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Poetry Competition

CISC Poetry Competition 2022: Growing Up

Junior Section

First Prize: Phoebe Richardson, St Teresa’s Prep

It has a poetic and formal structure with repetition and line length observed in every stanza to great effect.  A simple but mature piece of writing.


Growing Up

A little girl,

Young and curious.

New to the world, full of wonder and hope.


A grumpy teenager,

Head full of stress.

New things appearing, dreading it all.


A young adult,

Working and working.

All day long, every hour, every minute.


A tired mother,

Busy and loving.

Responsible for the new life that she cradles.


An old woman,

Sweet and tender.

Happy and thankful for the life she has led.


Second Prize: Grace Hall

Intoxicatingly positive and very good humoured.  I really enjoyed her confident use of rhyme and half-rhyme.


Look forward, imagine

Looking forward, imagining me in the future,

Optimistically, I’ll be a fashion designer.,

Maybe even wear my own branded eyeliner!

Sew my clothes with love and care,

Make beautiful and comfortable footwear.

Most of them fair trade and planet friendly

All of them of their century.

I’m going places

Educationally as well as geographically, I’m packing my cases,

Milan, London, Hong Kong and New York.

Raise a toast. Pop that champagne cork.

Meet and work with famous designers

glossy front cover vogue headliners.

When I am grown up.

No, no, no to washing up

I will be too busy designing clothes for the catwalk.

It will be top of the town’s talk.

so, remember me, Grace Hall.

That optimistic fireball!


Highly Commended: Frankie Bryan

Displays a real sensitivity for words.  I particularly like the phrase ‘woebegone thoughts’….very melancholic.


Growing Up


Welcome to life.

Full of ups, downs and struggles.

Flooded with woebegone thoughts, responsibilities.

But just remember, try to cope.


The memories of dejected times will come back in the happiest.

So, hold on tight to what you have left, it will get better.

Hold your loved ones close

Take on your dream and if you fall…

Just remember, you can do it!


Positives too!

Independence, responsibility, learning.

New opportunities and freedom to leave your nest!

Gaining your own respect!

And just remember, be yourself


Mood swings like the pendulum of a clock.

What is happening?

If you could go back to when life was simple would you?

When innocent happiness has disintegrated.

Just remember, you are strong, kind and powerful!


Senior Section

First Prize: Emma Brown

It has an honesty that’s beguiling and with a few choice words she skilfully paints a vignette of different stages of life.  Deceptive in its simplicity but a mature work.


Not yet

Life is not

Snapchat and Instagram and Reddit

For me

Life is not insurance and bills and healthcare


There is an in-between

Where the innocent have matured too quickly

Where my sexuality has been explored

But unrecognized

“Young love never lasts” doesn’t help

When the love I feel is real

When they are the wide-eyed and innocent and

Unexplored, undetermined

It takes longer to get over a breakup that never happened


Here I stand without enough likes on my post and

With a misconception of the pain true love costs


Second Prize: Eloise Scotland

A powerful and immediate piece of writing that explores the emotional landscape of growing up and concludes with a question that is searing in its honesty.  


When we are young we play with building blocks

When we get older we play with friends

Then we play with different looks and personalities

Then we play with our dream futures

After that we play with love

As well as working towards getting somewhere

And through it all we play with who we are

And who we want to be


Everyone wants to have a go

At shaping you, telling you to be this or that

Giving you advice that they wish they’d had

A symphony of ideals, all drowning out your common sense

My old maths teacher always said common sense isn’t that common

I wonder why


Then there are the people who say just be you

Then bombard you with who they think you are

How are we supposed to find our inner selves when every person we meet

Adds another layer to cover it?