In the dark – a poem

Fellow blogger Annette Rochelle Aben has recently experienced an extended power outage. In South Africa, we have experienced on-going scheduled power outages for extended periods twice in the last 10 years. There is nothing more frustrating for us, in our modern, technology driven world, than sitting in the dark. You can read about Annette’s experience here Her experience was worse than mine, as it is never that cold in South Africa, although the duration of the scheduled black outs made life quite difficult for a period.

After reading Annette’s post, I thought I would share the following poem that I wrote one winter evening at 5.30pm, while sitting in the dark waiting for my Dad to get our small generator (genie) going so that we could start with the preparation of the evening meal. This was written during one of the periods of extended rolling-black outs when life seemed quite bleak due to cold weather, frustration in getting to work and back with all the traffic lights out and sitting in a cold office, sharing power points with colleagues and having cold lunches.


Photograph of the sleeping girl who features in Sir chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook by Robbie and Michael Cheadle 

In the dark

The sun’s sliding downward in the West,

The cold a most unwelcome guest,

When its time to put on heaters and lights,

That’s when load shedding really bites.


Life is tough at the best of times,

Bitter sweet, a bit like limes,

It stretches most people to the hilt,

Without extra things to make life tilt.


It’s difficult, trying to get things done,

Cooking in the dark is not much fun,

It’s even worse getting kids to study,

Any excuse to stop and chat to a buddy.


We should feel blessed that we have gas and a genie,

Although this costs a pretty penny,

We are better off than the rest,

Of the situation we should make the best.


So why then do I feel so bad,

Sitting in a traffic jam makes me mad,

When I lie in the dark at night,

Every noise gives me a fright.


Maybe the oversees pastures are greener,

Even if our life may be a bit leaner,

At least the lights will reliably work,

And lack of power won’t drive me berserk.

by Robbie Cheadle

I must add that Government has resolved the electricity shortages to a large extent now so we are no longer experiencing load shedding. I also don’t think the electricity supply is as reliable in the UK and US as I thought previously.

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20 thoughts on “In the dark – a poem

  1. Your sleeping girl, like all your creations, is absolutely amazing, Robbie. Is the fondant edible (I assume so) but are your creations eaten, or kept as the beautiful works of art they are?
    The lack of power is a great inconvenience to those of us who are used to it and have come to rely on it for every moment and activity in our day. It is not that long ago or far away that there were/are many without any experience of it. It’s interesting to think about that at times, and the things we take for granted. Thanks for giving me pause to consider today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Norah. You always say such nice things. This little figurine was eaten. The little girl was made of fondant but the bed was a slab of chocolate and the legs of the bed were chocolate Rolo’s so that made this particular figurine very appealing for eating. SA is not to bad, electricity wise. We have had the odd bad patch but generally our electricity supply is okay. We have a generator and a gas oven and stove so we are prepared for power cuts when they occur.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a good thing you take photos of your creations then. I can enjoy them with my eyes if not my taste buds. Are you making any special creations for Easter?
        I’m pleased your power supply is good, and that you are well-prepared for any eventualities.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have started thinking about Easter. I have been trying to get my book Silly Willy goes to Cape Town finished. I finally succeeded today so that is now off my desk and on my publishers and I can start having some fun with my creations again.


  2. Your poem is great Robbie! We’re lucky not to experience this power cut phenomenon much at all here in the UK. But going to India I know how hard it can be.
    I love your figures!!! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the poem! Sorry for the inspiration… (lol). After 3 days of fruit, nuts, bagged snacks and a take away meal once a day, we are elated to be able to cook again. Now comes the replacement of all the food we had to toss because of the ice boxes warming too much. But you know, if that is that least of our worries, then we consider ourselves to be bloody blessed! ❤ Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, Annette. Not having power for a few days is not the end of the world. The novelty of take away food does wear off quickly though, there is nothing like home cooked food in your nice cosy house.


  4. I can’t imagine baking in the dark, Robbie. But then, you’re such an expert, I’m sure you can do it blindfolded. Getting kids to study without electric lighting is another story. Getting them to study at all can be a challenge 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have my baking disasters, Tina. I am a bit of an experimenter which sometimes backfires on me [smile]. My older son is so good, he always does his work efficiently. My younger son, well that is another story, whether its dark or light.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done Robbie. It reminds me of a time about 15 years ago we had a blackout for 3 days. Your line about being frightened by noises in the night reminded me about how the silence of the night frightened me with nothing running, no familiar sounds – no humming of refrigerator, no lights shining in from street lights, just pure silence, deafening. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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