Poems by Antoinette Atik
2017-09-01 17:42:56 -

15-year-old from Thurles took first place in the 14-17 category for her collection of poetry: Struggles, New Beginnings, and Adaptations


New Beginnings


Buried underneath the sea,

Are creatures who so full of life,

Make their way to coral reefs,

And always manage to survive.


Above the sea at seventeen,

A creature struggles to rise and fly,

His wings burnt down to a crisp,

His life in a flaming ball of fire.


And now the dove, who so pure and white,

Who was religiously favoured and full of life,

Lost his wings and therefor his might,

Decided that he would join sea-life.


Now underneath a blue velvet sky,

Lies a pile of ashes made of bird’s fly.

The poor old creature, too pure and white to die,

Has started a life where starfish lie.


And yet he is happy, though he is a dove.

His wings lies above yet his soul sinks below.

His heart is still full of passion and love,

He is a wingless dove and not a wingless crow.


The flightless dove manages to survive,

Making his way to coral reefs,

Always bursting with life,

And buried underneath the deepest sea.



Fluid Friction


She was a lemon in a jar of honey.

Sour pulp freshly cut with a knife.

Unaccustomed to the sickly sweet nectar which she was floating in.


A motionless lemon wedge in relief.

No harsh air destroying her sour layer,

Instead the honey developed a new flavour.


Throw a lemon in a jar of honey.

Watch it discard its previous taste.

Know its impact on the surrounding,

Its own past deteriorating gently.


Losing its past and absorbing a new life,

Never changing in appearance but bite.

Chew on it’s tough but sweet rind,


Several nationalities, a beautiful mind.




The teacher’s wall was splattered with colourful posters,

Much like a deconstructed rainbow.

Food pyramids, maths theorems and in big block letters:


At lunch the kids sat down at tables

Telling jokes of homeless Mexican people

And comparing the sallow skin kids to “foreigners”

And laughing.

After the break, the teacher sat them down,

To give them a few words of advice.

But the kids didn’t listen

And kept spreading their “wisdom”

Like a continuous outbreak of lice.

The kids grew up to have kids of their own

And each were born with an open mind.

They went into the world and we’re old enough

And so, were given the same advice.

Unlike their parents, this information sufficed.

One went home and cried, upset at what the past had done,

One went home to decide that they’d exclude no one.

And one took time to decipher differences and

Understand what they were.

They realised that the past was wrong,

And longed for it to become a blur.

They kept hope for the future and a mixed society.

A new generation, that understood diversity.



Walking through the airport, they hold their gazes.

Ordering a coffee, the cashier over-enunciates.

Standing in an elevator, they clutch their bag and step away;

Trying to keep the foreigner at bay.

“Do you like it here? ” They ask and ask.

“I was born and raised here”, they don’t quite grasp.

I know they’re being kind, and helping me ‘fit in’.

But I understand the weather and hurling and the writing on the tin.

And I’ve told you a thousand times,

I don’t know any terrorists.

But I can get you a good chipper,

Number one on my list.

I do respect you, and I appreciate you trying to be kind.

But if I can’t comprehend something, I’ll ask you,

Don’t you mind.

TAGS : Metro Eireann Writing Competition
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