Secondary poetry

A selection of poems written by children aged between 11 and 18 submitted to the SUR in English Education and Learning supplement

Best secondary poem

Family

The infinitely strong, protective force,

Somewhat rusty with the passing of time,

The old tractor ploughs and paves its life course,

A loving parent with purpose, sublime.

For its naive children it leads the way,

Shielding them from pain like a metal glove,

Striving always its message to relay,

Cultivating honesty, truth and love.

Unbreakable this bond of family,

Its harvest, abundant, unbridled bliss,

Parent roots take fresh branches tenderly,

And bid goodnight with a motherly kiss.

When comes the day the offspring disperse,

They’re groomed for life’s path, already rehearsed.

Vera Lukash, age 12

English International College

Singer-songwriter Peter Edgerton said: “The powerful language, strong overriding metaphor and pounding incessant rhythm evokes strength and purpose in every line. Plus, who could resist the phrase ‘unbridled bliss’? Excellent.”

Special mention secondary poem

Graveyard in springtime

Dewy at sunrise

Sun rise, sun blessed

Golden and aglow

The home of their rest

-

Catching the light

Of the soft rainfall

Weeping and cleansing

Of the gentle bird call

-

And the butterflies play

So the misery forfends

For a morning of peace

Beloved mother, and friend

-

Then it pours, and it shines

Wake up butterflies and bees!

Dance to the picked flowers

Or the bench once a tree

-

Engaged in engravings

On moss crept-up stone

Were heaven on Earth

Is among sunken bones

-

Where the beating rain

Embraces the sun

And the animals weep

To laugh play and run

-

To hum like a tractor

Spilling life, overflowing

The temporary temperament

That keeps us from knowing

-

There is truth in the sunrise

To grace the day dawning

Glowing gold, all behold

The blissful new of mourning.

Sophie Newton, age 17

Swans Secondary School

Singer-songwriter Peter Edgerton said: “Enticing title, unusual, captivating vocabulary and lovely turns of phrase. Quality poem.”

Special mention secondary poem

Tractor

I am my own formidable tractor

Cultivating and harvesting my life;

The peaty, pebbly soil of each chapter,

Yields harvests both golden and full of strife.

Every day I plant my truth, absolute,

Ploughing my way through each challenging day;

To solve each struggle, I am my own sleuth,

Believing, overcoming all things grey.

I compost my soil with great hope and grace,

And delicate seeds of pure honesty;

Each crop blossoming and all is in place,

And my caring, sweet loved ones there for me.

The privilege to live a life so rare,

With that gift there is nothing to compare.

Irma Mercele age 12

English International College

Peter Edgerton commented: “Lovely vocabulary and some really clever rhymes. Very good indeed.”

Selected secondary poem

The Cannibal

I was on my way to become an actor

but got stopped and hurt by a tractor

This now means I’m unable to join the X-Factor

I am now in the hospital

eating nothing but popsicles

they call me ‘The cannibal’

I don’t know why but it sounds cool.

I thought of ‘The ghoul’

but then I would have to start a duel

I wouldn’t do that because the hospital is where they rule

I am stuck here

And they have made it clear

That they will help me out of this fear

To tell you the truth it’s fun to be cared for

but yet I cannot even close a door

I’m getting released next week

I now need money so I seek

For I have to pay in a month, my fee

I worry now that I may not have it

But my hope keeps me going a bit.

It has almost come there

With only a bit of money to spare

Marie Larsen, age 11

Benalmádena International College

Peter Edgerton said: “A clear gift for unusual rhyme - ‘tractor/X-Factor’ is nice work but ‘hospital/popsicle’ is tremendous. Very clever.”

Selected secondary poem

Antidote for artificiality

Falling autumn leaves lay on the path,

Rain clouds approach steadily,

Listen to the sparrows sing,

The day is still young.

-

Rose coloured shards of glass on the road,

The truth shattered before my eyes.

The night is bare and lifeless,

Yet darkness soothes my wounds.

-

Long walks in the cold,

The morning air, fresh and damp.

The tractor in the barley field suffers tirelessly,

The crop is dead.

-

Nightshade for breakfast,

Burning my memories to forget it all.

A colourful black hole appears,

Hallucinating a beating heart to stay alive.

I need to get out.

-

Drowning in false happiness,

Left the city and melted into the earth,

My tears water the land and,

The past is lost in the mud.

Evelyn T. age 14

Sotogrande International School

English Literature undergraduate Lily Farrant said:”There are some fantastic and really vivid imagery here to accompany the moving storyline. I liked the juxtaposition of sadness and hope, ending with a poignant final line.”