STEVE COOKE AATA
My Lockdown Napowrimo by Katie Haigh
The month of April for the last several years I have taken on the Napowrimo challenge of thirty poems in thirty days. Usually I use the prompts off the website http://www.napowrimo.net/ which posts daily prompts from the day before 1st April for those eager to start. I’ve enjoyed the gauntlet so to speak of new writing styles, topics and ways to shape my words.
I find it fun and a challenge to push myself out of my comfort zone and also enjoy the unity it brings, there’s a sense of community and support on blogs like Wordpress and Facebook groups set up to share our work. The beauty of it is it doesn’t have to be perfect, some writers use May to edit any works created, whereas I prefer to try to perfect my piece before I post.
This month’s Napowrimo has been very different and with our current circumstances I decided to use that as my inspiration. So all but one of my poems was based on the Lockdown and current pandemic COVID19. The one piece that was different was a piece about Jade and Christian and our Sign Along with us journey for which we got a golden buzzer.
To see my poems for Napowrimo as well as other pieces I’ve wrote you can visit my blog https://katiehaighash.wordpress.com/ or my Facebook page Katie’s Words in Dark Corners.
Napowrimo Day 8, Lockdown Day 24
She. Tale of a Nurse
She cries herself to sleep,
The traumas that she’s seen.
Her hands are sore and cracked,
It’s essential that there clean.
She’s on the front line,
Seeing life and death.
Losing those with lives to live,
Her and her team giving their best.
At home she stays in one room,
To protect her families health.
They stay in isolation,
So her down times by herself.
She’s sacrificing her own needs,
To help strangers everyday.
Then some turn on her,
Purposely coughing in her face.
They say it’s just for laughs,
Shouting ‘corona’ as they run away.
She is completely terrified,
Yet emotionless she stays.
She preys for this to end,
For those she loves to be safe and sound.
She feels so exhausted,
She’s working herself into the ground.
Still she wakes up for her shifts,
Dresses in her scrubs.
Drives herself to work,
To do the job that she loves.
By Katie Haigh
Napowrimo Day 27, Lockdown Day 41
Compassion Not Comparison
Lockdown is another circumstance,
When grass isn’t always greener.
We see each other’s photos and videos,
Happy smiling faces having fun.
Staring through our phone screen,
At fantastic things people do.
Parents building dens with boxes,
Making marvellous creations.
Like giant rainbows out of egg cartons,
Keeping their kids actively engaged.
Then there’s adults without children,
Baking up a storm of five star dishes.
Building a beautiful garden waterfall,
Out of rocks and uniquely clever skills.
There’s the multitaskers,
Teaching five kids simultaneously,
Holding down a job from home.
All while volunteering in the community,
Making meals, delivering prescriptions,
And so much more.
Then there’s the front line NHS,
Looking like super heroes.
Yet still finding time,
To make uplifting videos,
Of them dancing to routines.
In their only five minutes break.
It’s easy to feel disillusioned,
Like a failure and a let down.
What we don’t realise,
Is everyone is struggling,
Fighting against their own lockdown.
That parent building dens out of boxes,
Had felt defeated and dismayed.
The kids had played nicely for only five minutes,
Then started screaming and fighting.
Breaking apart the den within seconds.
Their teenager refused to join in,
Spending every moment in solitude.
Only emerging for food or drink.
If they dared speak,
They received disgruntled grunts,
And scowls before the teen disappeared again.
The Mum and rainbow maker,
Had spent most of day,
Trying to get her kids to do some school work.
All the while with them screaming,
‘I hate you’, ‘this is so unfair’
And being compared to Sams Mum.
Who apparently never makes him do work.
By doing a fun and messy craft,
She got a sliver of a moment of smiles,
From happy loving kids.
The waterfall builder,
Had spent weeks alone.
Lay in bed, feeling depressed,
Willing their body to get up.
After hours of seeing recipes,
On their iPad in darkness.
Finally pushed through.
To cook an ascetically pleasing dish,
Pic snapped and uploaded.
Gratification soon disappeared,
Replaced by hard hitting solitude.
It was the same with the waterfall,
It was a beautiful triumph.
Without someone to share it with,
It just felt numb and hollow.
The multitasker parent,
Found the only way to stay sane,
Was to fill every moment with doing.
It’s not like there was a choice,
Everyone had high expectations.
It’s is hard to say no,
When night came,
Silent tears overwhelmed mind.
In the day masks of smiles.
Keeping everyone else happy.
The NHS worker, just extraordinary.
Sacrificing to help others.
It doesn’t mean they aren’t human,
They carry with them the losses,
The pains, the trauma.
Yet they also carry the recovered,
The love, the gratitude.
They keep going,
Because they must.
No one knows what’s going on inside,
We each deal in our own way.
Let’s not compare, dismiss or be negative.
Look after your mental health,
In your own way.
While not damaging others.
We will get through,
Not by destroying each other,
But by support and compassion.
By Katie Haigh