Poetry Winners

By Arnika Hazelwood | Posted: Sunday September 1, 2019

Congratulations to four of our young poets who have won recognition.

Congratulations to Darcy Monteath who won the Dunedin Writenow Poetry competition in August. Abi Barton was third in the same competition. Olivia Bradfield was highly commended in a national competition and Poppy Hayward won the Poetry NZ Year Book Student Poetry Competition for the Year 11 section In August. 

See Darcy's and Poppy's poems below. 

Overcoming grief in the form of birds

After Sharon Telfer

Kotuku – Heron
The tarmac is gluey with the early-January heat,
a menacing black.
I tell myself
trying not to focus on the
Buzz buzz
in my right ear.

I take a left too fast.

Standing guard, there it is.
I’ve never seen one before.
There’s no water here,
only everlasting fields.
A luminous lead-white,
gnawed into gawky bones,
rounded shoulders
but unmissable.
No matter how hard it tries

“peia te haumaru”
“What’s that, Dad?”
“It means…”

I take a left, slower this time and mutter it back,

“drive safe.”

Kereru – Wood Pigeon
Young kids scream, flapping their arms at them.
Mocking them
startled into a clattering flight,
survivors of the New Year haste
that soaks the streets.
stays grounded,
like a tame dog without a leash
it gives me a look.
That look.
“Dad?” only joking.
Black eyes glint rainbows in the hazy light.
That look again.
“Dad, is that you?” only half-joking.

Grief. A stupid concept.

Kārearea? – Falcon
Hard to tell.
We pass too quickly.
Sharp movements, up straight.
Eyes scan anywhere and everywhere.

“What do I always say?”

“Keep a lookout, options open, Dad.”

Toutouwai – Robin
On fine days,
you can see the lookout from here.
Today’s not a fine day.
Every voice feels muted,
by bitter winds.
It’s summer but today reminds me of winter.

“The Toutouwai keeps singing through Winter, you know.”

Dad’s words
I can almost taste them.
A faint whistle hums and cuts through the heavy air.

“Only very few birds do that.”

The fog clears,
a little.

Piwakawaka – Fantail
The forest floor is dry today,
sun weeping onto the viscous floor

“They’re back!”

“They always come back,” says Dad.

From up close, we watch.
Staring contest
we win
because soon enough,
it’s gone.

Pihoihoi – Pipit
The noise comes first,
like glass shards on a mirror.
Then, you lift your head,
face directly into the sun.

“Be patient; you’ll see it if you look long enough.”

Up above, microscopic in the
perpetual blue.
I point to the sky.
Yes! Rising, singing!

“I knew it.”
“I knew it was you.”
endless oblivion,
the pihoihoi
for the last time
before it soars away
for who knows how long?

By Darcy Monteath Yr 10


VARK. An acronym.

A name, a label, for four different learners.

Visual learners. They are lucky.

A single glance then bam! It's cemented in their minds forever.

Auditories. Be scared of conversing with them.

They'll remember it longer than you ever could.

R. Reading and writing. Loved by teachers worldwide.

Hand them notes and there you'll find a perfect student.

Lastly, Kinetic. The words: watched, heard, read, it all goes over their heads.

Give them something to do with their hands however, and they'll love you always.

School? Where does school fit into it?

School. A place dedicated to learning.

It excels in teaching VAR learners.

K? What about the K? No, no K. They always forget about the K.


By Poppy Hayward, Yr 11 Logan Park High School