Belinda Raitt’s poems

Belinda Louise Raitt was born in Paris, France on 13 May 1971, moved to Frascati, Italy in 1973, then The Netherlands in 1979. After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in psychology, she worked as a head hunter and life and career coach in London and Royal Tunbridge Wells before moving to Portugal in 2019 where she established Relaxscape - an organic olive farm offering relaxation, yoga and coaching retreats. The beauty of the nature surrounding her inspired her to write not only poetry, but also capture wonderful images of her environment.


I am a child of everywhere and nowhere,

A sign of the times, a cultural vagabond.

Like a chameleon I have learnt how

To change my colours, like a cat

I smile and observe without ever

Losing my wits, or myself. I belong here,

Now, wherever the wind blows. Sometimes

I look up to the sky and see the breeze

Scattering the clouds and understand

That like the sea, constantly washing

Grains of sand to the shore, I am right

Where I am meant to be, where I belong,

Until I follow the stars to where I should be.

Who am I? I am unique, the same as you.

A reinvention of a past life, a revocation of

All that doesn’t fit me now, here, where

Nothing matters anymore, where everything goes.


Some people think the sky

Is far, far away

A distant universe

Reached only by

Travelling through space And time.

That you can only touch

The clouds when you soar

High above in a plane

Or a spaceship.

But look, here it is.

Right here.


Do you feel it?

That pulse, that quickening

Can you hear it?

Your breath, inhaling the taste

The smell, the air,

Slowly exhaling part of you

As you draw it in again

And the sound of the trees

As they sway and bend

In benevolence

Towards the earth, dusty, rich

With life and nurture

Feeding it into the veins

And sharing the deep

Unspoken truths that

You’ve always known

Forgotten amidst the toil

The search for knowledge

That you already had

The learning of yourself

That you already are

The encounter with

That which is all around

And realising that it is you.


Somewhere between the hot breath of summer and the morning mists,

Between the blues and the browns of the sky and the land,

And the black shapes of outstretched birds stencilled onto the clouds;

Somewhere between the stars scattering across the deepening dark,

Between the carved out moon and the breaking day,

And the lightness of a butterfly’s wing as it lifts;

Somewhere between there and you, here you are.

Between the tangle of trees and the velvet earth,

And the certainty of knowing and not knowing.

Somewhere between your waking dream and your sleeping self,

Between your everything and your nothing, you wonder

And question, as your heart hovers over the answers.

Somewhere there, you stop.

And listen.

To the silence.

You hear everything.

And you know.


When the last shreds of sun

Start to float down and settle

In between the trees, done

For the day, with lighting up

The world, and now shining

Just for me, just for the joy

Of the silver lining,

The secret whispering of

Each ancient olive tree,

That’s when I start to believe

In magic, when I see

That nature holds the answers

That nature sets us free.


On the river, in quiet contemplation,

At one with nature all around,

Droplets of water glittering

As the breeze blows the sun

Over the green reflections of the banks,

Darts of silver catching the light

As little fish jump out of the water

To lead the way in front of me.

Others swim alongside, for company.

Big winged birds swoop silently above

And the trees bow and sweep the sky

With their crowns.

Even the clouds were paying homage

To the river – or was it just me,

feeling at one with everything? –

Scudding like shoals of fish across the blue.

And then back to shore and connecting

With friends here again for their holidays

And feeling that this moment,

Here, now, this is everything.


This, this is when you reach inside yourself

And gently touch the tender rawness within

That dark, soft part of you that you’ve been

Carefully tending to all these years,

Anointing it with self-doubt,

Holding it safe, sterile, confined,

Keeping it hidden away, shielding it

From anything that might cause it to erupt,

In fear...Of what?

That you might actually feel something?

That you might accidentally forget

That it’s there? That you might no longer

Heed the tug of it holding you back

And instead you let it spread its wings

And you soar,

Liberated, alive, full of possibility

And you realise that this, this is now.

This is living. This is life itself.


If I were in a poem-writing sort of mood

Where I let words roll freely round my head

Like pebbles gently rocking at the water’s edge,

Smoothed and rounded by the lapping tide,

I’d tell you of the secrets buried deep inside

This pearly, lichened trunk,

The stories of all those who have gathered under

Its silver green canopy,

Seeking shade and solace on hazy summer days;

I’d tell you of the sound of laughter echoing through its core

From children hiding behind it, chasing each other round,

Arms circling the warm, soft wood;

Of the hands that have plucked a thousand tiny fruits

From the laden branches and turned them into liquid gold.

I’d speak to you of the hardships endured

Through years of austerity,

The grim determination that shaped a nation

To share everything it has and more, to make the most

And the best of what will be, to accept and embrace;

I’d tell you of a proud, strong people who know

That the good things in life are often the simplest pleasures,

Who enjoy other people’s joy, whose kindness knows no bounds.

I’d speak to you of the beating heart of Templar lands,

of Portugal itself.


The rain finally came

After some surly rumblings

Of thunder.

The dry smell of parched August

Grass was slowly replaced by

Petrichor and the clean smell

Of eucalyptus

And crushed mint

Filling the still air

Once the storm had passed.

Then the sky lit up.


I like to think that sunrises

Are woven together

From tiny wisps

Of star cloth sails,

That they are the trails

Of tiny ships

Navigating the sky,

Kept on course by

The whispered breath

Of every soul that's ever

Touched our heart

On our own journey

Through the clouds,

Every morning

Lighting up our way,

Across the uncharted

Oceans of our life.