Tag Archives: Poetry competitions

The Results of The Second Fabulous Poetry Competition for Children

Aunt Concertina & her niece Evalina 13

A big thanks to all the schools that sent in entries (25 poems per school) for The Second Fabulous Poetry Competition for Children. I was looking for a school that sent in a range of entries over a range of ages. Some individual children sent in entries (I enjoyed reading them but didn’t enter them in the competition as I was on the hunt for a school winner!). Some classes sent in entries and again, I enjoyed reading them but I didn’t consider them for the school prize. I do want to make a special mention to Chris Lawson and the Year 3 and 4 class at St Ignatious Catholic Scghool in Auckland. It was a terrifc bunch of poems and I applaud what you have been doing this year with your writing. I particularly loved all the America’s Cup poem.

I picked three schools as my finalists because these schools showed poems doing all kinds of marvelous things and were written by various ages across the schools. I laughed, and I wondered, and sat back enjoyed as I read. Congratulations to the teachers, and the young poets in these schools as it is extra work gathering up the writing and sending it off to me.

The Finalists:

Green Bay Primary and Intermediate School, Auckland

Mahana School, Upper Moutere, Nelson

Russley School, Christchurch

The Winner:

Russley School, Christchurch

Congratulations! The entries ranged from Year 2 to Year 8. What impressed me is that for many of these students English is their second language. Poetry is always a terrific way to hook the attention and joy of students who have learning obstacles to solve. These winning poems ooze with a joy of words and a sense of play. They pay attention to the world about them and have used terrific detail to give their poems zing. As promised, I will comment on each poem.

Thanks to Gow Langsford Gallery, the school will receive a limited edition print of one of Michael Hight’s  original oil paintings for my book Aunt Concertina and Her Niece Evalina.

In a separate post, I will announce the five poems I picked out from all school entries to win a copy of my book Aunt Concertina and a book voucher (thanks to Random House for donating two of these).

The Russley School Poems

1. Riley’s poem grabbed my attention. I love the way a poem can explore the different meanings of words (like puns). So this poem is both surprising and funny and vivid. The image at the end of the poem was like a little explosion in my head. I loved it!



By Riley aged 10, Year 6


When my teacher first said,

“We are doing a brainstorm,’’

didn’t know what she meant.

I thought she meant brains

would plummet from the sky.
I went up to the teacher…

“Are brains going to fall from the sky?’’


I discovered

clouds of ideas

and words

that shoot out like lightning.




2. Riley has come up with another surprising poem. He has picked his words carefully so they shine on the line. He has brought the real world and his imagination together beautifully. I particularly like the simile at the end. Awesome!


If I Could Fly

by Riley aged 10, Year 6


If I could fly

when we play tag,
I would just lie on the roof
until the bell rings.

In races

I would soar
to the finish line.

After school

I would go to the Eiffel Tower
and sit there,
until I was on the news.

Then I would jump off and

fly into the night sky
like an owl.



3. Jess has written a simple poem about eating a slushy. It’s a bit like a talking poem but she pays attention to how many words on the line and which words to pick. I like the way poem shifts mood when her dad joins in. Then the last line uses three words to say so much more. I loved it!


I am Happy
by Jess aged 9, Year 5

I am happy
when I am eating
a plushy slushy.

I sometimes
have a race
with Dad-
but he always wins.

Brain freeze… aah!

4. Jess has written another poem in parts. I love way she picks out a couple of details to help build a picture in my head of a storm. The word ‘hit sounds good on the line and it also adds to the power of the storm. The ending makes it really clear how big a storm this was, without spelling it out. Magnificent!


The Storm
by Jess aged 9, Year 5

The wind storm
hit Canterbury,
some houses
will not get power
until Sunday September 15th

At the time
I saw
a flying chair



5. Raevyn’s poem sounds good. I love the first verse—the way the words flow to the last line with th one word. Dramatic! Again I love the way the poem shows what the storm has done to help a picture of the storm grow in your head. Tremendous!


The Massive Wind
by Raevyn aged 10, Year 5

One night, with a big bang,
the wind screamed
like a hooting, howling

In the morning I went to school,
and saw a gigantic tree
had fallen across
Pinehurst Street.



6. I love the way Gypsy’s poem goes from dark to light and how certain words stand out on the line (quiver, howling, flickers, creaky). I also like the way the poem flows in one breath like it is the walk through the spooky house. Terrific!


Power Cut
by Gypsy aged 12, Year 8

The candle flickers
as I slowly walk
through the cold, creaky house–
the wind howling
makes me scared,
then all of a sudden
the lights quiver
making the room light up,
the power is back on.



7. Dylan has been on the hunt for fresh and vivid similes that make a picture of the storm grow. I also like reading the verbs (howls, moves, pounds, sounds). Brilliant!


The Wind
by Dylan agd 11, Year 6

The wind howls like
a wolf.
It moves forcefully like
a steam train.
It pounds the roof like
Rocky Marciano.
My home sounds like
a bass drum.



8. Ben has chosen a title that hooks your attention. I like the little bit of repetition with the trees. There is also a mix of rhyme which adds to the poem. Super!


Storm of the Century
by Ben E aged 10, Year 6

The latest storm-
is the storm of the century
with trees waving
and trees falling…

The only thing you hear
is thunder clapping
lightning zapping…

The next morning
when you wake,
cleaning up
is your fate.



9. Hajar has taken a simple activity such as looking at the clouds and turned it into a rich poem. I love the combination of words (sea sky, cloud ducks). The lines sound really good, but they also create a scene that is enjoyable. I love the ending when you discover what the wind gets up to. Brilliant!


Cloud Ducks
by Hajar aged 12, Year 8


I’m lying on my back

looking up through the trees,
I see…
branches like fingers,
sea sky, cloud ducks…
hands reaching out…
and there comes the wind,
scaring them off and away
goodbye, I say



10. I love the way Todd’s poem gets different views of the earthquake – the museum is okay but the fountain is not. I also loved the line when his ‘history thinking’ wakes up. The earthquake is now part of our history (and Todd’s daily life) so we do need to be thinking about it. This little poem takes you on a very big journey. Wonderful!


The Museum After the Shake
by Todd aged 12, Year 8

My class is in the museum
(it’s not affected by the Earthquake),
now my history thinking is awake…
(these clay Maori people are so fake).

We decide to go outside to get some fresh air;
now I’ve ended up all the way up here.

I’m high up, in a huge oak tree;
I admire the beautiful peacock fountain I see,
but the fountain is under repair
from the trembling earthquakes
that I fear.



11. Kyle has used some great sounds in his poem – I especially like the way you bounce along the different words at the end of his lines. Terrific!


by Kyle aged 9, Year 5

A storm
in my backyard

sounds like
a hurricane

feels like
an earthquake

it’s like
a bomb
in my backyard

Boom! Boom! Boom!



12. In this poem Kyle uses his imagination to ignite his poem. I love the idea of imagining something tremendous and then seeing where the poem goes to next. The ending put a smile on my face. Great job!



by Kyle aged 9, Year 5



if there was no gravity


I would do back flips

to my heart’s content.


I would feel

like a disco dancer.



13 Ben T has slightly changed his first line to make it his last line which is cool. This poem has a lovely rhythym and a nice dose of imagination. Wonderful!


Imagine a Day
by Ben T aged 10, Year 5

Imagine a day …
when doors lead to adventures
in space or on earth
to planets or jungles
where no one has ever been
and you make it
your new home.
Imagine tomorrow.


14. This is like Part 2 to Ben’s first poem! Terrific idea!


Books Are the World
by Ben T aged 11, Year 5

Imagine a day…
when books are the world
where anything could happen
on any page
make it your own world…
Imagine today.




15. Archie has also used his imagination to see what his house can get up to in his poem. I like the way the word ‘down’ goes down the page. Great job!


If Only My House Was a Fun Park
by Archie aged 10, Year 5

If only my house was a fun park
I would slide

to my living room
like a shuttle from the moon.
I would watch my bouncing T.V.
that could bounce to the sky.

I would feel excited!



16. Josh has made a little list in the middle of his poem and that adds zing. Bravo!


by Josh aged 9, Year 5

Imagine I could win
every race…

I would get heaps of awards,
I would go to the Olympics
I would be on T.V.

That would be awesome!



17 Isak has a sense of humour in his poem and some zany rhymes that add zest and zip to the poem. I loved the last line (guess what Isak doesn’t like!). Wonderful!


If I were a Millionaire

by Isak aged 8 Year 4


If I were a millionaire

I would wear silk underwear

I’d drive a V-12 Ferrari

and go on a bush safari

I would sail a ship

that would never flip

I would eat lobster and KFC

and I’d never eat a single pea.



18 Cody has added extra detail to his idea and that makes his poem magic. It is not just that he can fly like a hawk! Awesome!


Imagine If I Could Fly

by Cody aged 10, Year 5


Imagine if I could fly…


I would fly like a hawk,

as high as the clouds


I would give my friends a ride to school

on my back…


I would feel awesome!



19 The endings of poems can be tricky but Dylan’s has paid off! It is not what you expect and it makes you grin. Awesome!


I Wish I had Superpowers
by Dylan aged 11 Year 6

I wish I could walk through walls
I wish I was invisible…
that way, I could do what I want when I want.

I wish I could fly…
I would go to every country in the world.

I wish I had superhuman strength
so I could lift buildings
and cars
and open the pickle jar.



20 Alex has written a feel-good poem. I like the way the poem has two halves (behind the scenes of the poem you can imagane the not-so-good things). The poem uses real detail to show how to care, which makes the poem more alive. Terrific!


Imagine a Life

by Alex aged 10 Year 6


Imagine a friend that will never let you go

and always be at your side

and take blame for something he didn’t do,

for you.


Imagine if every family

always had time
for their kids

and helped them do their homework

and gave them good treatment

when they needed it.



21 What a great idea to go back to the very hour you were born! I want to borrow this idea for a poem Maddison! I really like the last line as it made a picture grow. I also liked the sprinkling of ‘s’ sounds in the poem. Super!


The Very Hour That I Was Born

by Maddison aged 12 Year 8

The very hour that I was born
I imagined being a princess
I imagined swimming
upon the beautiful sea
I imagined spinning and spinning around
in circles
in my exquisite dress



22 Yunru has contrasted two things in her poem. The first verse has a surprising line (‘and never complains’) that I loved. Everything about the first verse is flipped over in the second. Check it out! Awesome!



Love and Hate
by Yunru agd 12 Year 8


I love grass

it always stays strong
no matter what happens
I like grass
it’s so quiet
and never complains
when people sit on it
or step on it
I feel so peaceful when I lie on the grass.


I hate sports

especially running
because it’s soooo annoying
(cross country and middle distance are the worst)
I hate sports
I can’t even catch a ball
and it makes you sweat like a pig.



23 Danial has written a deliciously simple poem that is surprising and musical. Every word is in just the right place. I like the way the line lengths change in the scond half. It is a brilliant image to have grow inyour head … and then change. I loved this poem. Wonderful!


The Clouds

by Danial G agd 6 Year 2


The clouds look like ghosts

moving so slowly in the sky.

At night

the ghost clouds

go away.



24 Sona has chosen some cool similes for her poem – they make the dog come alive in her poem. It is a great poem to read out loud. Awesome!


My Dog

by Shona B aged 6 year 2


My dog’s fur

is as soft as clouds,

his tongue

is as rough as bark



25 Corey has written a poem about a tough subject (which is something poems like to do!). He found just the right words to say what he felt, so it is a moving poem. Wonderful!


I Love …

by Cory aged 13 Year 8


I love my sister

even though
I have never met her.

No matter what
I will always love her
and she will always be
in my heart
and spirit.


I just hope

I will see her
on the other side
safe and happy.


May God guide her

on the right path
so I might see her
in the afterlife.


I just hope

when it’s my time to die,
she will still be there
safe and sound.

I will always be with her.








Holiday Poem Camp: First holiday challenges on Poetry Box

Today is the last day of Term 3 so thought I would give you all a head start with some mini challenges. I do hope to get poems from Year 1 to Year 8 and from all parts of the country.


1. Write a poem that starts with this line which I borrowed from one of my poems:

In Mrs Maggee’s hat she keeps


2.  Write a poem that ends with this line

sleeping in the sun.


3. Write a poem with this line in the middle:

jump hop jump


4. Write a poem with these words in it (anywhere you like)

cat                   chair


Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email address.

The winner and finalists for the Bird-Poem Competition

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Congratulations! Here are the finalists for the bird-poem competition. It was very hard picking these as there were some outstanding entries. Some poets thought about the fact that the way we live on the planet is putting our precious birds at risk. There were poems with excellent detail (making the birds come alive on the screen). There were poems with excellent rhythm. Some of the very best poems were simple poems that made a picture grow. I thought Paramata School came up with some terrific bird poems, with outstanding language and images.

All these poems deserve a prize, but I only have the one book to give away for this. It is Joy Cowley’s picture book, Manukura: The White Kiwi, illustrated by Bruce Potter and published by Random House (2012). Thank you Random House for the prize book!


The winning poem is by Stephanie. I loved the way she took an issue (a hazard for birds) and used good detail to show us an example of it. Her poem is simple but very moving. I like the slender lines with their shiny words and the fresh similies. Congratulations!


White Heron Trapped in an Oil Slick

She is a thin branch

nearly snapping.

Her spiky feathers

pierce the moonlight.


Her beak a needle

hanging looose from a quilt.


Her eyes the sky

turns black


as her memory

is forgotten.

Stephanie L Year 8 aged 12, Kirkwood Intermediate School, Christchurch



The Heron’s Catch

Bright eyes, an open beak

Swimming fish, a trickling creak

Wild mind, ready to snatch

Splashing water, the heron’s catch

Holly B Year 6 Paramata School



Pied Stilt

On long, red legs,

the Pied Stilt sways;

a cat jumps out

and ends her days.


On long, red legs

the Pied Stilt sways,

although his mate

has been dead for days.


Small brown eggs

their parent snatched,

pooor brown eggs

will not be hatched.

Benjamin C Year 6 Paramata School



Nature of Porirua

Eels splash in the pure streams

Nibbling at the soggy algae

A swallow

Returning to his humble nest

Presenting his mate with a gift

On a Judgeford bridge


Rushes sway

Around the glassy film of the Pauatahanui inlet

In which the shags dive

Oyster Catchers

Hammers of the seashore

Bring this place alive


Two azure wings

Feathers of retreating waves

Hill separated by stretching farmland

Swans settle on the surface

Curving their elegant necks

On the Porirua harbour


Waddling shelducks

A strong love bond

Mallards provide company

Pukeko sway

In time with the raupo

On Porirua harbour


Shore Plovers

Rarities of Mana Island

Make a trek to Plimmerton

As the terns

Gracefully flitting

Plunge into the water


This is the nature of my city Porirua

Ben C Year 6 Paramata School



Beyond My Control

At Caswell Sound 1946

I watch from the balcony

the olive-brown ground.


The South Island piopio

threatened, endangered,

suffering, dying.


Cats and rats killing

for fun

with no remorse.


Their kinds’ population

decreases by

the day.


But I didn’t do anything

It was beyond

my control.


At Caswell Sound 1947

I watch the last piopio die

their kind is now extinct


And I didn’t help them,

it was beyond

my control.

Ewen aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch




My wings beat heavily like a drum

I spy a rat scuttling under a bush

I pounce like a hungry cat

but miss, a delicious meal

will be mine.

Mary S aged 10, Year 6 Fendalton Open-Air School



Bird Poem

Like a love song, the magpie sings from high up in her macrocarpa tree. The tree sways gently in the calm breeze. Her vivid white feathers flash against the harsh glare of the sun. Eyes like black beads, beak like pliers. Talons reaching out to grab her prey, so close, so close. Blood drumming in her ears. The field mouse freezes as the great bird swoops over her like a silent, deathly shadow.


The magpie.

Ella S Year 8, aged 12, Ohaupo School



Bird Poem

The best part of spring

is when birds come out to sing.

Black or white,

dark or light,

birds come out to sing.

Small or big,

they peck and dig,

when birds come out to sing.

To girls and boys

they cause such joy,

the birds that come to sing.


Sophie P, Year 7, aged 11 St Kentigern Girl’s School


Moa (A poem for Massey Wildlife Centre)

The Moa, unlike most others, was not exceedingly bright,

The Moa, unlike most others, gave up the advantage of flight.


The Moa, unlike most others, took on a tremendous height,

The Moa, unlike most others, was a five on the scale of might.


The Moa, unlike most others, was hunted and soon extinct,

The Moa, unlike most others, was stuffed and made distinct.


The Moa, I like above others, I think they should celebrate,

The Moa, I like above all others, because Moa are absolutely great.

Helena M, aged 11, Year 7, Palmerston North Intermediate School


2nd fabulous poetry competition reminder

Entry details     (full details here)

1. The competition is open to New Zealand Primary and Intermediate Schools.

2. You have two terms! The deadline is 30th September 2013 (a few days grace after the end of Term 3).

3. Please send to my postal box as I will not accept email entries.

Paula Green PO Box 95078 Swanson Waitakere 0653

4. Please make sure each poem has the child’s first name, age, year and name of school        written on it (on the back is fine).

5.  Poems can be on any topic, in any form, but no more than 20 lines.

6. Poems can also be hand written and illustrated. I will scan these to post on the blog. I would rather not have students lift images from the internet to use as illustrations as I don’t want to face copyright issues.

7. I am keen to see a school entry that includes a range of ages.

7. Any questions to paulajoygreen@gmail.com or post your question on the blog for all to see the answers.

Aunt Concertina & her niece Evalina 13

The bird-poem competition

Whoops! I must have stepped into the wrong calendar on Monday (I can almost feel a poem at that thought) so I got all my dates wrong this week.

You have until Wednesday September 25th to do your bird poems. I will be posting the winner and my favourites next Thursday.

So today I will tell you about a cool new book and post some letters for the ‘on poetry’ challenge. I am loving these!

Plus another excellent school visit I want to share. If I have time …..

….. But first my beach walk and then a poem to write ….

…. Happy Thursday

From Paula