8th June 2020 – Congratulations to Lucy Duggleby and Katherine Woods (Y10).  They recently entered some of their own poetry into a competition called Through Their Eyes 2020, organised by YoungWriters.  They were delighted to hear recently that their work has been chosen for publication this summer.  They will each receive copies of the book, and a copy will also be going into the British Library.  Mrs Moran says “Their work is astonishing – they are composing at a level I would not normally expect pupils of their age to be capable of!”
Here is Katherine’s poem:

I’m trapped by society.
They expect me to be one way,
I wanna be another.
They told me that as I’m a girl,
I need to follow the influencers,
Broadcast my life on the internet.
They told me that as I’m a boy,
I can’t express my emotions, I can’t cry.
I have to be strong, I have to be sporty.

Those ways have trapped me.
I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.
As I’m lgbt, they told me I was inhuman,
As if being gay was the worst thing ever,
That I needed to be fixed.
As I’m smart, they told me I was boring,
That they were gonna go find someone less nerdy.

They’ve put me in a straitjacket of expectations and bullying,
And I can’t get out,
Or so they thought.

It would take a long time,
Until I realised how to break out.
I had the key all along, I just didn’t realise that I did.
All I needed to break out was self esteem, the realisation that they were wrong.
They were scarred souls looking for the next person to trap,
Just in an attempt to make themselves feel better,
When in truth they’ve poisoned the lives of thousands,
And are digging themselves further into their own straitjackets of hate and despair.

So, if you feel trapped,
By hatred, bullying, homophobia, xenophobia or discrimination,
Let me just tell you this.
Break out of your straitjacket.
You have the tools you need,
Because all you need to break out of their trap is self confidence.
I know it might seem impossible,
But just ask for help if you can’t, stay strong,
Because soon you will be out,
And the straitjackets of society will entrap you no more.

‘The hardest prison to escape is your mind.’ Unknown

Here is Lucy’s poem:
The Runaway Royals

A perpetual ice lay over the grey brick tower
Tangled moss grew over the damp stone
Blocking out all light, and seemingly all life with it,
Outside, it was different –
Beautiful flowers grew in abundance
Millions of creatures hopped across the dewy grass
And birds flew in the crystal sky, singing.

But here, in this cell
There was no sound, or joy
Yet, echoing around her in the darkness
Were millions of thoughts, screaming in her mind, like searing sirens
In the midst of the emptiness –
She was surrounded by her unspoken fears:
Bold and oppressive like newspaper headlines
Terrifying her, but she could not fight
Tied up and tortured.

In the next dungeon, a biting frost
Had slid its way through the cracks in the walls,
The slit under the huge wooden door
And the candle had long burnt out
There he sat, all he could see, just shadows
Of what could be
Glimmering in the dim moonlight
Dancing around him were the ghosts of all he had lost
Taunting him, but he could not move
Handcuffed and gagged.

Then suddenly, before dawn broke
Lightning struck
It shook the whole fortress
Time stood still, and the huge grandfather clock stopped
At midnight
And for a moment, it felt like the world was crumbling down
The mirror on her wall
Shattered into a million shards of pain
Letting out an almighty thunder with it
In seconds, his sword flew from the shelf
It’s magnitude shaking the entire forest
Tearing down everything around them.

So there they were, racing through the forest,
Surrounded by all they’d ever known burning down in slow motion
Only paces behind them were the wolves,
Hot on their heels
Dashed the hunters armed with guns
The archers poised and ready
There they were, the trapped princess and the captive knight
The runaway royals, chasing down the light.

For miles on end, all they could see was a vast black
With no option to turn around, they ran through the flames
And even though they couldn’t see a thing, they heard the wolves
Snapping at them
Even though they were blind to the chaos around them they felt the cages
Closing in on them
They ripped her silk dress to pieces, and shot him in the knees
Told her she wasn’t pretty, and told him he was weak.

They stumbled along, tripping over trees
All they could hear in the raven’s calls were the echoes of what had passed
Vivid flashbacks followed them, thundering wherever they stepped
Like snapshots from old black and white films
And all the way he could hear the fear in her heartbeat in time with the old grandfather clock
And she could see the horror in his eyes as he remembered the dark emptiness.

As the mob and the leering crowds closed in on them
He was forced to put his armour on, because he had to look strong
The archers hit her in the back so her white dress became a stained blood red
And catching up to them were the hunters with their gleaming knives
Saying to her she wasn’t thin enough, like the mirror on her wall
Saying to him he wasn’t brave enough, like the sword’s huge fall.

And still now, the pain hasn’t faded
At night, she knows when he screams
It’s because he sees his friends again in his dreams
She sees he no longer carries a knife
He’d rather hear them whisper he’s ‘less of a man’ and still have a life.

He knows the memories of her past
Are why, even now, she cries
Because she fears for her friends taken in by the lies
How she believed that to be loved she had to change what she saw in the mirror, is one lasting scar
But what scares her the most, that other girls think to be beautiful they need to change who they are.

So there they were, racing through the forest,
Surrounded by all they’d ever known burning down in slow motion
Only paces behind them were the wolves,
Hot on their heels
Dashed the hunters who shot him
The archers who wounded her
There they were, the trapped princess and the captive knight
The runaway royals, searching for the light.

All he could see were the loaded guns, aimed at his head
All she could hear were the bats screeching into the abyss
All that existed was the turmoil in their minds
The things they would never let anyone see, or say to anyone around them
But after all this time, caged up, had told themselves

But just as they were about to crumble and fall…
They saw maybe they hadn’t lost all…

A golden ray struck his shoulder and gleamed brightly
And in an instant, as if by magic it transformed from an icy kingdom
To a radiant summer’s day
And as she stepped into the sun
From her back drifted hundreds of Scarlett peacock butterflies
Who flitted their wings, then soared into the sky
Leaving behind a velvet gown of the most delicate pink
And behind them, the shadows had faded into the darkness.

Somewhere, in the distance, they could hear a gentle ticking of time moving forward
And as they faced the future
An orange beam lay across the horizon
The sun began to crawl forward
Pulling pink clouds and bursts of golden light across the navy sky
And there, around them were millions of creatures hopping across the dewy grass,
Beautiful flowers grew in abundance,
And birds flew in a crystal sky, singing.

So there they were, finally in the clearing,
Surrounded by all they’d learnt
Growing like spring flowers
Having receded into the woods
The mob and the thieves had
Seemingly disappeared
There they were, the free princess and the escaped knight,
The runaway royals, finally found the light.

Now the glittering sunlight had given them a new perspective, they saw something
They didn’t believe existed before
“Is that a golden palace?”
He asked
And it was…