Tag Archives: Farnham Mayor

The Poems and the results: The Farnham Lockdown Poetry Festival

Thank you to everyone who entered the Farnham Lockdown Poetry Festival. We had 56 entries from adults and children alike, with ages ranging from eight to 80+ and lots of strong feelings about the struggles of lockdown, but also the togetherness and the hope that people have found, despite all the difficulties.

The poems are available to download here:

and a video of some of the poems being read is available below. Also, though it was almost impossible to choose between the poems, a decision was finally made and the Mayor of Farnham announced the winners in the video.

The winning poems are:

Adults

Winner

Two Lockdowns A Lifetime Apart

The Second World War began when I was just four
The Coventry Blitz was like a firestorm from hell
Later that week I burst into tears when I saw
My toy shop Owen Owen was a burnt out shell 

Rationing, conscription and lights blackened at night
This was a long lockdown lasting almost six years 
Countless houses and buildings laid waste was our plight
Near half a million deaths left many in tears

Seventy-five years later in twenty-twenty
Few people can claim they saw what was now coming 
A virus takes hold to disrupt years of plenty
As it spreads round the world the I-phones are humming

This invisible virus now needed a plan
The instinct in shock is to gather together
But to widespread dismay a new lockdown began
Keep two metres apart at all times wherever

With deaths quickly rising and restrictions imposed
Stay at home, avoid friends and even relations 
All but food shops were shuttered and schools were all closed
Wedding parties were banned and all celebrations

I worry my age group holds the country in thrall
We are lucky to have lived so long to this age
It is we who must be careful and should now call
For the economy to be let out of its cage

Being twice locked down it is all but in tatters
The outlook for young people is truly blighted
Surely for their sakes alone all that now matters
Is that their futures be quickly reignited

John Littlewood

Runner up:

Love Your Neighbour As Yourself

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
through screen or window, darkly.
Muffled, crackled, frozen. ’Help!’
‘Can you hear me?’ Hardly.

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
through greying hair and slowing hours.
Dull repetition, same old heft,
grace of God in breeze or showers.

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
but what means as and how fares Self?
We are God’s hands but when My Self,
when love poured out soon threatens Self?

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
when sacrifice is hellish hard.
Exhaustion beckons, ‘Pain! Now quell!’
and chaos reigns in your backyard.

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
wash the bodies, dig the graves.
Tender care the greatest wealth,
tears of love for all they gave.

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
desist from posting online hate.
Don’t bully, scam or hurt by stealth,
or suicide might be their fate.

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself,
when home-penned folk cry out in pain.
When tempers flare, without behest,
‘When will we see our friends again?’

Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
when out of work graph rises steep.
Everyone needs better, best,
for damaged mental health wounds, deep.

Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
vaccines roll out to the people.
Schools return and wedding guests,
bells will ring from tower or steeple.

Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
pubs reopen, shops restock.
Meet with friends and family,’ Yes!!’,
hugs, kisses, treats, as doors unlock.

Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
when loved ones’ deaths have maimed you.
Remember humour, chuckling chest,
tearful teas and talk refold you.


Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
Please keep the distance, wear the mask.
Do take the vaccine, take the test,
washing hands not much to ask.

Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
make time to think and time to rest.
Properly to think ‘No stress!’
how love of Self confers the best.

Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed,
clamouring calls you can resist.
Your self-care struggle now confessed,
put Your needs first in To Do list.

Wendy Edwards

Children:

Winner

A Lockdown Poem

Schools have closed
Working from home
Missing family and friends
Will this ever end?
Doing lots of calls
Kitchens into school
Whether it’s computer or phone
Everything happened at home
Clapping for heroes
Rainbows on the windows
Watching the news
Feeling confused
People staying in
Why is that a thing?
Having lots of bubbles
Missing lots of cuddles
Staying with your household 
If it’s hot or cold
Lots of things have stopped
Many bubbles have popped
But we’re staying safe at home
And are never really alone.

Matilda Bowden (9)

Runner-up

Coronavirus

Coronavirus has wrecked all of our lives
Oh how I wish I could punch it
Rage takes over me and I cannot control it|
On the inside I have pain
Now is the time we fight
Anger is the only feeling I can feel
Vans with deliveries come by, wishing us luck
I had covid and I don’t want it to come back        
Run, for covid is here
Understand me please I can’t take this pain anymore
Stand with me, we will defeat it together

Elsie Howard (8)