Voices in the Coalshed: 'My View Today'

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Earlier this month, we asked you to take part in June's 'Voices in the Coalshed' activity by sending in 'Your View Today', and we're now excited to share the final piece, featuring responses all the way from New Zealand!

From a Wellington Window

From our window, at a distance, is the sea. We walked there yesterday, a crisp winter’s day with the sun shining. We still move aside on the pavement, without thinking, to give space; we still carry hand sanitiser in our pockets; teddies continue sitting in our window. But now the playgrounds are noisy with children. We meet friends in cafes, buy beer and pizza at our local pub.

Outside our window, birds visit. The best thing about the last few months was birdsong. The traffic stopped and for a time we could hear the birds better.

Janis Freegard


Lonely Wonderings

(Or, will I ever sit in a pub again)

The ground it moved

Then was still

That deathly rattle

Was with me

Silenced by the movement

Of the cursive spread

Linked worthy trends

Incumbent need

Upon me crushed

With finality



Quiet dread

Paul Simms


I gaze out of my window, cup in hand, from the lush green of the reclaimed Barrow pitheap, the spire in Worsbrough, the hills of Grenoside, over fields and woods to the mass of trees which frame the reservoir and reflect on the eighty days since lockdown began.

I've seen rainbows for the NHS, clapped for key workers, cheered on Captain Tom, commemorated VE Day, kept the two metre rule, used Zoom for yoga, maintained contact via WhatsApp, spent hours reading, crosswords, gardening, walking.

I've done my best, I really have, but oh! how I long for a grandchild's kiss.

Joan Shaw 



Relax, kick off your shoes

Chase away Corona blues

Let your many worries go

Take each day a little slow

Don’t feel guilty, you’re allowed

To read a book or sing out loud

Wear your pyjamas if you wish

Drink your coffee from a dish

Wave your arms up in the air

Never mind your messy hair

Do your make-up now and then

Relax, and do it all again!

Marian Barker


Mill pond

Forest of green trees

Verdent pathways

Bull rushes and flag iris

Stand to attention

Water lily platform waiting

Silent ripples

Mirror glass reflections

All is quiet in the evening sun

Jackie Garrood


During this lockdown,            folks heads have started

stirring.                                        As tempers burn,

emotions    start

whirring.                                                                    Imag

ination, finds a whole new meaning.                                    Whilst homes and

Work.        Get a thorough

cleaning.                                                                    Man

y more Gardens have a regal

look.                              After many years, folks are

finally reading a

book.                                                                    The arts

are helping, with a multitude of feelings.                As

music and crafts, bring about deep natural

healing.                                                Lockdown has definitely brought about, many hidden

skills,and talents out.                  We all are going through this

hell.                                                                 The only way we'll stay

safe and well

Andrew Lubelski


Two children throwing punches

Arguing over “crap packed lunches”

Home Schooling in the garden shed

“Sooo bored- going back to bed.”

 Christina Longden


My View

You should have seen it last week; the cry of every aspiring gardener. 


Then, there were

stabbing spikes of stipa, 

zinging flashes of alliums grown tall,

soft, sensual , promiscuous folds of peonies softly opening 

crowning the view, the stately glory of Aesculus hippocastanum

spreading her blowsy skirts and  flaunting her rose pick racemes.


But now, the 'March come lately' wind has roared out May instead. 

Blown this view apart, bashed it to the ground.

Broken, beaten, bedraggled and bewildered. 

Sally-ann Burley


Looking out on shades of green,
Speckled with buttercups,
Lively blackbirds singing for food.
Bird table distractions from the whining of washing,
The clatter of pencils, “Can I stop now, mum?”

Inside another day of grey clouds, grey minds, grey chatter.
The garden brings hope of brighter days to come.

Kate Fraser


Then and Now.

Bang of doors

Crunch of gears

Sound of horn

Squeal of brakes

Shriek of laughter

Shout of neighbours  

Bark of dogs

Whistle of owners

Cry of babies

Crash of pallets

Call of birds


That was then


Now its silence, disturbing silence with just the distant call of birds

Doreen Murdin


Watery exclamations on the window
Clouds lurking overhead
Shiny drops gathering on the washing line
Drops dripping from the shed.

Julia Chalkley


Wet, wet and dull
But lots of colour and very green Lawn
But no problem as inside warm and cosy and
I can make my own view with my patchwork quilt project
Roses and chocolate fabric and colours, building to a beautiful


Pam Waites


Family in the distance
Waving in the mist
Moving a little nearer
Never to be kissed

Social distance walking
Babies to be seen
Cuddles got to wait
Virus to be clean

Moments to be treasured
Weeks and months to be measured
Normality will be precious

Carolyn Newton


Grey skies
Trees waving gently
Shades of green.
Blackbird- yellow beak,
Feeding on the lawn.
Hunting for tasty worms to feed the babies.
Drizzle gently falling to the ground.

Sharon Healy


As I walk along
by hedgerows full of song
And walk through an arch
footsteps dragging, not a march
See trees as tall as towers
lower branches forming towers
Home to birds with different hues
Help to lift my dormant blues
As I espy one through a leaf
glad’ning my heart, easing my grief
Watching birds both large and small
hearing their song, their mating call
Troubling thoughts begin to cease
Different leaves, different trees
Soon I see brick and stone
into crowds no longer lone
But now upbeat and very calm
the trees, the birds have been my balm

Barbara Neale

If you would like to take part in upcoming Voices in the Coalshed activities, keep an eye out on our website for July's writing task!

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