My Pen

This is my pen. It’s black
And I bought it for $2.90.
But you know, pens have potential.

They write my essays and
Get me through high school.
I fiddle with them when I’m bored, but
Pens have power.

They can stab someone in the heart
Or lift them to the heavens.
They can chain you to the past
Or take you away from the present.

My pen is only $2.90, but it has
The ability to start wars and
End them, in any sort of penmanship.

In cursive, or gothic, or bubble
They’ve gotten me out of all kinds of trouble.

Like that man over there who was framed for an act,
Words were able to bring his hope back.
Or the woman whose voice is never heard,
By pen she’s singing like a bird.

Pens bring us together,
The rich and the poor
Words may be wealthy, but
Not in gold.

They connect us, they free us to
Express ourselves
When it feels like no one else will listen.

We’ll write when we feel happy or sad,
Anxious or frustrated.
Books may die out, but
You can’t tell me words are outdated!

Jolly or melancholy,
Words give you a buzz, and
For us writers, words are our love.

We have the ideas, the
Pen is our mouthpiece,
Words are the outcome and
They are a masterpiece.

So pens have potential,
Pens have power.
When I hold it in my hand
I can write at any hour.

Changing the world and
Making people smile brightly,
All that potential
For only $2.90.

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Her Writer’s Block

She sits at the wooden rectangle,
Scratching her messy locks,
From her ears two birds dangle,
And she stares at a glowing box.

A white veil lay before her,
Its pristine, blank complexion,
Hiding the small black letters,
That were needed for this section.

Leaning back again,
She let out a sigh,
Counted to ten, then
Stretched her arms way up high.

She’d tried everything,
What could she do?
She heard a bell ring,
But hadn’t found a clue.

Trying to rub the dark circles away,
Her mind just tried to keep sleep at bay.

Staring at the lights hadn’t helped,
Neither had scrolling through books on the shelf,
The kids outside were just a bore,
As were the posters on the door.
All the jokes had gotten old,
As had gazing at nails of gold,
But it’s really a sad thing when,
The wall’s the most interesting thing right then.

Even the hazel wine of heaven,
Couldn’t reveal anything till seven.

Then she sat up with a start,
The pieces falling into place,
Piecing together part by part, and
Filling all the empty space!

Her fingers had never flown,
But now they were doing it on their own!
Yet though she knew they were moving fast,
Her mind was rocketing with a blast!

Eventually her hands lay down,
Her head following without a sound,
Only to be found still in her chair,
The tired girl with crazy hair.

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I May Be Far From Home

I may be far from home and sea
Beyond my beach’s sand
Far past my pale, grey gum trees
Dotting my calm land.

Far from my sands of red
Beyond the cool, damp earth
Far past soft double bed
Which is much wider in girth.

I may be far from places
I’ve visited before
Far past the loving faces
My kin to me bore.

But I am here among those
Who do not mean me harm
As old sayings go
I have no need for alarm.

Here I’ll see what hasn’t seen before
I’ll visit the new places
And I’ll learn a whole lot more
I’ll make new familiar faces
When I step out through the door.

So do not be afraid I
Tell myself to sleep
Not long since you’ve said goodbye
Back to kin’s arms you’ll leap.

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What I See Out My Window

Gazing out my window
I see the world outside
Both when it’s bathed in daylight,
And wrapped in lullaby.

I see her when it rains,
Even though it’s very dim
And I see her when she glows,
Pure smile free of sin.

I see him when he crumbles,
Great gaps in the ground
And I see him when he rises,
Above even the point of sound.

I see her when she’s about to burst,
Full of pent up ire
And I see her when she’s peaceful,
The calm putting out the fire.

I see him when he runs,
Throwing loyalty away
And I see him when he stays,
Enjoying each and every day.

I see her when she hurts herself,
And those who love her most
And then I see her heal,
Nurturing and pulling others close.

I see him when he destroys,
And kills what can’t be found again
And I also see him build,
Create life, love and friends.

I may not be all too old,
Or I may have lived a time
But I’m sure we’ve all been told,
This ever-lasting line.

For if the eyes are truly,
The windows to the soul
Then surely we would see,
The world as one sees it in the whole.

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Place of myth

Deep under the sandy seabed
Lay a place of myth.
Forged from the fearful tales
Of creatures from seas above.
Dark it was, and cold.
Filled with cells of old.
Contained with fragile bars of mould,
There lay the place of myth.
A place made in the darkness
The pitch-black of midnight.
Where seaweed looks like tentacles,
Barely any sort of light.
Here lay the place of myth
Its flesh occupants long gone,
Which made space for their lonely spirits
To sing their wistful song.
They once knew the ocean,
The light, the sun.
Knew friends from far away places,
And friends from close ones.
Now here they lie
Never to see daylight,
Between the barnacles
And broken shells.
Hope you don’t end up like them.
Avoid loneliness’ fatal kiss.
Hope and pray you don’t end up
In the place of myth.

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Emmett Till

He was from way up north, Chicago
That boy named Emmet Till.
He’d come to visit relatives
And he received quite a chill,
When he got to that old town Money
The white ghosts only meant him ill.

So one night after he’d
Committed some sort of crime
But what that misdeed was,
That I cannot describe.

He was stared down in the dark
Two bullet holes for eyes
That white ghost picked him up
And threw him with the tide.

Now when his mother found him
Amongst the foam and blood
Something in her heart broke
And released quite a vicious flood.

A flood of tears
A flood of sorrow
A flood of brokenness.

A flood of rage
A flood of justice
And what can never be had again.

She spread the word around
Of those two evil ghosts,
She called the exorcist
To get rid of what she hated most.

But even the court had been blinded
By a translucent veil of white,
No shadows could be seen here
No sympathy in sight.

Up on the podium
Many a brave man came,
But their words fell on deaf ears
And they came back again.

But poor lil’ Emmet Till
Left an impression in people’s minds,
Reminded them a place ain’t the same
All the way round the grind.

So in the end this story
It ain’t a happy one
But one to remember,
And with that, this tale is done.

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This Was My Home

A glance out the window revealed the outside world, combining strong, vivid colours with more dull, modest hues, together complimenting each other in the warm landscape. Bright rays of sunshine echoed through the hillside, displaying rolling green hills with jagged, rocky edges. Under the wheels crunched small pebbles and dry, yellow grass, dehydrated from long weeks without rain and the glare of the harsh bronze sun down on the land below.

A few times, one could spot a herd of cattle or sheep, sometimes dotted with a handful of horses. Their pelts were ragged, and coated in the never-ending dust that swirled around their hooves. Every so often, the ones who particularly liked to roll around in the dirt were covered to such an extent, that they almost merge into the ground itself. They were surrounded by makeshift fences, usually made of barbed wire held up by short wooden poles, to keep them from wandering too far from home.

The farmers themselves were rarely seen, as their houses tended to be a bit further away from the livestock themselves, often surrounded by a few scraggly trees or thick brush. Though if one did spot one, or meet one for that matter, they were very friendly people, although a little bit aloof, as they did not have visitors all too often in a place as desolate as this.

The old green car slowed next to an abandoned looking shed with a rickety, two-storey house a small way behind it.

A giant mango tree stood in the middle of what could be called a backyard, the branches twisted and withered from the prolonged drought. Much of its fruit had fallen to the ground, beginning to rot in the hot summer sun.

Bright, curious eyes peeked up at their much larger companion. The small figure was dressed in a blue tank top and brightly coloured shorts. Sunscreen had been slathered across their skin to protect their pale epidermis from the piercing glower of the sun.

They asked in a high-pitched, eager voice, “Where are we grandma? Why are we here?”

Their older associate turned to them and answered simply, “This was my home.”

Then they smiled kindly and took the young child’s hand, “And we’re here to see you’re lovely old great uncle.”

Slowly climbing up the shaky metal steps, the two came to the front door. The entrance was basically blocked by a wire mesh with a handle to operate it. Knocking on the wire, the old woman called out to announce their arrival. After a short while, footsteps were heard thudding across wooden floors. A shadow came up to the door, the top half hidden by the overhanging above the entrance.

As they opened the door and their features could be seen more clearly. A prominent smile on their face was clearly the most obvious characteristic, creating crow’s feet on the sides of their eyes. It gave a comforting sense of welcome.

Upon entering the house, the old woman left the bouncy ball of excitement to attack the elderly man with hugs and kisses and quietly gazed out the window for a few precious moments.

Many memories resurfaced of running on dirt roads and dashing through cane-fields. Of seeing spiders and snakes and ants of all kinds. Of irreplaceable times with loved ones in this blessed countryside. They breathed in deeply the scent of country and thought, ‘it’s good to be home’.

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I’ve taken so many turns,
Gone ’round roundabouts,
Tried both left and right,
Attempting to follow the path of good.

This road that I travel has countless detours,
And wickedness sets many tempting traps.
But bathed in the light of my God,
He drives away the evil and I am again clean.

But night must fall,
All is dark and the sky is black.
The road becomes dim,
And only candle-flame lights the way.

There are no footprints to follow,
No divine being present,
To lead me through this night.

I find myself at a crossroads.

Which path do I take?
The left or the right,
The steep or the easy?
The fair or the just?

When there is no one to lead me,
No bright light to guide my way,
How can I see,
The better road in this midnight?

He is light,
But there is no moon tonight.
No stars to guide my way.

Then a flicker, a spark,
A comment, an act,
A hug, a kiss,
A whisper on the breeze.

A helping hand,
A kind word, a smile,
Weighs on my candle and
Tips me to one way.

Trusting in my one God,
I turn my feet to there,
Hoping and hoping,
That I am right,
And will have no regrets.

Then a push, a nudge,
Helps me,
Comforts me,
Moves me,
And I am on my way.

As it told me,
I go to the right,
And there I see
The light of the next day.

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Fear of the Immortal

She tore through the alley, ducked into a doorway and tried to squeeze into nothingness.

Her short gasps echoed through the darkness. She could sense him. His presence. A deathly cold fear tensed through her body, rendering her paralysed on the spot. She tried to squish herself further into the space. Any pain could be endured just to get away from him.

But to no avail. Her breath stopped as she heard his footsteps, his boots sploshing through the puddles, making his way to her. Her lungs screamed for air, but it was as if she couldn’t control her body. The fear had taken over. His footsteps travelled closer, giving her a sense of impending doom.

She could feel his eyes scan the darkness, those piercing red eyes that drew her in the first time she saw him. What a fool she had been. Before, she had seen a loneliness in his eyes, giving the impression he was tired of being alone for centuries on end. But that had all been her imagination. Now, she could see what she had missed before, the feral hunger, the lust.

Again she felt the same fear she had felt when she had first found out his secret, buried deep in the basement; a corpse. It had been a woman. She had raven black hair, high cheekbones and full lips. She had probably been very beautiful once. Until she had been sucked dry.

The horror raged back through her, the shock entered her veins again and she was numb, unable to move at all, let alone breathe. He turned away seeming not to notice her, his pale face gleaming in the moonlight. The face that was far too perfect to be real. Far too perfect to be human.

She breathed a small sigh of relief, the slightest wisp of wind. Yet he heard it. He whipped his head around and this time saw her. His fangs shone in the dark, his pupils widened until his eyes were pitch black. He found her.

This time he would not let her live. Because she knew, she knew his name, she knew his face. Now she knew what he was, a vampire.

This short story was written in Year 7 and was the winning entry in the Junior Short Story Writing Competition. The first sentence was provided and students had to complete their short story in 40 minutes.

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Slip of Paper

I live in a noisy town
Filled with noisy people.
The screeching of the broken wheels,
The chewing of tobacco.
The banging of the pots and pans.
The whistling of the birds.

The screaming babies.
Whining children,
And internal groaning of the adults.
The clacking hooves of horses
Coupled with tolling bells of church.
This noisy,
Insistent town, like a seller selling goods,
Can be heard to the furthest outskirts.

I’d take this noisy town any day.
If it means I can avoid the crying,
That comes with a double-scoop of sorrow.

Yes, I’d take this noisy town any day,
If it keeps that single slip of paper.
Far, far away.

This ‘single slip of paper’ refers to the letters that were sent home to one’s family during wars, often stating “killed in action” or “missing in action”.

A tribute to the WWI 100 years.

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