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Stars of Poems of inspiration in the time of pandemic Star Academies


Stars of Hope is dedicated to all the NHS workers, carers, school staff, refuse collectors, shop workers and other key workers who led the fight against the coronavirus and kept our country going.


Stars of Hope is a collection of stimulating poems, written by pupils of Star Academies, that draw on our history and carry messages of hope and optimism during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Published May 2020. Images courtesy of PA Images.


Foreword

The coronavirus pandemic has made us reconsider every aspect of our lives. So many activities that we took for granted just a few weeks ago now require a risk assessment; so many questions are unanswered. The journey to destination ‘normality’ remains tentative as we deal in probabilities while craving certainty. We remain undaunted. Amidst the feelings of frustration and isolation, the indomitable spirit of creativity remains strong. Poetry represents human experience in its most concentrated form – emotions and experience distilled into imagery with the power to inspire and energise. The poets featured in this publication attend schools in the Star family. Their education has been disrupted, they have been cut adrift from routines and separated from friends yet their belief in the future is a shining beacon. Their fresh and lively writing draws on the courage shown by heroes of the past conflicts and the inspirational words of great leaders. They explore the reality of the pandemic but remind us that it is transient. We have conquered oppressive enemies previously and we will do so again. I am immensely proud of all our Star pupils, and of the teachers who have given them the skills and confidence to express their views. I hope that you enjoy reading Stars of Hope and gain comfort from the words of the highly talented writers who have contributed to it. Stay safe and well.

(Mufti) Hamid Patel CBE Chief Executive


Change

And just like that our world has come to a standstill, The deadly unseen spreading around Taking lives, causing chaos, and disrupting plans. Leaving people head in hand. Imprisonment? Maybe, Or perhaps freedom. And now that our lives have been forced to come to a standstill, We have been given Time. Time to slow down, Time to reflect, Time to pray. And to see the world, and our lives in a different way. The child has a new school: a classroom within the home. The teen whose exams were cancelled now has a new vocation to learn. The mother, who always had so many roles to play, takes on a few more. The father, who never seemed to spend enough time at home, begins to know his children even better than before. And the grandparents, who always had the grandchildren around, are suddenly learning how to use technology more. And we battle this storm, With the Nightingales of today as our heroes And so many more as society’s soldiers. As the darkness looms, A new world emerges. A blossoming seed to a beautiful flower, Morphing into a butterfly from a caterpillar, Growing from a shorebird into an eagle. We will have had Time: Time to slow down, time to reflect, time to pray. Time to change.

By Safiyyah Hasan

Year 7, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

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It’s a Funny Little Word

Hope. It’s a funny little word, isn’t it? Meaning something different for everyone. It’s an expectation for some, and a desire for others. It is something that we as humans need. We, as mankind, need something to strive for and without it, What would we be? Each and every day, we open our phones to Google and Pinterest giving us quotes. Quotes that we are supposed to live by. Quotes that are supposed to inspire us. But is this really where our hope comes from? Phones? Google? Pinterest? Quotes? Instagram? Sure, these may contribute towards our hope, but really, it is our environment. The place where you grew up, the school you went to, the friends who you spent the most time with, the money that is in your pocket and the clothes that are on your back, all add to what your definition of hope is. One small aspect of your life could cause a large alteration of what hope means to you. What else could it be? How could it be anything else but our environment? Soldiers, fighting for our freedom. Do you think they use quotes to give them hope that they will survive until tomorrow? Or do you think it is their comrades who encourage them to fight harder, run faster and make it to the other side? It isn’t quotes. They get their hope from one another.

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Children in a classroom. We’ve all been there. Hoping, dreaming, wishing. All about our Future. No such thing as impossible. Our minds run wild at the idea of the Future and being able to act like a grown-up. The hope of not being sent to bed at the usual time of nine. Do we still have that? There comes a time where hope is all we have. We have been there before. I use “we” as a collective term for society. I use “we” as a way to emphasise the way which people from all walks of life, have come together and demonstrated the effects of solidarity and Hope on society for years to come. There is clearly a message attached to this poem. And it can be different for each of us, like the definition of hope. But one thing that everyone can relate to, is the hope felt by each and every one of us in today’s climate. Regardless of our own definition. Hope. It’s a funny little word, isn’t it?

By Sheldon Leigh

Year 12, Bay Leadership Academy

Stars of Hope

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Stars of Hope

Soon, everyone will talk of The time the world stood still, It will be written in history, How the world was normal until, A vast disease broke out and spread, China, Italy, England, America, Infecting the world, country by country, The disease which began a new era. Mankind has a new nemesis, It’s crept in and filled the land, Spreading its deadly substance so quick, Which has taken lives firsthand, A hundred to a thousand to a number beyond, The death toll peaks higher and higher, Despairing governments have declared, Worldwide lockdown is what we require. We hear of people falling ill every day, We are scared for ourselves and others, They say it will just be the vulnerable and old, But these are sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, We wave at each other from our windows, Keeping a distance because we love one another, Whilst on the front line are the selfless heroes, Who tirelessly work to save the innocent other. Unprecedented times call for desperate measures, Schools shut, exams cancelled, online lessons are rife, Young and old alike, stuck at home, missing their “normal”, But in this valuable time, they can experience an enriched life, And walk on the empty streets, once congested with cars, And breathe in the fresh air, once polluted with fumes, And engage in new hobbies, once neglected as insignificant, And reflect, ponder and pray, in the haven of their rooms. Soon, everyone will talk of The time the world stood still, When the people stayed at home, And thanked the brave who healed the ill, They sang together, with hope and faith, Stood united whilst apart, for peace and health to prevail, Those are the ones who saved our world, Empowering a “new normal” on a worldwide scale.

By Aaminah Issa

Year 9, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College 05

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Checkmate

Recklessly, they moved our King to D2, without rigorously surveying the battlefield. It moved its Rook to E2. Under the captivity of naivety, they deployed our King to D1, not knowing of the great ramifications. It stationed its Queen to F1. Stealthy. Deadly. Checkmate! An unprecedented game, never before recorded in history. How could it bring us to our knees so swiftly? A darkness fell over the world. A shadow has been cast over every home. People buried themselves within the confinements of their house, Some lost mothers and brothers and sisters and friends, while others lost a spouse. Sanctuaries were indefinitely closed – leaving our souls unprotected. Corona assembled its army of submicroscopic slayers, while world leaders assembled their army of key players. They say the first time they underestimated our opponent, but this time we are prepared. This time it’s different. Our armour is made of soap and all things sanitary, and our soldiers distance themselves on the chessboard. This time we will not play recklessly; instead we will fight with caution and integrity. Let us heal – together. Let us advance – together. Let us shield each other – together. And in doing so, let us checkmate Corona – together!

By Mohammed Sahil Rahman

Year 10, Eden Boys’ School, Birmingham

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Garden of Hope

I see the delicate white flower fade. Its petals showing innocence and purity. I hold it in my palm, watching it wither. The petals lacking its beauty and vigour. I feel my heart sink, right to the ground, Listening to the lonely sound. As I’m losing hope, the flower field is dying. I feel drops of water on my hand, soon the drops are flying. Soaking the flower beds, moisture filling the soil. Suddenly the clouds move, revealing the sun. The children come out, the sound of fun. As the flowers bloom, their alluring petals shine. The sign of hope and growth, a field full of colour. Pink flowers, red, and even blue cover the field. No rain, no flowers.

By Ella Bibby

Year 9, Highfield Leadership Academy

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A Little Shock, A Little Wonder “Give the son of Adam a bag of gold And he will ask for another one.”

Amidst the rising and setting of countless calendar dates of counting down to holidays to counting minutes in lessons, I longed for school to end. Sometimes, the weekend seemed too short – the hours are so, in pleasure and action. Back then, I would trade anything to rid myself of the cobwebs which were school lessons of dreading, dragging durations. And I thought I’d found myself an extended summer holiday of coconut, pineapple and mango drinks along a roasting barbecue. But the longing, the wish – the desire to live alone once I grew up – slowly vanished before my own unbelieving eyes. What was this? The need to feel the once nuisance-like sun on my neck? A rush of euphoria upon hearing the sound of my cousin’s voice? Perhaps we need people to live. And though solitude is great, it is so with balance. Maybe if I ever do – no, I will – once I return to school, I shall passionately enjoy every lesson. The formulae will remind me of joy. Homework won’t be such a curse. I will see my friends again – it will not last forever. At least it is better now. Everyone is okay. I am okay.

By Hiba Malik

Year 7, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

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Stars of Hope Five

Something you had hoped many times, but you never knew it would come to pass You feared what will happen if you dare step a foot into the world you once knew, a world of happiness, a world of joy that was silenced by our mothers’ revenge. Four

You can see it turning, crumbling and breaking, rocking back and forth wondering if it will ever end

But you know due to the ignorance and lack of common sense we will continue to offend But still you dare not step a foot into the world you once knew, a world of love, a world of smiles and hugs. Three

You can see it worsen, slowly dying but it’s still trying to thrive, provide and stay alive

Still you dare not step foot into a world you once knew, a world of equality, a world of justice Yet you can still see it yearn for the healing it needs. Two

You dare try and step a foot into the world due to boredom and annoyance

Then you see it cry and ask why you also want to betray your darling mother who has done nothing but love you, they, him and her. One

Holding on to the last strand of hope

You head back in in the box you have been trapped in

But then you see it, you see the world heal, now as strong as steel

You have sacrificed your freedom due to the little hope you had and, in the end, you had saved mankind Never again would you, they or them betray our mother, our carer, our earth again

You had hoped what a man had once dreamed a hope we would come together and save our planet Five

Your stars of hope have now refilled.

By Queen Tojoba

Year 9, Tong Leadership Academy Stars of Hope

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Stars of Hope

Are you starting to feel like this will last forever? Just eliminate the negatives, At least we are all together, Just remember the positives. Our nation will shine again, We will emerge from our shadows, The sun will come out from behind the clouds, as we celebrate our pain, Today is ours and so is tomorrow. We are all overloading with determination, We have all made a sacrifice, We are all oozing with inspiration, But we all need to follow the advice. We have an influencer named Joe Wicks, He tries his very best to keep us fit, His workouts make our confidence rise quick, We will never quit. Captain Tom Moore walked 100 laps of his lawn, He has raised over 30 million pounds, He has successfully stopped us from our miserable mourn, He has raised so much money just in his home grounds. Not all heroes wear capes, Some are small, some are tall, They all come in different sizes and shapes, They’re the ones with the biggest hearts overall. Luckily, we have the NHS fighting on the frontline, We all clap across the nation, They will make our country shine, We will show our appreciation. Our Prime Minister, Boris, led us into isolation, He said the virus doesn’t discriminate, He made lockdown crucial for our nation, He made these rules so the virus can’t accelerate, Our country watched the Queen on TV, It brought back her memories from the World War, A brighter future she helped us to see, Just as then, Britain will recover once more!

By Mackenzie Crosse

Year 7, Bay Leadership Academy Stars of Hope

12


The World is Falling

The world is falling And we’re too slow to catch it. That’s what we all say in our bouts of despair, When we feel no escape from Nightmare’s lair. But what we seem to forget is pretty simple: That the world fell long ago. The world fell when we had the war, When people cried out, “No more! No more!” When those innocent vehicles of convenient travel, Turned on those already positioned beneath the mud and gravel. When cylinders rained like fireworks, darting through the night, But then, it was on land they ignited and maroon-tinted was their light. The world fell when we had the great fires, When all hope seemed to have long retired, When they could do no more than throw water to weaken the flames, Watching as they devoured still, replacing great cities with plains. When trees, houses, and more alike were churned by their furious might, Turned into ash in but one or a few nights. The world fell when the mountains exploded, When the sky launched its barrage with clouds fully-loaded, When newly-bloomed orchids were crushed under running feet, Racing from those dark turning clouds, from the fate they seemed doomed to meet. When they had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, Standing helpless on hills once glorious in their pride. But history shows, Because history knows That the world gets back up, When we let it. When we beat our swords into ploughshares, our guns into baskets, Our hostility into open arms, and send back gifts in those caskets. When we turn our borders into separations of bodies but not hearts, When we help each other and learn together to never make the same mistakes, For not just one or a few, but for all our sakes. Because the world has fallen so many times in the past And there remains little doubt that this won’t be the last. Yes, life ahead seems clouded and our fates a mystery, But let us keep hope, look for the future in history. And the world will change But life will go on – If we let it.

By Bushra Sharief

Year 11, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College 13

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Holding on to Hope “Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift – there is nothing small about it.” (Florence Nightingale) Just 2 months ago, all was fine, We were all out in Calvin Klein. The economy growing, as normal as can be, Individuals and businesses working with glee. People laughing, loving, and living, Surrounded with a sense of thanksgiving. Life was truly a blessing, Day in, day out, achieving and progressing.

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“When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength” (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Amidst the normality, was spreading a terrible disease, Making everyone cough, sniffle and sneeze. Covid-19; the New Black Death bringing uncertainty, An international crisis, a national emergency. Life brings forth unprecedented times, As this calamity tests our strength and minds. Daily increase in death rates has now become the norm, The ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ driving the world through this storm. “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.” (Nelson Mandela) The government is continuously planning and taking action, To tackle this deadly virus, they stopped social interaction. The NHS has become the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, Pushing forward with resilience at their work camp. Following Murphy and Churchill, key workers are today’s soldiers, Battling the fields selflessly, not fearing disruption and exposure. Every week we confront this grief, showing appreciation, Applauding and supporting the heroes of our nation. “Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education.” (Martin Luther King) The world dreams of overcoming this adversity, Together we all come, putting aside our diversity. The education system closes for an indefinite duration, Home-schooling is the way forward until further confirmation. Boris Johnson searching for answers in self-isolation, Preventing another ‘Financial Crisis’ and economy’s ruination. Intelligence and character is the key to attack this invisible foe, Step by step moving forward to overcome hardship and woe. “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.” (Anne Frank) Now valuable lessons we take from ‘The Great Depression’, Bravery and courage we must show to leave behind this oppression. Together we will fight and stay strong. Together we will triumph and put right, the wrong. Helping the vulnerable with acts of kindness and affection, Hoping, praying and taking time out for reflection. With the spirit to continue, we shall eventually succeed, Remaining united and resolute, we shall eventually be freed. “Better days will return… we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)

By Hamza Shafique

Year 7, Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Bradford Stars of Hope

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You Still Let It Break Your Heart Hope, that knows no fear, In situations like these Hides in the broom shed –

“Why settle for the Positivity it brings, When fear’s more tempting?” Kind, administered Placebo allows us to Fake our happiness. There’s so much love and Prosperity here on this Earth. Yet you still let it break your heart. The absurdity in how you share. Your clicks harbour a shibboleth of fear. Irrationality dictates, and so The vast superstition that you appear To promote causes a ripple of woe And stupidity. Avoid the press and Don’t let any but the ones in the know Influence your decision – take a stand Against the fearmongering’s ammo. They’ll try to convince you otherwise but Your independence builds hope in the gut.

By Alex Williams

Year 11, Bay Leadership Academy

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We Will

With every breath drawn, With the coiling of life, With the clicking of a lock, With each creasing mark upon the sky night, As bitter clouds rage their intense fume, Somewhere far off, a warning pledge; We sit as isolated rows Of flaming embers, lusting for starlight, Bursting for fusion again, But only glint with mere spark; Alone; Apart; The stony lumber figure of this earth, Crumbling and depleting more and more, Until almost dust and non-existent, But now paused in the vigour of unbeknownst fear, And muzzled escapade, In uncertain momentum, The Me must become the We, The I, Us; As when the single thread can be cut, The numbered weave cannot; And so in firm decree, Let us say: The day we rise, Nationwide, To thrive as to be more alive, Full of zest, The grip of reality more secure than ever; We are We, The human race, And we will be in the fullest of strength; We will.

By Zaynab Ahmad

Year 8, Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Manchester

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A Glimmer of Hope

The sun still shines, the moon still glows, The vegetation still grows, and the flowers still bloom They go through transition much like a mission Through winter, through summer, through spring and autumn in which some leaves may fall but that’s not all. We may have lost some, but I guarantee this battle will be won. We are on a journey with the rest of humanity, With hope and love and sayers of prayers Not all is lost, not all is gloom! We are not alone when we have one another: From bone to bone and home to home you and I are not alone. With one another this stumble is truly no bother. World War 1, World War 2, even that we got through. Stronger and better, united and enlightened. Through this time that seems horrendous, Our heroes are tremendous – A beacon of hope. Like stars that shine bright and give off great light. We live a great time of mystery, a special time in history, In which those we lost will not be forgotten. There is no need for pessimism so appreciate this realism of optimism: That in this time of fear, victory is so near; That in this time of pain, no good effort is in vain. The NHS staff, the paramedics, the firefighters, the police officers and many more From bee hivers to delivery drivers, our heroes and our stars, I thank you all for what you bear and for what you bore. At the end of the tunnel, there is so much light, Just as after every night, the sun appears so bright.

Saamiyah Ismail

Year 9, Eden Girls’ School, Coventry

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A Life in Pixels

Talk to me, my pixel friend. Sometimes you shatter in a million pieces. The connection’s down – our connection. You’re everything to me, and nothing too. A blurry image on the screen, a voice I know so well. I’m speaking to you, trying to help. But your pixel tears keep on falling. You’re in my hands, in my arms, at my side. A world away. Talk to me, my pixel love. They’ve kept me from your room. You’re still as death, and death is real. But death has pixels too. And your last blink, and my last cry to you. The connection’s down – our connection. I missed your static words, the fuzzy dropping of your chest. The final pixel array – you at rest. My image shudders, breaking, remaking. And yours – they’ve ceased to move. Talk to me, my pixel world. We’ve really lost our way. We’re stronger than we were before, But pixels die each day. Scrolling a mile, all the while, Our heroes race away, breathless, Restless, endless, in pours a score. More pixel hearts to greet goodbye From the other side of a door. Flesh and blood and real hands – This is human essence, Living through a pixel screen, I long for human presence.

By Humaira Toorawa

Year 13, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

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আশা, Asha

Hope: ‘What does it mean?’ I asked. ‘To not give up,’ my elder sister replied. My younger brother said, ‘To look forward to something.’ Whilst my dad’s response was the translation of hope in Bengali, ‘Asha.’ Hearing that, my mum whispered, ‘Barosha.’ Trust. My elder brother responded with the Arabic word, ‘Tamanna’ Which translates to my baby sister’s answer, ‘Wish.’ ‘What are you hopeful for?’ I then asked. Summing up her never-ending list, my elder sister replied, ‘Success.’ My younger brother simply said, ‘Jannah.’ Paradise. Whilst my dad’s response was: আমি আশা করি আমার বাচ্চারা তাদের পরীক্ষায়ভাল করবে (I hope my children do well in their exams.) Placing her trust in God, my mum prayed for the end of the coronavirus. Hearing that, my baby sister wished that there were no viruses or illnesses in the world. Then, all eyes were on me. ‘What about you? What are you hopeful for?’ they asked. আমি আরও একবার আমার নানীর সাথে দেখা হবে আশা করি (To meet my Nanu (grandma) one more time) ‘That is my Asha,’ I replied.

By Majeda Ali

Year 13, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

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Don’t Lose Hope

Don’t lose hope. In this difficult time, we will cope. Who knew that there would be a time, Where man would be battling an invisible enemy. Guilty of this major deadly crime That made ambiguous our planned destiny, And made these hopeless nights last an eternity. But in this never ending darkness, My heart will provide this comfort to my mind regardless: To not lose hope Because in this difficult time, we will cope. Who knew that it would be so quick like the shut of a winter’s day, it all seems like the mind’s trick: the deaths, separation, and a world so grey leading me to wonder: will it ever go away? But despite this major dark pandemic We are clapping and closer to each other Like never before, reminding one another To not lose hope; In this difficult time, we will cope. Who knew the strength of this minute creature, Its ability to force the death curve up so high, Everyday by the blink of my eye. And separating us from the outside nature Now surrounded by this dark and rolling sky. Every day we can’t help but reminisce The good old days we took for granted, but now we wish For the positivity to outcompete the sadness By not losing hope. Surely in this difficult time, we will cope. I sit watching the barren summer sunlight, Travel the empty, desolate streets, Passing by the posters that shine bright, Revealing the everyday message to trap us inside: ‘Stay at home. Save lives.’

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Don’t lose hope In this difficult time, we will cope. We all know one thing: Indeed after this hardship will come ease. And our sorrow will ultimately freeze And melt, and go, Making space for hope, the feeling that will carry us through all.

Syedah Hijab Shah

Year 11, Eden Girls’ School, Slough


Lockdown Heroes

Don’t ever be sad, No matter how dark and deep the silence is. Don’t ever be sad, Even if this journey seems long. As we run by the past and scramble for the future, Don’t ever be sad. Key-workers, NHS staff and all those doctors: Heroes that risk their lives every day to protect the world, Making it a better place. Heroes are those who work harder, These challenges making them stronger. Comforting and brave, Smiling and caring. Each day a renewed battle. For them it is certain, They know they must carry on. Are we like these lockdown heroes? Don’t feel alone, No matter what battles we face today. Don’t feel alone, Even if the doors are closed, People’s hearts remain open. Heroes don’t do it just for money, Not for fame, nor for any personal gain. They do it for the love of man, Or just to give a helping hand. It’s not the medals that make them walk in pride, It’s the feeling deep down inside, in your heart, That you have played a part. Whether you help from far or near, You will always be remembered as the number one volunteer. In times of adversity and difficulty, Helping is the number one tier. Be kind and support each other.

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We fear uncertainty, Yet there’s a small whisper of ‘hope’, Of times gone by... When life once before had cast a shadow. We are now united in this together. It is not like the Spanish flu, swine flu Or the dreaded herd of SARS and MERS. Something more deadly, Bringing the world so close to a standstill. Almost crumbling years of foundations, Built to maintain the economy. Can we, once more, be sure of tomorrow! To beat it, We must soldier on, Fighting the pandemic from within, Which tries to capture our souls And trap us in our holes. You miss your friends, School has become a foreign entity, Smiles are strained outside. ‘No handshakes please,’ they say. Social distancing, so be at ease. Keep your space, Stay in your bubble. What can this mean? Will we live to see tomorrow? Or live through another spring? Remember, each day still holds a new promise, Never lose hope and faith. Be content and calm, And save yourself from harm. Remembering that happiness is at bay.

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We are following the rules. We’re sat at home. Safe and warm. The father smiles, We never knew he could. Mum is cooking and it sure smells good. My little sister wants help with her calendar, Even my brother’s words are kinder. I feel my little world has been saved… The home is my most powerful vaccine, My shield and armour, My protector, Today and for now. Don’t be fooled by what everyone believes, Conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy. Be a genius that no one sees. Stay home, stay safe, protect the NHS. If we survive, We know that we belong alongside the lockdown heroes!

By Muhammad Omarji

Year 8, Eden Boys’ School, Bolton

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Our Tale of Our Cities

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was an age of humanity; it was an age of selfishness. It was an epoch of scholarly innovation; it was an epoch of scholarly ambiguity. It was a season of hope. It was a season of loss. A roster of doctors, nurses and social care staff is drawn. Called to duty to serve as the nation’s cavalry. Armed with an artillery of masks and gloves, Standing tall on a merciless frontline. They battle a hidden combatant which cares not for man’s flimsy means of segregation – the borders of gender, religion, race, class, geography – An all-encompassing cruelty. It leaves us battered and bruised A global death toll on an ever-increasing rise, Yet we cannot bear witness to our dead, We mourn in the solitude of our homes and we mourn for many. We are a floundering mess against its ruthless advance, We are falling, invincible no more, We are small in this cosmic chaos, We are the struggling, the lost, the helpless. Hold no doubt though of man’s consummate resilience, Bent backed, knees on the ground, Nevertheless, an unyielding voice, ‘We simply must go on.’ After all, to bear the weight of history, One must weather tragedy’s sneering grimace, Charge into unchartered paths, And emerge in smiling victory. Marred and changed, of course, But refined as well. Cohesion, unity and sacrifice newly woven threads In the tapestry of our tale of pioneering success.

By Aneesah Kholwadia

Year 13, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

Stars of Hope

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Magpie Hopscotch

“Go find a pebble then.” The game would begin. It would be a game we’d always play; me and Eli that is. Get the stone to land in the square – build on your hopes and dreams. Each jump filled with hope for the future – as long as you didn’t fall down. Main objective: Get to heaven – get back again before your other player. One for Sorrow: I don’t get to do leavers, I don’t get to do exams – had to leave my favourite shorty in such short time. My sorrow sits at ending too soon. Now I gotta watch populations die, as graphs grow bigger no clear end in sight but it’s alright, Johno and his boys have got us covered. For my sorrow is now a virus and nobody knows how. People; they just hope and clap and stay inside for a while. Two for Mirth: My nephew loves toys. He shakes with mirth at the latest Power Ranger Or the next Lego set. He hopes all day for next Christmas in the height of spring. He hopes he’ll get to ask Santa for his toys – he’d get classed as a key worker, right? He hopes for pocket money gems or an extra treat off his grandma. Even though he doesn’t know when he’ll see her again. My nephew will shake with mirth at the hope of a new toy to add to his collection. Three for a Wedding: I’m 18 - I ain’t got a clue about marriage. It seems so far away. A fairy-tale would be nice but I’d settle for happily ever after, with hope of a great big knees up and a happy life. I’d be happy to spend it with everyone – not just five. Five is fit for an adventure but not for a riot. By then though, the world might be fixed, but those due for matrimony – what’s a few extra months? Least you’d know the tables are right.

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Four for a Birth: I don’t know about having babies – but I know someone who does. It wasn’t the easiest path Hope gains a whole new meaning for dreams of screaming babies as nights out sipping the bottle dry turn into nights prepping bottles of formula. Till then, you hope: Hope for two little lines Hope for acceptance onto the IVF path Hope for viability Hope flipped her on her head – she fell pregnant without. Now with two kids; quality at naming cats. She retells her story of hope to her classes of 13-year-olds. As they all sit in hoodies with slipper clad feet, hunched over laptops not hunched over her desks. Why? In hope they understand one page of a textbook when she can’t preach from her usual podium of speech. Five for Rich: Hoping to be rich doesn’t have to be about money, but if you’re offering - I wouldn’t say no. I’m from a place where we know there’s muck in brass, You won’t get owt for nowt. To be rich is like England winning the World Cup; As attainable as it is unattainable. But if I’m hoping for richness – a nice house and tidy car wouldn’t go amiss. If I were being right cheeky; to be rich with happiness, hope and health wouldn’t be so bad – But just make sure my car is red and the virus gets a good riddance. Make rich those that need it with hope for tomorrow.

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Six for Poor: Screw all money, screw the banks, screw the prem players and big wigs. Money ain’t worth its name no more. You want to have your lockdown gear ready – don’t be made poor without your loo roll. Blow all the cash. Hope someone, somewhere has toilet roll. Unless you’re lucky like me – and got bog roll for Christmas. Just don’t go too mad. Get your tins ready, crisps in their holster: this is war. Your sofa like the trenches – a haven from the enemy. The TV is your weapon of choice: Netflix; Prime; Disney+ Just know that: Tiger King is cracking and Carole Baskin killed her husband. Disney+ is nostalgia we all hoped to relive Animal Crossing is the new local hangout we all hoped to go. For money doesn’t make you poor in this new world – your choices matter more. Don’t be poor in your choices! Stay home, Stay safe. Seven for a witch – I can’t tell you much more. Lastly it’s heaven. I hope my cousin made it safely. I don’t know if there’s a wait at the gates or it’s like Argos with numbers. Sunday School’s sorta fleeted my thoughts. I hope she’s happy up there. Least she got out of the madness, before it all kicked off. Timed it just right to miss all the fun. Or timed it wrongly to miss the disaster. Either way I guess there’s hope for us all cause in heaven you can’t be ill – and no longer she is. Just watch for the magpies when we get back to Earth.

By Gemma Gibson

Year 13, Bay Leadership Academy

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Stars of Hope

One world ago, before humans walked from up high, where the Gods talked. Way up on Mount Olympus, they sat and watched over the landscape below. King of the gods set two brothers a task, Epimetheus, made animals and the gifts they have, his brother, Prometheus made the greatest creature of all. The first man crafted from mud and soil. Prometheus’ gift to man was dire, for man he gave the secret of fire. Zeus stood tall at his resting spot, and spied the red glimmering dot. A cloud of grey smoke flew up and grew higher, just like Zeus’ ire. Zeus tied Prometheus to a cliff, and because of their tiff, sent an eagle to peck at his eye Prometheus felt pain but gods don’t die. He was angry, it did not show, as Zeus made man’s foe. Beauty, clever tongue and ability to play music, some of its traits, Pandora was her name, to man she equates. To wed Epimetheus and a present was sent. A wooden box padlocked, stuck like cement. Epimetheus could not tell it was a trick, for as we know he can be a bit thick. Pandora grew curious of the box, she was told to keep it locked. Alas, she heard voices from inside, ‘Let us out!’ they screamed and cried. Pandora resisted with all her might but she just wanted to have insight. The chest was opened, out flew an icy wind It growled and snarled; it was a nasty thing. Disease, cruelty, pain, old age, disappointment along with hate, jealousy, war and death. Out flew all with a frosty breath. They swirled around then filled the town. Pandora shut the box to keep the last one down. It sobbed and begged to be let out as the last creature was hope, no doubt, Without which there would be no glee Pandora lifted the lid; hope was lit for all to see. Prometheus was still on the cliff up high and watched his men suffer and die. Hope flew out and came to rest Upon Prometheus in the eagle’s nest. In this world we all need hope. Let hope prevail.

By Tia Nottingham

Year 11, Highfield Leadership Academy 33

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The Sounds of the World Close your eyes, And listen to the sounds of the world, Because I want you to hear me out, Before I go. How do I describe this phenomenon? This technicality, This complication, A virus that was just too clever. I can only remember the little things, The nurse glancing at her pocket watch, The doctor tearing up as he unhooked my drip, Everyone whispering so I could not catch a word. It’s like a race, But no one thinks of moving. Time is our enemy, And our family is our redeemer. It’s like a contagious flame exhuming my lungs, So alive, yet so young. Every breath exhausts me, And inches me closer to the light. I know I’m just a vulnerable dandelion lost in a dark meadow, But I am not just another number on paper. I’m a name, a parent, a child and a person. I’m a martyr who will be remembered. Open your eyes, And clap for my carers. It’s too late for me But you can make a change.

Faiqa Murtaza

Year 8, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

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Papyrus

Her face was like an ancient papyrus, The bark of a matured olive tree. Groped and weathered, By a map of age-old spills, Of what was And what has been. An image of life itself, From bitter, immortal sorrow, To joyous being. An album of preserved smiles, And scrolls – Endless scrolls of precious moments, Etched into history (Not yet centenary). And her memories Of what was, And what has been. Be strong, mine child The pain of the now shall wither, like I. For sake of memory, And wake of a brighter tomorrow. Stay smiling, sweet child For this time, too, shall pass.

By Madinah Ismail

Year 11, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College

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Star Academies

Star Academies is a Multi-Academy Trust that runs a diverse network of primary and secondary schools. We are a valuesbased organisation, committed to enhancing social mobility. All our efforts are geared towards raising the aspirations of children and young people in areas of social and economic deprivation to improve their life chances and help them succeed at the highest levels of education, employment and the professions. Star Academies is one of the country’s leading education providers, and our schools promote excellence in everything they do. In every school, the entire staff team – working in partnership with parents and the local community – is committed to nurturing today’s young people and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders. Our schools work together as Star Partnerships in five cluster areas – Lancashire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, the Midlands and London. Schools within the Partnerships collaborate to share expertise and maximise opportunities and experiences for our pupils. Star Academies employs the very best staff and invests heavily in their continuing professional development. Staff benefit from an extensive range of nationally accredited training provided by Star Institute.

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Nurturing today’s young people, inspiring tomorrow’s leaders

Profile for Star Academies

Stars of Hope Poetry Collection  

Stars of Hope Poetry Collection  

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