Covid Considerations: A Found Poem

| Cat Duncan-Rees

On 2nd April Cat Duncan-Rees, a colleague, associate and friend of ours bravely kicked off our #covidconsiderations blog series with a heartfelt blog written at a time of great personal sadness but creating hope for the future. Other brilliant blogs have followed filled with personal stories of experiences of this pandemic and brimming with reflections on what opportunities for change might be emerging from it. Whilst we take a pause to gather the next batch of blogs, Cat created this found poem with lines from each blog published so far. It is a round up, a battle cry and captures the essence of this series. We would like to say a big thank you to Cat and we hope you enjoy reading it.

This pandemic is uniting us

At the core of our human spirit

We are all experiencing limits to our freedom right now

Working out responses on a neighbour to neighbour basis

We need to listen to the pain of our communities and people’s stories of what they have been through

We have all been affected in one way or another by Covid-19, we all have a story to tell

Of course we need a safety net, and an offer to those whom neighbours can’t reach or support

To ensure everyone can access the care and support we need

The chance for people who are traditionally helped to be the helper, for the lines to blur between those labels, and with it any implied hierarchy

The space for resident led response feels limited, almost unwelcome. #WeveGotThis says our Council

Why are we not questioning models that have us trapped in making choices between our individual economic security and community wellbeing? (including the wellbeing of our planet)

Maybe we can deploy staff to do the shopping for you

(often with that knowing look or voice tone that denotes ‘safeguarding risk’)

It feels like our local response has forgotten the neighbour and the neighbourhood.

We’re talking about topics we don’t usually talk about like the quality of our lives.

Resetting what we value and reconnecting to what matters most.

This is a moment where we must stand with and for each other across our differences

We must rewrite the rules

Create a set of simple principles that you stick to no matter what – call it a pirate code if you will

Amongst anger and fear, this is also hope and courage


To rebuild

We’re oiling our wheels ready for our resurgence

So that whatever happens, and wherever you go, you go together

‘We collaborate as equals, or not at all’

Our vulnerabilities are pushing us to have the kind of honest conversations we might have shied away from in the past.

Now is the time to dream and create our new future once this storm has passed

What are we afraid of?

It feels like we haven’t left the space or time to enable the street response to build

As we slow down to manage this crisis, we could use this time effectively to pause, reflect and create some space to think deeply about what is happening and what this means for us.

Love and loyalty. Positivity. The mutuality of the kindness

The extraordinary evidence of human creativity

When times are tough, we lean into what matters

We all want to be in charge of our own lives and to be useful to others as much and as often as we possibly can

There is no magic formula, there is no system or process, or policy, strategy, business case or programme management approach that can deliver the human to human connection, relationships, kindness and compassion that we are currently experiencing all around us.

Trust the living system that is you and your community as much as possible

This is not about particularl groups or Us and Them – this is about all of US.

And what matters most is the love we have for one another.

Follow Cat on Twitter @CatDRees

Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Share this article:

Similar articles

by Mel Parks

The Power of Human Connections – George Fielding’s Story

One of our new critical friends George Fielding BEM spoke to us about his compelling motivations for community work and life in general. George has raised more than £15 million for charities since becoming an advocate for young wheelchair users at age 12.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic: Collective Power Awards

Celebrating and learning more about CHWA Awards joint winner, The Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic, which has brought almost 1,000 local people from North Kensington together to make large scale public artworks. Co-created with individuals and local community, resident, faith and school groups under the guidance of mosaic artists Emily Fuller and Tomomi Yoshida.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Gloucestershire Creative Health Consortium: Collective Power Awards

Celebrating and learning more about one of the CHWA Awards joint winners: made up of Art Shape; Mindsong; The Music Works; Artlift and Artspace. They all work in partnership to provide high quality, personalised, inclusive and accessible creative health services for people experiencing psychological and/or physical challenges.

Read article