Poetry Competition 2020 - Winners of School Years 11-13 Category

26-Nov-2020


Winner of School Years 11-13 Category

Mi surgimiento de las cenizas

by Neil Derek Perez

Levantando mi pie del suelo,

para tomar mi primer paso,

estaba deseando vernos aquí;

pero nuestras almas están conectadas.

En esta lucha por la igualdad humana,

Ahora es mi momento para cumplir nuestro sueño,

puedo sentir tu energía,

espero que estés orgulloso de mi.

Mi renacimiento surge por dentro,

como el vuelo del fénix,

el fuego que tengo por dentro,

tan majestuoso.

El día 26 de junio 1977,

en las Ramblas de Barcelona,

rodeado de miles de personas,

en esta tierra de sueños y esperanza.

Somos cuatro mil vidas,

cuatro mil historias,

tenemos cuatro mil futuros

y con cuatro mil corazones.

Aunque todo el mundo es único,

estar unidos por el mismo propósito,

a convertir nuestros sueños en una realidad,

lo que es la igualdad humana.

La tierra vibra,

en reaccción a la hermosa canción,

que mi gente grita con orgullo,

la tierra vibra.

Todos cantan,

nosaltres no tenim por, nosaltres som,

todos cantan,

nosaltres no tenim por, nosaltres som.

Desde las personas típicas,

hasta Reina Sofia,

todos han presentado la cosa que une;

el amor.

El amor desinteresado.

personas que se cuidan en uno a otros,

mirando al futuro que brilla como el sol,

nosaltres no tenim por, nosaltres som.

Ojalá pudiera traerte de vuelta;

mi amor,

esto es en honora de tu maratón inconcluso,

A partir de hoy todos recordarán este movimiento.


Judge Charlie Durante’s Comments:

“This very singular poem celebrates the explosion of gay pride which took place in Ramblas of Barcelona on 26 June 1977. San Francisco led the world in its recognition of the rights and desires of gay people-people who had long been marginalized and vilified.  In our poem this occasion was like the resurrection of the phoenix from its ashes, hence the title-a unique moment in human history when men and women with a different sexual orientation were finally able to express their innermost feelings.  The poem reads like one of the chants which must have expressed the joy and solidarity felt then.  We hear the emphatic, defiant line ‘nosaltres no tenim por’-we are not afraid-we are.  The threefold repetition of the iconic line leaves us in no doubt that this was the beginning of a new era in sexual behaviour and identity, the start of the LGBTQ movement when each individual has the inalienable right to express their sexuality as they see fit.  Even the queen is moved by this generous outpouring of love.  The poem ends on a personal note: if only ‘mi amor’ could be brought back, someone who apparently was intimately involved in the struggle for gay rights but never saw its fruition.  A very enjoyable, brave poem.”


Runner Up of School Years 11-13 Category

El Enemigo invisible

by Sheridan Jamie Povedano

El enemigo invisible
se arrastra hasta nuestras casas,
corriendo hacia las fronteras.

Eres ciego al tiempo,
no tienes amor,
no hay restricciones que te desarmen.

Vuelas por el mundo
detectando tierras nuevas para propagar
tus espíritus en nuestra existencia.

Te propagas como el fuego
en la punta de nuestras lenguas, ruges como una bestia
en el corazón de nuestra manifestación púrpura.

Quieres un ejército de personas, un mundo entero
trabajando alrededor de las horas del reloj; te limpiamos-
quieres presa débil para creerte un depredador fuerte.

Nadie te oye, nadie te ve,
pero te sientes intocable por la humanidad,
crees que eres el fuerte haciendo daño a todos

los corazones de la tercera edad
gotean bajo tus órdenes
pero nuestras manos te hacen parar;

seguimos luchando contra ti,
estamos luchando sin fin
como una vela contra el viento-

perderás.

Llegas poderoso en nuestro mundo
te ves terminando con miles de vidas,
como un pedazo de gelatina creces

en tubos y platos de plástico
te propagas por nuestro aire,
enfocándote, desenfocándote-

una bala en el tiempo
a través de la velocidad de la luz
no podemos verte, pero podemos luchar contra ti.

Ladrón de vidas,
secuestrando la existencia,
invasor de la enfermedad- destructor,

tus días ya tienen fin.


Judge Charlie Durante’s Comments:

“Though the enemy is invisible we know its name is Covid-19. The lack of a name or clear identity makes the enemy all the more insidious and threatening.  The moment you name something you already have a hold over it, but here the enemy is blind, lacks love, ignores barriers, spreads like wildfire, seems invulnerable, kills the elderly, but in spite of its apparently unstoppable march through humanity, the poem ends on a triumphant note: tus días ya tienen fin.  The virus attacks the weak and this has given it a false idea of strength and indestructibility.  But, the poem asserts confidently, we are fighting it, and will prevail. Though not mentioned in the poem, other pandemics have eventually been conquered, even those that ravaged humanity when science was in its infancy.  The grounds for hope are reassuring.  Though at the moment it is a ‘ladrón de vidas,’ the thief will be captured, tamed and exterminated.  A hopeful poem much needed in these troubled times.”


Highly Commended

Who am I?

by Caitlin Ann Balban-Vecino

Who am J?

J ask myself that all the time

J feel trapped

Scared

Alone

Unable to scream

J just want to be happy.

But J am happy

Just not loving him ..

What if I'm different?

All my life I've been told

You will be happy when you meet him

But what'if

All I've been searching for

My happiness

My acceptance

Was all with her

Loving her

I felt free

Confident,

And truly happy

Loving her was better than loving him

I'm different

But that's what makes me

Who I am


Judge Charlie Durante’s Comments:

“More and more sexual orientation has become one of the most fluid characteristics in the emotional, physical and psychological make-up of a human being.  The simple binary sexuality of the early twentieth century, male and female, no longer holds. Gender is now understood as including a whole spectrum of different modes of relating to others. Gender is also socially constructed and no longer defined simply by biology. This lovely poem reflects this new reality and complexity. The speaker, a girl or young woman, feels trapped in a socially dictated pigeonhole: she is expected to love men but her deeper yearning is for a woman.  This is her defining characteristic, what makes her happy and what is consonant with her nature.  The simplicity of this poem is deceptive.  Its unadorned short lines and restricted vocabulary (happy and happiness appear five times in a poem of twenty five lines) reflect the genuine nature of the feelings conveyed. This is a plea for understanding and compassion. We must listen generously to this call for inclusion. A brave, sincere poem.”