Call for Submissions: Lockdown Stories.

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Nalubaale Review Writing Challenge.

Share with us your lockdown experience. We want to hear your lockdown story. We are looking for stories of hope, resilience and strength in this situation that has blanketed the whole world.

Here is a list of prompts for this writing challenge. *We shall publish the best short stories from this.

Prompt 1: My Lockdown Story.
Prompt 2: Things I have learnt.
Prompt 3: Things I miss most about normal life
Prompt 4: The first thing I will do when the lockdown ends.
Prompt 5: A habit I had before that I will drop/won’t do again.
Prompt 6: My lockdown resolutions.
Prompt 7: Letter to your grandkids about the lockdown/Covid-19.
Prompt 8: Stocktaking the Lockdown: achievements, new dance strokes, …
Prompt 9: Write a movie story ‘the pandemic that was!’
Prompt 10: A plan/ innovation for the future/Lockdown (What can we do to adapt, and live normal.

* You can write about one or all of the prompts.
*Only short stories and long poems (prosaic poetry) are accepted.

Send submissions to: nalubaalereview@gmail.com

Masks

By Mniko Chacha 

Masks.

“Wear the masks,” the prominent governor announced,
Soon after Covid-19 emerged,
Despite the increase in price everyone demanded masks at any price,
So, I bought two masks to cover my face,

At home, the wise passerby uttered,
“Wear masks everywhere you go, otherwise, you will cease to exist.”
I resisted it for a while and tried to disbelieve my mind,
Then, I recalled what the Television broadcasted. “Those who will wear masks will defeat this pandemic beast.”

I thought a little bit and took the face mask,
And covered my face,
I looked on the mirror and saw that my face was becoming the dusk,
The confusion disturbed my eyes.

Afterwards, I moved towards the sitting room where my wife drank a beer,
“Woo the ghost is coming to kill me right here.”
She shouted and struck me with the whisk broom,
And fled from my sight.

I threw down the mask thinking that it brought the pandemic ghost in my home,
“Take care, nowadays, the face masks are rare to find,
Like the dust of gold.”
The fading mouth roared to me,

Later, I shook my head to grasp the reality,
And restore into me the sincerity,
To the best of my own ability,
I wore another mask and got back to my sanity.

Listening to Frank at Work during the Corona Virus Lockdown.

By Jack Bowman.

The trumpet flares out, steamy notes, well felt ones,

Frank sits at his desk during a break,

glasses lost, he does his best to shuffle through.

Outside, the world is filled with viruses

and billions are confined to their homes.

Bands of morons,

defy this and will surely cause another wave

of the pandemic to spread.

So Frank writes, does his best to focus and balance

let’s the jazz in

it calms him –

reduces his typos

and reminds him about ‘the moment’

how it feels to be ‘moved’ about all you do

then does it.

Poet Bio:

Jack Bowman is the author of over ten books including poetry collections and novels.

We Live by the Hands of Others.

By David Mellor.

We live by  the hands of others

Not seen by you or me

They pass the parcel

Stand at the till

Nurse the wounded

Or keep order

We live  by  the hands of others

Not seen by you or me

Our hands scrubbed clean and safe

But…

We  live by others. We are grateful to them,

Who have to live with that fear, day by day.

So that a whole humanity can be preserved.

Poet Bio:

David R Mellor is from Liverpool, England. He is a writer and performer.

The Heroes (for Eryk Hanut).

By Carolyn Gregory.

The heroes fill my heart with joy.
They open community kitchens
and shut down restaurants.
They reach an ancient birthday
after living a good life.

They offer face masks
to help the poor survive.
They write articles to help
readers know
what looms before them.

The heroes are both invisible
and also in our lives,
carrying good jokes and prayers
in equal measure.

We are lucky to have them among us,
offering peace and much better days
if we are alert
to all their good works.

 

 

Night and Day.

By Jan Tromp.

At home during our first lockdown
it’s as if the end has come
the whole world quieted by the plague
businesses closed, people sent home,
in some countries hospitals overrun
and death at the corner…
us, confined in the house
musing what’s to be done,
doves calling at sunset,
and there was evening
with its glinting star
and morning —the first day.

***

Futilely searching for the manual to all of this,
cut-off, we attempt
to connect by zoom, tik tok and whatsapp
seeking the safe centre,
the how, what and why in countless
burning digiscreens, one-world windows,
We open them to love and hate,
falsity, truth, we can’t resist them now:
chipped with the apple, scared of the doctor
and the dark laboratory churning under,
even as the antelope roam savannahs free,
we’re the planet’s freaks now
shivering…broken/hopeful in the lonely wind,
and there was evening
with shattered neon cloud
and morning —the sixth day.

 

Poet Bio:

 

 

Recaping, Hoping in Covid19.

By Kenneth Cheruiyot

A laurel vocabulary with death vocals,
A laurate monster taking away precious lives virally,
Stormed the world, took it captive.

Lockdowns and curfews, its prevention strategies,
Quarantine and isolation, for containment and cure.
News, statistics, grip us with fear of this monster.

Inside lockdowns, families are reunited,
But many partners torn apart.
Outside lockdowns, new daisies are slowly breeding.

Students now learn from home,
Working from home is now a skill to hone,
Staying at home is now an indoor tone,
Staying safe is now a mandatory tune,

Businesses have experienced forex losses,
Daily activities are experiencing failed doses,
Normalcy evades the world,
COVID19 is treating the world with no mercy,

Lockdown will soon knockdown this monster,
Quarantine will bring a quora of COVID19 winners,

Soon everything will bounce back to its place,
Sooner the world will be on its feet with bravity,
Soonest the world will be on its courages curves with clarity.