Our poetry group entries for the First Story National Writing Competition

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The Library Poetry Group is taking part in this year’s FIRST STORY  NATIONAL WRITING COMPETITION. Students from all secondary state schools across the UK are invited to submit 850 words or less of poetry or prose on the theme of ‘Footprints’.

Penguin Random House will longlist the entries and multi-award-winning authors Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime), Juno Dawson (All of the Above) and Salena Godden (Springfield Road, The Good Immigrant) will be judging this year’s shortlist. There a number of fantastic prizes to win, including getting your entry published in a professional anthology and attending a creative writing residential course. Wish us luck!!

Here are our entries:

They couldn’t see her steps,
Where she wheeled was always
Brushed away by an hourly tide.
Wherever she went was replaced
By a kaleidoscope of broken lines.
She couldn’t see her own steps.
Forgotten where to go, what she did
And what she was meant to know,
Round and round she went and still,
Nothing helped to light the road.
She didn’t make any footprints.
Wheel marks were formed like teeth,
Etched into a thousand faded nests.
No one taught her to look beneath
The incessant silence of her legs.
Zoya Y10 

Footprint in ones
Amid the thorns
And bushes that grow up around me.
Footprints in twos,
With toes, no shoes,
That are soon undistinguishable.
Footprints in threes,
Hidden in the leaves,
And they will soon be seen no more.
Footprints in fours
That have found their cause,
And now they thread no more.
Footprints on the sand
Belong to no-one and all,
Walk forwards. Always.
There once were some feet in the sand,
And existence that was not quite planned,
An effect of a man with pockets filled with his hands,
And a whistle that rattled like cans.
Deji Y9

Footprints in the sand,
Look so bland,
But in fact, there is something,
Something deep.
Memories come from footprints,
From a peasant or a prince,
However small, however big,
Never underestimate footprints.
Staying strong,
But not for long,
As in comes the tide,
Gone…but is it?
Warm, cold.
Wet, dry.
Wide, thin.
Long, short.
Big, small.
Deep, shallow.
Disrupted, undisrupted.
Old, new.
Jonas Levell Y7

Looking back,                                                                                                                                                    baby steps,                                                                                                                                                     walking as                                                                                                                                                                            a toddler.
Just thinking through                                                                                                                                            my memories.                                                                                                                                              Nothing, just me                                                                                                                                                    but older.
Tripping over                                                                                                                                                         my footprints,                                                                                                                                                           I am forgetting about                                                                                                                                          my past.
I look behind me                                                                                                                                                                 and they all surround me.                                                                                                                                               How do my                                                                                                                                                                footprints last?
 Selina Gun Y7   

Warmth is the feel of your foot
Touching the sand on a summer’s day.
Warmth is the feel of the coco
Trickling down your throat as you are feeling so gay.
Footprints is how you leave things
Behind in your own way.
Bella Woodcock Y7

When I was three,
A bee stung my leg.
The mark is still there.
When I was ten,
I slip and bang my chin against the floor.
I felt hard.
It hurt.
The mark is still there.
When I was fifteen,
I twisted my ankle as I
Swirled and twirled on the dance floor.
The ankle went blue.
I went red.
The mark is still there.
When I was twenty,
I burnt my hand
Whilst I learnt to cook,
A pan of boiling hot water,
A mess on the floor.
I have scars all over me.
They are the footprints of the life I’ve lived.
I’m proud of them.
They make the me that’s me.
Susana Sanchez-Gonzalez

PANTHERA UNCIA                                                                                          
I slumped backward wearily as the springs of the tattered armchair screeched beneath my disappointment. Drooping candles flickered frantically, casting terrifying shadows onto every wall in the dimly lit room. I hurl off my boots, caked in snow after hours of constant waiting. Waiting for something that has never come, and probably never will. I admired the trophies scattered across the room and remembered just how long I had waited for them. Blood, sweat and tears had gone into every single one, quite literally. Lifeless birds and marmots lay beside the fireplace with heads of mighty ibex towering over the mantel piece. I gazed up at the clock, chiming its deafening chime, it was time. I swung out of my seat and made my way towards the table, grabbing my rifle hastily and clutching it by my chest. I slid my feet into my boots once again and dived for the door. I prayed from the bottom of my heart that today would be the day. The day that I found what I had never stopped looking for.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I grasped the icy door handle and turned it slowly, the harsh winter winds lashing at my face. I slowly stepped outside, the snow crunching crisply beneath my heavy boots. I swivelled my head in every direction, trying to get a glimpse of some sort of sign. Each glance slowly dampening my spirit, but I couldn’t give up now. I began my evening walk around the winding icy plain, through forests and mountains, hills and moors I kept searching. I will find it. I know I will. Birds and hares mocked me as I made my way across their territory; everything a facade of what I treasured dearest. Several miserable hours dragged on until I decided that I needed to conserve the little energy I had left. The sun had set a while ago and I was onto my last few matches. I reluctantly called it a night and turned eastwards, panting after every step. In the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a wandering pair of paw prints in the snow. My senses ran wild as my legs took off in the direction of the prints. Minutes swept by like seconds as my heart raced, pounding like a drum in my chest. The trail came to a halt. Suddenly I was face to face with a snow leopard. Its fur shimmering like the stars in the sky, eyes sparkling like sapphires. I had finally found it. Not allowing my emotions to get the better of me I stood back, lifted the gun and took aim…