Next week we will launch our annual poetry competition for young people in Cumbria. All in Cumbria schools, primary and secondary, can enter, and if you want to start planning now, the theme this year is Milestones.
Meanwhile, we want to remind you about our previous winners, so each day for a week we plan to publish the poems that have stolen our judges’ hearts so far. In 2018 Mayumi Singh, then aged 12 and a student at Windermere School, wrote this winning poem. Here she is reading it, sitting in Wordsworth’s favourite chair:
A boat. Waiting. 10pm. The sound of silence.
A line of people. Terrified. They get onto the boat. Some with lifejackets, others without.
They might not survive.
But they want to escape from the place that was once filled with laughter and happiness,
that they once called ‘home’.
The captain starts sailing. Its pitch black. All is calm but all is not bright.
The children’s eyes are filled with desperation.
They remember the days when their dreams were filled with wonder.
All they can dream about now is their horrified mother screaming.
The journey takes a turn for the worse. A storm is heading their way. The waves become bigger.
The tension rises. The captain tries to divert. The people are terrified.
They are clinging onto the helpless boat. The boat turtles, children scream, mothers cling onto their precious babies.
They are in the middle of the empty Mediterranean Ocean.
No hope. They go in deeper into the water.
Deeper and deeper and deeper.
Till all we can see is a little girl’s doll. Floating away.