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Words during Covid - Growing

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

This is our final word prompt for now. Thank you for sending us all your responses!

3rd prompt: growing


Regenerated by the sweet peas in the midst of weeds—

same purple as smoke, like smudged paper—

for the first time: shallow memory,

insufficient trauma, no accumulative archive

even in this rolling year, the thunder days—

I grow a garden that was not there before.

Notebooks fat and heavy, swollen

as the broadbeans, appetite rooted

to that yellow-green courgette. Surrendering to soil’s sweet significance + loafing

on grass, I watch for knowledge + warmer futures.

Even sluggish days are pint-sized.

Admit one, and keep the rest away.

Bethany Mitchell / twit @bethjmitch

Ida Henrich / @idahenrich



I no longer resent my own company...solitude is groovy!

With a sensory overload in my pocket, 4 walls and silence is not so scary with a movie

Buddy was spitting truths when he said, “Papa Elf I need some some alone time”

I’m becoming my own ride or die, controlling my narrative of prime!!!


In my stride, I take all the bullshit

The undulating cycle of good and bad is one to be embraced,

Not one from which you just self-acquit!

Start finding the spice in the mundane, euphoric and depressing

For in disguise, live the most illuminating of blessings!


Take stock of friendships, damn, the difference of a year!

I think my constant evolvement, caused our Donnie Darko beam to veer

Trivial possessions can clog up energy too,

Throw away half your wardrobe and watch enlightenment accrue!


I don’t need to like everything or be liked by everyone

I have nuzzled into my own niche, though for listening to Glee covers over originals, you have a right to shun

Cool with my hip dips and not concerned I haven’t gone through a wild pill stage

Is the manic pixie dream girl from school even really still judging me at this big age?


Dealing with deaths of schoolmates, folk my age are having babies now lol

A teen Netflix romcom has me rethinking entire career paths... feeling very indecisive and unprepared for it all

Though I can confirm I am becoming more resilient, choosing to engage rather than be an absentee

My advice to survive the everlasting hectic chaos?

A social media detox - that’s the real fit tea!

Lucy Fitzgerald / @loosayyyyy

Charlotte Simmons / @garden_charl

In my dreams I grow so tall I barely fit in my bed anymore. I get up to find I’ve grown just an inch taller than the door. While I shower my hair grows so long I can wrap it around my body. As I walk down the street I look at rooftops from above. From that height I can’t hear the man telling me maybe I should smile more. I have to be careful and dodge some airplanes taking off before I sit among the Cairngorms. I bring my knees to my chest and hug them tightly, rest my chin on them, close my eyes, feel the clouds brush my cheeks.

I wake up and I fit just fine in my bed. I get up to find everything I know feels a bit tight, everything I love suffocates me.

Ludovica Credendino / @ludofaiga

Fardokht /

GROWING - Eleven Things I’m Working On by Ella Mottram

1. Inserting my Mooncup - Attempting to save the planet was easy until I decided to involve my vagina. Akin to a grisly crime scene, inserting my menstrual cup is a bloody battle, one that often ends with me shouting “open!!” repeatedly at my own labia.

2. Removing my Mooncup - The most recent effort involved my boyfriend sprinting to my flat with a pair of kitchen tongs, whilst donning a novelty apron that made him look like he was dressed in a soutane. What happened next was simultaneously the most terrifying and hilarious experience of my life, (think Father Ted meets Saw).

3. Inventing diseases - Last week after taking some new medication I experienced a headache, itchy feet and a sore arm. Googling the side effects I concluded I had developed a very rare and incurable brain disease. When my flatmate returned home to find me writing my will, she handed me paracetamol, pulled off my woolly socks and reminded me I'd made a meringue earlier that day.

4. Being a good daughter - I still have no idea how old my parents are, I think they're in their 50’s but I can’t be sure.

5. Testing my relationship - Asking my boyfriend questions like,“where's the largest mole on my body?” or “how many pets dead and alive have I owned?”, then immediately chastising him if he gets the answer wrong. It doesn’t mean he no longer loves you, it just means your armpit is a particularly hard place to spot a mole.

6. Maintaining a balanced diet - Congratulating myself every time I eat a jar of olives because they’re basically one of my five a day. This also applies to lime pickle, mango chutney and ketchup.

7. Capturing Memories - Every photo I’ve ever taken is tarnished by one of my very large, very sweaty fingers. This has given way to a Where's Wally style game usually lost by myself after I mistake my own limb for a bald tourist.

8. Lying to avoid social interaction - I recently found a text I’d sent last Halloween that read: “Sorry not gonna make it to the party tnyt…dressed as a hobbit and they won’t let me on the train barefoot”. Really?

9. Reinventing myself - Basing your look on something you’ve coined “sultry Parisian olive grower ” is not acceptable, especially when you add, “at the club”, to the end of it, (even if that only happens three Saturdays a year).

10. Developing an eclectic music taste - Having an opera playlist on Spotify titled “Pavahottie” does not qualify.

11. Setting unrealistic goals - Stop writing long lists about your failings as a fully functioning human being and instead do something productive. Life, like Mooncups, is messy.

Ella Mottram / @ellamollymott

An invitation to notice things in slo-mo, spinning around in circles, growing with a child, sharing care, learning patience, time grinds 



zooming into a small hula hoop on the ground and zooming out of the universe with a new perspective. 

Nadia Rossi / @stinking_earthfan


curled into a corner, i forget i have skin, hidden by blankets and winter socks. the great british summertime; grey and wet. in the aftermath of mania, i am reborn and must parent myself once more - slow wriggles out of bed and ice cold showers, a brutal reminder i have a body. tentative walks outside begin again. i didn’t mean to buy those sunflowers - they’re too tall. too bright. too much. and yet as i watch them – unmovable, defiant – petals desperate as they stretch out to jupiter,

i wonder if i, too, can grow.

ah, yes. i would like to be a sunflower, tiptoeing my way to heaven.

Rox Kashun

Beau McCarthy

This Place Once Shone

I stand here, outside the gated garden of Eden that played host to my childhood, an intruder in my own kingdom, a sterile, artificial coat of cotton conformity suffocates my ambition, I don’t belong here but neither do these walls, so I transcend time and mind before this haven was battered by society, before this dreamscape was seized by authority, before the only one who still cared was me, and I am snapped back to reality.

Beyond twenty foot of chain linked refusal lies, from a canvas of potential, a palace AstroTurfed, bold warnings plaster the sealed gates, declaring they are watching, round the clock like the wheels that no longer trace the parchment concrete, as arsons they are stopping all progress, as traitors to their own cause the fire of hope they tirelessly try to suppress.

This place once held a community, this place made a man of me, brought tenacity, his place holds memories, with fragments of those memories I rebuilt makeshift apparatus, utilise my individuality and act shamelessly, I glance fondly at scars rewarded from a decade of practice, I am present in the geography that was for most of my life my moral compass, I crumble heartbroken at the loss of an idea that dealt more education than any seductress, an instrument that stood the rest of time, not physically but I wear its effect like a tattoo.

This place discovered me, churned talent from aimless energy, this place showed me the only thing that could complete me was self, and with that realisation came great wealth, I stood royalty in a deserted kingdom, my only decibels pals of my childhood friend’s younger brother, pathetic? Subjective, whatever.

Amidst the isolation of the daily grind I struggled to find the balance betweenthe coping, split knees and a broken glass riddled dismount, what society wanted, and what humanity needed, I am but one man, I could not defend this kingdom alone, ghost and graffiti accompanies as my sacred place falls apart around me, I take a personal day and in my absence the kingdom is glassed.

Like a bully to a sand castle they flattened everything, the place that raised me, personified the therapist that pulled me back to ability, the shoulder to cry on when darkness was all I could see, the architecture that in its baron state crowned me, like cutting the safety rope I plummet to what remains of the place of my origin, my second home demolished, as a vagabond I exist an orphan.

I shed a tear, inhale deep and smile for you’re still here, in everything you represented, everything you encouraged, the optimism, all the dreams I’ve achieved from in your belly I first envisioned, owed to you and you live on, every decision I make, everything that I’ve put at stake, the borders I cross and the boundaries I continue break.

The blood I spilt which watered your gardens, the torn flesh I fed you for sustenance, the childhood I graced you with, repaid in what you first introduced to me, presence.

Elliott James Pettitt / @elliott_james_pettitt

I made this image as a response to my work as a care worker throughout coronavirus. This has been a time in which some relationships have grown and deepened, and others lost entirely. We have felt suspended in time and yet so much has happened. There has been a sense of powerlessness and anger at the situation. The best medicine so far is learning to laugh at every opportunity, eat, drink,read and rest together. 

Bryony Budd

Grating, gritty, Gross, gigantic, Grief, gorgeous, Great, grappling, Growth

Shona McInally / @shonamcinally

Tiana /

Emily /

Charlotte Simmons / @garden_charl


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