Robert Beck

These 3 sonnets came with the following high commendation from the reviewer on the Koestler Trust 2018 Poetry competition – for which Bob won an award of £100 :

I was so moved by reading your sonnets that even as I write this I am struggling to think of what to say that does justice to how beautiful they were. The way that you have used the sonnet form to express such moments of feeling, emotion, contemplation and memory in your life is truly powerful and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have read these. You certainly have a way of articulating that gives the reader an easy access to visualise the meaning and essence of your poems.


No Story Lasts

The long, cold walk through memory that is life.
A narrow wind blows – hunting into crevice and nook.
I held my mother’s hand.
The wind blew her dress up like Monroe.

Every road I travelled has brought me here.
A window barred – sealing my present and fate.
I followed my brother.
We jumped the brook but sank into the mud.

There is no story lasts ‘til journey’s end.
A wire fence murmurs – moving in the wind’s firm hand.
I sat on my father’s shoulders.
The seagulls soared above like tethered kites.

Now forever we stand on the jetty, you and I –
the mirrored water trapping our faces in a perfect dream.


All My Choices

I realise now that all my choices
have been made with me in mind
a life full of wrong turnings
lived in the country of the blind

who will ever forgive my decisions
if I cannot forgive myself
who will stand by my side
if I discarded life’s true wealth

but now I see the real meaning
of the world that I disdained
I may never regain what I have lost
but can never lose what now I’ve gained

for now at last I have the freedom
to forever live a life unchained.


A Cell View

Here, under a storm-laden sky,
winter-burnt trees huddle together for comfort
against the walls of a ruined destiny
with the remorse of a lifetime’s mistakes.

There, on the grey concrete yard,
a puddle of done rain, dull as lead,
waits for something to happen
with the patience of my own search for time.

Watch, as the breath of chance
tosses my life about like flotsam
from cloud to boiling cloud
with the hopelessness of untethered fate.

Now, in my fingers, a pen – its past leeched out
with the ribbling of flat water disturbed.