Runner-up in the grades 7/8/9 section – Anagha Valappil’s poem, “Dragonfly”



by Anagha Valappil, from St. Michael’s Collegiate


Welcome its presence 

with silent expectation, 

then claim the reward:  


 a tapestry of colours weaving a kaleidoscopic plait, 

papery rustle echoing from gossamer wings, 

diamond facets perceiving enormity, 

slender needle skimming the water’s surface, 

pincers penetrating dense air, 

aquatic nymph loitering, 

drifting to dragonfly, hovering and swooping; 


hush, do not speak a word    

or whisper its name 

for it will flee on the wind.  



Runner-up in the grade 7/8/9 section – Tessa Yu’s poem, “Return to Wetlands”


Return to Wetlands

by Tessa Yu, from St. Michael’s Collegiate


Fresh, salt air penetrates my skin, 

filling my lungs with clear crispness. 


Here, where my childhood was built; 

upon rocks caked with moss, 

amongst deep brown sludge 

seeping between my toes, 

in the cool, fresh water 

where I’d wash each day away 

like it was nothing more than a speck of dirt. 


Memories reflect 

off the clear blue water 

which glistens, 

gleaming in the afternoon sun, 

rippling gently in the breeze. 


Rocks coated in rich, velvety moss 

where I, a young child once, stood 

ruling as far as the eye could see 

now sit, dreary and bare 

a fragile reminder of those fearless days.


I am not the ruler of the land anymore, 

days resulting in more stains 

than a simple swim could wash away, 

yet here, 

in this moment, 

I know a part of that young child lives on, 

here amongst the wetlands.

Runner-up in the grade 7/8/9 section – Ella Anderson’s poem, “Flamingo”


by Ella Anderson, from St. Michael’s Collegiate

Tear shaped head, 
like a wonky pink flame 
on a feathered rope of neck. 
Pillowed body, 
ruffled by brittle breezes. 
Thick beak, 
dipped in black paint at the tip. 
Blushed body 
like the hot, pink cheeks of a toddler. 
Reedy, gnarled legs, 
the scraggly top branches of an ancient tree, 
knotted underneath its belly. 
Long, wrinkled toes, 
combing through blooming clouds of sand. 
Strutting stiffly, 
pecking precariously, 
a flurry of feathers.

Runner-up in the grade 7/8/9 section -“Horses of the Camargue” by Marion Scott

Disphyma crassifolium

Horses of the Camargue 

by Marion Scott, from St. Michael’s Collegiate

As the sky is sprinkled with the light of day 
White horses join the salty spray 
The cool night air and harsh winter rains 
The mistral that whips and rustles their manes 
A horse that roams the watery plains 
The horses of the Camargue 
The herd has stilled, a tall mare strays 
She and her colt have stopped to graze 
He is not white, but charcoal black 
An egret, perched, upon his back 
Snatches insects for a tasty snack 
From the air of the Camargue 
The mare devours the shoots of reeds 
That whisper softly in the breeze 
The colt lowers his head to eat 
His muzzle and the water meet 
He snatches the samphire at his feet 
The food of the Camargue 
Afternoon sun makes the water shimmer 
Flamingos reflected as in a mirror 
And from the colt’s back the egret spies 
Observing the world with his glassy eyes 
And, suddenly, takes to the skies 
The sunset of the Camargue 
And far away where the herons cry 
And mackerel scales speckle the sky 
Over the salt water you will see 
White horses gallop, wild and free 
And these; they are the horses of the sea 
The horses of the Camargue.

Highly commended in the grade 7/8/9 section – Clementine Harris’s “Frog Spawn”


Frog Spawn 

by Clementine Harris, from St. Michael’s Collegiate

Orbs of opaqueness, 
buoyant in silt. 
A galaxy enclosed, 
dark and light collide.
 Charcoal birds eggs, 
speckles swimming. 
A coterie of kelp. 
Ten thousand to one, 
river-time brume. 
Secluded rain ripples. 
Dappled buckets, 
too small to hold. 
Glassy reflections, 
brothers alike. 
A solitary quill, 
obsidian ink-stained. 
Creeping further outward, 
searching for the edge to drown itself. 
Suspended from the air, 
living as rain. 

Runner-up in the grade 5/6 section – Our Vast Wetlands by Daisy Willows”


Our Vast Wetlands

by Daisy Willows, from Scotch Oakburn College

The fresh green grass blades 
Grows from under the murky water 
The sloshy marches 
Stretch forever 
As they disappears into the horizon 
I see vast flocks of birds, 
Peppering the sky 
Deadly predators 
Pelicans fishing for food, 
Disappearing under the wispy reeds. 
The rich, sodden soil 
That lives beneath the marshes 
After the rains come 
Gluggy, turned into mud 
In the boiling summer sun 
Water evaporates 
And the soil cracks again 
Birds migrate 
An incredible natural cycle. 

Runner-Up in the grade 5/6 section -Stephanie Wilks’ poem, “Wetlands”



by Stephanie Wilks, from Scotch Oakburn College

Beautiful flowing waterways, 
Where there often is no drought. 
It’s peaceful, calm and quiet, 
Until the creatures come running out. 
Pelicans, swans, crocodiles, 
You will find them high and low. 
Some creatures even live there, 
That we don’t really know. 
The water rises up, 
When all the rain pelts down. 
Lots of puddles form, 
Taking over sacred ground. 
Flora and fauna bloom and thrive, 
Meandering all around. 
Reaching for the canopies of trees, 
Of which to mud their roots are bound.