The Poetry Competition at St Kentigerns Girls’ School was a splendid occasion


Recently I got to judge the Poetry Competition at St Kentigerns Girls’ School. The girls recited their poems beautifully and each poem had little nuggets of gold. The detail was magnificent, the words made music and the moods were magical. I loved the way one moment I laughed, the next moment I pondered and then next I felt moved. It was very hard picking winners because as Barbara Else said at The NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, everyone was a champion.

I borrowed what Joy Cowley said at the awards (‘We are a people of children’s books and people associated with children’s books are lovely people.’ ) to say we are people of poetry and people associated with poetry are lovely people. I also borrowed what Keri Kaa said, ‘There are many words and images you can use, but only the right combination will do. When you have the right combination the words and images are so much more.’  That is just right for poetry!


The Year 1 and 2 poets performed their poems exquisitely (they don’t get judged). The poems I scanned are year 1. I want to share their poems first. After that you can see the winners.


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Grey rhino

Ginormous dinosaur

Swings its trunk

Sprays water


by Aanya, Year 1



Hops, hops all day







Dazzling Autumn Leaves

Looks like brown, red, wet leaves on the green grass,

Smells like disgusting dirty rubbish

from yesterday,

I crunch leaves with my feet,

The leaves swing and crash down to the ground in the wind,

I like wet leaves.

By Sophie, Year 2


Stunning Autumn Leaves

Wet and droopy leaves,

Smells like yucky sloppy mud,

Making fairy houses is fun with leaves,

Leaves are whirling, crashing and floating from the trees.

Leaves are dazzling on a summer’s day.

Sienna, Year 2


Beautiful Leaves

Yellow multi coloured leaves,

I can throw them high in the sky,

Tumbling and twirling down to the ground,

Smells like squishy muddy wet grass,

I love old coloured leaves.

By Sophia, Year 2



Quiet flaky leaves almost shiver in the breeze.

The most beautiful colours come before your eyes

Of gold, red and yellow.

I see children playing in humongous piles of leaves.

The bitter cold on most

makes the leaves freeze.

By Lucy, Year 3, Joint Winner


Peaches the pirate

My name is Peaches the pirate

and I am the meanest pirate in all of the seas.

My hair is gold and plaited.

My bunny is called Apples.

I like to eat peach.

I have a dress that is gold and has peach on it.

I have a friend called Lola and Emma.

I have gold boots.

I have a compass that is bright orange.

And I have a sword that is bright orange.

My ship is called the Caribbean Peach.

It has a big peach on it.

Apples likes to eat apples.

I wear a pirate hat with a crown on it.

My favourite colour is orange.

Guess what my favourite letter is aargh(r). Get it!

By Chloe, Year 3 Joint Winner


Hillary’s ice cracker

I’m Hillary’s ice axe.


I was there hearing the news when Edmond was born on July the 20th 1919.

It was such an exciting moment.


I was there knowing that my one and only owner would soon come.


When Hillary’s interest in climbing came at the school trip to Mt Ruapehu, I was very excited then and always jiggled about.


I was there for the first time when he climbed Mt Oliver in the Southern Alps—It was very cold and frosty.


I was there in his cupboard when he left me for awhile when he applied to join the NZ Air Force in thhe horrible World War 2.


I was there at Everest.


Hillary and Tensing Norgay set out for the summit.


We were at 8,848 metres high from sea level.


We went hard for the last few metres—the last ascent past the Hillary Step was the hardest part to climb. We chipped in the final steps and made the summit.


We felt relieved






and also very amazed.


We knocked it off.

I’m Sir Edmond Hillary’s ice axe.

By Cassie, Year 4 Winner


Suvine My Cat

Sunset fur,

Lawnmower purr,

Coat like dappled sunlight,

Meows so loudly at night!

Piercing eyes, as green as meadows seen,

With her question mark tail

Fluffy and clean.

Suvine my cat

Jumps on the table

While Mom’s head’s low,

Nicks a little broccoli

“No Suvine NO!”

I lift her off the table,

Despite all meows of protest,

Set her on the couch now,

And tell her to “Just rest!”


My kitty eats the strangest things,

Like corn and beans and cheese,

Rice and mice and butter and lice and

Much, much more indeed!

Suvine, Suvine, Suvine.

My wonderful, loving,

Fabulous, fat,




By Vivian, Year 5 Winner


Nature’s autumn

Atumn’s wind is cold on my skin

It howls, in my ear

The trees rustle

They are whispering to me


Sun shines, through the grey clouds

As the dappled light in summer

the sky seems to cry,

as drops of water fall

onto the coloured leaves


Ples of gold, brown, orange and red

scattered everywhere

Everything turns flaky

piles of gold and brown.


Autmn is a season of colour.

By Nieve, Year 6 Winner


If Only

If only all the dead could cry out in a single roar

To say don’t send another son

To give his life to war.

They’d say look at how we lay,

Without life or limb

The bullet that tore our hearts apart

Has caused our eyes to dim.

The orders are the same,

Move forward boys, make haste

Just put your mind to the task

Don’t think of the horror and waste

The war boys, the war is for all!

God is on the side that’s right.

But the devil owns the battlefield

When you hear the cries at night.

If only all the dead could cry out in a single roar

To say don’t send another son

To give his life to war.

By Kristen, Year 7 Winner

Note from Paula: This poem got me thinking as sometimes it is hard to tell where the right is in war. I sometimes wonder if there is right and wrong on all sides.


He’s the deepest

Olive green.

With his smooth,

eggshell white

chest exposed,

he crashes clumsily

through branches adorned

by fresh morning rivulets.

His slow, heavy

Wingbeats break

Through the stark silence.

His eyes,

Droplets of cranberry red wine.

He picks

On the last of the berries,

Then, calling a soft farewell,

‘Coo-coo, coo-coo’

He escapes Winter’s grasp,

A bird of serene hues,

He is the Kereru.


Annie, Year 7 Honour Award



That Snowy December



No-one believed me when I tried to tell

What happened when deep in the snow I fell.

They thought I was lying

And I went home crying.

But I still remember

That snowy December.


I walked to the well with a bucket in hand

Wishing I was on a beach with warm sand.

I looked into the distance

at things non-existent.

I’ll always remember

That snowy December.


I’d reached the small well when I spotted a stream.

I followed the water, I walked in a dream.

Then I started falling

For something was calling.

Oh, how I remember

That snowy December.


The rest of the story you’ll have to work out

You’d think I was mad if I told you, no doubt.

Or think I was lying

And I would start crying

Perhaps you remember

That snowy December.

By Sophia, Year 8 Winner





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