For the Ones Stuck at Home

Published on 17 November 2020

After 6 months in lockdown, Melbourne poet and writer, Fleassy Malay, has released a heartfelt and inspiring piece of art.

Aimed at those of us currently in, or heading into, lockdown, Fleassy’s poem acknowledges the nuanced and intricate challenges each of us is currently faced with. With the impact of social isolation becoming clear in the rise of mental health support needed, poems like this are a collective reminder that we are not alone.

As the artist, and her city, emerge from some of the tightest lockdown restrictions in the world to a whole week of 0 new cases, the poem itself is an ode to the incredible journey and courage of each Melbournian over the past 6 months.

The project was filmed on her permitted 1-hour daily walks and features a wide variety of local residents peering out of their windows at the camera. The video is both a clear commentary on how impactful social isolation has been and also a ray of hope in these difficult times.

Our journey with COVID-19 is far from over, but art pieces like this are a compelling reminder of the power of hope, art and community.

The video

Credits: Fleassy Malay (poet), Damien Jordan (filmmaker) and Rory McDougall (musician).

Poem

For the lovers
And the ones alone

For the mothers
And those with empty rooms
For the fathers, and guardians
Housemates, kids, carers, and parents.
The full house families
The partners in no garden apartment
The "this house feels too big
Now I’m in it alone."
For the ones in it alone.

For the ones who's bodies
Never quite fit their souls
And the ones who's economic status
Never matched their goals
Who no matter how high they held their heads
They still never felt seen
And no matter how many times they turned their face
They never had enough cheeks.

For the ones with bruises
Where no one sees
With partners
Who never agree
With lovers
They can't tell anyone about
Without risking their lives
Without changing tides
Without losing love, and family, and home.

And home
And home

For the ones stuck at home
With four walls
And a battlefield of trauma
To navigate alone.

For the ones stuck at home
With a family they love
And a grief they can't place
And an argument they can't rationalise
And tears they can't stop
And a bank balance that's falling
And a friend out of reach

For the friends out of reach
Watching their loved ones fall apart
On hand held device
Who wrap their fingers around the screen
Hold their phones tight
In hope they might make it through
In hope their friends survive.

For the lovers
And the ones alone

You've got this

Through the darkest hours 
Through the longest days 
You've got this.

Through the grief
And through the pain
You've got this.

Though sometimes it may not even make sense
You've got this.

And the times when there seems no escape
You settled for less
And you made that ok
Know
The doors will open
The bruises will fade
You will surface the strength
You need to walk away.

You will touch another
You will be held
Food will make it to your table
Friends will make it to your side
Your dreams? Well you make them
That ones for you to decide.

But even the darkness
Is framed by light
And we know what is wrong
Because we understand what is right
And I see that you get it,
I see it
I know
Because you made it this far
And that
That is an achievement in itself.

So for the lovers
And the ones alone

About the artist

Fleassy Malay is a UK-born, Melbourne based, Spoken Word artist. She was propelled to internet fame in 2018 when her International Women’s Day poem 'Witches' went viral with over 3.5 million views. She is the founder and CEO of the NFP organisation Mother Tongue, has 2 TEDx talks under her belt, and recently published her second book, VIRAGO: A Poetic Manifesto.

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