2020 – Age 7-10 Years: Winner

Rahul Hassan Alarakhia (age 9)

Theme – Lessons I learnt in Lockdown

Judges’ comments: A poem that perfectly hits the brief and hits home, with mentions of listening to majaalis from home and the widespread effects of lockdown particularly resonating. It is also structured very well, written in rhyming quatrains with the syllables in each line carefully considered. A wonderful poem to read!

Opportunities amidst a crisis

All over the world, the news aired,

A pandemic had been declared.

Staying home was no game,

Covid 19 was its name.


I was in for a shock,

When the world was put to a stop.

No soccer with my teammates,

No parks, no playdates


At first it was a piece of cake,

Exciting and fun, an extended spring break.

I read books and made art,

I rested and did crafts.

But then it became boring,

I was tired of exploring.


With it came a whole month in which we fasted,

Majaalis on our screens were broadcasted.

I began to help my mommy to cook,

And by the end of thirty day, meals on my own I undertook


As businesses closed, jobs were lost,

The hospitals tried to save lives at any cost.

I was grateful for the parents I had,

That had kept me safe and well fed.


I thought of the Quran where Allah saves by time,

We are accountable and wasting it would be a crime

More family time and meditation,

Remembering Allah, a true rejuvenation.


Whilst solitude is great, man is a social being,

The appreciation of people and their well-being.

A realization of the need to stay healthy,

The importance of being active and happy


As we continued to be indoor stranded,

I thought of the simple things I had taken for granted.

Access to public libraries, the value of school,

A promise to teachers to never be cruel.


As we all did some house cleaning,

We found tons of stuff with no meaning.

A lesson to never hoard,

Basic needs many cannot afford.


But some wonderful things happened in nature,

A magical world began to nurture.

As vibrations of human activity became inaudible,

Birdsongs and chirping were more noticeable.


Baby turtles got some peace,

Mountain goats were at ease.

There was a healing in the Earth’s atmosphere,

Rivers and lakes looked so much more clear.


A lesson learnt that when we all work together,

We will succeed in our endeavour.

We can combat climate change,

With making a little lifestyle change.


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