A 68-year-old Cape Breton woman reckons she could have been a rapper and a renowned local hip-hop artist agrees.
Cathy Timmons, a retired New Waterford teacher living in nearby River Ryan, penned a coronavirus-inspired poem after COVID-19 public health measures led to the cancellation of an Easter weekend family get-together.
Timmons said the short rhyming poem came about after out-of-province family members cancelled a long-planned trip back to Cape Breton for the spring holiday. So, with the family event on hold, she decided to send her love in an Easter card instead.
“But with the way things are now I didn’t want to go out to the store, so I made a card at home and then sat down to write a verse to go in it,” she explained.
“I was looking for a word that rhymed with virus as that’s the reason they aren’t coming home, but I couldn’t find any, so I turned to ‘isolation’ and I hit the jackpot as there are all kinds of words that rhyme with isolation.”
My COVID-19 Creation
by Cathy Timmons
The virus caused a CANCELLATION
on everybody's planned VACATION;
It put us in a SITUATION
that we now have an OBLIGATION
to place ourselves in ISOLATION.
We watch the news with FASCINATION
to learn the latest INFORMATION.
To visit friends is a VIOLATION!
We need to practice COOPERATION.
So "Stay at HOME" is the RECOMMENDATION
and try some rest and RELAXATION.
Timmons is an artist, but it was only after she completed the 11-line ditty that she realized her words had somewhat of a rap-like quality to them.
“When I finished it I read through it again and I thought it kind of sounded like a rap song,” she admitted.
Well-known Glace Bay hip-hop artist Mitchell Bailey concurs.
And the 22-year-old rapper, who works with producer Sean (Nookie Beats) Lewis, should know. After all, Bailey was nominated for the East Coast Music Awards hip-hop album of the year in both 2018 and 2019 and has already dropped three albums including his debut “Last Time Introducing Myself.”
“She’s solid and I think her poem is pretty impressive,” said Bailey, after hearing Timmons’ rhyming poem.
“It stayed on topic, it never strayed and she used a lot of good short rhymes — if those words were put to a beat they would probably sound really good as a rap.”
The poem has also struck a positive chord with her family, including sister-in-law Jari-Ann Timmons.
“I think it is delightful, and we could all use some delightful wit these days,” she said.
“It makes me laugh every time I read it and it makes me think about other lines that I could add to it.”
Daughter Claire Kibyuk said she hopes the poem inspires other people to interpret the outbreak through art.
“If there is a bright side to this situation, it is seeing people with creative inclinations sharing their outlook and perhaps giving others a different view, hopefully, a more positive one,” she said.
The poem also made its way inside an Easter card to the grandchildren of Cathy’s brother Art.
“Our grandsons, Brett and Eric, were excited about their Easter visit to see their Cape Breton relatives, including their 104-year-old great-grandmother,” said Art Timmons.
“Of course, everyone was so disappointed with the trip cancellation, however, the boys thought the poem was terrific, bringing a touch of humour and the realization that we are all in this “blazing” isolation together.”
And for those wondering, the kids’ 104-year-old great-grandmother is Gloria Timmons, mother of the poem-writing Cathy. Gloria lives nearby, but unfortunately, Cathy has only been able to see her through the glass given her mother’s age-related vulnerability to the virus.
As for a second career as a rapper, Cathy Timmons laughs but dismisses the idea as unlikely.