In this group we had invited members to bring poems they liked, or to write a poem they would like to share. We ended up with a very enjoyable mix of poems sharing deeply felt emotion, fun, humour and even song! Some pieces were an observation and narrative of life in lockdown and others beckoned to the interests and comforts of life such as cinema and cups of tea. Some group members expressed feeling nervous about reading their poems and we discussed how poetry can be an intimate expression of our inner selves and therefore requires vulnerability to share. People also spoke about their poetry writing process; some write it raw and then refine it over coming weeks and months whilst others write line by line, fully forming each part as they go, different styles reflecting each person’s individuality and creative flair. We are very thankful for permission to share some of the poems here:
This person said their poem may change with edits over coming weeks, so we look forward to a matured version also in the future.
THE YEAR 2020 (To be continued…)
In the year 2020, week melted into week.
No fun or adventures, no matter how hard you’d seek,
COVID-19 had come out to play,
Worldwide people had to go home and stay.
As the numbers of deaths rose,
Lockdown measures were imposed,
Shops and pubs closed for their last time,
Their ex-staff spending hours on the dole phone-line.
The people who still had work, tried to work from home,
School kids struggled to learn on their computer all alone,
Friends and family only able to video call,
Everyone’s mood began to fall.
When summer arrived, the virus seemed to slow down,
Lockdown restrictions loosened around town,
People could meet outside, at a distance, of course,
Only small groups, that the police would need to enforce.
More weeks like that, the amount of deaths kept on falling,
More restrictions were lifted, normality seemed to be calling,
Non-essential businesses and shops could open once more,
Schools were opened, with safety measures, not quite like before.
Slowly small pockets of cases appeared,
Instantly people thought about, the second wave, we all feared,
Masks on buses, and in shops,
We wonder if this virus will ever stop!!
A RED SKY
Our home above the pub,warm,safe,fun,laughter,singing…Dancing with my mum round the jukebox to the Beatles. Riding round the bar on my wee trike before opening, then the locals giving me coke and crisps. My Beautiful Mum,23, small and pretty, funny and kind. My Nan, my Grandad and my Uncle.
Then Ambulance men-a stretcher-taking her away, a sheet covering her, screaming, crying. I wanted the Black and White television on. I was only four, they said no.
Six weeks later taken away from my family-confusion-fear-pain-Grief-Anger-Hatred…… Apart from …the memories, the night my mum died,my Nan and me at the window, in my lovely home above the pub, she showed me a red sky, that red sky has stayed with me, when I look up and see it, I know my mum,my Nan,my Grandad,my Uncle are with me …always.
Finally we discussed the poem ‘Certainty’ by 17th Century Indian poet Tukaram:
Certainty undermines one’s power, and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.
Dears, there is nothing in your life that will
not change – especially your ideas of God.
Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands
in wanting to convert that which
is already gold
Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and
God once said to Tuka,
“Even I am ever changing –
I am ever beyond
what I may have once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
Although we often discuss our intolerance uncertainty as creating anxiety and worry, today we considered that absolute certainty isn’t good for us, as the poet says being certain of theories or ideologies can be very harmful. Also if we are inflexible in our views or trust we are likely to be disappointed or hurt.
The poetry in this session was a lovely way for people to share their inner and thoughts, feelings and responses in this difficult time and connecting us in our shared experiences.