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St John's College School, Cambridge

Page history last edited by asmith@sjcs.co.uk 11 years, 8 months ago

Welcome to the poetry pages of St John's College School



SATIPS Poetry Competition 2012



St John’s College School has been named as the winner of the SATIPS Poetry Competition 2012, a national competition aimed at children in Years 3 to 8. Anna M, 12, was named as individual winner in the Years 7 and 8 category for her poem ‘Typewriter’ and Lucy H, 11, was placed 3rd for ‘Quiet’. Commendations were also received by William H and Eloise L, both 11, and Isabella G, 13.

The competition, run by SATIPS (Support and Training in Prep Schools), exists to support and encourage the excellent teaching of poetry within schools. Each year, around 1,000 entries are submitted from schools across the entire country and these are judged by a well-respected poet with experience of working with children. This year’s competition was judged by the National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, who congratulated St John’s for its ‘wonderful work, range and quality, in all age groups’, which showed ‘evidence of sensitive work with poetry’.  Ashley Smith, Head of English at St John’s College School, said: ‘We are thrilled to be honoured with the title of Winning School in the SATIPS Poetry Competition 2012. The school is blessed with teachers who enjoy sharing their passion for poetry and children who never cease to find ways of expressing themselves with jaw-dropping imaginative originality through poetry.’

An anthology of all the winning poems is to be published for download on the SATIPS website in due course http://www.satips.com/




 Years 7+8 – 1st Place




If you were to walk through the bramble thicket,

Their fierce claws raking,

Their dying branches aching

For a glint of light, or breath of wind,

You would find it.


Like a ghost of things that have gone,

Cracked, mistreated,

Forgotten, cheated.

No longer used or known

By anyone today.


Each faded letter on grimy keys,

Layered in age,

Yet in it a page

Has stayed since the time it was written upon

And the typewriter knows.


Years have passed since it was common,

When people tapped

With pleasure rapt

And the object knew the writing,

Such wonderful knowledge now fading.


As it used to be, set on mahogany table,

It can wish

And cherish


Anna M (Y7)



Years 7+8 – 3rd Place




Imagine that still kind of quiet,

Like the sound of a page

Being turned in a book.

Or the crunch underfoot

In the woods.


Sometimes it’s broken,

But sometimes it’s held.

Sometimes it’s saveable,

Sometimes it’s loud.

Sometimes you can slip

It into your pocket,

But sometimes it’s

Stolen at the very last moment.


Everyone needs it,

But not all realise, that

Spoiling this pleasure

Is the greatest crime.


Lucy H (Y7)





The Eagle


The eagle is pure gold.

With his great and glimmering beak

He soars over the mountains at mid-day.


At night he sledges down the white snow

In a blaze of shining light

Like a king on his golden toboggan.   



William H (Y6)






I am the moon rock,

The swan’s eggs,

The birch wood.

They pick me out,

Smashing at me till I crumble.

My knees buckle,

I fall.

Their spotlights burn hot.

Grubby hands peck at me

And fling me into wicker baskets

Then take me to bustling factories and burn me,

Till I am drained of all energy.


Gone, the dark mines,

My home.


But I am cooled now,


Then packaged off to warm houses

And in the end they stab me into turkey

And so rudely call me a ‘fork’!


Eloise L (Y6)





A place once discovered by man:

The way the darkness

Complements it.

A scientist’s discovery

That bids us goodnight.

It steals the sun’s

Light like a thief.

It is not a rock,

Not a galaxy gem, but

An elegant, curved

Round and linen white.


Light bounces off it as do dancers,

Dancing in the death and innocent night,

Twirling and skimming,

Leaping in the airlessness,

They skate elegantly,

Zooming and gallivanting without a sound.

You could hear a pin

Drop, not one but two, as the skaters skate

Hand in hand

Weaving a ribbon around the moon.


Isabella G (Y8)


Here is a selection of some more recent poetry produced by pupils of the school. We will add more pages over time and we hope that this will grow to become an archive for some inspirational pieces of original writing. Enjoy reading!


I Remember


I’d quicken my steps as I’d walk into our drive,

Showered in rain, leaves, blossom or sun.

I would see the number 30 shining proudly on its wooden plinth.

Inside the warm, safe shell of our house the outside world seemed different,

Like a memory you can’t quite remember if real or dream.


The sweet notes of my brother’s piano playing,

Clashing with my brother’s speakers streaming out his most recent muse.

The green parrot colony that astonished us when they magically appeared,

Their squawking silenced by our dear eccentric neighbour’s shrieks,

Protecting her cat from the gangs of urban foxes.


My room filled with sunlight,

Warming me as I teased my brother with a mirror to call him from the climbing frame.

My space,

Seven girls on a sleepover, sardine snores

Snorts of laughter .                    

I came into my house the Saturday I was born

I left it on a Saturday, empty, with our camping things from the night before

Sandwiched between a rabbit and a hamster.


Freya G (aged 11)




Where do you come from?


I come from the whispering of a cashmere carpet that weaves its way between your toes.

I come from the tangy sound of soothing whistles of an owl on the hunt.

I come from the aromatic sight of navy skies with my bejewelled eyes.

I come from the gnarled taste of dust fallen from the shelves onto your tongue.

I come from the smell of seven years in this bed.

I come from the scant shadows that make you scream when I touch you.

I come from the sneering nettles that grip you.

I come from the sight of a dangerous feel safety.

I come from taste of flaxen syrup.

I come from touch of a million hands.


Eloise L (aged 11)



I Remember


I remember the spacious music room where I played the piano all day.

I remember the unkempt playroom: “Tidy up!” my mum would say.

I remember the hard granite surfaces in the kitchen where dad cooked,

I remember the fragile windows out of which I looked.

I remember the daunting wardrobe where I believed a monster stayed,

I remember the very tall tree house in which I happily played.

I remember the choc-a-bloc bookshelf piled high with books,

I remember the full-length mirror where I admired my lovely looks.

I remember the half-broken curtains which hung in my parents’ room,

I remember the creaky corridor that my mum swept with a broom.

I remember the underground cellar where only dad would go,

I remember the smelly laundry room because the ceilings were so low.


Ella D (aged 11)



I remember


I remember the house that was just mine

The house that was just simply and utterly divine

The brick stood proud, the brick stood lean

The roses twirled and the tulips whirled

But the little pond stayed ever so green


I remember the vast wooden door,

The little flower pots that stood evermore

I remember the hard stone floor that you slipped and slid on as you entered the door

The heavy wooden beams that you always thought of in your dreams

The sweet smell of baking the sticky buns for the taking


I remember the giant willow tree that swung and swayed in the dusty wind

My sweet spacious room and the little dolls that sat all day

The creaky stairs that droned when your feet pressed down on them

I am still here waiting,

I am still here creating

An image of my new home.


Millie B (aged 11)



I Remember I Remember


I remember I remember

The home where I was born

Waking up early in the morn then seconds later

It was dawn.


I remember I remember

The chirping of the bluetits

And the hooting of the owls.

Then waking up to the woodpecker

Pecking on for hours.


I remember I remember

The velvet scent of chocolate in my larder

The cream white aroma of soft pancakes in my kitchen

The loud perfume of soft Haribo in my sister’s room

And then leaving all these scents and moving away.


Arthur G (aged 11)



I Remember


I remember

The radiant heat from the oven bursting into the air

Warming up the fun

The scent of the sugar-speared sounds

The vibrant colours in the garden

The taste of home

The darkness in the larder 

The anger in the boot room

The smell of dirt

I remember it all like sherbet.


Tom H (aged 11)



My Old Bedroom


I long for that room,

My old bedroom,

When the sun was new

And the grass glistened

With sweet morning dew

And mother sun kissed my lips

To wake me from my slumbers.

So rarely I see

The views that I loved.

They once surrounded me.

Now only terracotta bricks stare through the panes

And strangers with sullen faces pass me by.

It was compact but that comforted me.


I wish for that room,

My old bedroom,

When father moon smiled and nodded,

Kissed me goodnight

And the wisteria dangled

Calmly in the breeze.


Eloise L (aged 11)



The house I live in


The house I live in is special, unique,

Waking in my squeaky, comfy bed like the clouds,

 My cupboard door creaking like a cackling witch.

The bathroom clean and shiny, dazzling like a glow worm.

Slipping and sliding as I zoom down the polished banister.

Delicious golden smells of chicken roasting,

Wafting through the kitchen door.

Bouncing on welcoming sofas before a huge roaring fire,

Relaxing safe in our play room.


Tom B (aged 11)




Where do you come from?


I come from the red brick and the brown stick

From a farm that sounds of mud with blooming bud

From bumpy tracks and badger traps

From the green land with no sand

From the weaving roses and the smell of hoses   

From the howling winds hitting you like pins

From the grassy meadows and steady pedals

From the hard stony land with no sound

From the home baked bread and the soft bed

From the old oak tree where I can just be.


Where do you come from...?


Poppy T (aged 11)



A place


What is a place?

A space

Or something special.

The Nobel prize would say

Molecules of air

Atoms of oxygen.

But that is a space.

Maybe a place has to be lived in:

A nest filled with blue eggs

Or a lake of filigree dragonflies.

Maybe emotion can live there

In a baby’s cot

Or a graveyard of red poppies.

Maybe it is inside your head,

A retreat

A place where you feel safe

But whatever a place is

Where is it?


Anna M (aged 11)




A Place


Climbing the hills of nostalgia

The wistful wind devouring me

Smiling at me, ruffling my hair like

 An old friend.


The tearful tears streak along the rocks

The heart-in-mouth moment

Teetering tipsily, balancing boldly,

Faithfully, gratefully gripping green grass


Topping the sea-spoilt cliff daintily,

A cherry sitting silently, forgotten

The cottage, full of memories and rats,

Burnt out fireplaces and dusty glass


The musky odours of pipes and tobacco,

The stench of silence, the sight of stillness

The tranquillity preserved behind broken windows,

The simple cottage among the willows.


Toys lie on the floor like a murder scene,

Cigarette stubs swarm the table like locusts

More than just a holiday house, for humans and ants

A dwelling for memories and reminiscences.


Tom W (aged 12)



Hope on the horizon


She sleeps, she wakes

Her fate prevails,

She holds her breath

And sets the sails.


As morning comes,

The golden finger

Darkness falls

Where her thoughts linger.


Now she falls -

She’s letting go

A vow she’s kept

Her thoughts may flow.


But one last breath

Bestows the mast

And she is blinded

Hope, at last.


She sights the sun

Its setting scene

Hope on the horizon

Was forever in her dreams


Emma T and Jessica G (aged 11)





As the eagle soars over the tops of the mountains high

He sees the world spread out below him

The rocks,

The grass

The icy rivers, tumbling down,

Waterfalls casting shimmering rainbows

Little pools, filled with trout.

He sees the secret valleys,

Hidden from the ground,

He sees everything below him.



He sees the shy deer,

The newborn fawns.

Squirrels scampering in the trees, grey or red.

And suddenly he sees what he is looking for.

He dives,

Faster than a comet,

Plunging down



Faster and faster, the ground comes nearer.

The rabbit doesn’t see him, as it nibbles the grass.

Suddenly its ears prick up.

Its body stiffens

It springs away!

But too late.

And the eagle flies to the top of the mountain.

To its nest.

Its perch.

And its sits and gazes down.

And sees the world.

This is his place.

And no-one else’s.

His kingdom,

Where he can be alone.


Lucy J (aged 11)



The Playground


“I shall play here every day”

I had said

Before ABC rain and

Prophesised floods

Of literal sanity.

Only a graded

Ladder to the top-

There is no slide

But repeatedly designed

Computer projects

Should steal fun and

Return me safely.

Head-spinning sums

A rollercoaster.

I did not take the hint,

Thus pronounced, and

Neatly inked on a page

“I fail”


Tomorrow, I will

Return to

Dizzy ups and downs.

Painted like perfection

Of a child’s dream

Or textbook.


“I did not want to go”

Home or School,

Or just remembering.


Sophie L (aged 11)









Waking at an ungodly hour

Dreary eyed and weak from sleep

The stairs seem an invincible tower


And outside sits a careless flower

As if ready to weep

Waking at an ungodly hour


Stumbling blindly to the shower

My mind saying, take the leap

And the stairs seem an invincible tower


But I can’t simply stand and cower

My eyes see it, an abyss so deep

Waking at an ungodly hour


From somewhere I must find an energetic power

 My alarm sounds the tune of droning

And the stairs seem an invincible tower


People give you the early morning glower

Ignore the unwashed wafting odour

When waking at an ungodly hour

And the stairs seem an ungodly hour.


Ethan B (aged 12)




Luc Bat of Insanity


I hate feeling this way

Stooping depression sway. Unsure

How the sky is: Azure

Or red in tone so pure. The scream

Pierces my widening dream.

Magnifying light beams, knick-knack

Makes me want a Tic-Tac

Vendor sells bric-a-brac, it clots

My head with polka dots.

Cluttered dreams, frilly lace, death’s choir

Claims my five-year-old fire

Bad dad (funeral pyre). Pipers,

‘Death to windscreen wipers’

Kill me with a sniper. My way.


Roddy HJ and Adam M (aged 12)






Sitting in this room

With no one beside me

Thoughts swirling in my head

No one to guide me

Laying in this little bed

I’m going crazy

I’m falling into an abyss

With no one to catch me

I can win this war.

I can end this battle.


Sidney W (aged 11)



A Martian Sends a Postcard Home


They all walk on the short green fur.

It is dotted with small planets with yellow

Centres. They are red, pink and white. The young

Often go up and lean so close and inhale and exhale.

I do not know what these little planets are.

Great big broccolis are dotted everywhere. They

Moult and their green beads fall off. They are golden or brown.

I have never seen this happen to a broccoli before.

There are also massive grey canyons that wind around and

On top of the green fur and the red planets. The broccolis

Usually cover the canyons so the elders and their young shiver

And get cold. Sometimes the young ones throw themselves

At the canyon and a ghost inside them howls and howls. It is a

Deafening sound but the ghost is quiet after a while. The tentacles

Of the elders wrap around the young and strangle them,

Until the ghost is silent and yowls no more.


Elsie C (aged 11)





A Martian Visits Heathrow


The two-legs have huge fortresses,

With tall, looming glass cylinders.

Some structures have lumps in them,

And they are held together with metal poles.


Long, metallic tubes come out of holes in these buildings,

They have massive blades sticking out of them.

It must hurt them a lot.

Then they lumber over grey rectangles and begin to growl.


Then suddenly, the end of them catches on fire!

Then, screaming, they begin to climb an invisible ladder,

Up into the sky,

Trailing grey smoke.


But then they come crashing through the white fluff,

Before black discs come out of them,

Then they crash into the ground,

And new two-legs come out of them.


Mark W (aged 11)



10 things found in a chorister’s cassock pocket


A sharp screw

A bad spring

A small colourful Mario figure head which I pulled off

A lot of wax

A full ink cartridge (open)

A white candle from the Epiphany Carole service

A piece of meter long string

A pound coin

A torch

And a 3-metre-long chain of paper clips



Jed U (aged 11)





Laziness is:

My cat sleeping on the sofa

Lifting my legs up while mummy Hoovers around me,

Curling up under my duvet ignoring the noisy alarm,                                           

Leaving my homework until 8:00 on a Sunday night,

Sitting inside on a summer’s day when I could be outside on the trampoline.


Joe S (aged 11)






What happens after death?

Is it just black?

Is it heaven, clouds and happiness?

Is it hell, red lava and pain?

Do you get reborn as new person to have a new life?


Why is war necessary?

Is it race?

Is it religion?

Do I control a war or will I?

Is there happiness in a war?


Why do I like the things I like?

Is it human nature?

Did I develop them?

Did my parents give them to me?


I do not know all the answers to these questions I hope someone else will.


Angus F (aged 11)





Have you ever had a question that sets your head on fire?

It might sound odd but it pinches like a spire

I’m not sure what it is this feeling inside

But it comes in and out like an evening tide

It racks the back of your head and turns your brain a buzz

It squeezes out the knowledge and replaces it with fuzz

But if you try to answer that question rather than let it stay

Then maybe you will find that it might flee away


 Rufus P (aged 11)




Ten Things Found in one of The Three Kings’ Pockets


A flask of water from a long journey

A pot of gold for the baby Jesus

A piece of straw from the stable of his birth

A realistic drawing of the star I saw

A crusty old piece of mouldy bread

A handful of not so mouldy bread

A little version of the crown he wears

A pot of sand from the desert

The ribbon from the pot of gold


Alex J (aged 11)






Comments (2)

n.wiseman said

at 8:23 am on Sep 26, 2012

These poems are brilliant, and very original. I really loved Typewriter.

Adam Jones said

at 6:19 am on Sep 21, 2012

Welcome to Alive Poets Society. I hope you enjoy being members of this club!

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