Following the very successful BBC Radio 2 creative writing competition, St Thomas More ran our own challenge in July. Students from across Years 7, 8 and 9 entered fabulous pieces of writing – we read poems and non-fiction, as well as short stories and novel openings. The judging process itself was very challenging as the standard was incredibly high – we certainly have some very talented writers in school. A huge well done to all of the entrants and to the winners who were announced in the last assemblies of term. In the Year 7 category, the competition was won by Molly Hay, in Year 8 by Abigail Stephenson, and in Year 9 by Anna McCusker. We hope that this is the start of an STM tradition – watch this space…
A girl drowned in an Ocean of Insults by Molly Hay, winner in the Year 7 category
A girl once drowned in an ocean.
Slowly sinking deeper.
Each word pulled her deeper.
Until she could sink no more
Words wrapped round her like vines
Scratching her wrists in horizontal lines
Blue and black painted her skin.
Yet no one heard her plea
Her smile was taken as happiness and not an obligation
Thus her scream was never heard
Her cry for help was ignored
As so this girl drowned.
Drowned in an ocean.
An ocean of insults.
Night Skies by Olivia Smith, Year 9 category
She sat there
at the moon
and the stars
they would reach out
give her a sign
that would help.
Screaming, she says,
“Help me! You help others!”
The Burden by Olivia Smith, Year 9 category
I love you
And that’s a shame
Because you stop me
From finding someone
Little brave knight by Olivia Smith, Year 9 category
Are you a knight?
Yes, I am a knight
Whose art is their words.
My pen, my sword
My notes, my armour.
I go to war
With the thorns in my mind.
I chop at the thorns
Wishing that one day
I will find a better me.
That Night at Auschwitz by William Beattie, Year 7 category
My name is Alexander Wolsky, back at the place I was 70 long years ago. I am in Poland, not on holiday, but for Remembrance. It’s 27th January 2015, yet I can still hear the cries of those suffering people. I am haunted… by war. I can see it now, a dim foreboding shape, a demon-blackness drifting around it. Terrible times they were, but I will tell you my story…
I remember the day I saw the grey gates of Auschwitz clanging in the wind. We expected a fight, but no fight came; we expected machine gunfire to rattle through the hills, but none came; we expected shouts and screams, but the only noise was the wind whistling past our ears and the low moaning of the prisoners inside the barbed wire-topped walls. We thought it was a trap, but it wasn’t. The gates were unlocked, so we pushed them open and a horrible sight met our eyes. “Oh my God” I whispered, but was there any God in this ghastly place?
I was only 17, a simple country lad born in the rolling hills and kindly villages of Russia. The sight of such cruelty and malice made my hide my eyes; it wasn’t human to do this to others. Before me were hundreds, if not thousands, of brutally beaten people, some carrying bundles which I guessed were their starving offspring. They were so weak with hunger that their bloodshot eyes had sunken into their skulls. They could barely move. Some were lying on the ground, their bodies haggard and twisted, looking like they had forgotten what sleep was. Most of the adults (the women hiding their bare, shaven heads in shame) were weeping, but the children were stony-faced, staring at us confusedly with wide unblinking eyes. I could hear their moans, but could not take my eyes off one boy, naked except for a striped cloth cap. He was so thin; he looked like he just wanted to take a long sleep… he couldn’t. He stared at me with such a sorrowful expression that when I unwillingly tore my eyes away, he stayed in my mind for ever more.
Next we found the horrendous gas chambers, where they pumped the horrific Zyklon B gas into rooms full of living Jews, and the infirmary, which wasn’t even that, just a dirty excuse for unsettling medical experimentation. Here we found 6350kg of human hair – I hid my eyes yet again.
We gave these poor sorry souls cabbage soup and blankets, but some couldn’t cope and died on the spot. Despite the freezing cold night I was swooning and hot.
After Auschwitz I became an emergency aid worker helping people across the globe. Slowly, but surely, regaining my belief. I now live in Dover, but have returned to where my mission began. I lost faith in God and the human race – but I have it back now. I have finally gained my Peace.
Nature’s Child by Anna McCusker, winner in the Year 9 category
Black. Then a sudden burst of bright light. And I’m born; a small bud on a rough brown surface. My initial surroundings are many other small buds like me, awakening to a new life. This is strange… but I will get accustomed to it soon. As the rough hands of time move swiftly along, I witness me and my siblings grow, one moment being lightly caressed by a gentle whispering breeze, the next being thrown around, clinging onto our natural home for dear life. It’s stunning the way Nature works its magic, always being proud of its marriage to Time. Everything changes around you and you can do nothing to stop it writing your story. You watch in fascination how the Planet around you changes day after day, no two being the same. These thoughts swim around my curious mind as the planetary clock ticks on and on, again altering me and my dear family. One day, I wake to find myself bathing in this warm golden light. Everyone reacts in the same way, by trying to capture as much as they can before it disappears, because no one knows if we’ll ever see something like this ever again. It’s almost like Nature is rewarding us. I mean, we’ve not done anything bad. Just been here watching the world go around our whole lives, nothing special. But maybe we should take this as a warning. This has never happened before and it’s kind of strange. Maybe if I sleep, these foreboding thoughts will go away. Hopefully. But I’m wrong, so very wrong. And I realise that my fragile body immediately registers the bitter frosty air. It feels like a knife is cutting straight through me, sending elicit shivers down my thin skeleton. And a resounding pain. It’s almost too much to bear. I guess this is it. The sky around me has faded from a beautiful sapphire blue to a dreary grey, almost like something from a horror movie. Then a chilling sight hones into my view. My siblings are torn roughly away from our branchy home and thrown down to the ground like yesterday’s garbage. It’s a Massacre. An incomprehensible Mass Murder. The next thing I know is blinding pain and I’m caught in an infinite, dizzying spiral down to the ground. My life- long home shrinks in front of me as I descend, all of the memories fading away before my very eyes just like the elusive mists that appear on a humid day. My body then registers a cold surface touching me and I’m left staring at my former abode surrounded by my fallen brothers and sisters. Why did this happen? Well I’ve finally realised the answer to the question that’s plagued me my whole life: Life Goes On. Nature changes its mind all the time. And we’re what’s left. A whole family of dusty corpses evicted then left to die. Untouched by the Once Kind Hands of Time and the Heavy Burden of Living.
Untitled by Sarah Tunmore, Year 9 category
I stared into the fire, gazing at the red sparks mischievously dancing to the beat of the smooth crackle of the ebony wood. I watched the hot red flames mirror themselves in my glossy eyes. Orange and yellow gracefully intertwined with one another while the black smoke silently moved from the burning licks of fire into the dark sky. Heat from the fire battled against the freezing air that surrounded it, but the fire was winning. Once-strong oak perished at the foot of the merciless flames that seeped into it. The air was heavy and longed to release the every growing heap of ebony smoke that was unwillingly bestowed upon it. I loved it. With every breath the thoughts spiralling inside my head were exhaled between my lips and towards the fire. The flames hungrily snatched them and imitated them mockingly. I saw my whole life in orange, red and yellow. I hugged my legs closer towards my chest, my eyes never drifting from the glorious sight that was performing in front of me. As I rested my chin lazily between my knees, I saw the fire grow tired. My eyelids became heavy and with every blink it seemed to increase the threat of slumber. My thoughts plain and tasteless. With weary eyes I stared, the fire stared back. Everything was dark. It was peaceful. As I felt my consciousness slip slowly away, my body fell limp. Knees buckled, arms dropped. And then the fire consumed me.