Winning Entry
The Summer of 2016
By Isobel Whitton, Year 8, Sawston Village College

“This poem does what the very best poetry can do, condensing personal emotion into images that have a timeless and universal quality.”

When you were here it felt like the summer of 2016
When we went camping near the sea
When we awoke to the sound of the sea crashing in
It felt like the summer of 2016
When I woke beside you and mum
When we strolled through the towns and bought ice cream
When we stayed up all night telling stories with torches
It felt like the summer of 2016
When you first taught me how to surf
When I first got crashed by the sea
When I went on a scary rollercoaster
It felt like the summer of 2016
I miss the feeling of you being here
Of you seeing me on my first day of ‘big school’
Or when we sat on the beach and watched the gulls go by
It felt like the summer of 2016
And now sometimes I think about you
And my heart just breaks again
And now tomorrow starts without you
Again and again and again
I know how much you loved me
And how you didn’t want to go
But I will never forget the feeling of 2016

The Streets For A Home
By Millie Inskip, Year 8, Bassingbourn Village College

Crouched in the corner; his cries are silent
People shoot him stares, stares which are violent
While he scratches his uncombed hair
People mutter ‘that stench is hard to bear’
Unwashed, bedraggled clothes
And to eat: the bakery’s inadequate loaves
Outside in all weather, nowhere to hide
His health now decreasing, taking a slide
As the night comes closer, everything turns black
He’s left there to wonder, will his life ever go back
Back to how it used to be, when he still had a home
When he had something other than lonely streets to roam.

The Most Beautiful Demise
By Jess Thomas, Year 11, Sawston Village College

It was a Thursday when her fate was met,
The day she leaned over the parapet.
Facing the wind, the eve of her demise
Was not as beautiful as where she lies,

Dreaming with her broken halcyon wings,
Surrounded by ichor and the blood of kings.
Queenly in essence and in description,
She asks for no such fame or inscription,

Wanting all traces to just be erased,
So she can still dream of happier days.
Without the tendencies that plagued her mind,
Perhaps the reaper would have been more kind.

Alas, there is no more time to borrow,
The clock has struck and stopped at her sorrow.

By Emma Jane Russell, Year 7, Sawston Village College

When people look up to the stars,
They imagine a faraway place,
Where pollution is not spoiling their space.

Out there over the boundaries,
Humans can see a sign,
A glimpse of a planet no different from mine.

This planet — its name is Awullia,
It’s 3,000 light years away,
So we see it as it was,
3,000 years ago this day,

When children ran happily, laughing,
And their parents lay under their sun,
But the voices of fate were casting,
Horrible destinies for each one.

Like us they found oils and plastic,
But they called it a different name,
How delighted they were when they found out,
They could use it to store the harvests when they came.

They used it and used it and used it,
Until their resources ran thin.
No oil left on the planet,
And an economic outlook dim.

The plastic however was different,
It would not disintegrate.
They tried to fix their mistake,
But for them it was too late.

The strings of life were cut,
All life on the planet was gone,
But we would never know this until 3,000 years on.

Does this sound familiar?
Have you heard it before?
Is this the destiny of our planet?
If we continue our war path forever more?

Our forests and woods are felling,
Our animals losing their lives,
Will we end up destroying,
Everything for which we strive?

Has our destiny been decided?
Or is it not too late,
To save our planet,
From the same fate?

Awullia, well that is fantasy,
Earth, well that is not,
But who says stories can’t tell us,
What many have forgot.

Humans are not immortal,
We do not live for all time,
So maybe we should leave our planet better,
For those next in line.

Our planet is our responsibility,
And I can’t say we’re doing well,
Death and destruction everywhere,
This story is not a good one to tell.

Do you care for our future?
For those who are yet to live?
Is it right to give them,
What we have to give?

Or should we give them better,
A planet of which to be proud,
A planet so they can live happily,
Surely that’s allowed?

Though we may not have started this,
We can certainly give it an end,
To make our planet better,
For those whose lives are just round the bend.

Heed my words and warning,
Remember what you have forgot,
Awullia, well that is fantasy,
Earth, well that is not.

The Fall
By Shan Ahmad Malik, Year 7, Sawston Village College

The snowflake fell,
Its exuberant structure glinting gently,
Catching the pale, muffled sunlight
Gliding downwards
From the hue-less, cold clouds,
Seeking refuge, attempting to
Retain its priceless beauty.
The breeze rocked it back and forth,
Knocking it into others, forcing
Them to tangle — mingle — together.
Down the flake fell,
Ever-seeking unfindable refuge
‘Til it touched its final ground.

The Disappearing Act: Generation Z
By Hannah Troop, Year 10, Linton Village College

After ‘First They Came—’ by Martin Niemöller

First, they came for the rainforests,
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a forest child.

Then they polluted the oceans,
And I did not speak out
Because I did not live in the sea.

Then the Australian bush fires broke out,
And I did not speak out
Because I did not live in Australia.

Then the ice caps melted,
But we did not speak out
Because we were drowning too;

Do you want to know why?
This generation are pebbles on a beach,
Constantly being sucked in and pulled by our ancestors’ tides.
The crashing waves of societal expectations, an insane curriculum and you —
the Judgemental Media, chip away at us like a chalk cliff.
You have taken away our right to truth with fake news.
The system tests us until they say we are old enough and mature enough to earn a voice.

Hear us now or wish you had listened then.

By Lauryn Koyi, Year 10, Bottisham Village College

A mother is a lot of things,
a helper,
a listener,
and a friend.
She’s there to listen to your biggest problems,
And to remind you that you’re never alone.

She’s a great cook (and a great baker),
an aspiring comedian too.
She’s the go-to woman for fashion,
and book recommendations.

She knows when you’re upset,
and she’s always there if you need her.
My mother is everything (and more) a mother should be.

I love my mother,
though it may not seem like it, all of the time,
because she’s a helper, a listener, and a friend of mine.

New Beginning
By Ella Plumb, Year 7, Linton Village College

A rush,
A blur,
Awoken from sleep as loud tyres stop near,
Kind calming voices that I hear,
Soft leather slipped over my face,
Brought to the warmth of a stable with grace,
Soft smooth brushes in her hand,
I’m not used to this, I don’t understand,
Warm rug wrapped around me,
This isn’t how it used to be?
Let into the cold dark air,
She comforts me with a brush of her hair,
Warm, long boots placed around my legs,
Please, please, load she begs,
I’m lonely with none of my mates,
But in the lorry crunchy hay awaits,
Engine starts up as we start to roll on,
My stable, my home — all are gone,
Hours later we arrive,
Pulling up a long drive,
The ramp is down, no time to think,
Walking down I cannot blink,
My dream home, fresh and clean,
The old owners were just so mean,
Yet no one’s here just me and her,
Ruffling my soft, thick fur,
Could this be my new life?

Happiness and joy as weeks go by,
Just me and her, I feel I could fly,
She takes good care of me,
I would never flee,
For I am home now,
No more blur,
Just her,
My owner.

By Megan Baker, Year 11, Bottisham Village College

It was a while ago
we last saw each other
Strained smiles
hidden beneath a layer of cloth
Waiting, hoping

Yet many summers ago
when we could walk like air flows
We sat twisting needles and yarn
knit purl knit purl knit purl
Smiling, laughing

Back to school
learning to play a tune
You said it sounded good
even when it didn’t
Listening, playing

I remember when we rode
our bikes down to a park
Getting lost didn’t matter
Picnicking in the light
Riding, roaming

And then a bad spell
— it’s returned
Pain, anger
We must be careful
Even a sneeze could kill

Time will heal
but not completely
Baking or burning what’s the difference
Spending hours by the oven
Mixing, measuring

Going to church
you taught me your beliefs
and to sing in tune
Rehearsing every Friday in the cold
Singing, humming

Time does not last forever
It got worse again
Nothing works
We must be careful
Waving from a distance

Back, inside
stuck, in a bed
One last call
I love you, all
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Now I’m alone
Lost, helpless
Still at a distance
Life isn’t the same
Won’t be the same

Why did you have to go?