Category 1: Primary 4 to Primary 7

Winner

‘Pain’ by Flora Smith, P7, Cargilfield School, Edinburgh
Flora wins a digital compact camera and a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Cargilfield School wins a digital SLR camera.
Flora and her class also win a poetry workshop hosted by the Scottish Poetry Library and a published poet.

Pain
There are two kinds of pain.
The pain you feel when that blunt knife tears
Out the shrapnel, inside your stomach.
A sharp pain, a visible pain, accompanied by blood.
And the pain you feel when you have lost someone.
A father.
A son.
A friend.
It tears something out of you, but not shrapnel.
Your whole world is collapsing around you.
Yet the stars keep on shining.
The dogs keep on barking.
The men keep on fighting.
Forever fighting.
Two opposing magnets, bound together.
The pain rips you apart.
From the inside.

Flora Smith
P7, Cargilfield School, Edinburgh

Primary Runner-Up ‘A Veteran’ by Sean Smith, P6/7, Stuartfield School, Aberdeenshire
Sean wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Commended (1 of 3) ‘What is a Veteran?’ by J. Frazier McBride, P7, St Aloysius College Junior School, Glasgow
Frazier wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Commended (2 of 3) ‘Behind the Mask’ by Daisy McNab, P7, Cargilfield School, Edinburgh
Daisy wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Commended (3 of 3) ‘A Moment of Silence’ by Flora Smith, P7, Cargilfield School, Edinburgh
Flora wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Download a PDF of the winning poems in Category 1: Primary 4 to Primary 7 here.

Category 2: Secondary 1 to Secondary 3

Winner

‘My War’ by Catrin Stephen, S2, Banchory Academy, Kincardineshire
Catrin wins a digital compact camera and a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Banchory Academy wins a digital SLR camera.
Catrin and her class also win a poetry workshop hosted by the Scottish Poetry Library and a published poet.

My War
My wounding war is never over
Not even now that we have won
It didn’t end when I came home
Or when I hung up my gun

The dreadful things I saw out there
Will surely scar my mind for life
Things that you can not tell a soul
Without sparing details of the strife

I can’t explain how it feels to kill
Someone I know is just like me
Fighting proudly for their people
Hoping one day they will be free

It was not a quick, blind shooting
I saw all that there was to see
I saw the ring upon his finger
I saw his hopeless plea for mercy

His face always at the back of my eyes
Trying so very hard to be seen
To make me feel the guilt I should
For taking life that would have been

He wasn’t unarmed but he was afraid
Putting his ring to his lips and kissed
We both pulled our triggers in unison
I wish he hadn’t missed

Catrin Stephen
S2, Banchory Academy, Kincardineshire

Runner Up ‘And I was the Lucky One’ by Laura Smith, S1, Banchory Academy, Kincardineshire
Laura wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Commended (1 of 2) ‘Veteran’ by James Sanders, S2 Banchory Academy, Kincardineshire
James wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Commended (2 of 2) ‘Solitude’ by Liam Hutcheon, S3, Banchory Academy, Kincardineshire
Liam wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Download a PDF of the winning poems in Category 2: Secondary 1 to Secondary 3 here.

Category 3: Secondary 4 to Secondary 6

Winner

‘The Leftovers of War’ by Heather Smith, S6, Duncanrig Secondary School, East Kilbride
Heather wins a digital compact camera and a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Duncanrig Secondary School wins a digital SLR camera.
Heather and her class also win a poetry workshop hosted by the Scottish Poetry Library and a published poet.

The Leftovers of War
The crack of bullets
Ripping off flesh and bone
Throwing to the ground
The leftovers of war.

The tear of the paper
Spilling words of pain
Falling to the floor
The widows of war.

The silence of the guns
Tears of patience and relief
Releasing them back home
The survivors of war.

Heather Smith
S6 Duncanrig Secondary School, East Kilbride

Commended (1 of 2) ‘What is a Veteran?’ by Kelly-Louise Gair, Inverness Royal Academy, Inverness
Kelly-Louise wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Commended (2 of 2) ‘‘What is a Veteran?’ by Richard Kelly, Panmure St Ann’s, Edinburgh
Richard wins a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.

Download a PDF of the winning poems in Category 3: Secondary 4 to Secondary 6 here.

The Judges

The final judging panel consisted of:

Janice Forsyth, Writer and Broadcaster
Robyn Marsack, Director, Scottish Poetry Library
Neil McLennan, National Development Officer, Enterprise in Education
Colin M Flinn, Head of Fundraising, Poppyscotland
Ron Butlin, poet, author and current Edinburgh Makar
Lorna Irvine, Education Officer, Scottish Poetry Library

The Images

Download a PDF of the images used in the competition here.