We are so excited to announce the winners of our first ever school publication collaboration with St. Joseph's Convent School in Bathinda, which is a city in Punjab, India.
To say we were impressed with the depth and content sent to us does not even begin to cover our sentiment. We were absolutely astounded at the way our youth were able to convey and express the things that affected them in their day-to-day lives. It gave us so much hope about the type of poetry we will see years from now!
Students aged 12-17 were given the opportunity to experience firsthand what the publication process is like for poets. They were given this directive, "We are looking for words that move us, transport us, and connect with us."
From there, they were instructed to submit their poem via email with specific instructions. Students then received a confirmation email letting them know that their poem was accepted by us and when they could expect to hear back from us. All poems were then sent on to our special Contest Selection Team comprised of Kevin DeLaney, Sharon Gilmore, and Darryl Lovie, who were tasked with choosing the winners.
So, without further ado, we present to you, your winners, in no particular order:
We Are All Made of Stories
Poet: Niti Garg
Why Do They Bleach Our Lives
Why do they bleach our lives?
From rainbow-backed benches
to desks the colour of twine
From textbooks with pictures
to books that look like classified
From colouring outside the lines
to a world where even abstract is defined
From tinted glass panes
to clear panes looking at the pains of life
From beaded necklaces
To silver jewellery fine
From when actions seem black and white
To when there’s colour in our lives
Why do they bleach our lives?
Niti Garg is sixteen years old and enjoys dance, reading, music, talking and in her own words "annoying those close to my heart." She said if you asked her friends, they'd describe her as, "loud, quirky yet the mom of the group". She also added this, "Niti Garg fits only one label 'HUMAN' because how do you define someone that is constantly evolving." We will never forget that!!! Thank you for your words, Niti! You blew us away!
Type of Poetry: Free Verse
Poet: Noor Khokhar
The Pink Flower
I am the Pink flower,
Under the feet,
Stumbling around, trying to reach,
The Mirage of false happiness,
I am sick of crying,
No more tears left,
I am still trying,
To make the life I dreamt of,
But under their feet,
I still cried, I still tried,
But now even the Mirage had disappeared,
All my life whatever I assumed to be my light,
And there my dreams lay now in the dark.
But now that the Mirage was gone,
I saw real hope,
The Pink of me that was long gone,
Still I was under their feet.
Still from under those feet,
I swept away,
Where I had brought myself,
There those feet finally let me astray.
Now the Pink flower I am,
Without the weight of those feet,
Bruised, scarred and in pain,
Independent, free, and the Pink flower I wasn't supposed to be.
Noor Khokhar is fifteen years old and enjoys writing, reading and singing. We were so enamored by the use of metaphor and the incredible emotional depth weaved in this poem! Thank you for moving us with your words, Noor!!
Type of poetry form: Rhymed poetry and Free Verse
Poet: Anahad Sandhawalia
And while thou, o aliferous beast flied,
Gliding through the sky, flapping its pinons
As tufts of clouds go by,
The grounded creature decries thy flight
As it seems to it that thou is burning daylight
But as higher thou went, soaring through the clouds and above,
Thou felt the sun flaring up
The sheer chaos in thy eyes
Made the giant ball of fire that prevails over the world,
Wince at thy sight
For never, not once on all its time,
Had it seen such exuberant madness
In someone's smile
Those who saw thee couldn’t help but cry
“Stop this lunacy! Or we will be the ones next.”
The wise men said, “Let him,
Alis volat proprils”
Alas no one paid heed, and so an arrow pierced thy skin,
But still thou soared higher, not willing to be still
Just inches from the ball of fire thou wanted all thy life,
One last effort, a loud cry,
And even the Sun couldn't resist the hell that broke loose in thy eyes
Then thy fell, willing to embrace death this time
For this beautiful lady they all spoke of,
Was right there, in front of thy eyes
Thou laughed as thou fell,
Blinded by the light
The men who watched thy fall sighed and said,
“Tam tristis, what a waste of a child”,
Because they knew not the epiphany you felt,
Because you flied before you fell
The ocean opened its arms,
Waiting to catch and lay thee to rest
For the cool waters caressed thy wounds
Making thee a part of itself
And even now, after years of thy flight
Mankind tells the story of the one
Who soared through the sky
Commentary by poet:
This piece of poetry is based upon the legend of Icarus in Greek mythology. Icarus was the son of the master craftsman, Daedalus. Daedalus crafted two wax wings for Icarus and himself to escape from the prison. In spite of being warned, Icarus flew close to the Sun which caused his wings to melt and so fell into the ocean and hence died.
Anahad is thirteen years of age and enjoys reading, writing, listening to music and playing sports like football, cricket, handball and tennis. Anahad also shared, "I also am very likely to have about 10 random interests all the time," which currently include, "learning the language of flowers, astronomy, Victorian age fashion and some others." We enjoyed the uniqueness of Anahad's poem and attention to details!
Type of Poetry: Free Verse
Poet: Maanas Garg
A Day in My Life
Alarm set for six, but I wake up before
And descend my feet to the shivering floor
Search for my slippers but I never get them
Then beneath the bed I have to bend.
Walk towards the door of my room
And my house seems like a silent tomb
Open the door where my mother had slept
And to my surprise for a morning walk she
She comes within fifteen minutes and sees me
But I had to change them because they
Doing the same procedure once more
I realized I should pack my bag before
I entered the bus and hope for the traffic to be
And within few minutes the school was in
I jogged and hopped and reached my class
Just to encounter my surprise test alas
This wasn’t the end of my ordeal
Shock came when I realized I left my meal
I spent the whole day with my stomach
And reached the home with my feet trembling
I rattled out the whole day schedule, with a
Praying to convince my mother to say my
Last but not the least, came the biggest jolt,
When my mother showed me my school date
sheet in letters bold
I pray to God to stop giving me such stunning
And wish my life full of happiness and
Maanas Garg is twelve years old and enjoys writing poetry, gardening, singing, drawing, reading books, and swimming. Maanas provided this description about their poem, "It is a mischievous poem about my daily life which also tells us the obstacles a student faces in his or her day-to-day life." We loved hearing how Maanas sees the world! We hope it gives insight to others of just how much depth our youth hold inside them.
Type of Poetry: Rhyming Verse and Free Verse
A very special thank you to Ashu Garg for serving as the faculty coordinator on this project and partnership with St. Joseph's Convent.
To all the parents who assisted their children in this endeavor, we thank you sincerely, as you are helping keep the love of poetry alive for future generations.
To all our readers, we thank you for supporting our future poets! Your encouragement is the fuel for their inspiration!
And finally, to all the students who participated, we are so very proud of you!!! Keep writing your hearts out and sharing your experiences with the world. We need your voice!
If you are interested in helping fund projects like this or our other endeavors, you can support our mission by donating here. We thank you for your generosity!