Do we really take time out?


  1. C. J. Black


To-day, I decided from writing to take the day off

Deciding to have some me time, no need to scoff

Do I pass remark when you decide to lie in?

Both of us find our own way to relax – it really is no sin.


Whatever is the task, you wish to take a break from

You’ll find something else to occupy your mind

As for me I much prefer, a long leisurely walk

People look askance at me as out loud to myself I talk.


Even though I take time out and rest my trusty quill

My mind is constantly, churning out words at will-

Which must you know be dictated for fear of being lost

There are poems which must be saved, I believe at any cost.


So I guess I don’t really ever take time out, if I am being truthful

For without the written word to urge me on, life would be less than fruitful

As long as this heart keeps beating and blood runs through these veins

I’ll continue somehow to write, I’m not ready yet to tighten those reins.


  1. C. J. Black©β

Saturday, 31 January 2015


A poem about worries by students of Singing Kites, Cambodia

Share your thoughts.


Another great piece of work by students at Singing Kites – and once again, their first ever poem in English.

I’m so very proud of them – well done girls! (The boys in the photo are their friends; they liked to visit and chat and they were all such great company)

happy students The girls that wrote the poem, Our Worries

Our Worries

I worry…

about my exams and if I will fail,

if I’m absent from school then my study isn’t good enough,

about my eyes because I always use the computer on the weekend,

that my brain gets tired when I study so much,

when I go home at night, my bicycle will get broken,

about riding my motorbike on the road in case there is an accident

I will hear ghosts in the dark,

that when I go home there is no rice and I’ll be hungry,

for my…

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A poem by the students of Singing Kites, Cambodia


I’m so excited. I’ve been working with a group of six girls for three days in a row to write a ‘portrait poem’ of their village.

They found it challenging and scary at first but really got into it and there was lots of discussion and laughter and as there’s no right or wrong answer, I think they appreciated the chance to ‘make mistakes’.

This is their first poem in English – and they were so excited with the result. I’m really proud of them. I hope you like it…

writing poetry in english, cambodia The wonderful students that took up the poetry challenge!

My Great and Beautiful Village

My village sounds like…

Motorbikes beeping fast and loud,

People talking happily,

Bird cries all day,

Singers singing Khmer songs,

Children crying because they’re hungry,

Traditional music for weddings and festivals,

At night, the dogs bark and scare us.

My village feels…

Like a golden rice harvest,


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No Escape.

  1. C. J. Black

It shows no mercy – the raging sea

Carries that threat eternally

Its calmness can so deceive

How quick it takes life is beyond belief.


It matters not how careful you are

The sea is the master – life it will scar.


The sea in its cruellest form

Dreadful acts it will perform

It shows no mercy – the raging sea

Carries that threat eternally.

They head off, outwardly showing no fear

Fishermen brave are they

Enjoying the freedom of the sea – tasting its salty spray

Returning later with their catch

The sea erupts – waves they lash.


It matters not how careful you are

The sea is the master – life it will scar.


Waves crashing against rocks

Lives lost, boat upturned – the sea mocks

It shows no mercy – the raging sea

Carries that threat eternally.

C.J. Black©β

Saturday, 10 January 2015




My arrival in Tanop – Singing Kites #WritingCambodia

I am sure you are adding a lot more than a small contribution Elizabeth.


I’m writing this in retrospect, which is really hard because I feel like the past week has shown me so much, and I hardly know where to start.

Ready for the countryside, but not really sure what to expect, I was delighted to have the company of another volunteer. Ashleigh had been at Singing Kites two years earlier and was fulfilling her promise of returning – which meant she could show me the ropes a little and give me an idea of how much things had changed. She was also great fun to hang out with, which always makes things easier. The director, Tith, was immediately friendly and informative, full of energy and ideas, andI knew right away that this was a man with vision.

Eventually pulling into the school in Tanop, Tnuot commune in Takeo district, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful grounds and the…

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#WritingCambodia – First Impressions of Phnom Penh


This is where the man scavenged on the ground for food. This is where the man scavenged on the ground for food.

My first day in Phnom Penh… 

A street kid with a feather duster trying to clean my shoes in a tuk tuk, a dinner of snails & chicken’s spurs, fantails dancing in the vines, a kitten with a squealing mouse in its mouth trying to also catch a gecko, debris-lined roads, a driver with a trailer filled with pigs racing us, and a man so hungry he was eating dirty crusts of bread off the litter-filled floor, spitting them out if they were too inedible but not bothering to check beforehandAt night, the air fills with the perfume of flowers and an unidentifiable screeching and lunging from overhead in the palms. I find the people are as warm and friendly as everyone says, and sleep is peaceful in this small oasis of a guesthouse.

travel Cambodia One of the the…

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