2014 Winners Poetry Competitions

Senior winner:

‘My Parents Have Boxes Full Of Polaroids That Cut Off Somewhere In The Nineties,’ 

‘ever since i brought a camera,
i’ve been collecting moments.

i want them to be tangible
and i want to be able to look back on them
press my fingers to each one and remember how it felt:
my friend laughing with her laptop open and noodles hanging out of her mouth.
my dad on his first beer of the night, pushing rice around a pan, halfway through asking how my day was.
my sister pressing her denim knee into mine as she eats the rice with her sticky fingers.
the dog, bruise-coloured fur and perma-confused eyes, snuffling at the cupboard hopefully.
the uni girl on the bus with a yellowing book and a dark tattoo of a garter wrapped around her thigh.
the two teenage boys who get off the bus and brush shoulders before linking their fingers together as they cross the road.
the backyard of my house, the sun cutting over the fence and blurring the shot.

there’s something with every camera click
that assures me i’ll be able to construct a life,
a proper one, one that makes sense
at some point, maybe, if i collect enough photos
of the dog nosing around the deck for a nonexistent treat.’


Isabelle McNeur, Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery


Runners up:

‘Cross Sections’ Jade Lindsay, Karamu High School

‘Trust’ Madeleine Ross, Karamu High School

Year 9 Winner:


I have made it to the top

I am the commander of the pack.

It took a long time

To get here.

There were four dreadful leaders before me,

But I did it

I destroyed them all, eating the plan.


Do you dread me?

My pack and I

We will wait for you at the tree line, where the moon is hiding,

Behind the dark, dim trees

We are watching you everywhere

You go as soon as you turn,

We will be there to get you

And drag you back into the trees,

Where you will slowly die.


I climb,

I climb to the top of the highest mountain,

Here in the African bush lands,

As I get to the top summit,

I am ready to howl out to me fellow wolves.

They will be there with me,

When you are willing.


Maddy Keogan 

Hillmorton High School

Runners up:

‘Last Night’ Antonia Smith, Hobsonville Point Secondary School

‘No, I don’t have to be part of this ‘food chain” Bella Hessell, Waiheke High School

Highly Commended:

‘The Hunderwasser Conundrum’ Huia Webby, Whangarei Girls’ High School


Year 10 Winner:

History lesson

Victoria Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

spreads her wings

and leaves the man eating the plan.

Stars, galaxies

birds, reptiles

all the botany that filled her

with his genetic engineering and the gunpowder plot,

leaves her with nothing but three cups of tea

and 20 or so chickens.

After the Age of Mathematics

and the fall of the Soviet Union,

this is just another resolution that changed:

just another fault in the machine.


Martha Wilson 

Karamu High School 


Runners up:

‘Eating Toffee’ Holly Davidson, Karamu High School

‘Don’t know where we’re going’ Scarlett Garvey, Karamu High School