The 2016 Strokestown International Poetry Festival Roscommon Schools’ Poetry Competition

The Strokestown International Poetry Festival is taking place on the May Bank Holiday weekend from 29th April – 1st May 2016. Each year there is a special poetry competition open to every student who is going to school in County Roscommon. A selection of young Roscommon poets will be invited to read at the festival at a prize-giving event.

The prizes are as follows:

1st €100.00 and a book of poetry

2nd €50.00 and a book of poetry

3rd €30.00 and a book of poetry

There is also a prize for the shortlisted poets of €20 each.

The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday 18th March 2016.

The poems will be judged in two categories: Primary and Secondary. There is no entry fee and students and pupils may write on any theme or subject.

Competition Results
Primary Schools
1st Prize Mia Fitzmaurice, Ballinlough NS ‘Winter Walk’
2nd Prize Caitriona Soares, St. Anne’s NS ‘The Man on the Moon’
3rd Prize Eimhin Farrell Cloontuskert NS ‘The Winning Goal’
Highly Commended Eabha Kenny Cloontuskert NS ‘The Snow’
Highly Commended Ella Reynolds Ballyleague NS ‘The Call of Her Dad’
Highly Commended Ann Maria Sibi Ballyleague NS ‘Reduce Reuse Recycle’

Secondary Schools

1st Prize Jamie Nugent Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown ‘Just before dawn, just before you lose your mind’
2nd Prize Louis Galvin Scoil Mhuire Strokestown ‘Mr. Flanagan’s strangely shaped A’s’
3rd Prize Matheus Paixao, Roscommon Community College, ‘Sakura’
Highly Commended Caolan Pringle, Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown ‘I thought lads your won age were supposed to be fun’
Highly Commended Kitara Stewart, Roscommon Community College, ‘House of Cards’
Highly Commended Rory Williams, Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown ‘Disappointment’

Winter Walk Mia Fitzmaurice

That cold winters walk
So magical, so bright.
The warmth of a blazing fireplace,
Created a puff of dark shaded smoke,
Reaching to the clouds high above.
Through a window,
A mug of hot chocolate cupped in one’s hands.

Walk in the crisp air,
So fresh, so clean.
The little redbreast robin
sang in the trees,
A light sprinkle of snow
frosted his fluffy feathers.

Children playing in the snow,
running past snow angels
they had made earlier.
Near them leaves on the icy floor
covered in slush, once snow.
That cold winters walk,
So magical, so bright.

The Call of her Dad Ella Reynolds

In their tenement home
a young girl from 1916
is making soup.
Opens the front door
and hears her Dad’s call
from the roof of the G.P.O.
and is so proud.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Ann Maria Sibi
Running down the gutter, piles of trash,
Everywhere I look, people spending cash.
Dropping stuff in the river and in the sea,
Under benches and under trees.
Constantly growing rubbish and paper,
Evaporating air to poisonous vapour.

Reuse plastic bags and envelopes too,
Eventually they’ll be handy, I’m telling you It’s true!
Use plastic containers for storing things you need,
So landfills’ capacity won’t exceed,
Eventually Earth will be green again!

Reduce, reuse, recycle, that’s the plan!
Everyone should do it if they can!
Come, work together for Mother Earth,
You’ll soon see the use and worth.
Comfortable? No it’s not, but necessary to
Leave a cleaner world for generations new.
Examples set for our children to do.

THE MAN ON THE MOON – Caitriona Soares

There’s a man on the moon, lonely above the sky
He sits there every day in his home up so high
He waits all night and he waits all day
For someone to shine a light his way
To take his hand and guide him, passing all the stars
And he’d look back and see Jupiter and Mars
But that’s only a dream, destined not to come true
So he keeps dreaming every night to live a life like you
When he goes to sleep in his bed
And gently rests his head
He cries deeps inside, not wanting to be alone
He prays to live on earth with no stiff bones
Getting older every day, is the thought that makes him sad
Nothing can make him happy, no good memories of what he’s had
Will his dream come true? Or is this his forever home?
Living a life of sadness, living a life alone
But no-one is coming, not later nor soon
He belongs here, it’s his home
He’s the man on the moon

Secondary Schools

Jamie F Nugent
Just Before Dawn, Just Before You Lose Your Mind
Dancing on the drink stained tables
Because there’s no more room
Out on the crowded flimsy floor,
That is uneven and dirty,
Drinks are spilled, then replaced
And smoke lingers in the air,
But what does it matter anyway?
There’s music filling the old room,
Music that’s frightening to the old,
But still too much for the young.
In here, there is no snowstorm,
In here, God is alive and it’s 1955.
The fiddles don’t sing, they howl.
The storytellers don’t speak, they rave.
A hiding place to wish away anything.

Sakura Matheus Paixao

The Sakura stands tall,
High above the others who would call themselves
Yet the most beautiful of all is that which
Has the brightest and warmest of colours.

The Sakura stands strong,
During the Spring rain and the warmth of the
Summer breeze.

The Sakura grows tired and begins to lose
Beloved petals.
Each one falling slowly, drifting away
They fall into the flow of the river
Each single petal following the flow.

The dead cold of Winter,
The Sakura sleeps
As the sadness of the snow seeps in.
Alas! The Spring comes, brings
Hope to the Sakura.
It begins to stand tall again.

Caolan Pringle
I Thought Lads Your Own Age Were Supposed to be Nice

Bullying is a terrible thing to do
You never know one day
It might come back at you
Imagine what the other person is feeling
The look on your face when you find out will not be so appealing

I won’t tell the teacher today
Just in case
The beating gets worse
Another day
Sometimes I wonder what I did wrong
Maybe he’s right maybe
I don’t belong

I can’t believe he treated me that way
He pushed me to the floor
That’s where I lay
Why would you be like that to someone?
I thought lads your own age were supposed to be fun.

House of Cards Kitara Stewart
He just had to Deal with the Hand he was Dealt
A Jack trying to be a King
His Queen left his side
Because he couldn’t afford a Diamond for a ring
He met her at a Club
And she took his Heart away
Now that she’s gone, he thinks it’s time to Fold
He’s to be buried with a Spade
He treated her like an Ace, so what did he do to deserve this?
A life thrown out like Joker…. so worthless.