Poetry in The Pandemic: We Selected 12 Poems By HG Readers On Quarantining

Poetry in The Pandemic: We Selected 12 Poems By HG Readers On Quarantining

World Poetry Day on March 21, 2020, was celebrated with much gusto around the world. It goes without saying that Team Homegrown invited its followers on Instagram to pen down some lines along the theme of the nationwide lockdown.

“Share a Poem, Haiku or even just a line in any language based on being self-quarantined.. or maybe just a poem cause you’ve self quarantined.

Or, if you’re stuck- Share with us a poem using the following prompt: When the doors to my home don’t open outwards... .”

- Homegrown’s post featuring the charming Pooja Sivaraman (@poojasiv), invites poets to contribute.

We are extremely grateful for the entries in the comments and would like to bring forth some of the poems that touched us.

How we love our homes
When the doors always remain open to us
Those little rays of sunshine seeping through window-cracks in the morning “Will you pull the curtains back, darling?”
“Just a little longer as I snooze?”
“I don’t want to leave just yet.”
“Come here, pull me closer, please. Would you?”
“The scent of your hair, the tenderness of your lips have me tethered.”
But what when the very doors don’t open outwards,
And what when you can’t leave your home at all?
“Will you push the curtains apart, darling?”
“I want to go but you hold me back”
Tighter… tighter than ever.
Do we still love our homes
When they seem to confine?
“Come back home”, you say. “Never leave,” you say.
And I stay.
Still tethered but forever untethered
In your arms.
For it’s only love that makes my home.
And for you, my darling, I stay.
And I will stay

The doors to my home
Are clasped tightly
No amount of
Bribing, and
Coaxing is going
To bear fruit...
You can go ahead
And use all your
Strength against the
Boarded doors.
Whisper different
Permutations of
Passwords &
Phrases to it...
Pick at the lock,
Or go ahead and
Hire a professional
To do it for you...
It shall all fail.
For alas, all one must do
Is knock.

III. @aadimk

When the doors to my home don’t open outwards

Through choice, suggestion, and desperate pleading,

What really keeps it all a bay? And just for a day?

People with choice, choose to churn their own cuds,
Those without one trudge on through, without voice,
As saffron-clad imbeciles throw bovine urine
At the busker’s picked up covine corvid beer tin.

Ah, it all spilled. But was it willed? Can it be killed?
Resolute, we all wait and pray in balconies and windows,
Going to raise cheer to people who need more then clinks,
Holding onto promises that hide behind their own kinks.

When the doors to my home don’t open outwards

I sit inside in rage.
For the sun, the moon and the stars
Have not met me so far.
As much as I’d like my way out
There’s something that keeps me down.
When the doors to my home don’t open outwards
I often ponder,
Did I shut myself in?
Did I try hard enough?
As much as I’d like to force my way out
There’s something that keeps me down.
Now the winters have gone,
The squalls have left,
The gale is settling,
There’s a fear beginning
For I must get out,

My mind can’t comprehend what the heart wants
Maybe I should turn about.
The birds are chirping,
My heart still thumping
I’ll make one last attempt
As much as I’d like my way out.

There’s something that keeps me out

When the doors to my home don’t open outwards
It feels like the last rose that rose has fallen,
(the fuss I imagined is all but dust)
A broken poem drips without force or grip
The quiet songs’ hum along, along
And shadows thicken up and become solid things
Were they always just hiding in the great divide?
Between me, you, and all that stuff?
When you realise that you were actually always here
And, when the doors opened outwards, you left too much behind.

When the doors to my home don’t open outward,

I am forced to finally look within.
I am taken to a tragic place somewhere else,
Where the young ones can’t even peep.
When the doors to my home refused to open,
And the windows also quarantined.
My soul yearned for the countless voices,
Trying to escape their own homes,
As their boulevard they so fondly loved,
is not safe to live in.
Now its been weeks and the doors are still not open,
My mind recklessly tries to tread the paths of the ones who were trying to run.
For my door will open someday,

But for them, their own home is forgotten.

VI. @nidhhe

She walked back and forth, and with her,

Her omens of the tempest and of calm.

Shackled by time, writhing in agony;

Struggling against her inner power to render insane.
When the doors to her home don’t open outwards, she could see no stories, hear no stories -

But now she weaves them, mind and soul.

She doesn’t need no doors.

When the doors to my home don’t open outwards, your thoughts are locked even safer.

Safe is the energy inside,
Warmth a plenty,

Who cares if the door opens or not. The thoughts are there and they don’t wander.

When the doors to my home don’t open outward,
I pull inward,
In the hope that something will change.
Sidewards doesn’t budge because of walls.
These walls are all-confining, all-consuming.
These walls seem to be closing in on me in ways only my emotions do.
There is so much empty space filled with the ravages of memories relived.
And again.
Forward and rewind.
Sidewards isn’t a direction that the velocity of my thoughts can afford to take.
Words are infinite outwards.
Thoughts are infinite inwards.
Equal in magnitude, opposite in direction.
So as my words try to capture my thoughts, I feel static.
Static from the friction between the hollowness I feel and the vinyl grooves.
A something from nothing.
A nothing that is deafening.
Going back and forth in time, untethering myself from those I unwittingly intertwined my fingers with.
Sidewards actually does exist, because redemption and forgiveness are more alike than we think they are.
I push again.
And when the doors to my home don’t open outward,
I let the forbidden thoughts- the rainbow ones
Burst through some unseen but felt cracks.
I let them rage against the rusty hinges of closed doors,
Unseen, but not unheard.
I let forgiveness diffuse through the filled emptiness until all I hear is the vinyl on loop.

When the doors to my home don’t open outwards,

Know that I have kept all the windows open to keep an eye on the sky..

This sky will be the only common space between you and I from where we will look at each other from our closed, quiet silos and when the night falls upon us,

I will be the moon while you be my heart window from where I will listen to your heartbeats.

(This [poem] is for my mom who is in Delhi and sister who is in London.)

When the doors to my home don’t open outwards,
The universe is nudging me,
To turn things around the pivot of my existence;
For when I step outside and I fear people judging me,
I often forget to ask myself—
Have I been too hard on myself lately?
To take it easy, without self-judgment,
The universe is giving me an opportunity.
When I step outside and I look at hoardings,
I often vie and wallow in self-pity,
To take stock of all my hoardings,
The universe is giving me an opportunity.
When I step outside and get into an Uber,
I dread the traffic but also the destination,
For I secretly wish my musical drive would last forever,
I want to go places—but not to a location;
To get away from this bustling city,
The universe is giving me an opportunity.
In return for the opportunities, what better can I give it,
Than living life to the fullest on the other side of the pivot,
So I shan’t let my words carry me away,
For there’s much more to my day, and I ought to live it.

When the door to my house don’t open outward

It’s poetry day ... when was the last time you had such a thing remembered
It is a time play with fretboards,
Start something which you didn’t when there was traffic on the roads.
You always delayed the novel you planned
Now to write when your working is banned
You always wanted this day to arrive ..
Now, what are you being workaholic?
Call your childhood crush to tell her that your love for her was symbolic
Try something new you never dreamt
Now is the chance you get something to invent.
Life has given you a break out of the struggles
Are you still gonna go the gym to build your muscles
Weren’t you gonna learn Spanish this year
Better start it now because everything is not about career.
Let mother earth make space for her family ..
You should for once stop thinking practically.
The Virus has shown us the world is one.
If we are still not together, The pandemic cant be undone
I am sure Simpson’s even told you to enjoy this time
And here you are, finding words to rhyme
This is my isolation. I am being selfish
I don’t need to shy from my hobby fetish.
You too try, you will be surprised
Let’s all be one and empathize.
And give love to all the butterflies.

The last wall of defence -
The porch steps that merge
With the cobbled stones of
The garden the grass stares
As I cough the trees watch
Warily, wishing they could
Move away. the world seems
To be pushing back and
We had it coming.
Oscillate between two work
Stations - dining and desk

Preferring neither really
Wondering if they’ll reject
The next time we hope
For the delivery of food. well
I’m hoping for a slice of
Nirvana over here -
Isolation worked pretty
Well for Siddhartha who
Died at the ripe old age
Of eighty.

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