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This is the Year

Poetry Anthology


Second Prize:
by Israt Abdur

Israt abdur_image.jpg

Waking up to begin the day 

sighing loudly at the sight of rain 

lockdown established, now early May 

need to end solitude, but from going you must refrain 


Chaos emerged with dominating fear in households 

consumed by stress and evident concern 

asthmatics and seniors fearing the ‘common cold’ 

and with desperation to God they return 


to pray for the vulnerable and the people lost 

requesting temporary immortality at unknown cost 

and often clinging onto medicinal remedies 

suggested by social media’s portrayed recipes, as 

scared of their probable contaminated breath 

they poured hot water in their bodies to battle the threat. 


Meanwhile I looked up at the clouds 

once invigilators of the London crowds 

moving gradually over the empty towns 

avoiding the cries, the indelible frowns 

or the agoraphobic mental breakdowns 

quickly snatching people’s crowns 

as they no longer ruled over their own lives 

an invisible criminal without knives 

intruding people’s bodies and minds  

we felt powerless, as though we were blind.  


We relied on the minimal contact to keep us sane and  

to escape from the parental arguments we say 

‘everything will be alright, I just need to be brave’ 

a mantra to repeat to prevent nightmares of a grave  

even as the body temperature rose  

a constant cough, with a runny nose 

I repeated assuring words in a whisper 

any louder and I’ll be heard from my sister. 


Highly Commended:
This Year
by Aaliyah Weekes


Highly Commended:
by Tiny Cingoz

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