Sally Cronin: Lockdown #Poetry #Thoughts #Isolation #Writers

Photo by Jordan Benton from Pexels


Welcome to Sally Cronin, a huge supporter of the indie writing community. Sally has kindly offered to contribute to my latest writing project: This Is Lockdown.

It’s a compilation of my diaries, short stories, flash fiction, poetry and articles, plus poems and pieces of writing from an array of international writers, authors and bloggers – the ‘Isolation Writers,’ featured on my blog.

She shares her tributes to all those who have kept us safe, educated, fed, and cared for during this crisis, her thoughts on reentering ‘normal’ activities, a poem inspired by our current situation, plus her reflections for the future.

Double Etheree – Silver Lining

I
believe
there is a
silver lining
to isolation.
A chance to reassess
how we effectively use
one of life’s great commodities
so often wasted and lamented
yet measured so accurately each day.
Time can be fleeting or last a lifetime
and it seems there is little to spare.
But during this brief hiatus
I have come to understand
that clocks do not decide
how I use this gift.
In the future
I will live
and love
more.

© Copyright Sally Cronin 2020

Thanks very much Marjorie for inviting me over to share my thoughts about the recent three months of lock down and the prospect of moving forward.

Firstly, I really want to pay tribute to the health care workers in hospitals, care homes and those who have continued to visit individuals in the community. We tend to forget when we look at their uniforms that they are also grandparents, mums and dads, sisters, brothers and grandchildren, who have the same concerns we all do about what is going on in the home, not just in their place of work.

Also those working on the front-line in supermarkets and pharmacies that have turned up each day, cheerfully, to make sure we have food on the table and medication delivered.

Parents too have been challenged by assuming the roles of teachers as well as playmates for their children in the last three months, and judging by the photographs and captions on social media, with mixed results. Humour thankfully has been sustained over the last 12 weeks, but I do know that many have struggled with the enforced isolation.

What I would like to focus on in this post, is how three groups of our society are going to cope with the next phase of re-entering the outside world.

I notice that there are already articles on how to minimise the impact on our pets, who have enjoyed having their families at home with them all day, and that includes leaving them for small amounts of time to get them used to be alone again. Humans also need help adjusting to the new world we will find when we reconnect with society.

This includes those who have been classified as vulnerable, primary school children and those who have had their treatments for life threatening diseases put on hold for over three months.

Those classified as vulnerable
I am officially in the at risk group because of my age rather than underlying health issues, but I must say that having shopped in the designated times, I probably will continue to do so as long as they continue… There do not seem to be many early risers at the moment with schools still shut, so I tend to shop in isolated splendour, rolling up and through the checkout without any delay. I do wear a mask and latex gloves and use hand sanitiser as well. Once home I get in the shower and wash my hair and glasses at the same time… shoes stay outside for the day upside down in sunshine or get wiped over with Dettol. I do think it will be a while before I discard these precautions, however safe they announce it might be.

However, one of the issues identified, is covid-19 phobia amongst many elderly people who have become used to having their groceries delivered, and total absence of outside physical contact with family and friends. We have been informed regularly, that with the lifting of restrictions there could be a second wave of the virus, and that it is highly likely that there will be another lockdown when the winter flu season starts later in the year. It does not exactly inspire confidence when it comes to leaving the house and mixing with strangers again as we used to.

This is reinforced with the continued advice for those over 70 or with a long-term underlying conditions, to remain indoors with medication and food deliveries where possible, indoor exercise or in the garden and minimise time spent outside the home and contact with others.

Services such as day care centres which provide such an important physical interaction with others, and also an opportunity to leave the house, have been shut during the lock down. Unfortunately these will remain closed until social distancing protocols have been put in place. But, many elderly will still be too afraid to take advantage of them. Those with families living close by will I am sure, find it much easier to make steps towards the new form of normal. But, for those who are living alone, it will be far more difficult.

Age UK is still doing great work with personal visits to the home, and outreach programme online and by phone, food shopping and other activities. There is a comprehensive website covering Covid-19 and how they can help should you feel that it might be of help for yourself or for a family member.

Here is the link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/

Primary School Children
Teenagers in the main are used to living their lives online, and whilst they will have felt the restrictions on their movement in the last three months, they will have kept up their previous relationships and pastimes such as gaming as normal. But younger children, who don’t have access to the Internet in the same way, are at risk of missing out on a crucial time of socialisation with others. When they do return to school or start for the first time in September, there will be physical distancing methods in place that are going to severely restrict how they communicate and play with each other. Sitting alone in a square metre in the playground during breaks and in the dining room is not going to help them integrate into a class community.

Teachers are going to be challenged within all age groups, to not just educate, but be the guardians of personal space. And with teenagers that is going to be tough and almost impossible to enforce outside of the classroom. With the younger children there is likely to be a long-term effect on how they interact with others unless their re-integration is carefully managed.

Those with life-threatening health conditions
The health service is stretched under normal circumstances, but with the lifting of restrictions on elective surgeries and essential treatments for diseases such as cancers, there are going to be even longer delays for patients. It must have been an extremely stressful time for hundreds of thousands of people, and desperate for parents with children who needed urgent treatment.

They are talking about an 18 months waiting list for elective surgeries but hopefully those requiring life-saving treatment will be at the head of the queue. And perhaps all the private health beds that were paid for, but never used, could be taken advantage of now to speed the process up.

An opportunity for us all.
Even though I have worked in the nutritional field for over twenty years, I realised that I needed to take a close look at my own lifestyle and diet and make some changes. I don’t need prescribed medication, but it is easy to slip into bad habits, particular in lock down. The key risk factors that have been identified for a poor outcome from catching Covid-19 are related to obesity, including high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. These conditions are all reversible with changes to diet and lifestyle, and whilst it can be challenging, it may lower our risk of becoming infected as we re-join the community.


Thanks again Marjorie for having me over and sharing my thoughts and poem…

Thank you Sally, it has been a pleasure, sharing your considered thoughts and lovely poem.


Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
Amazon Author Page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-smorgasbord-blog-magazine-and-sally-
cronin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

Thank you so much for being my guest Sally and for contributing an article and poem to This Is Lockdown.

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Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 72 Breakthrough and Movement

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Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself. Colleen’s prompt words this week express my morning breakthrough in such a wonderful way. I’ve been writing my prologue for Book Two of The Curse of Time and I had a BREAKTHROUGH. The words flowed so effortlessly I wanted to do a happy dance. As I was beetling away writing the prologue I suddenly had an unexpected flash of inspiration. I’m going to start each new chapter – (Puzzle Piece,) with a Cinquian! Bring it on.

Wait a minute, I have no clue how to write a Cinquian. Never fear… Colleen is the Queen Bee of mentoring! She is a fabulous source of inspiration and her blog is full of useful   information, so without further ado, I popped over to read up on how to write a Cinquain.  I discovered there is a reverse Cinquian too. Boy, this is getting exciting! More happy dance! What a morning…

Here is a tiny excerpt (unseen until now!) about Cinquians from the first (unedited,) draft of the prologue of The Curse of Time – Book Two – Golden Healer:

I’m so stressed. My go to when I’m stressed is writing. Poetry. It’s my number one anxiety solution, a bunch of words in a tight format make me feel better. But somehow I don’t feel in the mood for Tanka. There have been too many weird changes for that. I need a new more challenging form of poetic expression. I’ve heard about Cinquian. It’s very formulaic, first line is the title, second line add two adjectives that describe the title, third line stick in three verbs that express action, fourth line are four words that shout out feeling or describe more and the fifth line takes it back to the beginning. Closure. That appeals. The fifth line is a synonym of the first line. Sounds good. If anything will take my mind off my present anxiety this will do it. I feel it in my gut. Cinquain. I like it. It sounds like a cash register. Not that I’m materialistic but I feel a Cinquian coming on. Bring it on!

So to my Cinquain. I’ve used synonyms – Quantum Leap and sign.

Employee Opinion Survey

 

That last line was a struggle. I had one of those ‘can I really do this moments.’ But I like a challenge so I didn’t give up. Then I found the word. Auspicious. Oh, I do like auspicious! I hope it brings me luck. 🙂

Any feedback for this novice Cinquian writer would be gratefully received.

https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/02/20/colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-72-breakthrough-movement-snyonymsonly/

Bye for now you lovely peeps,

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Date for your Diary! My paperback is due for release mid April. The pre-release blog tour begins in April with my #ABRSC club pals, followed by a release tour with Neverland Blog Tours. (Jenny Marston is also a #ABRSC member!) http://neverlandblogtours.weebly.com/

curse of time

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Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
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REVIEW REQUEST!!!! And More…

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HELP LOVELY PEEPS REVIEWS NEEDED. I really need some!!!! PLEEEEASSSEE. If you’ve read The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone and liked/loved it could you write a short review. It doesn’t need to be gazillions of words just a few would do and post to relevant sites: amazon, goodreads. I’d be most grateful.

BOOK REVIEWERS: IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RECEIVING A FREE e-pub, mobi or pdf copy in exchange for a review please leave a comment below, or email me marjma2014@gmail.com. The Curse of Time would appeal to readers/reviewers who enjoy YA/MG fantasy fiction. The story is set in Cambridge, UK.

There are many themes in the book but the main ones are:
Time, (Inspired by The magnificent Corpus Chronopage Clock, Kings Parade, Cambridge.)

Here I am with the esteemed inventor Dr John C Taylor, OBE by the chronopage and grasshopper.

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Crystals, (Inspired by The Crystal Grotto – The Light Pours Out of Me by Anya Gallaccio- Juniper Artland, Wilkieston Scotland.) https://www.jupiterartland.org/artwork/the-light-pours-out-of-me

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Magic, (Inspired by a love of magic!)

Light, Shadows, Deception, Art, Poetry, Music, Mirrors, Mental Health Issues, Myths – (especially in Book two!)

This is book one in a proposed trilogy. IF YOU READ AND REVIEW BOOK 1 YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ADDED TO MY LIST TO RECEIVE AN ARC OF BOOK 2.

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS:

Chronopage and Grasshopper – Dr John C Taylor, OBE. Please visit his blog to find out more about this remarkable man: http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/

Male character – Ryder modelled by Joseph English photographed by my daughter  Georgina Mallon.

Female character – Amelina modelled by Elise Hackney Photographed by my daughter Georgina Mallon.

Shadow the mysterious black cat modelled by Lily the cat (via Samantha Murdoch https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com, photographed by her son Alex Marlowe: https://alexmarloweblog.wordpress.com

Bloodstone crystal photographed by Alex Marlowe, via Samantha Murdoch – https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com.

Photo of the crystal grotto is my own!

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Art Credit – Carolina Russo – ©Copyright Carolina Russo – Portrait of Esme (featured in above slideshow,) now available to order – https://yesterdayafter.com/…/new-release-esme-bringing-ali…/

 

 

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