Grandmas Knees

Grandma’s Knees

“Don’t get old!” she used to say,

As she struggled with bones that moved with decay.

No longer the spritely, skipping girl,

Who ran home delighted and arrived in a whirl.

“Don’t get old!” she used speak,

As she wrestled with muscles that were tired and weak.

No longer the strong-armed, confident woman,

Who pounded bread and baked pies in the oven

“Don’t get old!” she used to utter,

As she fought with lungs now filled with clutter.

No longer the grey haired, ample senior,

Who fooled us with stories of a delicate femur.

I don’t know why, but I began to think about my Grandma, who died many years ago now. Perhaps it was because I was about to return home to celebrate my own mum’s birthday and perhaps I began to think about those people who are no longer there. I remember once offering to take my grandma for a drive. She was an old lady by then and often struggled with arthritis and very bad knees. Getting into and out of the car was difficult. On this one day, she struggled herself into the front seat, placed her stick carefully alongside her, then turned and said “Debs, don’t get old!” I remember the frustration in her voice.

In contrast to the years while I was a child, that she spent fooling me. Each week, Grandma would pay a visit to our house and would be waiting in the kitchen when I returned home from school. I loved sitting on her knee chatting and playing with a gold necklace she always seemed to wear round her neck. Eventually, her poor knees would become tired and she would utter, in all seriousness and with great drama, that it was time to get down, because she had a bone in her leg. Her voice always made it sound such a painful thing, that I would quickly and apologectically climb down. Until one day, while climbing down off her knee, the penny dropped “Grandma?” I said quizzically, “You have to have a bone in your leg!” The ruse was exposed. But by then, I had grown too big to sit on her knee any longer and she was beginning to grow small.

A Still Place

Where Does Your Soul Find Stillness?

This Still Place

This still place holds the beauty of now

Now, a cake-baking aunt unwilling to let us take our leave.

It hums with the melody of eternity.


This still place is fragrant with sweet possibility.

Possibility, an excited child with a loaded paintbrush.

It skips with the rhythm of eternity


This still place shimmers with the warmth of hope.

Hope, a fluttering butterfly twirling thought woodland.

It blends the harmony of eternity.

This Still Place from Deborah Robinson on Vimeo.

Just before the trees sing

Just Before the Trees Sing 

Just before the trees sing,

The world is colourless grey,

Only invigorated by dappled Sun’s rays

Just before the trees sing

The forest orchestra makes ready,

Over chill blue skies, thin bows held upright, steady!

Just before the trees sing

The Spring conductor raps a gentle beat

Buds, blossom, nesting birds begin to feel the heat.

Then when the trees sing

The world erupts with crescendo green

Wild allegrezza freshness, over calando winter scene

This is a poem I posted previously. I remember the occasion that caused its inception. That moment when you realise the trees are about to explode. I have been waiting for that moment the last few weeks. But this year, seems different – almost as if the trees are holding back. Some have begun to create music and are already full of fresh green leaves, but many across the sky line seem to be waiting – are they somewhat reluctant to bloom? Maybe its just me and I am probably seeing things differently.

I’ve also just had the opportunity to visit Vienna and Florence recently and the trees in both cities are at a very different stage of development. In Florence, everything is in full bloom, even the elder flowers are out! In Vienna, all the trees are their new spring clothes, fresh and clean after a very cold winter. Although just in the last week, they must have wondered if they needed to put their winter woolies back on, as the temperature dropped 15 degrees and snow fell for a while. But here in the UK, the older, wiser trees seem to be waiting. Holding back to see, perhaps, that the winter will not be making a sudden return.

Just before the tress sing

Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

Bluebell wood

A Spring Ball

“I am ready!” the woodland quietly whispers.

She coyly turns her sun-dappled crown.

Revealing her translucent, dancing, slippers

And her spring-ball, lilac, gown.

English bluebell wood

Burleigh Wood, Leicestershire

I first published this poem on the blog last year, but with excitement and anticipation that part of spring is almost upon us again. I took a walk up into an unexplored part of the Vienna Woods the other day. It was divine. The freshness and the sound of the birds was just beautiful. But, it reminded me that it is also that time of year when the woods in England will be full of bluebells. There is nothing quiet like it! Every year I head  into any wood I can find, trying to capture that illusive perfect image. Somehow I never feel I quiet make it before the short bluebell season is over.

Oh well! It just means I have to go back the next year and try again.



Finished looking for Mr Right?

This is based on a true story. Its about finding love unexpectedly. Its written in third person, so events and names can be changed slightly and I think it reads better. Although to be honest the events are pretty much as they happened. I decided to write it, because this week is an anniversary of it happening. 

She threw her arms up in disgust, turned her back and danced as wildly as she could that night, because she no longer cared. At that specific moment, she decided that she was perfectly happy being single and, while the moment had had a bumpy ride in coming, when it finally struck, it was decisive and confident. Mary did not want, or need, a man in her life and her wild exuberant dance was a physical fingers up to all the available men, lining the edge of the bar and watching the dance floor like emasculated hyenas.

Mary’s mental stereotype of single, available men had been well and truly solidified. She was done with the whole lot of them. Refusing to play the game any longer, she danced. She danced a dance of freedom from looking, from hoping and from the oppressive feeling that somehow she was missing out on life.

That Saturday night, Mary had been dragged, cajoled and persuaded by her very good friend, Naomi, to attend a singles night. Groups of unattached men and women, well outside the twenty something bracket, were to be provided with the opportunity to socialise, have dinner and dance in an up market hotel in Yorkshire. At the time of the invitation, Mary was skeptical, but a small section of her heart quivered with excitement at the possibility of putting on a posh dress, having dinner and dancing with a man – or several of them, if truth be told.

As the two friends drove up the tree-lined entrance to the country hotel that early summer evening, Naomi finally let the cat slide out of the bag. It was a ‘Christian’ singles night. Oh good grief! Mary thought to herself. Life and experience had taught her that slapping the word ‘Christian’ on anything, seemed to give the excuse to create a ghetto: a somewhere or something that was perceived as safe or superior: a little bit like the label ‘low fat’. Yet read the labels, dig a bit deeper and the product could well contain hidden sugar or very bad things that cause cancer. Mary knew that labels guaranteed nothing, unless a look was taken more deeply… at the heart!

At the door of the hotel, Naomi stopped and began surreptitiously pointing out several people she already knew, including someone who had been part of a church work that her and her ex husband had been involved with twenty years ago. As Mary headed for her table, Naomi’s parting shot was to avoid him at all costs.

The large function room had been set out with tastefully decorated circular tables and each setting had a delicately written place name, waiting to receive its lonely heart. Despite her reservations, Mary found her seat and glanced around the table with a flutter of excited anticipation. It was clear that an attempt had been made by the organisers to evenly distribute the single men and women around the room. However, it was also distinctly clear that the ratio of men to women was significantly imbalanced. Four ladies and two gentlemen looked back. The rising anticipation faltered slightly.

Very quickly, one of the gentlemen at the table declared his position. The lady to his left was his newly engaged finance. The couple had met at just such an event two years prior – a shining trophy of all that the organisers aspired to achieve. The anticipation Mary had felt on arrival slunk away to get its coat and Mary thinking that the evening could not get any worse, quickly found she was sadly wrong.

The two ladies at the opposite site of the table began to engage in sisterly small talk. While Mary, sandwiched between the happy couple and the only available man left, turned to introduce herself to the very gentleman Naomi had warned her to avoid. Mary frantically looked across the room trying to catch the eye of her friend, but Naomi was far too engaged in a lively conversation with a gaggle of ladies at her own table. Mary soldiered on.

She did try her best to find some common ground with the aforementioned single gentleman, but very quickly came to understand why he probably remained single. Immediately after the meal had finished and whether it was polite to leave the table in such haste or not, Mary headed to the dance floor for her dance of defiant relief. It was over! The event confirmed everything she did not wish to be or have and she was gloriously content.

The following week, Mary headed out on a photography assignment with Robert, a man she had met the previous year on a business course. The course had been a change of direction for both and a mutual respect for skills and talents had formed. When Robert arrived that Saturday morning and all the photography equipment was checked and loaded, Mary had little expectation that this was anything more than the opportunity to take good images. Except something happened as she got into the car that day and headed out to the location. A conversation started – an easy, rich, engaging conversation that seemed to have no end. Mary found a man to dance with and it would take her a lifetime to learn the steps.

Meeting Mr Right

Shall I ride my bicycle

Shall I ride my Bicycle?

Shall I ride my bicycle across this stone cold floor?

Would you even notice if I tap at your door?

If I left my bicycle parked out in the street

Would you come a looking for whom I’d gone to meet?

Would my lonely bicycle cause you any alarm?

And would you come and see if I had come to some great harm?

Or would you quickly ponder, then silently in your head


Bicycles left lonely, mean the owner must be dead.

Shall I ride my bicycle

Copenhagen, Denmark

Hello there!! I often witter on at this point about why I wrote what I wrote, or what an image or poem drew my thoughts to. I know why I wrote this particular poem, but I am not going to say at the moment.

 I always read my writing to Chris, he is my greatest encourager and quiet provoaker. His first words were interesting, then he felt the poem was dark and he has gone away to think about it.

So, I am interested to know what you think. What does the image and the words draw your thoughts to? I am curious. Please pop your pondering in the comments section below and we can all ponder together.