Saturday, 24 October 2009

Newbury Schools' Poetry Competition 2009

We ran our poetry competition for the three Newbury secondary schools (St Bart's, Park house and Trinity) earlier this month, for the third year running. The theme of National Poetry Day this year was 'heroes and heroines', and on Thursday October 8, Borders Newbury again hosted our awards evening and donated prizes.

The Newbury Weekly News were kind enough to cover us, and Anne Diamond, on BBC Radio Berkshire, interviewed Ellie, the Sixth Form winner, the next day. Her show also featured a selection of the shortlisted Sixth Form poems. Dr Keston Sutherland judged the Sixth Form poems - featured below are his top three, followed by the two prizewinners from Key Stage 4, and the two from Key Stage 3.

More will follow!

Cardboard Window - Ellie Reynard

We live behind a cardboard window
And though I know we’re there
I cannot see for being dazzled
By the trifles of Rapunzel’s hair
I am deaf to huff huff puffing
Blind to games of red black hearts
Scribbling over in my then favourite colour, blue
As this book it falls apart

Once a maid (sort of)
I look again
The window is furling back
Brown wolf chomping down on your axe
As I skin him with my scarlet cape
Spin his fur into a fine dress
Screwing rubies into his nape
And though we prick our fingers once
Just once
The welling of the blood it holds me

I will not make a bargain over any mans name
And if anyone ever presumes to mount MY ivory tower
It’ll be grimm. Real Grimm.

I am red and white and black
And I’m taping down the cardboard flap
Keeping faith in childhood rhymes
My hiding hero
Laughing at my reasons, taking his damn time

Cenotaph - Larissa Ransom

In London stands
Tall pillar of stone
Etched upon this grey
The words of father
Wreathed in laurel crowns
(Grieving victory):
“The Glorious Dead”.

And we look
And salute
And remember
And we add silent words of our own
To the numerous heroes
Whose corpses lie in places
The ones who saved the lives
of those they loved
And the lives we live today.

Pure Woman - Ellen Selby

Of all the places in the world, one would not expect this sweet young girl,
In this fortress to be kept – with lips of fire pure plush red,
(A dollar in her lingerie as she laid upon the bed!)
She gave a virgin’s smile, she flashed a heaving breast,
She flicked her golden braid: (the men focused on her chest),
‘Yoohoo kind sire, young traveller! I noticed you were spying!
I’m in a spot of trouble if you wouldn’t mind some Climbing?’
She swung her hair at the ground at the besotted marquess,
As he took the hair’s silken threads and began to onwards press!
Reaching the top – she grabbed him quick, entwined him in her golden hair,
Kissed him hard, harder still, as he was shackled to the chair!
‘O loving Rapunzel!’ he did but cry, as she slapped him from side to side –
‘Am I not the heroic saviour, could you not return the favour?’
Rapunzel as on a shopping spree grabbed his wallet and embroidery!
And as if of super strength, threw the unruly royal wench!
Out of the window, up and beyond, landing in the castle pond.
‘You go home now yer little lecher! If you want some tart that’s pure,
then get some style and shave a little, then improve your looks for sure!’
The prince cried home, Rapunzel snickers, putting the notes safe in her knickers.
She lit a fag, took a smoke, and looked for the next man to make stony broke.

The Hidden Truth - Millie Guille

Screams curdle the essence of your blood.
They stop the rhythmic beatings of the heart;
A skittish pulse forms and throbs
And creeps its way towards the temple.

I saved her from her father’s curse,
His frantic hands clawing fabric folds
And tearing buttons from her shirt
To accompany his morals on the floor.

I was the hero, just ask the girl.
She’ll tell you indirectly though.
Her voice is lost – the truth remains
Buried and clasped between her lips.

Message - Kelly Chapple

I am trapped in an ocean of despair,
Why can’t I find my way?
I feel so transparent,
Yet I still can’t see clearly.
These secrets trapped inside of me
Long to be delivered
But I am lost, floating endlessly nowhere
So I cannot fulfil my duty
I guess I’ll just wait here
For a helping hand or a gentle breeze of encouragement.
Maybe the tides will turn
And my luck will change.
Then my hero, The Sea
Can take me where I need to be.

Poppy Field - John Creed

Red are the poppies that remember the dead,
Cold are the gravestones that hide them.
Deadly are shells, flying overhead,
Death is the word that defines them.

Cream of the crop are sent to war,
Broken are the minds that return.
Death appears at a raven’s caw.
Red are the flames that burn.

Fields of mud, fields of blood,
War’s face looms its ghastly head.
Fields of stone, fields of bone,
Countless are the tolls of the dead.

Heroes will rise and heroes will fall,
The corpses will slowly grow rotten.
They kept on going through it all,
But in time their tombs are forgotten.

If I should die, think only this of me…
That it was not through lack of endeavour.
In time, the tombs will wear away,
But the names are remembered forever.

My Brother Thinks He Is Superman - Sam Miller

My brother thinks he is Superman,
Swinging from tree to tree,
Killing all the Taliban,
And he has only just turned three.

My brother thinks he is Superman,
Dressing up all day,
Playing with his best mate Stan
Who has a super ray.

My brother thinks he is Superman;
He is really just a pest.
The other day he rescued Gran
While she was having a rest.

My brother thinks he is Superman
In his yellow, red and blue:
He has a really clever plan,
But still needs a potty to poo.