Poem Competition

Back in September 2020 we opened a poem competition to children. 2020 presented lots of different challenges not only for Colchester Zoo but all of us individually and our families, as we found our normal routines and ways of life significantly disrupted. During these times many adults and children have found different ways to express their feelings.

Some found lots of joy in walks and exploring nature, some may have grown vegetables or created lovely gardens. Many people will have found other creative ways to help themselves express how they were feeling; like writing diaries, telling stories or perhaps even writing a poem.

Colchester Zoo’s Finance Director, Julie Tropeano, expressed her feelings from the effects of the first lockdown and experience of reopening the zoo via a poem and shared this with all of our supporters. You can read Julie’s poem here.

As the children returned to school we invited them to express their feelings via this therapeutic way with words and opened up a competition for them to write their own poem about lockdown, what their happiest memories were from this time along with what they were looking forward to in the future.

After receiving numerous entries from a wide age range of children including Year 9 pupils from Colchester High School we shortlisted the poems and chose a winner along with 4 runners up! There were so many great poems entered and it was very difficult to choose a winner so thank you very much to everyone who entered we hope that you enjoyed expressing your feelings via a poem.

You can read the winning poems below who have all been contacted and issued their prizes!

Corona virus has affected our lives
Overnight our world changed
Really hard not to see family and friends
Our new rules to wash hands and cover face
Now are needed to keep us safe.
Always hoping things will get better.
Virus please stop spreading.
I do hope everyone stays safe.
Remember to think happy thoughts.
Unicorns, Rainbows, everything nice!
Some day this will be over.
The time was hard
But we got through.
When all went dark
A light shined through.
Even though
We felt like it would never end
We carried on
Until the end.
It felt like raining
And the sun went behind the clouds.
But beaming there
Was a beautiful sound.
The sound of hope
Shined through
Casting light on
All of you.
Now everything’s getting better again
And it’s feeling much more normal.
And the sun is smiling down once more
Not causing any trouble
The tiny spark of hope is still there
Gleaming away, silently
You can’t see it
But it’s there  
Blocking out the despair.
I started lockdown feeling unsure but hopeful

The sun shone on and the moon came to visit each night as usual

I was excited when I set up my online school workspace

I was excited when I had my first lesson on Skype

I was excited when I made my own lunch at home
After two weeks flew by my school production was cancelled
and I started to feel the depth of this change
Another week passed and I began to get used to this strange way of life
Each day I checked the Colchester Zoo website
I thought of animals, disappointed with no visits
I thought this pandemic could go on for years

I thought it might become routine to wear a mask
Then I realised that there was only one way to go
I remember the time,
When lockdown begun.
From Wuhan in China,
Coronavirus sprung.
Despite all our efforts,
Lots still coughed and sneezed.
Even though our numbers high,
We all still believed.
We stayed in our homes,
And always washed hands.
We stayed put for a while,
No one made any plans.
Although this great virus,
Is not yet completed.
I know that in the near future,
It will be defeated.

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