Autumn Poetry Competition 2021 – School Year’s 8-10 Winner


Autumn Festival Poetry Competition 2021

School Year’s 8-10 Category


Botherhood and Dice

Written by Siddarth Lakhiani


The boy rolled dice

his brothers found unworthy.

The boy moved pawns

his brothers thought too slow.

The boy raced for affection

his brothers concluded too desperate.

So in board games and cowardice,

grew compliance and avoidance.


The boy rolled dice

his brothers judged weighted.

The boy moved pawns

his brothers saw inappropriate.

The boy chased the love

his brothers withheld too harshly.

So in board games and boldness

grew competition and resentment.


The brothers rolled dice

he found unworthy.

The brothers moved pawns

he thought too slow.

The brothers raced for affection

he concluded too desperate.

So in board games and acrimony

grew a fractured understanding of brotherhood.


The dice were left dormant,

unrolled and untouched.

The brothers left each other unspoken,

unheard and unexpressed.

Their branches separated far from games

and towards ambitions far from home.

Their solaces were found in malcontent,

their dissatisfaction born of ungratefulness.


It wasn’t until the brothers were older,

speaking in honest tune with one another,

they realized that equals never became them,

and humility was accepting loss as breath-inevitable.

Their pride flew them into each other,

bolstering their stillness and altruism.

The boy and his brothers rolled the dice

and found a welcome brotherhood in acknowledgment.


Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:


“The central motif of this very clever poem is how the relationship between brothers is likened to a game of chance where moves are dictated by a roll of dice. Pawns make us conjure up a complicated game of chess or draughts, but the dice point to board games where there is always an element of the unpredictable.  Likewise, the brothers’ affection fluctuates, sometime binding them together, sometime leading to a ‘fractured understanding.’  There are moments when the players are probably cheating (the boy rolled dice/his brothers thought weighted); they also abstain from playing, estranged from one another. The subtle game reflects the vicissitudes of brotherly love until, with the coming of maturity, honesty and humility, altruism becomes the mainstay of their relationship. It is the ever-changing nature of the brothers’ feelings for one another that gives the poem its emotional impetus. A very sophisticated poem and a worthy winner in this category.”


Runner up


Written by Siena May Lee


Down in minutes, out for hours.

No screen time – silence to devour.

The day two billion faces dropped; fingers paused.

Social media disappeared, but what was the cause?


Six hours of disarray,

The reason – a glitch.

But was it ….or society with an itch?

A planetary scale demonstration,

The domination of our very station.

The classroom door was opened with dread.

“Oh, thank goodness. We thought you were dead!!!”.


Cries of despair, relief, and outrage.

The punishment and cruelty to disengage.

The world just stopped, time ticking.

The chaos was transmitting.


“I felt so lonely last night.”

“Hashtag-I feel so uptight.”

“I’m more popular online.”

“Tag bf-you’re still mine?”.


“My heart felt so empty!

Nothing to fill me with likes”.

“What do I do with no filter?”,

“Disconnected, bewilder”.


Breakups and makeups

No dopamine hits

Addicted to opinion,

Paranoia, conflicts


Waiting behind our screens, our life to perform

A filter once more, a return to the norm.


Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:


Siena has constructed a wonderful poem, Screenagers, about the crashing of all social media platforms, a communication disaster, which took place not that long ago. This global crisis is felt mainly by the young, who have grown up in a world where we are all interconnected, and being online is as essential as breathing. Teenagers have become ‘screenagers’. The poem is effectively a confession of how disconcerting and bewildering it is when technology lets us down. Emotions are stirred, loneliness becomes bitter, and our real life depends on the messages and information we are fed. Our personality is constructed from the hum and whirr of media interaction. This is a light-hearted poem, but with a serious underlying message. Well done, Siena.


Highly Commended

The Teen

Written by Michael Piris



Nothing to do!

No longer a child.

Not yet an adult.

Imprisoned in my own head.



Furious at what?

At anything and everyone

Emotions wild.

Out of control.



A roller coaster of sensations.

Sudden triggers.

Hormones fully charged.



Sleep deprivation.

Cranky and obnoxious.

Life just getting in the way.

My bed safe paradise.



Insatiable appetite, growth spirt.

Never enough, eating non stop.

When will it end?


My hunger is unexplained.

With the mystery of adulthood which lies ahead.


Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:


“Adolescence is a difficult time for most of us:  we feel disorientated, callow, driven by inexplicable feelings; our bodies start to rebel and we are powerless to control them. Still, it’s only a transition period-if managed wisely, it should lead to a stable, happy adulthood.  Michael’s The Teen centres on the key issues involved: boredom, unexplained anger, hormonal imbalance, lethargy and a rampant gluttony. The technique of having one word at the beginning of each verse gives the poem a pleasing structure and allows the writer to explore the implications of those single words. It requires a certain amount of self-knowledge to examine oneself during this critical period and Michael’s poem conveys this new self-awareness. It augurs well for his entry into full adulthood. A very enjoyable poem indeed.”