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The Lord-Lieutenant's Poetry Competition

Here are the winning entries of the competition for 13-19 year olds.

 

To download all the winners' entries click here

“Now That He Is Gone”

That fateful day when we received that little yellow square,
That changed our lives forever, the old and new are beyond compare.
Everything is different, now he has gone,
I just can't picture it, how will I carry on?
How long did he suffer? How did he die?
These questions will haunt me as time goes by.
I see him lying in a pool of crimson blood,
All alone in fields beyond fields and mud beyond mud.
I feel a sense of loss,
Amongst all sorts of terrible chaos.
Could I have done something? Could I have helped more,
In this devastating time of war?
The only thing that helps me is knowing,
That even though it is very hard going,
It's not just us, others have lost too,
Because our loved ones are fighting for me and for you.

 

Holly Cheeseman is 13 and lives in Loughborough

“The Game of War”

Left, right, left
Their feet move of their own accord
Left, right, left
Their arms are swinging,
Left, right, left
They are marching.
Away from their hopes,
Throwing away their dreams,
Leaving them to drown in the dust.
The birds are singing –
The last bit of music they’ll hear –
For as soon as they reach the treacherous mud-filled trenches,
The notes are silenced.
Their thoughts will shatter,
Their eyes will sting.
And their final breaths will be those of smoke.
Left, right, left
Their final footfalls echo.
As they plummet to the ground,
Their weapons are dropped,
And their eyes look skyward.
Their minds begin to wander,
Their senses begin to leave,
And their heart reaches out to everything they have left behind.
Their final thoughts go to those back home,
As they travel to dance amongst the poppies.

 

Philippa Hathaway is 13 and attends Rawlins Academy

“We Will Remember Them”

The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month,
We will remember them.
Those whose stories were never told
Those whose lives were carelessly sold.
Loss after loss recurred
Yet so many families never heard.
The absence of a father, husband and son,
The death of sixteen million will forever stun.
With every bang and explosion
The soldiers resolve faced erosion.
Fears of going over the top
As in increasing numbers, soldiers began to drop.
Behind the frontline, life was not much better,
Shell fragment, cries of pain, a dead mans unopened letter.
The pungent smell of a rotting corpse
Piled on others disfigured and warped.
There were no cheers for those who reached home.
From pre-war a stark change in mood and tone.
A soldier’s 1914 excitement replaced with chilling nightmares of horror
Whilst families mourned their loved ones who gave their lives in honour.
The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month,
We will remember them.

 

Dhianna Hindocha is 17 and lives in Skeffington