Jelly, Clouds, Leaves, Crash! The story-poem winners on Poetry Box

Thank you for sending in all your story poems. I had fun reading them! Thanks to Gecko Press these young writers will each get a copy of Friends by Joy Cowley (illustrated by Gavin Bishop).

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These are three of my favourites (keep sending in poems!).

This is the first poem Gus has sent in and he has let his imagination go flying by wondering what it would be like if the whole world were made of jelly. The setting is a big part of this story. It seems like a great starting point for other poems. What else could the whole world be made of (give it a go!). There are some great words in here: wobble, grazed, jiggling, pohutakawa. This poem sounds good when you read it aloud. Fabulous job Gus!

If Everything Was Made of Jelly
If everything was made of jelly
I would eat everything in the house.
I wouldn’t get hurt if I was jumping on the bed —
I would bump my head on the jelly ceiling.
When I put my feet in my boots
they would wobble.
I would never get a grazed knee again

if everything was made of jelly.

If my scooter was made of jelly
I’d ride it while jiggling.
If a paper plane was made of jelly
the ground would wobble when the plane hit it.
I’d eat the pohutukawa tree.

I’d eat everything in the world.

Gus, Year 3, aged 7, Gladstone Primary School

Sylvia has sent in lots of poems to Poetry Box, but this is the the first time she has won a prize. She sent in three story poems, all a little bit different.  I have picked two to post. She always tells me something about the poems she has written. The first one she made up when she saw ‘the pink clouds of sunrise,’ and the third one was based on a true experience. The first poem shows so beautifully how something we see everyday (clouds) can be a stepping stone for our imaginations. Sylvia has used some gorgeous phrases: the dust pink clouds, the out tips of the clouds. And I like the ending. Great job!

Sky Ships

As the morning comes

dusty pink clouds suddenly appear out of nowhere

like a band of flying ships

making its way


They come each morning

and pick up people,

people who have been deprived

of a good life here,

and on that ship of pink dust

there is a girl called Swing.

She has blonde hair

and black clothes.

She sways on the out tips of the cloud,

careful not to go through.

She is going somewhere

somewhere special

somewhere nice

somewhere that is not


Sylvia’s second poem has a great rhythm. The short lines work really well. I like the way she pays attention to the world and bends over to look at these leaves. This is exactly what we do as poets; we bend over and stretch up to look at the world more closely and then go hunting for words to show what we see and feel and hear on the page. I also like the ending of this poem. I loved the way the arrival of dad means we have to leave too! Awesome job Sylvia!

In the Bright City Lights

I dance at night

It makes me feel happy

Night is exciting

I walk through the street

Trying not to skip

When I stop by a fountain

There are two little leaves

Sitting wet on a seat

I turn one over

To see if it’s the same underneath

It is dark with wetness

I turn it over and leave it there to dry

And once this is done

I feel obliged to do it to the

Other one

From somewhere

Little wisps of music catch my ears

Faint but there

Magic music

That makes me want to dance in the night

In the bright city lights

By the pretty mosaic fountain

And overturned leaves

The bubble in my chest

Is now about to pop

When Dad calls me

I sigh

And leave

Sylvia aged 12, Year 8, Parnell District School

Ewen has also sent in lots of poems (and won several prizes). This story poem has action and it has atmosphere. She has found terrific words to set the scene with such wild weather. Her rhythm helps with that too. I held my breath as I read it. Great job Ewen!

A Cold Autumn Afternoon

In the chilly weather
a leaf blown by a southerly wind whipped in my face
pushing me backwards.

A hint of fear crept up my spine

and the next thing I knew …

I was collapsing onto the ground
the wind was brushing against my face

as I struggled to stay standing.

I was slipping on the damp concrete
and landing elbows first into a murky puddle

as the storm crashed violently.

I was lying still and shaken
thinking and thinking

as my body ached.

I was freezing
listening to silence

as a tear and a drop of red trickled down my face.

I was exhausted
hoping it never happened
but you can’t wind back the clock.
Ewen aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School

2 thoughts on “Jelly, Clouds, Leaves, Crash! The story-poem winners on Poetry Box

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