Pandemic Poem #29 / Chrysalis

This poem came from a brief from City of Ballarat, who commissioned a spoken word piece for their Once Upon A Lockdown podcast.

The brief asked me to consider the following questions:

“Whilst we have been in lockdown, have we gained more than we’ve lost? How can we retain some of the positive actions / behaviors / routines in a post-Covid19 world? We’ve stopped to smell the roses – how do we keep this up when life resumes at its frenetic pace? Will we ever be the same again? We hope to come out stronger and a more united community.”

My poem was to be used to close the final episode of the podcast, so it had to be suitably epic. You can listen to the episode is below, my poem is at 15:25.

I recorded the audio for the poem at Hardy Audio, and the podcast was put together by Mass Motion.

While we stayed home, so snug and safe
We weren’t in a cave but a chrysalis
But we’re afraid of everything we miss
Afraid that our wings won’t unfold perfectly formed
Afraid that our instincts aren’t as strong any more
And we don’t know where to belong
Because the places we visited before are gone now
And our friends – those we missed the most – are strangers again
We are too afraid to say “I missed you”
Or “I dreamt that I kissed you”
We’re too afraid of self-reflection
So we pretend we only saw them last week
Picking up where we left off months ago
Afraid to say  “I don’t know how to do this”
Or “I wished you’d called more often”
Or “You’re the only one I didn’t miss”
We’re too afraid to admit that some of what we had before was shit…
Well, wasn’t it? 

While we stayed home, crying into our pillows
We weren’t in a cave but a chrysalis
But how can we hatch without breaking our shells
How can we fly without wings that unfurl
How can we live together again without 
Loving, honouring and trusting 
That feeling of pure vulnerability
That feeling of pessimistic negativity
That feeling of curling up inside the cave
The sunshine is only blinding because we’ve had our eyes closed for so long
And now we have a great big line to draw in the sand
And we can choose which side of it to stand on
And here we stand
More determined than ever
We can hold strong while drawing and redrawing that line
As the tide wipes away the past mistakes we made
We can build sand castles for now and again in the morning, and again
Oh, it’s harder…but it’s better, isn’t it? 
To be reborn warriors
Ready to fight for what we are afraid of losing
Ready to fight for what we missed the most

While we stayed home,  itching to revolt
We weren’t in a cave but a chrysalis
And now we must emerge

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