Tag Archives: Poem

Blog Tour – Behind Closed Doors, a Collection of Unusual Poems by Robbie Cheadle

It’s my pleasure to have Robbie Cheadle on my blog today to celebrate her new release.

Dear friends, please join me to welcome Robbie and her new book Behind Closed Doors, a Collection of Unusual Poems.

I’ll let Robbie tell you about her book cover, the title, and the different aspects of the poems. Here’s Robbie:

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The cover of a book and its title are both important selling points.

The cover needs to be eye catching, suit the genre, and hit at what the book is about. My previous poetry book is called Open a New Door, a phrase taken from the song Open a New Window from the musical production of Mame starring Angela Ladsbury and Beatrice Arthur.

I first listened to my mom’s record of Mame when I was a little girl of five. My mom had numerous records most of which were Broadway musicals, but Mame was always my favourite. I loved this song the best. It is rejection of the run-of-the-mill ordinary life and a quest for something new and exciting.

I wanted to retain the doors concept for my second poetry book, Behind Closed Doors, even though it had a different focus. The poems in this new book look at the various parts of my life and what effectively goes on behind those doors that are closed to social media and the world.

The poems are collected into the categories of In the Boardroom, In death, In my mind, In relationships, In lockdown, and In nature. I wanted a cover that would complement the idea of the many doors into people’s lives and souls so when I saw this cover of multiple multi-coloured doors designed by Teagan R Geneviene, I knew this was the one.

The doors in many different colours suited my own personal idea that the doors in peoples live come in different shares. Some are the yellow, pinks, and oranges of joy, the reds of love, the blues and greens of comfort and coolness, and the purples of sadness and depression.

What are your thoughts about the importance of covers? Tell me in the comments.

Thank you, Robbie!

Now, here is the book information

Book Blurb

What goes on behind closed doors: in the boardroom, after death, in the home, during lockdown, and in nature? This collection of poems, ranging from rhyming verse to twisted nursery rhymes, captures the emotions and thoughts people hide behind the masks they present to the world.

                                                                                          What thoughts are hidden

                                                                                          Behind her immobile face

                                                                                             Quite expressionless

                                                                                           Eyes cold and indifferent

                                                                                          Scrutinising me – hawk like

This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.

My Review

I’ve read Robbie Cheadle’s first poetry book Open a New Door and loved it. I knew I would enjoy reading Behind Closed Door. I’ve also read Cheadle’s children’s books, a young adult fictionalized biography about her mother’s life, and her historical fiction. She is a prolific writer while maintaining her demanding full-time job and home-schooling of the two teenage boys during the pandemic.

Behind Closed Doors is a poetry collection with themes about the author’s complex emotions and thoughts on her cooperated world, her personal dreams, her family life as a daughter, wife, and mother, as well as her thoughts on the lockdown during the pandemic.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specializes in corporate finance. The poem “Climbing Cooperated Ladder” vividly portraits the harsh reality of the cooperated world. Many individuals give up their family and social life to meet the never-ending demands with no guarantee of success:

 “Sit in your office, juggling ideas and possibilities, while your friends watch movies, eat out, drink, and socialize, spending their weekends having a jolly good time.”

“There are no friendships in the corporate jungle Colleagues left to demise in this uncaring world.”

It reminds me of the headache, heartache, and disappointment during my ten years in administration.

I could relate to the poem “He Walks Away” that describes the mother’s joy, pride, and pain:

“She watched over him tenderly as he learned about life… her smile healed all wounds; her kiss cured all pain…

“It’s heart-wrenching to let go knowing he must… encounter setbacks and loss before success… but it’s the duty of a mother to set her son loose to fly alone.”

Cheadle’s poems about lockdown remind us how vulnerable life is. “One day I had freedom, the next, it was gone. How will this end? I find myself wondering, Will we take a big step backward in time fifty years or more?”

Cheadle’s Behind Closed Doors is a delightful hour-long short read, but the provoking thought will stay for a long time. I highly recommend this book to poetry lovers and non-fiction readers.

Ratings  Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BBR94NC

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Closed-Doors-Robbie-Cheadle/dp/B099C8R3T4

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 1 poetry book.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Robbie Cheadle’s social media

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

TSL Books Author Page: https://tslbooks.uk/robbie-cheadle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

National Poetry Month – Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle #BookReview @mhurdle112

I’m over at Carla’s blog of Carla Loves to Read. She read my poetry collection and posted a wonderful review. Carla and I have teaching and school administration in common. She is a retired elementary school principal/teacher/teacher-librarian. She blogs about book reviews, reading challenges, adults’ and children’s books, and a lot more. Please head over to read her post and browse around her beautiful blog with different features.

Carla Loves To Read

I took several weeks to enjoy this book of poems. I enjoyed them and wanted time to ponder them, not rush through them. Miriam Hurdle is a blogger I follow who shares wonderful photographs, poetry and snapshots into her life among other things. I enjoy her blog and wanted to read her book. I was not disappointed.

Songs of Heartstrings byMiriam Hurdle

Published October 31st 2018 by KDP

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Lens Artists Photo Challenge #119 – My Hideaway

Ann-Christine invited us to explore the theme of Hideaway and would like to see our interpretation.


There is no time like this when we all need a hideaway. A place in which we could find safety, calmness, beauty, feel the contentment of being, and sustain the patience of riding out the storms.

My garden is my hideaway. Nature and the little creatures speak to me and I find comfort in their messages. The branches bend when the wind blow. The roots reach deep to draw water and nutrients. The flowers dance in the breeze. Some plants go dormant in the winter. Some creatures migrate south in the cold season. They don’t fight against nature but make the best of what nature offers and maintain their balance at their present state.

Music is my great hideout.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #119 – My Hideaway

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #17 – Message

This is Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #17. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #17 Image Prompt.

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920
Image by Antonios Ntoumas from Pixabay

Message

A letter curled in the bottle of brown

Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

After floating miles away carrying English tea

~

Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

After floating miles away carrying English tea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

~

Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

The mysterious message begged to be free

~

A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

The mysterious message begged to be free

from a letter curled in the bottle of brown

(Pantoum Poem)

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Pantoum poem comprises a series of quatrains (stanzas) rhyming ABAB in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the next quatrain. Each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD. This pattern continues for many stanzas except the final stanza. The first line of the poem recurs as the last line of the closing stanza, and the third line of the poem is the second of the final stanza, rhyming ZAZA.

1 2 3 4

2 5 4 6

5 7 6 8

7 3 8 1

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Colleen’s Poetry Challenge: Photo Prompt – The Messenger

It’s the middle of the month challenge ~ time for a photo prompt! Colleen wants us to use this photo as the inspiration for the poem.

 

 

The Messenger

A

bottle

half buried

in smooth white sand.

Reminder of kisses,

warm braces and loving gazes,

our future we celebrated.

Through cruelty we were separated.

Holding tears this bottle I picked up.

“I’m alive, call this number, my love.”

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge: Photo Prompt – The Messenger

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge No. 136 Photo Prompt – Sweet Memories

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge has a new feature. For the middle of the month challenge it’s a photo prompt!

 

Sweet Memories

 

For sentimental reason, I still keep many pieces of projects my daughter made. I have a flower pot she decorated when she was in 5th grade. It is sitting on a round glass top table between two chairs in the front patio. I like to sit in the front porch to drink coffee in the morning. The flower pot reminds me of the things we did together when she was growing up.

Kids are grown and gone

Keeping the bikes where they were

Jolly wheels still turned

Muddy feet through door they came

Hungry mouths screamed for cookies

 

 

 

Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge #136 Photo Challenge – Memory

 

 

To a Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan – re-post

linda-pastan

On May 27, 1932, Linda Pastan was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx. She graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University.

Among her publications are – Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (W. W. Norton, 1998), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Imperfect Paradise (W. W. Norton, 1988), a nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Linda Pastan lives in Potomac, Maryland.

I feature two of her poems. The first one makes me laugh and think. When I first read the title, I thought she was writing about her daughter going to college, or at a wedding. When I read on to the last line, I could feel her heart. Yes, our children leave us in different stages and different circumstances.

I found myself letting Mercy go little by little as she was growing up. Letting her go in a way of respect her to become independent but still stay close by to be her support. When Mercy was in fifth grade, she configured my first cell phone. When she was a young adult, she became my friend as remains to be my daughter. At the present, I rely on her expertise and am not afraid to ask.

~

To A Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

The second poem evokes my reflection on the question: when am I most myself? I think it is ever since I had cancer. I reflect on life vs. death, health vs. sickness, essential vs. contemporary, personal right vs. relationship. I accept who I am and no interest in pretending. I’m satisfied with what I have and no ambition to acquire “one more.”

~

Something About the Trees by Linda Pastan

I remember what my father told me:
There is an age when you are most yourself.
He was just past fifty then,
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?

There is an age when you are most yourself.
I know more than I did once.
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
Only a single leaf had turned so far.

I know more than I did once.
I used to think he’d always be the surgeon.
Only a single leaf had turned so far,
Even his body kept its secrets.

I used to think he’d always be the surgeon,
My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife.
Even his body kept its secrets.
I thought they both would live forever.

My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife,
I can still see her face at thirty.
I thought they both would live forever.
I thought I’d always be their child.

I can still see her face at thirty.
When will I be most myself?
I thought I’d always be their child.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.

When will I be most myself?
I remember what my father told me.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.
He was just past fifty then.

~

This is an expansion of Pantoum Poem Form from 4 stanzas to 7 stanzas.

Stanza 1: 1, 2, 3, 4
Stanza 2: 2, 5, 4, 6
Stanza 3: 5, 7, 6, 8
Stanza 4: 7, 9, 8, 10
Stanza 5: 9, 11, 10, 12
Stanza 6: 11, 13, 12, 14
Stanza 7: 13, 1, 14, 3

 

 

Visit the Beach – A Poem

IMG_3424 (2)

Visit the Beach

It is therapeutic to visit the beach

Toes in the sand, Ears to the waves

Eyes gaze at the horizon

Breathe in the fresh sea air

~

Power of salty air heals the lungs

Clears out the unwanted junks

Improves the respiratory system

Helps absorb oxygen, balance serotonin

~

I so enjoy walking on the beach

It’s therapeutic to mind and soul

Chores left at home far behind

Enjoy the presence of tide low or high

~

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Poetry Beautiful Tiny Baby by Miriam Hurdle

Thank you Sally for sharing my archives on your blog – Sally Cronin found this poem about my beautiful tiny baby. Please head over to visit her magazine full of interesting topics.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we continue with the series of posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the next one I would like to share with you is a poem that is clearly very close to Miriam’s heart.

Beautiful Tiny Baby written by Miriam Hurdle at Spillwords.com

Beautiful Tiny Baby by Miriam Hurdle

Seven months of being pregnant,
driving from California to Oregon
for a Christmas family gathering.
“Take breaks more often,” Doctor said.

Still, it was 1,000 miles in distance.
When we arrived, I started the contractions,
went to the hospital in…

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Authors’ Day/Book Signing, March 7, 2019

The Publish Before You Perish class at California State University at Fullerton, California organizes the next Authors’ Day/Book Signing on March 7, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. You’re invited to join us if you’re in the local area.

Welcome to the World of Fritz von Coelln

Miriam Hurdle is participating in our book signing at the OLLI Authors’ Day, March 7th  from 11:00 AM to 1:30  PM.  Location: California State University, Fullerton, Pollak Library.  For more information click HERE.

Human being has the will power to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over. 

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude,

This poetic memoir comprises  themes from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratitude toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

From inside the flap: When we read poetry…

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