Morecambe teacher writes book of poetry during lockdown

When schools closed on March 20 as the country went into lockdown, one Morecambe teacher decided to write a poem to record her thoughts.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 3:30 pm
Helen Davies with her book of poems which she wrote during lockdown.
Helen Davies with her book of poems which she wrote during lockdown.

Helen Davies, an English teacher at Morecambe Bay Academy, has now self-published a collection of poetry written over the last six months.

"The day the schools closed felt so strange; I decided to write a poem to record my thoughts," she said. "After all, I'm an English teacher - we're supposed to write aren't we?!

"More poems followed which I shared on social media and with friends and family.

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Morecambe Bay Academy English teacher Helen Davies.

"People liked them, cried or laughed after reading them and told me that reading my poetry was helping them get through the tough days.

"I gained a small army of followers and I soon found that writing a daily poem became a bit of an addiction!

"In addition to looking after (entertaining) my two-year-old daughter, setting online work for my students at Morecambe Bay Academy and sometimes going into school to support the vulnerable students and the students of key workers, I started to enjoy writing poetry.

"Not only did it become an addiction but it helped me get through the days when I felt a bit down or a bit stir crazy. A kind of therapy I guess.

"Lockdown Lines contains personal poetry about my husband, my daughter, my parents and friends.

"It contains poetry about life during lockdown, from daily walks on the canal to Thursday nights clapping for the NHS.

"It contains lines which show my appreciation for nature and lines about needing a hair cut! I also wrote about socially distanced schooling, something which we are all having to get used to as we prepare to welcome our students back to school this week."

And so, what started out as a one-off became 100 poems by June 26 - the day Helen decided to put her pen down and stop writing.

"Without doubt Lockdown Lines is a record of social history," she said. "It's a record for my two-year-old daughter to read when she is older; my book is dedicated to her."

The book is now on sale online and sold almost 50 copies in its first week.

"Thanks to Jemma Calvert for designing and creating the cover images for me," Helen added. "Jemma was in my English Literature A-level class but is pursuing a career in art.

"Her design certainly makes my book come alive! She is an incredibly talented artist and I am glad that she agreed to be involved."

This is the first poem Helen wrote:

The Longest Week

Today we tidied our classrooms,

Like it was the end of the long summer term.

After we wished our students well,

We washed our hands to destroy any germs.

This week has been the longest week,

Full of tissues of germs and tears,

Sanitiser, soap and predicted grades,

Doing our best to allay students’ fears.

For once we don’t have the answers,

For once we’re not the experts.

All we know is how we feel,

And this whole thing really hurts.

Let’s hope this monster of a virus,

‘Does one’ pretty quick,

So that the heartbeat of our little community,

Can again begin to tick.

20th March, 2020