Latin: /'vɒks pɒpjʉliː/ VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

It's Winter and we're Migrating

Exciting web developments are allowing us to migrate to an independent page of the school website within the month.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

WRITING COMPETITION: Creative Writing "Forever"

How much does a man live, after all?
Does he live a thousand days, or one only?
For a week, or for several centuries?
How long does a man spend dying?
What does it mean to say "for ever"?

He told me to swallow the fear. So i did.

He told me to take a deep breath. So I breathed in, once.

He told me to close my eyes and to think of a happy place. To think of a far-off country that I have never been to, that I did not even know existed. So I did.

To the best of my ability, I did.

He watched me as he slowly chewed his food, mashed it between his perfect row of spotless teeth. Pearls, he called them. Personally, I thought of them as proof of his narcissim. He watched me as I cut the bread, each slice a centimetre thick. No more, because we could not afford it. Not after India lost her job. So I cut, with my tongue between my coffee-stained teeth. And the least he could do was watch and wait to pounce on me when I went out of line. Because he knew that sooner or later I would cut a larger slice for myself to enjoy later in the darkness of my room. Old Mr Pearls just knew.

The waxy pale light's dancing on the back of my palsm. I can see it waltzing with the veins and the mountainous ridges, highlighting my bony knuckles and repulsive fingernails in the darkness of the room. And the crumbs at the foot of the desk, they're accusing me of a guilty addiction. Of numerous addictions, in fact. I don't know how, and I won't know why, but I find myself as a worn woman with nothing to do except to eat, drink and smoke. And to sit still in the confinements of this room during the darkest hours of the world, when all are dead and quiet. I've resined to the fact that I have forgotten what it's like to dream. I can barely remember the days when I'd close my eyes and open them as if eight hours had been miraculously shortened into the space of five minutes. I can't understand anymore why I'd wanted the night to be longer. It's the darkest time of your life, when ghosts come out to haunt you. My ghost is sitting here, in this room.

My brother died on a cold Wednesday night. Thursday's morning sky was of the clearest blue imaginable; of the bluest poppy you can imagine. And there I was, oblivious to nature's wonders, reading his words on my lap as he faded with each line that I read. In the short span of a few minutes, he was gone from this world. A handwritten note was all that he left behind. I crumpled the letter that same night and fed it to a hungry gas stove. I ahd my first cup of tea in many years, and my last. I have regretted that cup of tea to this day; but the letter is gone and no matter how much I want to see it again, my brother's thick, bold writing will be lost for ever.

He's over there, on the bed, playing with the stitch work I tried to finish with my arthritic hands. He's undoing it, working to hard to undo the work of years. He doesn't have much time, I can feel the dawn coming like I can feel my bones creaking when I shift in my seat. Poor old soul. He watches me as I rip off a piece of bread with my teeth, as I work my jaws like a cow chews on cud, as I gulp it down with milk, and as I scramble to repeat the process again. He's tireless and patient this time. he knows it's nearly time. Old Mr Pearls just knows.

I let him out a few hours ago. He's been my loyal companion ever since Landon walked out of my life, but I had to make him go. I couldn't bear to let him see me stretched out like this. India will take care of him; she loves him just as much as I do. So there you go. I'm hearing the wind rush through the treetops, as full of life as once I was too. Leave me in peace to take my time to reach that door I can dimly see. Let me remember those words I burned long ago, to see the smudged ink as he wrote out his last words to me.

He told me to swallow the coward's fear of happiness. So I did.

He told me to take a deep breath. So I breathed in, just once.

He told me to close my eyes and think of a happy place; to remember it, because I would find myself there one day. So I did.

To the best of my ability, I did.

WRITING COMPETITION: Creative Writing "Butterflies"

"Look! See how it's pretty and innocent, how it's sunbathing in the morning light... Look at it, look! Oh! ...It's taken off. We scared it. It's gone. But wasn't that marvellous while it lasted? Just purely beautiful. Did you se?"

"Follow the light and don't let anything stop you. It's so important that you get there, do you understand? Listen to me, please. Whatever happens make sure you get there before morning, before the light is put out and you're lost. Do you see?"

"I had a dream last night," I said quietly to my plate of eggs, "about Anna." I heard a fork clatter to the ground and somebody apologising profusely, while the rest of the table was drenched in silence. I felt the sweat trickle down my temples, but did not dare wipe it with my fingers. My heart beat louder with each tick of the grandfather clock, and my cheeks burned holes through my face. And suddenly, the room filled with noise again, just as it was before. Just as if I had never spoken. I left the breakfast table as quietly as I could in the ensuing chaos, but I felt their gaze on my back all the same.

Anna often visited me in my dreams. I never told anyone of our encounters, mostly because my family simply did not want to know, and also because she was not part of our family anymore. In my opinion, she never was a Cutmore in the first place. She was born with a perfectly angelic face, unlike any other in our family, but she was given a curse. While others could marvel at her lovely appearance, she would never know the extend of her beautiy. She would not know the meaning of colour. She would not know the importance of a mirror. She would not know the trick of a gallgown. Her green eyes would never be put to use.

The reason for my conduct that particular morning was desperation. The moment my eyes had opened after that dream, I had known that a certain finality had come upon her. Whether Anna was alive I did not know. But it was absolutely that I would never see her again. And that broke my heart.

There was once a land of thorns far away. The skies were grey and cloudy, and it rained all day. The palaces and towers were all deserted, except one. A lonely woman lived, ugly and angry. She lived simply and picked berries from low bushes and mushrooms from the damp ground. She despised people and chased travellers away, whipping them, cursing and hurling names at them. One day while she was doing just the same to a little girl, she stopped. She saw a white butterfly rest on the girl's hair and fly away. She helped the girl to her feet and fed her, nursed the wounds of her own whip.

The woman changed into a better person with the help of the little girl. The girl grew into a young woman and fell in love. The ugly woman, an old and blind woman now, made her a delicate dress out of thorns and prepared her for her new life. Before the girl left, she told her to be careful when she walked between the thorns to arrive at her new home before dark. They embraced one last time before the girl walked into the maze of thorns.

After a while, the woman realised that the girl was actually her daughter, the daughter she had had before she was ugly and angry. The daughter she had seen walk into the thorns one day many years ago, and never come back. Her eyesight returned with this revelation, but it was too late. She searched day and night for her little girl who was not a little girl anymore. She asked the boy, hoping against hope, if her girl had reached his house. After many months of searching in the thorn-infested land, she had no choice but to return to her tower.

As the old woman slept that night, she saw her daughter in a dream. She was sitting barefoot in her dress of thorns at the centre of a lush garden. She had berries in her lap and she was laughing and pointing at the flowers, exclaiming over one that had turned into a butterfly and had flown away. She turned her emerald eyes on the woman, and smiled. "Did you see?"

But, as I said, it was only a dream. Just a simple, little dream.

WRITING COMPETITION: Creative Writing "Dreams"

I never wanted it to be like this.

Never would I want harm to befall my friends. They are my 'safe house' -my haven.

Monday morning. The frigid wind biting at my trench coat. This was it. This was my time to prove to the world that maybe, just maybe, I could do something noteworthy and take my place in history.

I entered the dilapidated ice rink to the sound of Kyle's voice.

"James, over here."

Advancing to his position I quickly recognize Tom and Bover. Standing huddled against the pallid wall they spoke in hushed voices.

"We can do this." I said nervously.

Bover leaned over and picked up a St. Anne's sport bag. Quite ironic in this situation. In the bag there lay to AK 47's, two 9mm's and four masks. The masks were abominable, a glance would send shivers down your spine.

Tom led the way to the grey and decrepit van. As we got in, we put on our masks avoiding the opportunity for suspicion. Kyle drove to 4th and Abbey, while in the back, we silently checked and rechecked our firearms.

This was it.

We jumped out and darted for the doors that were slightly agape. Out of the corner of my left eye I observed Kyle, spinning on his left hell and discharging three cold bullets into the security guard. Opposing my instinct to freeze I kept on sprinting to the vault. Bover was there already, emptying substantial amounts of newly pressed Benjamin Franklins into his gaping bag. I got to work hastily and efficiently, grabbing all I could and shoving it into my own brown bag.

Running of the bank we were confronted. Rapidly we pulled out our firearms and began firing deadly bullets towards them. The flashing blue and white lights of their cars obstructed our shooting and movement, making it difficult to concentrate.

I heard this cacophony of bullets and stun grenades. I saw Tom, stunned, stand up. A bullet pierced his bald skull, silently to me, and he dropped to the hard floor.

I dashed to him; ducking and diving trying to not get hit by the shots. He is gone. But I already knew that. The thought was just impalpable.

Putting aside my feelings of grief and sadness, I got back to work. It was me, Bover and Kyle. kyle and Bover were side by side emptying their AK ammunition clips into the waiting officers. Kyle dropped his last ammunition clip onto the pavement. Leaning down to pick it up, he was exposed through a tiny gap betwen a cop car and a large blue post box. To my horror I witnessed one round get through the opening and hit him square in the chest.

Bover exclaimed loudly and rushed over to Kyle's position. Kyle, still conscious, threw his AK, with the ammunition clip, to me. I grabbed it and ran to them to cover for them. Bover was distraught. Kyle had been his mate since they were in primary school.

Fuelled by anger and vengeance, Bover grabbed the AK out of my hand, put it into his left and then took his own in his right. Shouting, he jumped up and fired the last of the bullets into the crowd of policemen.

Staring at him in total shock I tried to pull him back down to the ground. It was too late. One shot after the other struck his bloodied chest.

It was over. I knew it was.

I rose from my hunched position with my hands in the air. The firing ceased. Scores of people sprinted towards me.

I never wanted it to be like this.

WRITING COMPETITION: Poetry "The Beast Within"

It sits and hides, waiting

Its faint snarls can barely be heard
It quietly watches the world,
While it falls to pieces,
Not daring to show itself.

Hitler condemns the Jews
And the beast lifts its head
The atomic bomb explodes,
And the beast straightens out its back
Rwanda goes up in flames
And the beast opens its eyes

But yet it still sits and hides, waiting

It shakes its head knowingly
Wondering where it all went wrong
Looking at this path of destruction
Created by the sufferers themselves

The twin towers crumble in vain
And the beast smiles smugly
A hole forms in the ozone layer
And the beast clenches its fists
The world turns a blind eye to this horror
And the beast gets ready to attack

The beast stands proud and tall
And stares human kind in the face
It laughs mockingly, "Look at me,
And see what you have created."


The way they look
Deeply into the others eyes
The smiles they give
That light up the sky

The gentle summer breeze
By a picnic on a river
How the guy gives her his jacket
When she starts to shiver

The way the stars
Light up the night
The way her hair
Reflects the light

The way the birds
Come out and sing
How it's all so perfect

Then the first kiss
So soft so quick
All the joys of love
It makes me sick!


Crisp smell of morning air
countless scents enveloping me
Running through the long wet wheat
Dew dripping down racing legs
blissfully unaware
of the world

Purple blur soaring through the air
Touching the softest clouds
Dipping, diving
Shadow on my head
As the eagle calls

Heat of the day creeping
Closer on what is mine
Tasks await to be completed
The urgency of it all returns

Wakening me
to reality


A barrier that deflects pain
Always surrounded by fences
Physically, Mentally and Emotionally
It is the devil's beady eye, searching for a halo in between the mesh of lies
Useless and disappointing
It is a rose, people think it's there for a good purpose, security and beauty,
but then you take a good close look and the thorns prick you.
Dichotomizes beauty from pain

It is the structure that ends the so-called unlimited freedom
It keeps those unwanted secrets hidden beneath the surface
Hard to find and hard to release
A fence may be a sense of security
One step out of it and you are exposed
Everyone knows you, they know your history
And yet, people always want what they know they can't have.

An infatuation
People longing to be on the other side, where the grass is much greener.
False hope
It is a body with no soul
An abandoned baby
A heart with no life

An idealogical divide between right and wrong
Love and hate
Life or death


He finds it amusing you see,
a game for his ingenious mind.
All the drinking, smoking, partying,
a mere activity for a bored soul.

"I'm a true lad," he'll try telling you,
"a rumpus young Pom!"
His exterior will fit this definition perfectly,
like a key in the right lock.

But, if you apply this word "lad" to his interior,
you will find that not only does the key not fit,
but there is more than one door.

This "lad" is not nearly,
as simplistic as the word suggets.
This "lad's" interior is a maze of passages and alleyways.
This "lad" likes to read, has a brain, has a hert.
This "lad" is not what he seems.

So finally the question is raised.
Is he- a lad that cannot be tamed?
Or is he a lad at all?