Lisa Cochrane

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Lisa Cochrane – (Year 13, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland)


I paused when I heard,
via long distance call,
that you had moved from my world
to another,
secretly glad that I could have my mother back
to make cut lunches.

I said goodbye later that night,
hurried into and then out of a room
where children should be neither seen nor heard,
too scared to ask questions,
a few minutes to make my peace.

Nine daffodil heads opened that week
– one for each of your girls.
We cut them;
the symbol of your battle.
We carried them that day
till they were droopy and worn
when we left them with you.

Three years ago
you slipped out of my life.
At the time I was secretly glad,
confused only
that my mother
put Salt Shakers into your coffin
for 'later on'.

Michael Trigg

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Michael Trigg – (Year 13, Wellington College)

Act One

Zips up, buttons buttoned,
Put on someone else’s face.


Do re me

Stretch the mind, the body and the voice.
Silent, one sided conversation in a corner.

Fa so la

Breathe in through the nose,
Out through the mouth.
Each breath in filling you with someone else.
Each breath out, emptying you of yourself.

Ti do do

Look around, recognise faces
And acknowledge their presence.

Ti la so


Fa me re

Blaring silence.


Curtain up.

Michaela Ball

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Michaela Ball – (Year 13, Cashmere High School, Christchurch)

Scarlet Lips

Lips tainted scarlet grate against my own
like bruises and grapes and
like the colour you think a laugh might be.

The words I’ll bow my head in silence
resonate in my ears, but now they’re red,
and I don’t think I can listen anymore.

Sharp, rugged rocks were splayed across
the beach,
we had a blanket because it was cold,
fingers, hands.

And now, the smooth, hard surface is scratched.
The moon stole my vocabulary,
and left me with a pair of red gumboots

I’ll dirty the ochre-jelly soles,
and pretend I’m someone


Sam Wells

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Sam Wells – (Year 12, Wellington College)

Lazy Boy

Warmth and softness,
the cat purring,
the fire crackling.
It’s funny what you see
when your eyes aren’t open.

Because he can still see
the business suit at the end
of the tunnel.
The constant colour of green.
The gold man on the water.
The ease with which the knife cuts through the butter.

But the butter is cold.

His favourite feeling is flying.
Being a hot knife
floating, weightless,
with everything and nothing beneath.
Chaos under him continues,
but not near him.
He is flying.

And all this about a boy
in the cold,
on the couch,
inside me.

Sarah Wilks

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Sarah Wilks – (Year 13, Samuel Marsden Collegiate, Wellington)

Little Sister

After stories last night
I couldn't help but notice
The perfection in your milk white cheek,
The smooth and absolute softness of it,
Like a mound of icing sugar.

Then, erupting with laughter,
Your eyes glimmered
And your mouth grinned open,
So I was washed with the smell of toothpaste,
As your warm body twisted away,

Leaving me cold.

Sarah Zydervelt

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Sarah Zydervelt – (Year 12, Nayland College, Nelson)

A Leaving Message (For Eriko)

It is easier for the particles to move under.
The wind carries you off.
Gliding, the air hostess remembers her tray.
Music takes you back.
Summer watched the playful, her salty eyes form memories.
The sea looks wispy from your perch.

I miss you.
Music takes me back.
Kayaking trips make me smile and how we sung like idiots.
It’s easier for me to feel sad.
Isolated in a little town filled with empty space.

I could be swept away in a dream.
Carried off by pretty phrases and fitted with silver wings,
But you will always be my heart and on the phone.
I guess I’ll see you soon enough.

I don’t get to watch history as a brick carries you away.
I’ll say goodbye and pretend to smile.
My saline eyes reveal all.
Change stains the leaves of my memories as they swoop to a resting point.
We are good at hugs and cheating.
This box cheats gravity.
I love our sneaking and missioning.

I'll heart you soon.

Shannyn Boyd

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'The Pact' – recorded as a single by Barnaby Weir – was distributed to radio stations, was available as a free download (for a limited time only) from DigiRAMA and was also available free from i-Tunes by mid-September 2007. You can view the video, by Rob Appierdo, on YouTube.

Shannyn Boyd – (Year 12, Hutt Valley High School, Lower Hutt)

The Pact

Let’s never fall in love.
Grazed knees were easier to fix
than broken hearts,
and broken concrete is easier to avoid
than him.

Let’s never grow old.
It was easier to turn five
than to turn the other cheek,
growing upwards instead of cancer.

Let’s never leave.
It’s easier to grow tired of you
than grow tired of waiting for letters,
and phone bills
don’t pay themselves.

Let’s be nothing, I hear it lasts forever.

Sue Mun Huang

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Sue Mun Huang – (Year 12, Karamu High School, Hastings)

Father, PhD

I can navigate Taipei
and talk to strangers
because you won’t.

I can distinguish 14 apple species
and recite the 50 states by location
of the country you despise
almost as much as China.

is your answer.

I can replace the mail exactly
as you left it,

Dora Sharpe-Davidson

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The air is unwashed.
She fills her head with words
and pink dresses, goes out to dance
forgets to ask her mother.
She's home by three
the cellphone cradled in her palm
like some big metallic bug.
She doesn't speak.
Her hair flat and still,
her pupils busy.

Imogen's tired of this house;
its doors cold and weighty
with winter, the curtains held
in two tight pigtails
and those light bulbs; tiny skulls
their faces flat and defeated.
She hides in the smallness of her room
watches the thrown stick
swallow the sky
with a pointed tongue.

Chloë Nannestad

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Chloë Nannestad – (Year 12, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland)



I dreamed last night of
Hemingway’s house in Chicago.
and you,
jumping on the floorboards and
sitting fully clothed in the bath saying
What if what if he wrote here and here
and here.


Today is too slow and sad like depressed treacle so
we play the comic-book game.
I zap to the bus-stop and watch the white rain fall because
pow you forgot the umbrella.


To study revenge fantasies
is to imagine again how you looked reading.
I hate it when you go places without me.


We had the blueprints
for the house
you said it ain’t big enough for the both of us and
I mimed, draw and
oh don’t.
oh if only not.


There was your nose today.
in the crowd, just
your nose.
I watched it leave, then I went back home, just