Rhubarb 2020

ST EDWARD’S rh u b a r b

Lockdown by CHARLIE SCALES (Kendall, Fifth Form) Time ticks by, With a hum, hoot or cry, All that is clear are the clocks, The never-ending sound of ticks and tocks.

Distance by PATRICK MAXWELL (Cowell’s, Fourth Form)


How do societies change? The way we lived 40 years ago would be immediately different from how we do now, it only takes a look down the street, in the shops, even at what people wear, to realise that. But we change gradually, almost invisible; there is normally no instant change, no watershed moment after which everything around us seems irrevocably changed. Now it seems different. The mindset we hold, the way we act in the street, the money we spend, the way we talk to people, all the most essential and everyday actions have changed, all around us. As I write now, I sit on a train, usually brimming with commuters, now almost empty, and the physical, visible impacts of this change in full view all around me. People all wear masks, they are careful to stay away from you, they walk slower, more cautiously, in a way that seems almost as though we are living in a world enveloped by our mindsets. In all the eyes of the people on this train I can see the grim acceptance, the fear, the mistrust in their eyes, although I know it’s in mine as well. We are all thinking the same things, scared of the same fears, yet keeping our distance, creating a kind of awkward armistice to all those who are near us. When, how, will this end? Can we ever revert to normal? Or have we changed, in our everyday, beyond any kind of repair?

The same routine again and again, Watch a film, read a book, or reside in your den, Unable to see the near future, you scowl and frown, Praying that something soon will end this torturous lockdown. What first seemed as a dream come true, With schools closed and so much free time in view, Back then one would find our current situation cool, Though all one seems to find at the moment is their inner-fool. Family games are now incredibly dull Each leading to someone questioning the hollowness of the other’s skull, The news on twenty-four-seven, commonly crowded at five, Though there is almost nothing different from the last time Boris went live. From pubs to pizza parlours, everywhere is closed, As evidently people would be far too exposed, But then you see one, two, three and more, All in close quarters and disregarding what was said before. Though your parents or grandparents seem fine, They are unable to contact you unless online, Trying to find the correct buttons to press, Just adding to the already-present stress. Every morning you get up and out of bed, Trying to be filled with confidence as opposed to dread, And as days pass you become more and more desirous Of the long-awaited termination of the Coronavirus.


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