Following the Paperchains Project, a lockdown initiative which created a spotlight for young people, including armed forces families, to express their feelings through art, poetry or writing, Army&You is delighted to share the winning entries from service children and young people, who captured what the pandemic and lockdown meant to them…

To read their full stories, CLICK HERE

Black and white drawing

By Elene Chkhetiani, aged 10

 

Suicidal youth

By Amelia Pasquale, aged 15

There is a pandemic upon us.

One that has covered the planet

And ravaged many lives.

Though don’t be eluded

for I am not talking of the one

currently dancing on humanity’s lips,

painted on every paper, front page headline.

As the subject upon my mind is nowhere near visible.

But unseen doesn’t mean unreal

for most fatal predators are the silent ones.

And nescient is the person who overlooks this.

The pandemic I speak of is a stygian one.

Such a taboo

that most suffers sew their own lips together

with threads of okays

in fear of discovery.

For the pain is often preferred, to the truth being unearthed,

They keep up this façade until one day these lies form a noose

that they don’t even notice until it’s around their neck.

But it’s too late then because it was society that left them for dead.

 

Lockdown deliveries

By Connor Grace, aged 11

So long ago, we ordered online,

I waited patiently but started to whine,

The dog is barking, we know who it is.

Everybody is waiting to answer the quiz.

Opening the door, the parcel’s on the floor,

the postman is two meters back in case he is under attack.

I wish it’s for me and I am eager to see

Whose will it be out of us three?

After a wait we open the bait,

Is it a ball? Is it a whisk? Or is it a brake disc?

Then inside the box, all alone,

Is one smelly dog bone.

 

Exam Stress

By James Lesinski, aged 16

Why?

Most important time of your life!

Most important time of your life!

Most important time of your life!

Is it?

You see only one leaf,

But you feel like everybody else can see the whole plant.

Alone.

Separated.

The teacher sees and talks to the whole plant

But only means to talk to specific leaves.

Deadlines, revision,

Deadlines, revision.

It surrounds you and I like fog,

A thick, engulfing, swallowing fog.

The funny thing about fog though,

Is that it fades away,

Eventually disappears

And breaks apart like curtains,

At the start of a performance to let your light shine through,

Even then, the show must end.

The curtains close

The darkness swallows you up

Like a nefarious beast

Like a fog.

Your candle light is blown out

And swept away.

But candles can be re-lighted.

 

The things I love about books

By Isabella, aged 10

Wherever you are,

Stuck or not,

If you’re alone,

The characters are with you, friend or foe.

A book will draw you in,

and never let you go,

even after it’s finished.

And in quarantine during covid 19,

you can still visit,

a derelict castle in Camelot that is preparing for a wedding,

or a boarding school with a murderous headteacher on the hunt,

or even a chocolate factory inventing a new invisible Easter Egg with

Ooompa Loopas,

and Tudor England avoiding marriage or execution,

or maybe snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef looking for undiscovered

coral and Giant clams,

or battling Ringwraiths with Aragorn and Legolas,

or finally escaping Pompeii whilst Vesuvius erupts.

And when quarantine is over, I may not even notice if I’m still in giant

land trying to escape from bloodthirsty giants who eat children for

breakfast or doing naked yoga with MY own gangsta granny!

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