Saturday, 14 September 2019

Under-16s – Poems for National Poetry Day 2019

Here is our selection of the entries for Best Poem by Under-16s for the Given Words competition for National Poetry Day. They all had to contain the five words solitude, pulse, moving, circles and self-acceptance.

You can read the winning poem Vines by Thalia Peterson along with the judge's comments here and the poems from the adults' category here.

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A Good Thing

Glancing around the room,
I sit down in the corner,
My little haven of solitude,
In this ever moving world.
People say I should try to make new friends,
But round in circles I go.
I feel my pulse, and it moves to a different
pace than others.
I always thought that was a bad thing,
But then I close my eyes.
I hear a voice, inside my head,
In likeness, but not quite the same as my own,
A single, simple word, loud and resonating,
I feel my eyes open and a smile touch my lips.
I feel my pulse, and it moves to a different
beat than others.
I used to think that was a bad thing,
But now I’m not so sure.
Because I am different,
And maybe that’s a
Good thing.

Evangeline Goedhart, aged 14

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Pluto – The forgotten planet

Isn’t it enough to be an entity,
surrounded by space dust?
Solitude hastening my every movement,
moving, forever moving,
never stopping to breathe.
My pulse, non-existent:
I have no sense of self-acceptance,
as a forgotten planet in the abyss that is space.

As I circle the sun,
all alone in the darkness,
I am beside my whānau,
but rejected by the wise souls of the International Astronomical Union.

In 248 of their years they will all be dead,
I will be merely one year older.

Izzy Clyne, aged 11
Villa Maria College, Christchurch

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The Monsters In Men

Moth to a flame,
Human to a monster.
Promising you the sun and moon,
The tale that he tells to girls like you,
You think that you are special,
But you're all the same to him.

His sickeningly sweet grin,
Voice oozing like honey.
It's a look that will rot your teeth,
But it's a look you crave so much.

The whirlpool eyes,
That circle your heart,
If you look close enough,
You see the previous lovers,
That have drowned before.

His slender spider arms,
creep up and down your body.
In seconds he could have you trapped,
In his sticky web,
Unable to move an inch.

Maybe deep, deep, inside,
He has a heart, he has a pulse.
But don't look too far down,
Or you'll fall and break your back.

But you're too busy trying to ignore,
Your missing teeth,
water in your lungs,
Broken bones,
And sticky tomb of solitude.

For it is too late,
He's already moved on.
So now you're forced to watch
Another whose self-acceptance fails.

Grace Richards, aged 14
Lower Hutt

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Mrs Ash

Mrs Ash,
Pulses around the room,
in circles.

keeping watch.

She remembers the night.
The rifle was in his hand.

That night he was tidied up.

Mrs Ash,
Stares at his bed,

Mrs Ash, Still waits

Mrs Ash,
misses wanting…

misses wanting solitude,

Because now she’s had enough.

Mrs Ash,
Waits for the telegram.

But then…

For the first time in years.

The harmonica,
His self acceptance.

Mrs Ash,
Listens from his bed,

Her heart, moving to the tune.

To the new weeping notes.

Evie Johnson, aged 14

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Moving in circles
Dancing on ice
It takes
All of her courage
To glide
Her pulse following the beat of the music
Judges scrutinising her every move
She won't let them take away
Her feeling
The feeling of pure solitude
She slowly builds
Her confidence
Turning criticism into praise
Turning their stares into looks of awe
And most importantly
Turning her negativity into
Self acceptance

Jessie Alison, aged 13
Queens High School, Dunedin

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I stand
In a world alone
With people unlike me

My family, miles away
Maybe six feet under
Or barely alive

These people that take care of me
They don’t understand
I used to be like them

Spinning in circles
Moving with the herd
Then it changed

My home destroyed
Family separated
Everything lost

Mind racing
Pulse pounding
I left behind the only home I knew

Through this journey
I had to learn
Self-acceptance, confidence, strength

All things I have learnt
Yet here I stay
Alone in my solitude

Angela Ciora, aged 13
Ashburton College, Ashburton

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Far too long. Walking in circlesto pass the 
time.Counting every pulse that circles my
Pretty annoying)But it’s
Keeping sane.
I                 Ever
Know              If
I                   Get
Self- acceptance

I’ll have to find out
I can’t wait to get out so I can move around

Caleb Garrick, aged 15
Mairehau High School, Christchurch

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not again

rushing footsteps
door clangs in front
face melts on the glass
woolly coat pulse beats
crystallised sweet sweating
spine down down moving down
circles squish beside each other
silence like solitude
get out of my personal space!

self-acceptance misses the bus

Sophia, aged 14
Rangitoto School, Auckland

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A Self-Help Column From the Clouds

Moving across a denim-blue sky at sunset,
wandering minds run circles around you,
forcing a form with indistinct thoughts.

As night falls and pulses slow,
gazers in solitude will lose track of your motions.
Still you will drift before the stars,
made shapeless by lack of light, and
now only obscuring things in the sky
imaginations can shape.
I wonder, is this when you are truest?

Meaningless and limitless, and
untouched by the graceless fingers
of interpretation? Tell me,
how do you find self-acceptance
as minds and winds can shape you so?

I am scarcely even everchanging,
but cannot meet my own eyes
as you do over every lake and sea.

Amelia Kirkness, aged 15

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Five Words

The pen sits quietly in my hand
waiting for the words to explode from within.

I sit in my chair in my solitude,
trying to analyse everything I am.

How to describe me?
I’m complex, to say the least.
Nothing makes sense, not in my head.
I’m not fond of permanence.
You can’t bend it to fit your needs.

I like things to be moving.
A current you can harness and ride like the wind.

My impact is hard to control,
splashing out and withdrawing randomly.
I’m a pulse
going up and going down and back, on repeat.

I wish I knew who I was,
the inside and outside of what makes up me.

I can’t quite get a grasp on self-acceptance,
its elusive, stays out of reach.

I’m part of a few different groups,
I cant say I’m disliked – I’m a bit popular.

My life moves in repetitive circles.
Predictable, but malleable, open to interpretation.

How to describe me?
I stare at the words on my page.
Five measly words, they’re my life.

Megan Perin, aged 12

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The life of a refugee

A girl, in the state of solitude. Standing there motionless, staring at her reflection in the water, hoping its a lie., but its not. She tries to curl the corners of her lips but they fade away after a second. Looking down at the scars on her legs, bruises on her arms. She keeps having to move, place after place. Her self acceptance drifts away like a leaf in the wind, as she blocks the water from view.

She's scared… thinking about what could happen in the future, thinking about what to do with her dreadful past. People in her family, the sickness got to them. Her pulse in her arm starts racing, beating as fast as paparazzis clicking their cameras.

Desperately, she wants to escape her struggles, her head is spinning in circles, wondering where to go next. Her life is at stake, begging to herself that she won’t suffer the way her family did. But sadly she is.

Emma Roughton, aged 11
Te Uku School, Waikato Area

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We are selfish

We are dust particles
Floating in solitude
Yet only millimetres away from each other

We are mostly misunderstanding the reasons of creation
Hypnotised to follow the circles created by another

We are caterpillars stuck in the circle of life
We have a few days of floating in sunshine and flowers where happiness is ever present
The remaining years are spent curled inside a chrysalis waiting for those days

We are drawn to comfort
Listening to music in time with the pulse in which comfort provides

We create a world around us that is comfortable and perch ourselves on the throne in the centre.

We paint on masks until we realise self-acceptance
We accept but never fully understand the reasons we needed that mask in the first place

We are controlling and powerful, able to construct societies extremely complex
But we fail.

We fail because our species is slowly dying
Instead of moving forward our world is plunging backwards

We share our resources with thousands of other animals
The butterflies are pushed aside, the human race comes first

We are smart enough and powerful enough to stop it
But we like our comfort and the pulse it provides

We are selfish.

Rosemary Moore, aged 15

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Social Flow

I find myself adrift
in the vast sea of people
as I try to steer myself towards the
‘Right’ friends, the
‘Right ‘ lover.
Constantly trying to escape sinking
into the depths of solitude.
alongside strangers
who become friends but ever so swiftly
slip away
into the masses.
around the other inhabitants of this world
as I try to gain a foothold on the sea floor,
try to resist the
currents of time
that threaten to break friends.
away from old friendship
while the heaving waves mirror my pulse.
I try to keep up
with the tide of pop culture.
Seeking out affection but
Receiving only the bittersweet self-acceptance
that comes with rejection.
between the ever spinning, always overlapping
social circles,
as I try to find one that suits me.
along the surface
as I struggle to move.
Stuck in the chaos that is our
social flow.

Thoma Perin, aged 15

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Wish Upon a Star

The pulse of solitude ripples across the night sky
The moving circles of the stars trailing behind
Like streamers floating through the air
On a vivid summers day

Lacing throughout the heavens with nimble fingertips
A memory of things left behind
A sober self-acceptance of what is
The fine dust of the past
Rests upon the glowing orbs
That punctuate the sky with grace
Weaving in and out through the clouds
The ring of silence echoing
Like shattered glass on rock
The promise of falling to land
Withering in brittle stalks
Nobody thinks about the wishes of stars
Yet give them the power to grant them.

Saphra Peterson, aged 12

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Painting Summer

Painted on circles,
The pulse of my brush mirrors
Leaves falling, landing, rippling in the summer spring.
I capture, the Willow vast in its size
swaying, moving, dancing in the breeze.
The land I set myself upon
brings me peace, solitude.
As I continue to place colour onto canvas,
I allow myself into a state of self-acceptance.
As the sun rests I lay the painting dry,
set in place for the next summer to arrive.

George Perry, aged 15
Lower Hutt

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