The last year or so has given us all the opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and take stock of what’s important to us both now and in the future. But for Kathryn Gosling, from Worksop, the pandemic has enabled her to tick an important achievement off her bucket list.
Kathryn is a hobby poet and has been writing poems for 30 years as gifts for family and friends or as a tribute to loved ones lost. This summer, she will be preparing for the release of her second book of poems, having been inspired by her sister Ruth to collaborate the many poems she has written throughout her adult life
“I find that when something happened or I felt a need to express my feelings, words would flood into my head and they always seem to end up rhyming. I could express what I wanted to say better in a verse than talking out loud,” she says.
As a key worker, a higher-level teaching assistant working with children with SEN and challenging behaviour, Kathryn found she needed a distraction throughout the heavy stress of the pandemic. While decorating, she found around 50 of her old poems written on scraps of paper and decided to type them all up.
After a gentle nudge from her sister, Kathryn contacted New Generation publishing who were keen to support her ideas. And so her first book, A Piece of Rope was born.
“I never set out to write a book, but the publishers were very interested in me and my story which was a great confidence boost. When the first copy landed on my door mat in October it gave me a real buzz. It was never about making money or becoming a big seller, it was about ticking something off my bucket list. To know there are people out there who will read my poems and smile is reward in itself.”
Many of Kathryn’s poems are uplifting and humorous. Some have been inspired by her husband, Ian, such as It’s Not A Game of Jenga and A Man’s Look, lamenting the trouble and strife of marriage or ageing.
The second book, Here and Now, offers a true reflection of the pandemic with 76 poems written specifically for the book.
“My sister asked me to write an uplifting poem about Covid-19. But with so much death, how could I make people smile? The Other Side of the Covid Coin was the first one I wrote, and then Ruth kept sending me random titles to inspire – silly poems like ‘listen to what ya mother said’ which is one we can all relate to growing up!”
Here and Now will be available from July and you can order this and A Piece of Rope by contacting Kathryn direct via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is £7 per book plus postage. Or you can order from Amazon or Kathryn’s Etsy page.
The Other Side Of The Covid Coin
It was real, it was relentless, tenacious, a fear
Let’s not soften the evidence for it took loves ones dear.
‘Twas another chapter in history we’re not likely to forget
A time of uncertainty, misery, death, confusion and threat.
It affected mind and body, optimism, morale and emotions
This contagious disease that took hold, creating grief across the oceans.
But amongst all this turmoil there was a splinter of light
Flip the coin and look at jewels that were seen during that fight.
Shops and schools all closed, no transport could be seen
The world ground to a halt and became silent and clean.
At 4.54 billion years old, give or take 5 million or so
Wave after wave we’ve tortured her, she’s suffered tales of woe
Mother Earth reclaimed her mountains, streams and rivers ran free
The air, once filled with smoke became clear, her beauty we could see
Forgotten wonders came to view, with clear skies the sight was grand
The seas all came alive again and animals took back the land.
And what about us humans? How did we all react?
Did we crawl away, give up, when the cards against us were stacked?
When the world stayed indoors and we could have no contact
People then came together– What a confusing lockdown fact!
We became more connected with relatives when before we had little or none
Staying in touch we should continue when the fear has eventually gone.
Phone calls every day were made and video calling too
Making sure loved ones stayed safe is something we should always do
Things we took for granted without a second thought
We now had to think about to ensure this bug wasn’t caught.
We found new ways to do things, think about what you’ve achieved
With all that time on your hands and boredom to relieve!
Houses and gardens were neat, jobs they all got done
Families at home had quality time – you tell me that wasn’t fun!
Painting and making buns, children creating a mess
Home schooling and no quiet time left some parents quite stressed!
The amount of craft increased and DIY over-took
Trying new skills and projects, and some would write a book!
Hairstyles? We saw a new look, shaven or shaggy and long
No beauticians to tend to your needs- do it yourself if you wanted hair gone!
When lockdown was eased and we all crept out again
A new world was created full of hope not pain
Masks now adorned our faces, it was funny really to see
The many different designs and all the mutations there could be!
The ‘no hugging’ rule was hard for a race that needs contact
But elbow bumps and air hugs was how we’d all react
We had walks with family and friends -all staying 2 metres apart
We drove through the countryside and had picnics in the park
Counting down the days when your bubble could include
Close friends, family and grandparents (to take over your little brood!)
Yes it was all alien, a different way to live
But people pulled together and we saw less take, more give. Kathryn Gosling 2020
from Book 2 out 2021