem is “Dante’s Inferno,” which is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem, Divine Comedy. The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil.

In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles, representing a gradual increase in human wickedness and the related fitting punishments, and culminating with Satan trapped in the centre of the earth.  Lucifer is trapped waist-deep in a frozen lake from which he cannot escape. This is the depiction of Lucifer from the poem:

“… he had three faces: one in front blood red;
and then another two that, just above
   the midpoint of each shoulder joined the first;
   and at the crown, all three were reattached;
the right looked somewhat yellow, somewhat white;
   the left in its appearance was like those
   who come from where the Nile, descending, flows…”

“The Temple of Nature”

Another fascinating poem that I came across “is The Temple of Nature,” by Erasmus Darwin. Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham and one of the key thinkers in the scientific, economic, political, cultural and legal manifestation of theAge of Enlightenment that developed in Birmingham and the wider English midlands. He was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave trade abolitionist, inventor, and poet.

“The Temple of Nature” was Darwin’s final long poem and waspublished after his death in 1803. It is about his concept of evolution and isconsidered to be his best work. The poem depicts the progression of life frommicro-organisms to modern man.

“Still Nature’s births enclosed in egg or seed

From the tall forest to the lowly weed,

Herbeaux and beauties, butterflies and worms,

Rise from aquatic to aerial forms.

Thus in the womb, the nascent infant laves

Its natant form in the circumfluent waves;                   

With perforated heart unbreathing swims,

Awakes and stretches all its recent limbs;

With girls, placental seeks the arterial flood,

And drinks pure ether from its Mother’s blood.

Erewhile the landed Stranger bursts his way,

From the warm wave emerging into day;

Feels the chill blast, and piercing light, and tries

His tender lungs, and rolls his dazzled eyes;

Gives to the passing gale his curling hair,

And steps a dry inhabitant of air.”

My poetry

Robbie and her son, Michael

I started writing rhyming poetry with Michael to help him learn to read and write. At the same time, I wrote poems for adults about children and parenting. Over the past few years my poetry has evolved into an outlet for my personal anxieties, frustrations and general thoughts on life.

One poem I wrote is about my own chronic back pain. I have suffered with three degenerating discs in my upper back since I was twenty years old and it has become worse over the years. I now take a mild anti-inflammatory pill every night and see a physiotherapist once a week to keep my condition under control. Most of the time I manage but stress causes it to flair up and I have a few bad days every couple of weeks.


Pain, a persistent and stealthy foe,

Shoots well-aimed arrows from his bow,

They strike deeply into mind and soul,

‘Though our physical body exhibits the toll,

As the poison seeps into muscle and bone,

It’s a fight that you endure alone.

Its relentlessness causes the mind to tire,

Happiness and joy sink into a mire,

It must end, you must forward stare,

While your body this test does bear,

At the edges of your mind, there is hope,

Which provide the tools for you to cope.

© 2018 Robbie Cheadle

“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 corporate and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, freestyle, 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 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

© 2018 Robbie Cheadle

Books by Robbie Cheadle

Here’s Where You Can Find Robbie:




Thanks for stopping by to learn more about Robbie and her love of writing poetry!

Robbie Cheadle is part of the dream team of poets who participates in my Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. Writing poetry is the gateway prose to writing better books! ❤

P. S. I used the new WordPress Hemingway editor to create this post. It took me longer than normal. I also found that cutting and pasting from a word document distorted many of the words and I had to spend time fixing the spacing between the words. It looks like the spacing is correct on the draft, but when you preview it, the words are not separated. 

Some of the titles, I couldn’t center. It doesn’t like cut & paste used within the editor either. It does allow you to change the background color of certain blocks (like this one). It’s not terribly hard to work with, but my first impressions tell me that it is glitchy! It will take some getting used to… but, I didn’t die. 😀 ❤


  1. I’m so happy to see Robbie here. What a lovely way to write poetry in the process of helping Michael to learn poetry. Many poets write about every day life that we could identify. It’s great that Robbie wrote about her different experience.
    Colleen, thank you for your notes about the WordPress editor. It doesn’t sound scary. I clicked keep the classic two times, but I’m sure it will come back to ask me to learn more and change to the new editor. When I see that you did it and turned out fine, I feel that I could do it also. Thank you for sharing your experience with the editor changes. I may spend the weekend to learn about it. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Miriam, you’re so lovely. I know you can do it. It’s just different. There are glitches but that’s normal. Robbie is a fabulous poet and author. I love the way she separated out her book. I learned so much about South Africa! ❤️

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, Colleen. I love to learn – learned so much by doing everything to publish my book. When we travel, we met some people from South Africa and it changed my view also. The politics lately is heartbreaking and I’m happy to know that Robbie is trying to get out of the country. ❤

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Yes, the local people cause violence and protest against the white people. I worry so much for Robbie but didn’t want to say anything in the media. I hinted it and she said they’d try to go to UK in a year. ❤

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Colleen. I have learned more about Robbie and enjoyed her choice of poetry and her own poem about pain (very vivid). Also love the pics. And thanks for sharing your experience with the new editor… I guess if they called it Hemingway, it is a give that it will be temperamental… Good to know you managed to tame it. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  3. An interesting post about Robbie and her new book. Thanks for sharing.
    The new editor doesn’t sound fun. What is the advantage–other than colored blocks? 🙂
    I always write my posts first in Word and then paste them into WP. I was wondering why there were some words in your post that were stuck together. . .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It was crazy! Now I wrote a post for my other blog and it was fine. All of my interviews are done by the author on Word. I expect it to be a mess. Cut and paste is my life! Fingers crossed. I’m not impressed, so far. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations Robbie. I can so relate to your poem “pain”. In fact I think so often to dedicate a poem to my aching feet. Going to do it now. Inspired by your own ” pain” poem.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks Colleen and Robbie for sharing the background to your poetry and ‘Pain’ really did capture the essence of this assault on our physical and mental body… as to Hemingway… well done Colleen… I am sticking to Classic and will let you brave and sassy souls battle through the glitches… hugs ♥

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Robbie, I loved your poem! It perfectly depicts what many of us feel. Best of luck with your new release.
    I tried the HTML in the new editor and hated (okay, disliked) it! Everything came out tight together and the only way to space was to go back into the HTML and try to find the spot between all the mumbo-jumbo coding, err!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It wants to put each paragraph into a block. It’s tedious as, hell… oh my, did I really say that? Well, I’m determined to figure the blasted thing out! LOL! Thanks for stopping by. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s an emotive poem about pain Robbie, I could relate to it as we all experience this monster wreaking havoc, hovering around us in many forms. Thank you ladies for this wonderful post on poetry.
    I don’t have any idea about this editor and new digital challenges always scare me though I try to tinker with them with my limited knowledge. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I taught my son the multiplication tables by playing Yatzee every night with him. He learned those tables so fast. Bravo to you, Robbie. Creative parents rock! ❤


  8. Fantastic interview, Colleen. Robbie, I so understand your poem about pain, I have discs in my lower back that aren’t there anymore. The fluid has gone leaving the bones to rub together. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Terri you’re such an inspiration. Thank you, my friend. I’m proud to know you. Stay safe! I know you live near the fires. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It was lovely getting to know more about Robbie and the inspiration behind her poetry. What an innovative way to teach reading and writing. I love Dante’s inferno too😊. Kudos on how you deal with your back pain Robbie😚🤗. I am sure you have inspired others going through chronic illnesses with sharing this aspect of you. I hope your strength and what keeps you going never fades.
    Thank you Colleen for this platform as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Its intersting to get to know more of these two lovely poets and their books…i was drawn at the fact that Robie’s love for poetry actually came from her love of Dante’s inferno.

    Thanks for sharing them to us Coleen..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I enjoyed reading this thank you Colleen! Loved the selection of poems Robbie chose to illustrate her early interest and that she chose to create poems to help her son to read and write better. Reminds me of the Dr. Seuss books which my sons as children much enjoyed. Good luck with your books!


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