outbreak

It all happened so fast, and it’s hard to say where it all began. It is evident now though that there is a dividing line between before and after. A ribbon tying up our lives as they were, and then an infinite section of time, in which no one knows if life will ever be the same again. We feared and anticipated so many things for this year; a global pandemic was not one of them. Everything is so unimaginably different, and yet simultansouly so mind-numbingly the same. There is no routine, and yet every day is a repetition of the day before. There is nowhere to go except the bubble we’ve created inside these four walls.

Unable to go out unless exercise and essentials deem it neccesary. Unable to meet, hug, touch each other. Look around, and everything is shut down. Shops are closed, schools are shut, exams are cancelled. It’s like the whole world ground to a halt, and we slowed down with it. We’re still carrying on and living our lives from one day to the next, but it feels like we don’t really know who we are or what our purpose is anymore. It’s an effort just to pick up a pen and write. In a world where even our own survival is thrown into question, there is little room for inspiration or creativity. The world is in turmoil around us. People are dying, and we cannot discredit the gravity of the situation.

Now we have what seems like a undefinable amount of time ahead of us, the pressure is on for us to pursue the things we don’t normally have time for. All around us on social media and in our conversations is the nagging sense that we must improve ourselves, do something useful with our time, make a difference to the world. In an ideal world, we would. We’d become perfect versions of ourselves, make the world that we will return to after this somewhere we really want to be in. But this is not a perfect world; if this year has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected, not to attach ourselves to a vision of how we want things to be.

The changes going on around us don’t mean we should destroy ourselves trying to be people we’re not or attempting to do things that are, realistically, unacheiveable. We cannot expect to thrive in this uncertain environment. We are surviving, stronger with every day we wake up, and that is all that matters. Perhaps we should use this time, not to recreate ourselves, but to really see ourselves for who were are. We are enough. In the middle of the chaos, breathe, and remember we are miracles, simply because we exist.

The wideness of the hills

I used to crave the wideness of the hills

the past a road fast fading far behind

a freedom from the haunting fears that filled

the overgrowing corners of my mind

I somehow sought for loneliness by stayed

swift sinking underneath my growing dread

the fear my soul was lost, I soon would fade

love’s warmth forgotten from my heart and head

And now I crave the hills leaps once again

but not to face my miseries alone

the valleys no more steeped in sorrow’s snow

the distance in the world is not a strain

now love, a greater force than loss has grown

and anywhere the depth of thought will go

For a moment everything was good

There was a moment

when you had just lifted me up with your laugh

and kissed me through my smile

a moment when I walked outside

to be surprised by the sun

in a minute’s release

~

there was a moment

where urgency was dulled

and I was, for that moment

the person that this time

wants me to be

~

we had said goodbye

but only for now

and I was heading homeward

with the dream of tomorrow

to free my wandering steps

Hello, 2019!

Goodbye 2018, and hello 2019! Here’s to a happy and successful year.

Blank pages and new starts have always intimidated me. Starting a new year is like writing in a new notebook. Everything is fresh, clean and unspoiled, and I’m always afraid to ruin it.

Life is not like writing; the pencil lines cannot be erased, nor can words be crossed out when they don’t rhyme. Looking back on a year is like hearing someone read out your work, and listening to all its clunks and mistakes.

We all have something to say, and the truth is we can’t always say it right. But when other people read our work, they probably don’t notice the flaws; it’s the same in life. There’s no point stressing about perfection, because the mistakes don’t really matter that much. We don’t need to be perfect to carry on with our lives and be happy.

Intuition

You know how

you know

that blood runs through your veins

without having to

see it

to believe?

How you know

how to breathe

without thought

that you’re breathing,

how you think

without learning to

think?

And how you’ve

accepted

the wind, just because

you feel it

in hair and on skin

How the time comes

in days, weeks and years

on the clock.

You don’t question.

It is what it is.

Some things in life

aren’t as simple

there are questions

sometimes

we must ask

But some things

can’t be answered with

reason.

Some things

cannot be

figured out.

Sometimes

things are made

complicated

if too many questions

get asked

And caught up

in the whys and the

meanings

you find yourself

losing yourself

You know in your bones

if it’s wrong

and you sense in

your heart

when it’s right

(at least, that’s how

poets convey it,

so I’m not going to

argue with that)

Stop answering

things that aren’t questions

stop giving reason

to truth

If it feels right

there is no wrong answer

(nor reason for why

it is right)

Intuition’s for

believing not

doubting.

Doubt your breath

and then soon

you’ll lose life

There’s a meaning

to what you are feeling

intuition

will keep you alive.

In Remembrance…

Today my sixth form organised a WW1 centenary event during which an Armistice Oak was planted to commemorate those who lost their lives in the war.

I was inspired, not only by the poignant thought of all those who died, but by the idea that, if we do not pass on stories of the war down the generations, the memory will be lost, and world war could easily happen again.

It’s been a while since I’ve written an acrostic, but I thought it would be interesting to combine the simplicity of the form with the serious and meaningful subject matter.

This is the poem I came up with:

R ivers of blood lit by the setting sun

E vening approaches, morning light has died

M emories of innocence long since gone

E leventh hour, eleventh day but now

M emory fades to ashes, dust to dust

B efore all’s lost we must remember how

R aw youth and future gave their sacrifice

A nd laid in bloody wreaths at memory’s feet

N ow blunted is the blade of death’s harsh knife

C an we, so brutal to forget that pain

E ver feel peace when it will come again?

What is happiness?

Happiness is the seemingly unattainable thing that everyone is striving for. How often are the words ‘if only…’ or ‘I wish…’ included in our sentences? Everyone is looking to have something more, because, if they have that thing, be it an object, person, success, more time… the list goes on. The fact is that we cannot always have the thing we want, and we are therefore unhappy.

Something else that I’ve noticed, is that everyone always seems to feel the need to justify their happiness; being happy is never a priority. We can’t be happy unless it’s ‘right’ to be so. For example, there is such a need for people-pleasing, that we feel that we can’t be happy if others aren’t pleased with us. Have you ever made a decision, or done something, which your friends or family didn’t entirely agree with? Even if it made you happy personally, you feel you can’t express that happiness if other people aren’t happy with you. If you haven’t pleased other people, you feel you’ve failed and therefore cannot be happy.

But happiness is a simple thing. There are so many happy things, you don’t need to thing that you think will bring you the ultimate happiness. Be happy with the little things, the sunrise in the morning, a smile from a stranger, a lost object found again.

I don’t believe that happiness is such an unobtainable thing. It’s just a matter of mindset, a matter of doing what you want. Do what makes you happy, that’s all there is to it. Let go of all the conditions placed on happiness. Let go of doing what everyone wants. Your happiness is a priority, and there’s no need to feel bad for choosing that over anything else. The life you’re living is your own. You deserve to be happy 🙂