Poetry by Ella Burns Robbins

Ella Burns Robbins stood performing a poem

Ella is an intern at Nottingham Contemporary, and a talented poet. We are honoured that she has shared a poem with us...

Ella Burns Robbins:

There was a time when I just couldn’t learn my lessons. Often, I’d find that the more I refused to learn the lesson, the more painful it made each visit in the hopes I may remember it. There are some things that just never seem to stick. Through many means, still, they come. Through time and growth I am becoming better equipped to noticing their visits. When I connect with the world around me, they frequently show themselves. I am getting better at learning my lessons through what I see, rather than what I do. I believe that even in the darkest of times, something good can come. Even if it is only found in the learning of how to avoid a re-run of events.



Jars of tears


And sorted for tens of years


Falling gently upon faces to whom they do not belong

Recycling the mistakes that we need not make

For someone else already has

Clouds form scrums

Foretell some forthcoming fable

We are feeble

Only people

Crushed between the clasping hands of sea and sky


Ants between trainer and tarmac

Thunderclaps, mocking us

Slumped down on knees

Storming skies start to scream



To the stories of your brothers and sisters

We are not so different

Formed by our own experience, sure,

But we need not make the same mistakes.

They undertake their weight so we can be relieved of such a burden.

The toil and strife of another person

Is no less significant

Just because they circumvent your day to day life.

This is why the storms must come.”

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Photo Credit: Crooked Multi Media

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