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C.E.L.L.MATES Haikus every Sunday

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SALLY JONES is a PHD student with the English department. Her other creative writing publications include Pandora’s Box and Inbox (2019-20) and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Vol. 11 No. 1 (April 2018). When this is all over, she wants to visit a writing retreat. By herself.


Relations between  

UK and EU again  



Schools in England are  

“bleeding out”, with thousands of  

staff isolating. 


Bubble system is  

harming education in  

schools, say headteachers. 

No clarity yet  

on ending disruption to  

schools and colleges. 


The greatest threat to  

children through Covid is from  

disrupted learning. 

Haiku Highlights:


It might seem an odd time to start a diary, after all, nothing is happening; but then again, that is not quite true.


If you have, like me, caught yourself forgetting what you did last week, last month, yesterday even, then perhaps this is to be expected – it all seems so mundane, so beige, assuming we are - of course - lucky enough to be well.


But (and it’s a BIG but), this has also been a year of huge political change. National and global decisions have been made - are being made - which will have repercussions for generations. We have left Europe, and all that entails; President Trump’s tenure is, blessedly, at an end; then there is the pandemic itself, the only equivalent to which, that I can think of, is the Spanish Flu pandemic (1918) that killed 228,000 in Britain alone.

For me too, this has been personally challenging: as a mum of four school-aged children, all in different year groups and the eldest with autism, I’ve traded any conceivable opportunity to work on my own thesis for the (often) thankless and (frequently) boggling slog of home-schooling. It is hard not to feel frustrated, but I am trying to keep in mind the go-to anecdotes of friends with older progeny: ‘they grow up too fast’, you ‘blink and it’s gone’ and other familiar statements in the same vein; in this spirit, I’ve tried to capture spontaneous moments of silliness and tenderness – domestic memoir, along with political commentary and social, cultural observations.

So, question: in the bleary fog of every-day sameness, stagnation, frustration, comfort eating (and drinking) and stretchy loungewear, how much of any of this will we remember unless we make a conscious effort to?


This diary of sorts, which I offer up to you, discerning readers, is comprised entirely of haikus: short form poetry of three lines and seventeen syllables.


Why though, you ask? I find their structure and brevity suits the current strictures on my time (not to mention concentration levels) and their purpose - in the first instance - had been simply to keep a few brain cells firing (the creative equivalent of doing a few squats every day or two, only pleasanter), and to keep a personal record of these strange times we find ourselves in.


As the months roll interminably on though, I’ve found this small discipline a tonic and have decided to share my bite-sized offerings in the hopes that someone ‘out there’ might find some comfort, humour and maybe inspiration from them.


Have a go then, go on, I dare you…


Written by Sally Jones

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