Guiltfoot Ron

November 23 2016

Guiltfoot Ron

HMP Grendon inmate Tom talks about his passion for poetry. His poem Guiltfoot Ron (below) received the Tim Robertson Platinum Award at the Koestler Awards 2016.

I have always loved words and they’ve fascinated me all my life. I love the way you can open a book and within a few sentences you are transported to another time, a distant place, a different world, real or imagined, spending time with and inside the heads of people you have never met. This is true magic. The right words at the right time can change the course of a life, I know this. I write poetry as an expressive, creating outlet, first and foremost for myself and now I’ve become confident enough to share my work. I find this incredibly rewarding and people seem to like it. The idea that words may have the ability to move people like I’ve been moved is mind-blowing! My advice is simple, if you can think it, feel it and write it… Then do it.


Ron’s got a foot made completely of guilt,

No muscle or bone in his heel or his toes,

It’s just the way he’s built.

He’s got an angry knee,

And an eyeful of fear,

An ambivalent thigh,

And a strangely complacent ear –

The left one, the right one’s intense,

One elbow’s for real, the other’s all pretence.

He’s a wistful smile and an anguished wrist,

His sternum’s sober but his ribs are half-pished,

He has two clinically depressed fingers

And one very glum thumb,

His shoulder blades are emotionally numb.

But the thing that really sets Ronnie apart,

And makes him the sum of his complicated parts,

Is his compassionate, generous heart.


(Image above is Gold Award receiving Still Life for a Still Life by Chris.)

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