Debbie Lamberton pictured with Len Curtis of charity ‘Donna’s Dream House’ at a black tie charity ball last year.
A Derry woman has written a heartfelt poem about our shared experience of the coronavirus lockdown.
Local charity volunteer Debbie Lamberton from Creggan has been writing since she was at school.
"I've always done it over the years to pass the time" she said.
"It keeps the brain active.
"I could rhyme a poem off in a few minutes and other times I could sit for two or three days looking for a word that rhymes.
"I won't change the line until I get the right word."
Debbie's love of poetry blossomed in recent years after she lost a number of loved ones to suicide.
"I started really writing due to tragedy," she said.
"I lost a few people to the Foyle and I wrote a poem about it 'A River of Tears' which people really connected with.
"That is my favourite poem and one that resonates this week because of Mental Health Awareness Week."
Although some of her poetry deals with difficult themes, many of the pieces have a thread of humour running through them.
"There's a sense if humour in Creggan," said Debbie.
"I write about things that everyone goes through and that everyone relates to and I put in it words that people relate to.
"There's no point in me sitting here writing out a poem with big snobby words
"People will say 'she's from Creggan, who does she think she is, Shakespere?'
"Poems like 'Lockdown' make light of a bad situation because the one thing we do have is our humour.
"It doesn't mention the NHS though, so I'd like to do something on that next.
"And I'd also like to do a poem for our postmen because they are as much frontline workers as anyone."
Debbie shares her poetry on Facebook and has been approached in the past about publishing a collection of her work.
"If I write something and someone relates to it then that's great," she said,
"If it lifts someone's spirits that's enough for me really.
"If I ever did write a book I would do it for charity because then it would combine two things that I love doing- fundraising and poetry.
"I also love to encourage other writers.
"I love to see people do well and I'm a big believer that if you can compliment someone then you should and it will come back to you in some way."
Lockdown - by Debbie Lamberton
We'll never forget about "Lockdown"
Where we baked cakes and scones In our homes
Danced through Tic Toc videos and music
Planted flowers, and bought garden gnomes.
Entertainment was there in abundance.
Our local singers visited all of our streets
The Easter bunny also made an appearance
Waving to kids with some chocolate and treats.
Everyone pulled together making sure no-one was lonely.
Birthdays were treated with drive bys and balloons.
Personally trainers went live with their sessions.
Where you could train in your own living room.
Sadly funerals where sadder than ever
Only small numbers were allowed to attend
Some families could not be with their loved ones
No goodbyes when that life came to an end.
This has been a challenge for all of us out there
We should be proud that we've made it this far
Raise your glass to those who sadly aren't with us.
To those who still battle throughout this corona war.
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