Two Students Scoop 1st Prize in Christopher Salmon Poetry Competition
Two Weatherhead students have each been awarded top prizes by a panel of judges in the 2022 Christopher Salmon Poetry Competition.
Year 11 student Holly was awarded 1st prize in the KS4 category and Year 12 student Molly was awarded 1st prize in the 16-19 category. The judges were really pleased by the standard of all the poems entered and had almost 600 entries this year.
Launched by The Christopher Salmon Foundation in partnership with Wirral Poetry Festival and Wirral Libraries, the poetry competition is open to budding poets aged 19 years and under, living or being educated in Wirral. Every year, under 19s are invited to put pen to paper and submit their own poetry on a different topic. A £100 prize is awarded to the winner in each of the five age categories.
A video of all the winning poems will be posted to the Wirral Libraries social media for National Poetry Day on 6th October 2022.
The theme this year was ‘time’ and you can read Holly and Molly’s winning poems below:
Holly, Year 11 – 1st Prize, KS4 Category
when you were younger, your grandpa used to take you to the museum.
he’d hoist you on his shoulders, grunting slightly from the effort –
yet always firm in his resolve to keep you secure.
you would rest your head upon his, him Atlas and you the Earth,
as the two of you would gaze upon the skeletons of grandfathers and granddaughters years before yourselves.
you would point to each exhibit, each wonder –
the aquarium, the bugs, the dinosaurs,
with a wide grin and insatiable thirst to know more,
and your grandpa, forever the historian, would serve as your tour guide.
he would teach you everything he knew, and then some –
mythos and tales about the animal kingdom, and then the “best” flavour of ice-cream.
(you would always argue over that one – vanilla isn’t even a flavour!)
and every fact, every scrap of knowledge, was stored with the same care that one would take with treasures of yonder.
the pair of you were on an adventure – a mission!
exploring the ancient museum and its exhibits of old, discovering the horrors of mummification and the wonders of space travel.
he was the captain, and you his right-hand man, with your missions always more exciting than the last!
no matter if the explorations moved on at a slower place, or the stars began to lose their shine –
time with him was treasure enough.
the planetarium was your favourite,
and on one slow, slightly dreary, thursday, your grandpa remarked on how –
“our sky is never one of our present”
you then meeting him with a bewildered glance, he continued on –
“we’re always looking into the past, here on earth.
when we see these constellations, these asteroids and planets –
there’s no truth as to whether this is reality.
they could all be gone, and we would always find out too late to make a difference.”
it scared you, a little, but there was some odd beauty in the idea –
thoughts of preservation, and forewarning, and being given enough time to grieve,
thoughts which, as you contemplate the sky months, tears and too large caskets later –
make you search for the man who taught you how to map the stars.
Molly, Year 12 – 1st Prize, 16-19 Category
-and an angel fell as an unfinished rhyme.
Uncaring eyes slipped on from the scene,
no regret, none at all, for the horror that had been.
Instead, he ground mountains beneath his boots,
gnawed at steel and stretched at the roots
of fluttering church spires; a colossal coliseum-
whole orchards, forests, he grew from chutes.
He saw the rise and fall of Elysium…
…and yet he moves on, so violently unaffected,
as though everything he takes can be so surely resurrected.
Without one word of grief, one mourning mutter,
he stalks ever forwards, as reliable as a stutter
in the mouth of the preacher.
So mirthless, remorseless, a truly cruel creature.
One consistent as day, as damning as night;
as steadfast as the samaritan and as rigid as right,
as constraining as freedom flowing from the bite of the core
and as sly as the snake that cursed Eve Evermore.
For men have loved and lost and lived with his aid,
as he seeps like a poison and one they cannot dissuade
from their homes, now beaten and aching, no fire in their hearth.
He beckons the briars blocking paths in the earth.
He is the cradle of children, the casket of old,
He is the sands and the rivers, the fruit and its mould-
he is no friend to mortality, yet no foe to behold.
He waltzes through wind and thaws out the cold.
Creeping in the furthest depth or the tallest climb,
impossible to slow is the cruel Father Time,
and as the ground rushes closer, he slips from the crime-