Secondary poems

Secondary poems


Poetry submitted by secondary school students for the SUR in English supplement in March 2023

Monday, 20 March 2023, 21:49

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For the 2023 Education and Learning supplement, SUR in English asked schools to send in select poems by their students. They had to use the words 'spaghetti' and 'mystery' in the poems.

Here is a selection of this year's entries from secondary school students.

BEST SECONDARY POEM Isabel H. age 15, Swans International School

Food for Thought

Each one the same,

Yet different.

Some absorb the salty bitterness,

Of what they’ve been given,

And it weakens them,

Making them softer,

They drop,

Twisting and turning,

Falling into,

And out of


Arms intertwined,

They struggle for breath,

Thick and sticky,

They are becoming eroded,

By what they have been given.

They are drowning,

Losing their identity,

Their purity,

And yet,

They hold on.

They cling together,

Combined by,

The sameness of who they are.

The shining metallic tines


Split, twist and turn,

Pulling a group of them apart,

Lifting them up,

Away, and,


There is no mystery in life,

We’re all just strands of spaghetti,

Hanging on,

To who we are.

RUNNER-UP Irma, age 13, English International College

Broken Inside

The spaghetti junction of life is a tangled web,

Overcrowded, confused, aloof,

Human nature’s a mystery yet to be solved,

Of which suffering’s it’s daily proof. All

bungled together on life’s plate,

Smothered in a hot sauce of wrath,

Vying, non-complying and slowly dying,

Each trying to find his own path

Wearing a dark cloak of jealousy,

With emerald envy embroidered,

Hostility, inflexibility, unapproachability,

And the despair of being avoided.

A society of self-serving souls,

With kindness the exception, not the rule,

Cyber bullying our modern prison,

How did we end up such fools?

The loneliness of the human race,

Now a race of “just me alone,”

Yet to win we must destroy others,

and crush them to the bone?

Surely we can reach the finishing line,

Without a trophy on the shelf,

That’s been won by manipulation,

And the price lost is our own self?

At the end of the day, we stand vulnerable,

Unhappy, unstable, unhealed,

A tarnished spirit is no way to end,

So let’s all to compassion yield.

Jolana, age 16, The Benalmádena International College

Spaghetti and Mystery

I am sitting on the porch,

on the last day of March,

eating spaghetti and watching the sun,

watching the sun setting over the horizon.

I am sitting on the porch,

on the last day of March,

sipping black tea and thinking,

thinking about the old days

when I was just a kid.

I am sitting on the porch,

on the last day of March,

listening the birds singing,

singing about all the beauty around.

I am sitting on the porch,

on the last day of March,

feeling how the evening freeze

is spilling through my veins.

I am sitting on the porch

embracing last sunset of March,

mystery and beauty

watching around.

More poems

Vera, age 13, English International College

Just Four Short Days

Where the sun has fallen to the ground and rolled away,

Soft-petalled flowers have beheaded themselves,

And emerald blades of grass turned grey.

She lingers in caverns dank and dismal,

Throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks,

As her mind plunges to depths abysmal,

And plays its heartless tricks.

Grief comes by to sit a while,

And she asks for how long he’ll stay,

He says, “I’ve all the time in the world,”

As she clutches her wreath bouquet.

Then Grief explains, “I’m your unspent love,

The trickling tears in your eyes,

The lump in your throat, the hollow of your chest,

And the starkness that loss implies.”

That loss - a life cut short with a scythe,

Sudden, brutal, unfair,

Just bundled up into four short days,

And a baby cradle laid bare.

Babygrows laid out in neat rows,

With miniature cotton socks,

A silent rattle discarded,

And unused baby blocks.

The mystery of why knows no answer,

But in time Grief’s visits grow shorter,

And mid-winter leaves the mother’s soul,

Caressing the memory of her daughter.

Aimee, age 13, Novaschool Sunland International

First Day

As I stood in the hallway, a bright light inside of me,

A shiver went down my arms. Then my body.

New beginning, it was destiny.

‘Let me introduce our new student Dottie!’

They snickered, pointed and stared at me.

The sound of whispers contaminated the air;

what they said, still remains a mystery

I walked to my desk, old and dusty

managing not to trip.

I fell - my legs tangled like spaghetti

‘Hey, I’m Sara. You’re Dottie right?’

I gave her a little nod, she could tell I was shy.

New Friends. New School. This year will be a ride

I just hope these new friends will stay by my side

Elizabeth Aida S. P. age 18, Swans International School

Things I Will Miss

I wonder what happens to the pencils left behind on classroom shelves

Or the erasers split hastily in two before an exam

I wonder what happens when the year group pictures no longer fit on the wall

And I wonder if they’ll ever take ours down.

Will it still be up there, in the years to come?

By the corridor where the teachers always tell kids not to run?

It’s funny to me that those kids would have not a clue who we are,

While my friend could tell you the name and make of everybody’s car.

I am ashamed to say that it has taken me just as long

to realise I will only miss it all once it’s gone.

I will miss the chairs in the science rooms, that made my back hurt all the time

I will miss braiding my best friend’s hair

And I will miss asking her to tie ribbons in mine

I will miss the spaghetti that everyone complained about

Or the uniform we never liked to wear

And I will miss sneaking into the music room in the summertime, just for the cold air.

I will miss the sound of the bell that shatters my ears if I stand too close

And I will miss singing songs on the bus ride home

Sunburnt, with sand in our clothes.

Sadness pricks my eyes, and although it seems unfair,

It is a privilege to miss these things, of that I am aware.

So I ask you please,

Not to treat time as an enemy, a mystery.

For time is nothing but a friend.

Because with time comes memories, laughter and tears,

And with time come all the people that you ever held dear.

W. M. age 12, Laude San Pedro International College

The Spaghetti Mystery

The pasta has disappeared.

Which seems weird.

Now the tomatoes have vanished.

And the lasagna is tarnished.

The penne is gone.

And the pesto is not the real one.

And there is no more meat.

For us to eat.

There’s no spaghetti in the bowl,

The pizza centre is just a hole

There’s nothing in the pan,

Nor in the tomato can

The rind is all that’s left

Of the parmesan - it’s theft!

It is a mystery to me.

Where’s the food for tea?

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