Tag Archives: Fendalton Open Air School

Holiday Bonanza Poems: seaweed shines in the sun like a polished pipe

Anna sent in this seaweed poem and I LOVE the popping similes and the alliteration.

It sounds great when you read it out loud. Great job Anna and I hope to see more of your poems soon.

Seaweed sways

Seaweed sways on the beach like a flower in the wind

Seaweed moves under the sea dancing with some fish

Seaweed stretches in a sea cave like an octopus

Seaweed sticks to the ground like it’s in quick sand

Seaweed’s dark green like a flower stem

Seaweed shines in the sun like a polished pipe

Seaweed is everything and nothing at the same time.

From Anna S Fendalton School Christchurch

Year 5 Age 9


Ewen’s endless poem

I like the way Ewen’s list poem changes its beginnings. Try doing a list poem and playing around with the beginnings. Make a pattern. Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com with your details.


My eyes are like water, sailing the seas
My eyes are like cameras, flinching in summer
My eyes are like telescopes, watching where I go
My eyes are like a crocodile’s mouth, opening and shutting
My eyes are cold ice and warm sun

I am the gold in happiness
I am the wind brushing peoples coats
I am the snow, trickling down on my birthday
I am the colour, that lightens people when they are sad
I am the future, that tells all

There is always fun made from boredom
There is always blood, which resembles suffering
There is always a puddle of words that have meaning
There is always a gate which looks shut but is actually flimsy
There is always light in the darkest of times



Ewen W aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School

Ewen has taken up Bill Manhire’s memory challenge

Ewen from Fendalton Open Air School in Christchurch has taken up Bill Manhire’s idea for a poem. I thought it was a fun idea and the poems could go in all kinds of ways just like our imagination can. Ewen had fun writing this I can tell as her imagination took off. I like the way her poem takes us around the world and she has an ending that is a bit of a puzzle.

Great job Eewn, thanks for sending it to me. I really liked it!

I also love the way Poetry Box readers go back through my blogs hunting out challenges to do. It is never too late to send in poems for these!


Hello Paula,

This is the poem I wrote for Bill’s Challenge that you set in April.

It is the challenge that says that you: Write a poem where every line begins with the words “I remember”, but every memory is made-up.



I remember sighting a pack of dinosaurs storming on the dry land

I remember feeling a vicious red-bellied piranha bite at my toes

I remember catching a glimpse of  the Loch Ness monster during my visit to Scotland

I remember being blown away by a tornado in Oklahoma City

I remember gazing up to find the Pegasus flying above my head

I remember seeing the untrue become true.


Ewen aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School


The memory-poem winner takes us to Scotland

Time to announce the winner of the memory poem challenge where you had to ask a grandparent for a memory and then turn it into a poem. I have one other favourite (see below) and a few that I might post later but they need a bit more work first. Jack wrote the standout poem for me as he found such great details to bring his Gran’s memory alive on the page. I think when you go on the hunt for real things they can make you feel and understand a big thing like war so much more easily. I also liked this poem because my Grandmother came from Scotland. I think the poem works having the short lines — it adds to the mood. Great job Jack (Fendalton Open Air School in Christchurch).

I am going to send you my copy of A Winter’s Day in 1939 by Melinda Szymanik (Scholastic, 2013). I loved this novel. Let me know what you think of it Jack.

Only One to Share

One book to share

A sand tray for writing,

A big hole in the ground

Three classrooms after the bombing.


When the gates opened

She ran home;

Thinking the day was over.


A new school was built

The old one demolished,

She got to stamp the new books for class,

Poverty and struggle

In World War II

Long ago in Scotland.

Jack P, Fendalton Open Air School, Year 5,  Age 8      


I also liked this poem by Sylvia. She wrote a little letter to go with her poem which is lovely. I liked the detail of the bunny ears, and the jiggling like Christmas bells and the way memory is something that comes in bits and pieces. Great job Sylvia!

Hi Paula Green, this is for the Memory Mini Challenge, about your own memories. This is the furthest back memory I can remember. I was really excited when I was looking at the photo album and suddenly remembered, because I’ve been wondering what babies think like for years! I was about two at the time. My Dad used to have this sort of baby backpack that he’d put on his back and he’d carry me on it, when we were going on walks. I can’t remember much, just sort of the feeling.


The sand litters the ground,

I sigh in my head as I’m put in on my Dad’s back.

I’m jiggling up and down

like Christmas bells

as Dad walks.

We are at the beach

and I don’t understand


My baby bonnet is on my head

like a pair of bunny ears.

I look back on this in the future

and think

that human individuals really evolve.

Sylvia, Parnell District School, Year 8, aged 12

alarm clock challenge

Ewen W from Fendalton Open Air School sent me this poem. She told me started writing it to relieve her boredom. I like the ieda of poems being little boredom munchers. I kept following along the clang in the poem and was surprised by what it turned out to be.

In a Circle

I twirl my pencil

round and round

my mind is blank

I’m truly bored.



What was that?

Nothing to bother.


What was that?

Nothing to bother.


What was that?

Now it must be something.

I deposit my pencil down

onto the black glossy table

and peered out the window.



What was that?
nothing to bother.

Ewen aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School

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).

ViewImage  ViewImage   ViewImage   ViewImage

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

Ewen makes a palace for Queen Alice

Ewen is aged 10, is in  Year 6 and goes to Fendalton Open Air Primary School in Christchurch.

She had a go at writing another verse for Queen Alice’s Palaces by Juliette MacIvor.

I liked the idea of a palace in the air. The last line of Ewen’s verse sounds like it is from a

poem from the past which gives the poem a particular mood.  Some poets do borrow lines

to give their poems different flavours. Sometimes the poets tell us and sometimes they leave

us to guess. Thanks to HarperCollins Ewen will get a copy of the book. Congratulations.

QUEEN ALICE_silly_posh3

Queen Alice has an imaginative flair,

building a castle in the air.

It’s sapphire blue, a wonderful hue,

so beautiful none other can compare.

List Poems that Leap in Your Ear on Poetry Box Bravo young poets

List poems are such fun to write and are the perfect opportunity to play with words.

List poems can have set patterns but you can play with the pattern. List poems often sound really good when you read them out loud because they can have great rhythm. Some list poems come alive with delicious rhyme. List poems often surprise you but some list poems can make you laugh or remember things that put a smile on your face.


I had such fun reading all your list poems it was hard picking my favourites. You all did an amazing job. So bravo to you! It was such a popular challenge I think we will do it again later in the year.


Sam S from Ohaupo School has already been a winner on Poetry Box but his list poem, ‘Life is Trouble’ ticked all the right boxes for me. Poems come alive with great detail and Sam was an expert at finding great examples of things going wrong. I loved the way the poem changes track at the end and surprises you (not that poems always have to do this!). The poem sounds really good too. Great job Sam. I will send you a copy of my book Flamingo Bendalingo thanks to Auckland University Press.



Life is trouble

I hurt

When I do something wrong

When I flip off my bike

When my guinea pig died

When my sister is bossy

When I flew off the flying fox

When I get stuck in a fight

When I bang my toe on the door

When I get a whooper cold

When I got my warts freezed off

When I see something funny

I laugh

By Sam S 8yr Year 4 Ohaupo School



Skye hasn’t written your usual list poem with a set pattern but as a list of things happening at a race it works magnificently! I love the pace, the tension, the sound, the rhythm, the words chosen. Great job Skye!


The Race

The gun goes

The splash comes

Nervous parents

twiddle thumbs

closing in

on the line

almost there

fastest time

golden cup

flashing brightly

I skipped back

Very sprightly.

Skye. Aged 8, Year 4, Redcliffs School.



Ewen sent in three list poems but this was my favourite. The poem really makes the clothes come alive  — from the ones she loved to the ones that weren’t so good to wear! This poem also has great detail and has a great ending! Great job Ewen.


Clothes of inheritance

The grubby size six Popeye shirt

that I had two of.

The mickey mouse t-shirt and shorts

that I used to wear as pyjamas.

The blue and orange skate boarding top

that I couldn’t recall wearing.

The navy blue denim jacket

that made me feel all stiff.

The orange and black pants

that were prickly and hairy.

The browny grey jeans

that were so prodigious.

The dull red shirt

that was as thick as snow.

These inherited clothes are history

but the next lot is a mystery.


Ewen W aged 10, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School



Patrick has written a thoughtful list poem that brings together opposites so it really makes you think. List poems can be really good at that. He has ended up giving a fuller picture of what music might be. Great job Patrick!



Music Is

Music is the rising sun,

But also the dark side of the moon,

Music is the beauty of nature,

But also pollution of the planet,

Music is the spirit of life,

But also the coming of death,

Music is the greatest happiness,

But also the strongest sadness.

By Patrick K, aged 10, Room 11, Fendalton Open Air School.



And here are some more poems from Redcliffs School. I think I had as much fun reading these as you had writing them! Great job! I love Hamish’s ‘carpet of sand’ and Olivia’s mouth watering chicken list and I really loved Mitchell’s line “Hey don’t wear those, throw them in the bin” kind of shoes. Bravo Redcliffs School and bravo to your teachers Ann and Dion!



The beach

I see …..


waves crashing

dogs playing

friendly faces


carpet of sand




the setting sand.

Hamish Aged 8 Redcliffs School.


My Brother

He is …







That’s my awesome brother.

Raffy, aged 8 Redcliffs School.



I eat chicken

Chicken noodles

Crispy chicken

Marinated chicken

Battered chicken

Spicy chicken

Kentucky fried chicken

Chicken nibbles

Butter chicken

Nando chicken

I like chicken.


Olivia  C  Year 6,  Aged 10, Redcliffs School.


I like Beans.

Cocoa beans

Green beans

Canned beans

Humungous beans

Tiny beans

Frozen beans

Baked beans


Mark, Year 6, Aged 10 Redcliffs School.


Fav Food.

I eat eyeball

I eat fish

I eat everything

That is delish

I eat ice cream

I eat mince

Best of all

Smoores yum!!


Charli, Year 4, Redcliffs School, Aged 8




High heels

Ugg boots





Emma, Aged 8 Redcliffs School.



I eat cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Edam cheese

Blue brie cheese

Camber cheese

Colby cheese

Tasty cheese

Gourda cheese

I like cheese.

Olivia C, Aged 9 Redcliffs School.



I like lollies

Spinning tops, Lolly Pops

Smelly pops

TNT like


I like lollies

But not too many!


By Charlie H aged 7, Year 3 Redcliffs School


I like colours

Sparkly Blue

Leafy Green

Crunchy Red

Pretty Pink

Primrose Purple

Sun Yellow

Bright Indigo

Lava Orange

First Gold

Paper White

Second Silver

Dark Black

Dolphin Grey

Bull Brown

Jewel Emerald

I like colours


By Siena C aged 6, Year 2 Redcliffs School



I Love shoes

Yellow shoes

Black Shoes

High Heeled Shoes

Smelly Shoes

Stinky Shoes

Worn out shoes

“Hey don’t wear those, throw them in the bin”

All kinds of shoes

I love shoes


By Mitchell aged 6, Year 2 Redcliffs School



Small books

Big books

Cool books

Funny books

Bunny books

Sea books

Animal books

Silly Books

Fish Books

Wish books

Nonfiction books

Fiction books

Thinking books

I like fiction books


By Ethan aged 7 Year 3, Redcliffs School