by Olivia Trempus, St Pius School, Banyo
The broken streets crumble under my bare feet
Run-down houses speak to me with distant memories
An abandoned graveyard sends shivers over my rigid body
All the people are now, long gone.
Familiar places now lay bare, while only memories endure
The tree whose trunk has withered with age from a time long forgotten
Remembering the smell of the sweet summer rain
As it washed away my fears of an uncertain forever
Rows of vehicles disintegrated into piles of rust and debris
Secrets that remain, never to be retold
An old antique shop stands lifeless and deceased
While above, the clouds are heavy and filled with darkness
Rusted rooves creak and moan with the slightest movement
Shutters, cracked and rotten tell stories of dreams long ago
Far-away voices linger like ghosts in abandoned mansions
My old town, no longer tranquil but faded and fractured
Everything is wrong, I shouldn’t have come here
The past torments me
This town is a silhouette of my past, and there it shall remain
I am forever haunted…
This year's entries spanned an array of topics from perspectives of soldiers and war, nature and natural disasters, fantasy worlds and tributes to animals and loved ones. This category is often predominantly rhyming poems however, this year an increase in experimentation with other forms of poetry was noted e.g. diamante, haiku and free verse. The prize winning poems stood apart from other entries in that the authors developed their ideas through patterns of description to create the imagery in their pieces. If any advice could be offered it would be to encourage when writing a poem to choose topics one has a personal connection with to assist the development of ideas and description. Also, if choosing to write using a rhyming scheme be careful not to forsake meaning just to get a poem to rhyme.
First Prize entry
This poem is a well crafted piece in that from its opening lines the poet successfully takes you with them on a return journey through the decimated streets of a hometown. Through careful use of poetic devices and succint work choices the images remain strong throughout and evokes a strong sense of loss and haunting the poet I suspect intended.