Secondary poems

  • Poems written by secondary school pupils selected for the Education and Learning supplement 2020

Coming Home

I hit my head on the dusty frame

A gorgeous, maple dome.

I stood there swaying,

silent praying,

before my childhood home.

Heavy steps against the floor,

an ancient silence burns.

The stirring chairs

shoot fiery glares,

unwanted guest returns.

Across the room, the mantelpiece,

devoid of youthful flame,

steals my view

and draws me to

a broken picture frame.

The walls draw closer, air gets thin

my fingers touch its edge.

The perfect smile

of mother and child

hide bloodstains on the ledge.

Ceiling pressed against my head

my ankles brush the drawers.

As memories flood

and freeze my blood,

I’m forced down on all fours.

Towards the staircase, crawling low

I force out distant screams

of muffled fights

through sleepless nights

that stole my childhood dreams.

The misted windows watch in awe,

then blink their curtains closed

as beams of pine

compress my spine;

no mercy this house shows.

Curled tight inside the wooden jaws

my vision blurs to black.

Through cries of rage

that shake my cage

there comes a vivid crack.

Clean through the roof, my body bursts

a thunderous, piercing roar.

Sunlight reflects

off shattered specs

as splintered showers soar

But left in wrecked ruins stands

the lonely mantlepiece.

I free a cry

and lift my thigh

to bring my heel down on the beast.

Jessica Newton, Age 17

Swans International School

Selected as the best secondary poem. Songwriter Peter Edgerton had this to say about this “quite excellent” poem: “Vibrant, colourful vocabulary combined with an arresting rhythm make this poem a profound pleasure to read. There’s a musical tone to it, which further stirs emotions.”


There are moments that make your life. Moments you realize nothing will ever be the same. 

You, know the ones that catch you off guard- take you back to memory lane. 

The ones that bring butterflies to your throat, That make you wish that for a moment,

 they weren’t memories, But an attainable reality once again. 

I missed the future. 

I knew that- I would probably never again feel the damp breeze that blew through my curtains hold me in its chilly embrace, 

Or watch the racing teardrops of the muddy black sky caress the half-opened window, as you gazed off to space,

 or feel the warmth of the blankets or hear the rain’s lullaby as that peppermint smile of yours grew on your face. 

I would like to lie and say this moment was like one of those, breathtaking enough to hide the sad smile I was faking,

And through the blur of my eyelashes, I looked at my best friend as she looked into the world, the vast open world with her emerald eyes, taking it all in.

And at that moment -my heart was breaking.

 that moment was purely as sweet as cinnamon, for I missed it, 

missed it while the moon was gleaming and while the sky was dreaming. 

I smiled because I knew at that moment, that terribly bittersweet moment, how much I would miss it, while I was still living in it.

These are the moments that make your life. Moments you realize nothing will ever be the same. 

You, know the ones that catch you off guard- realize this is your memory lane. 

The ones that bring killer bees to your stomach, That let you know that for a moment,

 These aren’t memories, But the reality you’re living in. 

Silvana Giambona, Age 13

Novaschool Sunland International

Selected as runner-up secondary poem.

Writing to the World

Writing to the world

As evil memories float.

Fighting with the world

As a window flashes

A perfection that

Ceases to exist.

Spending everyday

In May

Thinking about

What could have been different

Whilst being haunted with a story of the past that lingers

Dusk till Dawn till the grave,

Carved with a familiar name

As days pass, a burn of heat

Passes through

The sound of torture

Rings, like a real horror

All is an everlasting guilt

Calling out to me,

Mistakes are momentarily human

But is it human

If the mistake is headed to the tombs?

Fortunately a heavy sleep can keep the distant memory away…

Amanda Guncet, Age 13

Novaschool Sunland International

Selected as special mention secondary poem.

Mother Nature

Mother Nature is what you call me

I created this earth not for you to destroy me

This world you live in I made perfect for you

Just remember how many worlds you have; there aren’t two

Oh how proud I am of my creations

It was great enough for thousands of nations

But these nations aren’t anymore so wise

Now it is time for me to rise

I gave your planet water and soil -

Now you are just letting it spoil.

I gave you trees so that you can breathe

But you are cutting them down, can’t you see?

I provided the planet with mountains of green -

But you don't see that when you stare at your screen.

It was so long ago, I have bad memory

But I haven’t felt any positive energy

I provided the world with what it needs

Actually thinking that it would succeed

I watch you looking through the window

Watching your earth fall apart like a domino

The oceans I filled is now infected with plastic

The amounts you have created are seriously drastic

Killing sea creatures, does it really matter

Just so you can have nice food on your platter?

You are destroying this earth thinking you are smart

Try to think about it, try using your heart -

The animals are dying, you think they are useless?

Oh dear was I right, you really are clueless

Every second you are getting closer to the end

If you think you are really smart, try using your head

Just remember my message, remember what I said -

If you are not careful you will all end up dead.

It wasn’t my fault you didn’t think when you had time

You forgot that the mountain was all about the climb

Fausteja Remeikyte, Year 7

English International College

I miss you brother

It’s been a year now brother,

Why did you have to leave me?

There were plenty of other men ready to fight,

But still, you chose to serve your country,

Everyone tries to comfort me,

They all say to keep my mind off it,

But none of that information helps,

It just makes me mourn for you more, I must admit.

I miss you brother.

It’s been two years now brother,

I still can’t keep my mind off you,

My grades are lowering and my friends are leaving,

I don’t know how I’m going to pull through,

My head is spinning, my hands are shaking,

My eyes are filling with tears,

I’m worried about what the future will bring for you because,

If you died in war, that’s one of my biggest fears:

I miss you brother.

It’s been five years now brother,

I have found out the news,

A sniper took your life, showing no mercy,

And now I have no one to live up to.

I ran away, thinking it would help,

To keep my mind off this mess,

But I wanted to scream, shout, let it all out,

As I couldn’t stand all the stress.

I really miss you brother.

It’s been ten years now brother,

I have started college now,

I was thinking of joining the Navy,

To follow in the footsteps of thou,

I still have the memory of you leaving,

The young me standing at the window sobbing,

Trying to hold back the cascading tears,

My broken heart was aching, throbbing:

I miss you brother.

It’s been a lifetime now brother,

I’ve been telling stories to children of my own,

Of how brave and caring you were,

And every day we take flowers to your stone.

I now realise that even though you’re not here,

I can still pull through without you,

Because I know that you are always here in my heart,

And I am in yours too.

Do you see me?

I love you brother.

Emily Simmons, Year 8

English International College


When I was small I had a window,

I looked out of it, taught me all I know

I would have never seen the Gruffalo,

Or the Phoenix in the snow,

Without my little window.

Recently, I saw that same window,

The same one, where I started dreaming,

That’s when I realised my life was beginning,

Imagining the stories, with birds that were singing.

I remember this, as much as I can hold,

As I clutch all my memories, never to be sold.

* * *

After living in this home for so many years,

It’s time to move out and continue my life,

I take a last glance at that little window,

I leave, and feel tears in my eyes.

Teresa Torres Holgado, age 12

Sunny View School

Gazing Through the Window

I'm trapped,

Tap tap tapping on the glass,

Waiting for a response,

I try to speak,

No one can hear,

Gazing through the window,

Stuck inside,

My memory walking further away,

The sun doesn't shine on the inside,

Darkness hits me,

Hits me like bullet,

Gazing through the window,

My cheeks cold,

Cold like ice,

Watching people pass,

Not taking any notice,

Can anybody see me,

Gazing through a window,

My breathing louder than a gun,

I hope they’re happy,

Happy now,

Leaving me,

With no answers,

Gazing through a window,

My mind flashing,

Flashing between places,

Is my memory here,

Am I gazing through a window

Freya Harrold, Age 13

Sotogrande International School

It's funny how fate works

It's funny how fate works.

I had no idea that the cage I was developing all this time was a trap for me.

And when I found myself here, locked in, I assumed this was the end.

But that's not how fate works, is it?

This is just the beginning because this is where I had to be, exactly where I had to be to reach you. There you were, with your books and your sunshine.

So close, but worlds and words away.

Your book read “Our bad memory”

I knew we would make many memories together

Our whole future lies in our hands

Your hands, my hands

But first,

I will figure out a way, a way to get to you.

Every day, I see you through the window,

The ​ricocheted light powering onto the white walls

My cage keeps me in, confines me.

As I fall asleep thinking of you I think of the way you think and move.

The memory of you lights up my room

And makes my brain all types of confused,

My mind is doing things it’s not used to doing,

You’re different.

I’ll see you soon -


Georgiana Smith, Age 14

Sotogrande International School

My memory is fading

My memory is fading but I remember,

The way the waves would crash against the shore, The way seagulls would dive into the turquoise sea, Reemerging with a struggling fish between its jaws.

The way the sunlight danced on the sea like gold,

The smell of salt floating off of the wind whipped waves, The biscuit coloured sand jumping up and down,

And I would sit and watch,

Watch through the window,

That blocked me from the world outside.

I use to wish and wish I was among the world, That seemed so much more alive,

Than the world behind the dreaded window, You could hear and see the fun and joy,

But never sing with the wind,

Or dance with the waves that crashed against the shore.

My memory is fading but I remember.

Isabella Barling, age 13

Sotogrande International School