2020 – Age 11-14 Years: Winner
Nadia Pirbhai (age 13)
Theme – Reflections in Lockdown
Judges’ comments: A wonderfully descriptive poem with some great use of language, such as “lemon yellow brush strokes” and the alliterative “magnificent … multicoloured sky”. It reflects on the troubles we have suffered due to lockdown compared to the significantly worse troubles in places like Yemen. A thought-provoking poem!
Reflections in Lockdown
As the darkness of the night comes to a close,
A faint orange hue begins to glow,
While the clouds take on a lilac tint,
Pastel shades of red are added to the imprint,
Lemon yellow brush strokes enhance the array
Of colours occupying the canvas today.
How magnificent is the multicoloured sky,
Dotted with the birds that fly up high,
When one falls behind,
The others wait patiently until they all align,
The birds always work together in unity,
Helping each other and flying as a community .
My musings are interrupted as a crude knock emanates from downstairs,
I walk towards the door, wondering who will be there,
My question is answered moments later,
When the woman outside states that she is the creator
Of some delicious cupcakes placed in her hands,
That are being sold to help those less fortunate lands.
I am passed a leaflet outlining the troubles in Yemen,
Depicting the war where soldiers are carrying weapons,
Where bombs screech through the sky, destroying abodes,
Wiping out buildings and roads,
Where young children are suffering from malnutrition,
And millions are dying due to Yemen’s precarious position.
I thought that my life was unbearable
When Covid-19 took over and everything turned terrible,
For no longer was I allowed to meet my family and friends,
My social life had come to an end,
As I along with everyone else had been confined
To my home where I began to develop a negative state of mind.
But here I am, safe behind a door,
Protected from the horrors of war,
I have a family, a home, a peaceful life,
I am grateful, and my happiness is rife,
For now I realise that my minor troubles
Are nothing compared to other’s great struggles.
The struggle to stay alive,
The battle to survive,
This is what people face every day,
As they pray that the war will go away.
But it hasn’t, not yet,
Instead, remaining as an imminent threat.
These hardships have occurred,
What more does it take for my heart to be stirred?
I have been living a comfortable life,
Not troubling myself with other people’s strife,
It’s as if I believe that it is ok to continue in my happy state,
Whilst others are left to embrace their deathly fate.
But no. This is not ok.
As the Prophet says, when one part of the ummah hurts, so does the other,
Mankind’s plight should concern me like my own sister and brother,
I must make the effort to devote time to serve,
To promote equality and ensure the needy get what they deserve,
Unintentionally, this lockdown has helped me to realise my duty,
Enhancing myself with service is the greatest kind of beauty.