For National Poetry Day the school was set a challenge: to see it like a poet and write a poem, no longer than 20 lines, based on the theme of vision.

Guest judge, poet Dom Conlon, selected a winner from each year group. He said:

What a genuine privilege it is to read these poems. Every single one of them left its mark upon me whether in terms of language, imagery, or theme

We are so grateful for Dom’s time and comments.

The winners are here for you to read, we hope they leave their mark on you too.

Year 7:

Look into my eyes, what can you see?
 
Look into my eyes, what can you see?
I can see my friends and my family being taken away from me.
 
Look into my eyes what can you see?
I see isolation, division, unemployment and poverty.
 
Look into my eyes what can you see?
I can see cases rising, people dying and chaos in front of me.
 
Look into my eyes, what can you see?
A boy who is trapped, confused and lonely.
 
When you look into my eyes, I want you to see,
A world of true peace and freedom, and the way things used to be.
With people hugging, with no mask and playing freely.
 

Zeeshan Year 7

 

This poem speaks to me in many different ways. In it I see some experiences I can only view as an outsider and others which I am directly affected by. But what Zeeshan has done is to bring us all together in this poem, uniting us through his eyes in a way which teaches me much. - Dom

Year 8:

20:20 

I thought that 20:20 was the summit of visual acuity, 
But looking round at the reality
I shudder at the irony.
 
I thought by 2020 we'd all be colour-blind,
Embracing difference, including everyone,
Sad to see, I was wrong.
 
So what can we envision for 2021- 
A super-sight of better things to come?
Let's shed the greed, the speed, the stampede to succeed
This stuff should not be switched back on.
 

Dorothea Year 8

Dorothea uses language skilfully and confidently. This poem is at once an appraisal, a plea and a vision of what might be. It teaches me that we must listen to the voices of every generation, and not to dismiss them because of age. - Dom

Year 9:

My Shattered Vision

I see the arguing of my grandad,
I think he's angry at mum or dad.
He doesn’t look to see our tears,
Overshadowed by our painful cheers.
Who is that crying in that room?
In my heart all I feel is gloom.
Her terrifying cries upsets my brother,
We need no one, just each other.
I am not alone, I have my mum,
But the absence of my dad makes me glum.
The unhappiness also affects my sister,
She cries, screams and is now a quitter.
I shudder at my shattered family,
I want to leave with a full family.
In my vision, this is what I see,
And from this vision I want to flee.
I stand and watch as I crash and burn.
I want to fly away, I yearn
In my heart all I feel is hate.
I know this vision is my fate.
 

Inaaya Year 9

This deeply personal and profound poem uses words sparsely to create a raw connection between poet and reader. This is not an easy thing to do. Telling a truth is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of poetry and Inaaya does it very well indeed. -Dom

Year 10

Destination: unknown

Eyes straining, 
Begging for a last glimpse of colour,
Of light, of vibrance
Before the cage of darkness consumes me.

 

I'm trapped.
Held here against my will.
No eyes, no soul.
No dreams to fulfil.
 
Somebody free me
From this world of nightmares.
I try to find colour but there's
Nothing.
 
A sea of ink,
A kaleidoscope of black,
An endless, broken path
Never leading back to where you started.

 

It's gone.
I'm left stood still, then I'm falling
Off a cliff and into the abyss,
Destination: unknown. 

 

Clémence Year 10

There is a wonderful economy about this poem which reflects the uncertainty threaded throughout. The poet takes us on a journey into the unknown in a steady and structured process which echoes long after the poem ends. –Dom

Year 11:

What We Could Have Been

Side eyes bore holes from glacial shoulders
Turning away as if nothing happened. 
Visions of us crumble and smoulder
Oh what we never, ever will.
 
The miniscule gap between us barred,
By infinite space, so close, yet far.
She is the one who you hold dear
If only she would disappear.
 
Now your grave sits by her side
While fresh flowers rot and die.
For all your dreams you were sixteen,
Oh what we could’ve been.

 

Bradley Year 11

Maturity and experience are served up with confidence here as the poet delves into feelings we hope to never have. This is a moving, beautiful poem, which has left its mark on me as a reader. –Dom

Sixth Form:

The View from Here

The view from here,
Not so far but quite near
To the slant, slate roofs,
Connected paths of life.

 

Scaling mountains and trees,
Will achieve some ease,
While gazing at azure sea
To forget gloom-ridden strife.
 
A field of soft lemons,
Looked down on by heavens,
Meets a Chapel 
With its doors open wide,
 
And inside belong twenty,
With views given plenty,
Both outside and in
To rejoice in their arms. 
 
And the view from up here,
Which is far and not near,
Is as colourful as can be,
Lit up with the glow of the free. 

 

Hannah, Sixth Form

With lovely use of language and employing some delightful poetry tools, this poem builds a hopeful image in the hearts of the reader. I especially enjoyed the visual feast of ‘slant, slate roofs’, ‘forget gloom-ridden strife’ and the ending exaltation of ‘Lit up with the glow of the free’. – Dom

Dom Conlon is a Chorley based poet and writer for children who frequently appears on Radio Lancashire. His beautiful poems give an insight into how he views the world… and beyond.

His most recent book of poetry, ‘This Rock, That Rock - Poems Between You, Me and the Moon’ celebrate the 50 years since the first moon landing by Apollo 11. An event which not only impacted the moon’s surface, but Dom’s life and aspirations, teaching him to always look up.  Find out more at https://domconlon.com/