Archive for poem

A beautiful walk

Posted in Inspiring poetry with tags , , , , on August 1, 2011 by echostains

It’s day 6 in my personal challenge to blog every day for a week on Bookstains.

I heard a song ages ago.  It was one of those songs which just keeps going round and round in your head, but try as you may, you just can’t see to remember where it came from!  I couldn’t even remember many of the words, which would have at least given me a clue.  All I had was the tune – and the words ‘walk’ and  ‘beauty’.  However Eureka!  Here’s where it’s from:-

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

    And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron

This is where I heard that tune that has been going round and round in my head –‘Vanity Fair’ a DVD which I watched ages ago.  The poem, written by Lord Byron was penned upon  see his cousin Lady Wilmot Horton in a mourning gown.  There are many YouTube versions of this poem and also narrations, but this one is the one that I originally heard.

Video from  with thanks

More beautiful poetry here

Notes from the ‘The Life of Lord Byron’ by Thomas Moore 1835 here

The Listeners by Walter de La Mare

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 8, 2011 by echostains

One of my favorite childhood poets is Sir Walter de la Mare.  the first poem which we had to memorise at school was ‘Five Eyes’ and to this day, I still remember it line for line.  De La Mare was born at Charlton, Kent, England 25 April 1873 – 22 June 1956.  He came from  quite a well off family.  His father, James Edward de la Mare, was an official of the Bank of England. His mother, Lucy Sophia (Browning) de la Mare was related to the poet Robert Browning. He was educated in London at St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir School, which he left at age 16. From 1890 to 1908 he worked in London in the accounting department of the Anglo-American Oil Company. His career as a writer started from about 1895 and he continued to publish to the end of his life. His first published story, ‘Kismet’ (1895), appeared in the Sketch under the pseudonym Walter Ramal.    The Listeners is one of his most famous poems – full of atmosphere and imagination.

Read about this poet Walter De La Mare Society and here

Video  with thanks!

Poem: Kissing the air

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by echostains

How to air kiss

 This poem was written about this habit we have aquired of air kissing when greeting people.  It may well be healthier and less germ ridden than hand shaking (here’s the social etiquette for those who aren’t sure)

Liz Brewer, a social etiquette expert on ITV’s Ladette to Lady, says a single air kiss next to a friend’s cheek was the most acceptable for the British: “It is important to go for the right cheek, as that way you are greeting each other heart to heart… If you go for the other cheek it is less friendly.”

She says the air kiss is best for people you don’t know well as there’s no contact – but for the very confident there is the two-cheek option.

It’s the false sentiment behind this air kissing that I have a problem with – and it’s that’s which inspired this poem.

Kissing the Air

Complacency props up this world

As effortlessly it sighs.

Disguised concern yawns unfurled

Underneath the lies.

Life’s an overstuffed easy chair,

An affectation beyond compare,

A big pretend of love and care –

Kissing the air.


Sophistication puffs us up

And fills our sails with wind.

Our stiff yet honest awkwardness

Flies loosened and unpinned.

Mouthing platitudes we don’t share,

Twisting our smiles whilst feeling despair,

 Blinded by duplicitous glare –

Kissing the air.


One cheek or two? we start to fret

As we approach our prey.

Caught in this mindless etiquette

In which we have to play.

Meaningless words which go nowhere,

Playing our game of solitaire,

United by the guilt we share –

Kissing the air!


©L M Roberts 2011

Quote from here image from here

Poem ‘I could sit in a chair all day’

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2011 by echostains

Wouldn't mind sitting in this chair...

Here’s another of my ‘experimental’ poems.  Definitely more of a performance piece than static (see the irony) poem. I wrote this the other day, funnily enough as I was sat in a chair 🙂  I was thinking about all the stuff that I really should be doing and thinking to myself “well, it’s no good sitting here – there’s too much to do….” when inspiration stopped me in my tracks from doing anything but write about me sitting in a chair all day! 

I could sit in a chair all day,

I could sit in a chair and get carried away

Just sat in a chair all day.


I could sit in a chair all day

I could sit in a chair and rant and moan

I could sit in a chair and cry into the phone

As I sat in my chair all day.


I could sit in a chair and cry.

I could bring several tears to a plexi glass eye,

And still sit in this chair all day.


I could sit in a chair all day,

But my worries and cares would not melt away,

If I sat in that chair all day.


I could sit in a chair all day,

Until doctors came in and took me away.

‘Cos I sat in a chair all day.


I could sit in a chair all day

And weep with regret as my life slowly froze

I could sit in a chair all day

As silvery cobwebs covered my clothes,

I could sit in a chair all day.


I could sit in a chair all day

‘Til my limbs ceased up and withered away,

‘Til my mouth went dry with nothing to say,

‘Til my heart and my blood turned a dull shade of grey

As I sat in that chair that had turned into me

And myself became glued

And I couldn’t get free

And my eyes became leather

And now couldn’t see


sat in this chair all day!

©Lynda M Roberts 2011 

Thanks to Vincent Van Gogh for the use of his chair (the image from here)

A Criminal Act

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , on August 2, 2010 by echostains


alas..not mine


A Criminal Act

I am amazed at how many photographs, letters which should have been kept by a family have ended up in total strangers hands.  If a person holds ancestral photographs which have nothing to do with their family, wouldn’t they make it their business to find out who’s these albums belong to (clue: the person who last lived in the house…).  How could someone throw other people’s old albums – images of someones ancestors in the rubbish bin!  Yet it happened to a relative of mine and not for the first time.  Some people must have no conscience.  The albums mentioned were pictures taken of my ancestors by my Nana who would group her nine children, light the camera, run round pose with them AND develop the photographs.  They were inadvertedly left in a loft in Liverpool and when the relative missed them, was told by the new owners that they had thrown them out…..

They don’t belong to you

Yet you can accept their custody

As your right to bin

And dispose

Of my right to my ancestors

High handed,

Blind, misguided

Insensitive one

Who so casually

Disposes of someone elses family history

Of which you have no entitlement

No empathy

And no right

But by default

My memorials, pictorials,

Chronicles and images

Have ended up in your careless hands

My ancestors stand in front of your future

And curse your careless hands!

©Lynda Roberts 2010

Found photo from this blog thanks!

Poem ‘In the balance’

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , on May 14, 2010 by echostains


ivory netsuke

The inspiration for this poem came from a collection of netsuke I saw recently in the Victoria and Albert Museum London.   Because the Japanese costume has no pockets small everyday objects were carried in pouches or boxes suspended on a cord secreted behind the obi (belt).  The netsuke was tied to the other end to prevent slippage.  These little intricately carved objects act as weight.  They are works of art in themselves and very beautiful to look at as well as being practical.

I was struck by the way a netsuke could be used as a metaphor for life.  The balance, weight – even the threads all speak about life and our experiences.

Life in suspension: the weight of cares tugging at the threads, unravelling and crashing the graven image – shattering.  It inspired me to write something, a poem perhaps.  What could be more fitting than a Haiku.

In the Balance


Our pathways are carved

Life whittles, chips amd fashions,

It’s knife quick and sharp.


Hope flies suspended

Holding fast the silken cord-

Grasps the fraying thread


Weighed down by lifes cares

The binding cords unravel

Our love outweighs all.

© Lynda M Roberts 2010

I have wrote a post about netsukes over on Echostains here

Poem: ‘Don’t let the Child out’

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , , on May 8, 2010 by echostains

I was watching a film the other day.  There was a burial scene.  These words were spoken as the ashes were sprinkled.  They’re from The First epistle of  Paul to the Corinthians, Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, verse 11

When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away
childish things. For now we see through a
glass, darkly; but then face to face: now
I know in part; but then shall I know even
as also I am known.

It got me thinking about what is childish and what isn’t.  As we get older we are expected to behave in an adult way of course, but our emotions can still be child like.  We know this, so have to suppress them.  We are encouraged from time to time not to take ourselves too seriously and to be more childlike (but not too much..)   This poem is about this suppression:-

Don’t Let the Child out


Freeze up the feelings to stop the drip dripping,

Filter the words and stop them from slipping

Bite back the anger that’s burning inside

Bury emotions you’re trying to hide. 

Lie to yourself and pretend you don’t care

Dodge from the spotlight of life’s tragic stare.

Just rise above it – prove you are better

Follow this formula down to the letter 

Only wear adult size stiff upper lip

Try to be sensible – don’t let this slip

Even when really you just want to shout

Stop all from seeing you let the child out.


© Lynda M Roberts 2010

Image by the imaginative children’s photographer Ann Geddes.  This image here