Robbie Cheadle Reads Her Poetry from Behind Closed Doors a collection of unusual poems. 

Thank you to Prof. Charles French for this wonderful review of Behind Closed Doors, a collection of unusual poems. I really recommend Charles’ blog for writers and poets. He shares a lot of great quotes, advice, and inspiration for writers and has several excellent fiction and non-fiction books.

charles french words reading and writing

Please view Robbie Cheadle reading her poem “Do you want it enough” from her book of poetry Behind Closed Doors a collection of unusual poems

I give Robbie Cheadle’s book of poetry Behind Closed Doors a collection of unusual poems my highest recommendation. Robbie Cheadle is an excellent writer of both fiction and poetry, and her work continues to be of the highest quality.

In this collection of poems, Robbie Cheadle deals with a wide variety of issues and uses a variety of forms of poetry, among them Tanka, limericks, and haiku, and she does this with great passion and control of her art. The poetry in her book is powerful, compelling, and evocative.

Several of the poems resonated with me in particular, including “Opportunity”, “Hope”, “Making a splash”, “Perspective”, “Lockdown in poverty”, and “I saw a fish a-swimming”.

Choosing these poems to highlight was difficult, because Robbie’s work…

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Treasuring Poetry – Meet poet and author Harmony Kent and my review

My Treasuring Poetry guest today, over at Writing to be Read blog, is talented poet and author, Harmony Kent. Harmony has shared her thoughts about poetry and I’ve shared my review of her beautiful poetry book, Slices of Soul. Thanks for hosting, Kaye Lynne Booth.

Writing to be Read

Today, I am delighted to feature poet and author Harmony Kent as my guest for Treasuring Poetry. I have read one of Harmony’s fictional books and her non-fiction book, Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer: Inspirational Tools to Fire Your Imagination, and they are both excellent. I have read and reviewed her poetry book, Slices of Soul: A Collection of Contemporary Poetry.

Welcome Harmony!

Which of your own poems is your favourite?


Into the unknown we go

riding the ocean breeze

tacking this way and that

not too concerned with the far horizon

At peace, keeping an eye on the waves

that toss us about now and then

sailing through bright day

and deep dark night

It matters not

what tempest may come

we will weather the storms together

while we wend our way

We’ve lain our course

taken our soundings

and with love at the helm

we’ll keep…

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Robbie’s Inspiration – Thursday Doors, When operations go pear shaped

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

My son, Michael, has struggled with his health his whole life. At three weeks old he stopped breathing and went blue, I rushed him to the hospital emergency room and he was diagnosed with bronchiolitis and admitted into hospital for three days. He spent this time in an oxygen tent.

At his six week checkup, the pediatrician said she had never seen a baby with such narrow nasal passages. “I couldn’t fit a pin into his nasal passages,” is what she said. I’ve never forgotten that. I had spent the three weeks after his discharge from hospital nebulising him every 2 hours for 45 minutes. It was a killer and I was exhausted. I was also breast feeding because I was told I must to give my baby the best chance possible.

These three weeks set the tone for Michael’s life. He had bronchitis four times in his second year and was admitted to hospital each time for oxygen and treatment. At nine months he started with a series of eye infections. I took him everywhere, from the GP, to the pediatrician and even to an ophthalmologist. No-one could fathom out what was wrong and this continued until he was six years old.

Michael missed 25 days of school during his first year of school. The third ENT we visited, consulted with two of his colleagues, and they established that his left ostium (the opening through which your sinuses drain into your nose) didn’t exist so there was no drainage happening. The lack of drainage over his life and caused the eye infections as infected mucus tried to escape through the thin bone of the sinus wall. He had developed a biofilm which is a drug resistant bacteria.

He had the first sinus operation and the ostium was opened. He was given a sinus douche to wash away the mucus containing the biofilm. For the past 9 years we have had one sinus infection after another, despite all the treatments and five sinus wash outs.

Michael is also a chronic asthmatic. He has brittle asthma which means it isn’t well controlled by medication.

This year, Michael’s health became poor again. He saw a new ENT who put him on a new treatment plan in an effort to improve his sinus infections without surgery. He also saw a new pulmonologist. The new asthma treatments worked well, but the sinus treatments did not.

Two weeks ago, he was sent for [another] CT scan. This time they did a top down scan. They discovered that Michael never developed upper sinuses. His lower sinuses are catacombed with bone with no drainage, so his functional sinuses were very small. There was also something going on in the left lower sinus, some sort of blockage.

An operation was booked for Wednesday this week. The doctor would do a biopsy of the lungs to check for cystic fibrosis, check for an aspirin allergy, and try and sort out the blockage and straighten his septum (cartilage and bone in your nose).

The good news is the operational from a reconstruction point of view was a success and his sinuses will be more functional going forward. The bad news is the operation went a bit pear shaped.

The ENT encountered significant scar tissue in Michael’s sinuses. This was the blockage that showed on the CT scan. His septum was pushed over to the extreme right because of the scar tissue mass. When this was removed, his nose bled excessively and nose plugs had to be inserted to stem the bleeding.

When the anesthetist starting bring Michael out from under anesthetic, he panicked. Reaching up, he ripped the oxygen tube allowing him to breath out of his throat. He wasn’t ready to breath on his own, so he didn’t breath. The anesthetist couldn’t get an oxygen mask onto Michael (he was struggling and is a big strong lad) so they had to put him back under and re-insert the oxygen pipe.

I was called to come to recovery, not that I could do much other than stick my head in and try to calm him from the door. We are still in ‘covid’.

This is a double whammy problem. He had additional anesthetic which his system struggled to handle, and he bruised his trachea as the oxygen pipe was still inflated when he pulled it out.

When he came back to the ward, he was covered in blood, had nose plugs in, and was struggling to breath. The nurse checked his vital and his oxygen levels were 78 and dropping. All hell broke lose as four nurses rushed around getting him onto oxygen and checking his heart rate which was over 128 bpm.

It was very unexpected and alarming. I felt useless and in the way of the nurses. I was hovering in a corner, worried sick. I was on my own as Terence was at a client meeting.

Thankfully, Michael’s pulmonologist entered the fray and he was quickly moved to High Care and received prompt and appropriate treatment. He came out of High Care late yesterday and is doing better today. He is breathing on his own and his heart rate has stabilized.

This is why I am behind with reading all your lovely posts and slower responding to comments. Poor Greg’s needs got dropped completely and I didn’t attend his teacher feedback sessions.

He is improving and will be fine. Treatment was sufficiently prompt to cause no long-term issues.

Doors to the theatre at Sandton Clinic
Doors to High Care

You can join in Thursday Doors here:

Robbie’s Inspiration – Book reviews: I am me books 1 and 2 by Sue Hampton

Sue Hampton, children

The blurb

Berkhamsted charity People not Borders presents a beautiful picture book for pre-school and KS1 (and beyond). Gently, and with exquisite textile illustrations, “I am Me” explores the experience of a child refugee leaving home and arriving in the U.K.

More about Sue Hampton and her books
More about People Not Borders

My review

I am me is a heart warming story about a family of refugees arriving in the UK. Everything is strange and different from the food to the language, to the weather.

“We’re learning how to make safe trips

on buses, and use English money.

Someday the weather might be sunny.”

The book is written in rhyming verse and the language is rich but simple enough for a child to enjoy. The illustrations are beautiful, made from fabric and a perfect compliment for the story.

This book is a wonderful way to teach young children about refugees and help them gain understanding and compassion.

Purchase I am me

TSL Publications

Lulu (ebook)


All the proceeds from this book go to support the work of People Without Borders.


Berkhamsted charity People not Borders presents a beautiful picture book for children and adults. Gently, and with warmth, I am me 2 explores the experience of a child living in a refugee camp. All profits will be used to fund the work of Herts for Refugees, the charity with which People not Borders has now joined.

More about Sue Hampton and her books
More about People Not Borders

My review

This second I am me book even more compelling than the first one. Also written in rhyming verse, it tells the story of children who have walked with their families to the port and travelled across the ocean to Europe in the home of finding sanctuary from the war in their homeland.

On arrival, they are put in refugee camps where they live behind wire fences, separated from society. The children remain hopeful and try to make the most of their lives and uplift their parents.

“I didn’t know there’d be a wall

of wire – all around, and tall.”

The pictures in this book consist of photographs of children in refugee camps. They are heart wrenching but appropriate for children. The pictures are by Abdulazez Dukhan, Through Refugee Eyes.

Purchase I am me 2

TSL Books


All of the proceeds from this book go to fund Herts for Refugees.

About Sue Hampton

Sue Hampton

Sue Hampton writes for adults as well as children and teenagers, and across genres. An ex-teacher, she was inspired by the stories of Michael Morpurgo, because she witnessed their emotional power over young readers. Like him, she aims to write deep, compelling novels that will make people think and feel.

Now a full-time author, Sue visits schools of all kinds and works with young people of all ages. Many of her passions can be detected in her novels, which are all different, (some historical, one futuristic, one magical and funny) but have in common themes like love, courage, freedom and our right to be different.

Sue herself looks a little different from most women because she has alopecia, having lost all her hair in 1981. After writing THE WATERHOUSE GIRL about a girl with alopecia, she began going bareheaded and feels strangely liberated even though it isn’t easy. As an Ambassador for Alopecia UK she supports others with hair loss and led a team on Eggheads, winning £29K for the charity.

Sue also lectures on the importance of fiction in school.

Describe Sue in three adjectives? Passionate, individual and idealistic. Describe her novels in three adjectives? Powerful, “beautifully written” (says Michael Morpurgo of THE WATERHOUSE GIRL) and challenging. TRACES made the top three in The People’s Book Prize 2012 and FRANK won bronze in The Wishing Shelf award 2013. Her adult work includes FLASHBACK AND PURPLE, ARIA and two short story collections, RAVELLED and WOKEN, and she now has a picture book for pre-school – Y2: I AM ME for People not Borders.