Elegance, restraint and a wonderful use of personification underpin the winning Year 11–12 entries in this year’s Student Poetry Competition.
Congratulations to Lotus Das-Hyland (Lauriston Girls’ School), Marianna Mossonidis (Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School), Jasmyn Carr (Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School) and all of those who received honourable mentions.
The competition, part of the Arts Learning Festival, was open to students from all school sectors, and attracted almost 600 entries.
Lotus Das-Hyland, Lauriston Girls' School
My leg-jiggling has reached an all time high.
‘Sheathed in symbolism’ I said in my essay,
as if sibilance could win me favour.
So soft and muted I actively remembered to breathe.
Exhale shaky, and shiver.
A seizure of clenched jaw and useless regret
so I am angry and young,
burning cold through history class
to meet you pessimistic, I’d like to think.
My poems are all the same,
and they don’t care about politics,
epiphanies can only sing so loudly.
Aching with restraint, keeping myself from you.
As I am always, asking how did I let this happen?
Trees red like blood, red like me, like love.
Are they not the same?
Am I not consumed by you,
as leaves are blotted crimson,
apricot sky folding inwards,
egg yolk sun setting into an envelope.
Their ivy spills over the fence to douse
a postage-stamp backyard in amber.
As my heart threatens, flows and gushes,
burnt deciduous and waving, waiting to fall.
Like a blooming bruise on dull skin,
beauty in injury, my knees at your expense.
There are still beautiful things in pain,
in winter, no – in May.
‘This time one year ago’ I was reading Norwegian Wood,
and wearing the green sweater of a snake,
and feeling her slip out of my grasp.
Watching with contempt from behind.
Now I listen to Coldplay mindlessly
and sit next to her in literature.
A compromise which became forever
may as well have been a choice.
When I mentioned it, she fell silent,
so I comforted you amongst bodies;
sweat like stars against darkened skin
until they said we had kissed.
So I laughed, goosebumps rising,
and the sky opened above me.
Marianna Mossonidis, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School
Little Moon ponders,
Why must I watch
These humans consumed by hate?
They ruin me.
Their cries echo the ghosts of their past.
Poor Little Moon.
Does she not realise that she too is a ghost?
She stalks the world each night,
Not to be seen nor heard.
And when dawn rips through her,
It’s like she was never there to begin with.
Earth’s children were locked away and kept
Under a mask of crimson worshipping eyes.
When the darkness opens its mouth,
the children are blind.
They yearn for the Sun
And finding her in dayspring fairytales
That lull them to sleep, and bring them respite.
Little Moon weeps, for she knows the truth,
That the sun is a tyrannical being, the ruler of all.
Little Moon’s craters and scars
Are handmade by the Sun.
Her embers get snatched on Earth’s breath
And the trees whimper as they all become tiny suns too.
Little Moon watches a stream of vermillion
And purple bloodshed in the sky
Each time the sun sets,
Weighed down by the day’s affairs.
Finally her fiery orange fists can no longer silence the moon
And steal the glory from her.
Little Moon aches,
yet she bathes us in silver each night.
A silent guardian
Protecting us from the creatures of the dark.
Who will watch out for you, Little Moon,
When we’re all sleeping beneath your soft gaze?
The eclipse; the cure.
Jasmyn Carr, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School
won’t you cry me the ocean?
Penelope, my love, my love
I’ll sail for the stars
in your silver threaded eyes,
as you watched for the heavens above,
You’ve always been good,
you’ve been good to me, my lover
Against my heart, as it bears
on you, and you,
Take me like a Shrike
And impale me
with your tongue,
hungry like thieves,
yearning for more
cunning words, sharper thorns
to prick at the hands
‘On to the next,’ you say,
You indelible song bird
For you, my lover,
Penelope, my love,
Unweave your shroud and
lead me back to your
A voice, tearing,
screaming at me,
You are not God-chosen,
you are just ordinary.
Penelope, my love,
My lover, Penelope.
Teach me how to sail
through this wine dark sea
You are the beginning
and the end of my
You, the wind,
Me, the voyager,
In my odyssey, in my love
for the sea
Though my ending is not you,
I would prefer the tender woven words of the Shrike
to pierce my skin
Than the soundless strike in ocean blue ink
from a stranger,
My own kindred kin
I raise my sails
to a fate sealed by
To the sea,
My love, my lover,
- Chloe Davis, Gleneagles Secondary College – ‘The Edge of Adulthood’
- Maxine Fan, Lauriston Girls’ School – ‘Solidarity’
- Sofia Floratos, Our Lady of Sion College – ‘Nights’
- Polly Hara, Sacre Coeur – ‘Snapshot’
- Astrid Harkin, Our Lady of Sion College – ‘Echoes of Journeys’
- Malinsa Harshadeva, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School – ‘Oscillation’
- Richie Huang, St Leonard’s College – ‘The Journey of Tofu’
- Melody Kennedy, Plenty Valley Christian College – ‘Hollow Wholeness’
- Kiara, Geelong Lutheran College – ‘Stream of Tears’
- Lauren, Tintern Grammar – ‘The Journey through an Anxious Mind’
- Lachlan Li, Scotch College – ‘Pandora’s Box’
- Gladys Lim, Home school – ‘Mother and I’
- Kerenza Martin, Brentwood Secondary College – ‘If’
- Ruby Muggeridge, St Andrews Christian College – ‘Life is Like a Game of Chess’
- Anastasia Parker, Ballarat Grammar School – ‘Stale Tracks’
- Jack Raudys, St Leonard’s College – ‘The Vessel’
- Grace Thierry, Covenant College – ‘Hold on to that feeling’
- Daphne Palis, Covenant College – ‘Road of the Lonely Ones’
- Rebekah, Covenant College – ‘2093′