Tag Archives: sense of place

‘A Sense of Place’ #2: Millfield School Poetry Festival (Year 9, 10, 12)

26 Jun




The Millfield Poetry Festival was an opportunity for our students to express themselves and have fun with words. The theme was “a sense of place”, which our highly creative pupils interpreted in a dazzling variety of ways, from the visual to the abstract, the comical to the philosophical. The English Department was overwhelmed by the inventiveness, daring and candour demonstrated by the young poets. The festival culminated in an evening showcase, in which students read or performed their poems and received prizes from our guest adjudicator, charismatic performance poet/rapper Breis, who finished the evening with his own inspiring material.

What follows is a small selection of some of the poems featured in the festival. I hope you enjoy them.

James Baddock Head of English, Drama & Media


Year 9



by Hussein


In the great city of Cannes

The air is so fresh;

Beautiful beaches boast soft sand

And the water is so clear that you can see your feet like you

Are in a swimming pool.

I have a flat right next to the beach so from my bright

Balcony I survey la France like a king.

And also right next to my flat there is a bakery and I can smell

The warm buttery smell from the boulangerie. J’adore les croissants,

J’aime aussi les pains au chocolats, mais je deteste

Baguettes parce qu’ils sont ternes.




by Ben


The mighty majestic trees

On mountains above

Nature has no fees

The swooping dove

Dives from heaven above.


As I hear the river gushing

I picture salmon jumping

My father and I hushing

We cast and hope our rods are thumping

Have we caught one or shall my heart stop pumping?


One lift of the road

I strike hard and swift

Have I done my job?

As I see the body surface I lift, I lift!

I see something much greater than cod.

I miss my father but I look to God.



Year 10


I am where I am

…………Where I am I am

…………………………….Where am I? …………

…………I am where?

…………………..I don’t know where I am!

…………In a big blank space

In a small dark corner

………………… I am where I am

…………………………….But where I am is where

I am scared of where

In this big blank space

…………………… Scared of I

…………………….In this small dark corner

………..Scared of what?

………………………………Inside my head

……….All in the where

And where in the all

……………………Where I am I am not

Where I am not, I am

………..Where am I?

…………………..I know not

…………who I am

……………………how I am

……………………………..what I am,

, …………………………………………………..why I am……

Where am I?







He sits there being prodded and poked,

Yet still smiles as I sit beside him,

His round cheeks blush and he stares down,

Embarrassed I am seeing him this way.


My hand is squeezed by his small sweaty one,

I am on his level as he stares into my eyes,

Pleading, afraid and silent,

As the salty tears trickle down his warm face.


When it is over, he smiles,

But in his eyes I can see he is still frightened,

And I help him limp to his next appointment,

More prodding, poking and injections await him.


I try to give comfort and solace,

Yet his eyes begin to glisten once again,

With their unshed tears,

As he tries to stand and cannot.


This place has become his second home,

The hospital full of doctors and nurses,

With their fixed smiles,

So not to worry the children.


But I can see the worry in their eyes,

In the eyes of his parents,

In my eyes,

In his eyes.


Life goes on,

Yet this little boy is not so sure,

As he asks his mother,

If he will die.







Year 12



by India


The Thames snakes through the city

Like a vein running through the body

The underground rumbles beneath the pavements

Like ants beneath the soil.

Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsche’s hug the pavements.

Homeless desperate tramps sit on the pavements.

Wealth seeping through Harrods, Selfridges and more.

Poverty around the corner at soup kitchens,

The hungry hang by the door.

A city of extremes, of laughter, fun and

Love, of hate, jealously and death.

This is my home, my life, my energy

My passion.

Go forward in London but always

Remember to look behind you.



The definition of home is divergent.

To a sailor;

his mansion is a wide, wavering ocean

with a nightlight that is brighter than no other as the stars shine, sparkling and broken.

To a pilot;

his palace becomes the azure as he overlooks it through the reflective,

gleaming window wandering the world endlessly.

To a soldier;

his castle is the feeling he gets when he accomplishes protecting his country

on the front line, for the ones he loves.

The explanation is boundless,

but home is nowhere without the ones we cherish.




‘A Sense of Place’: Poems From Millfield School’s 2014 Poetry Festival

22 May




Young poets in Years 9, 10 and 12 are writing poems inspired by particular places of importance to them, painting word-pictures of those places and drawing on a rich emotional palette. Here you will find some poems written by pupils in Year 9, the youngest year group in the senior school. The poems are fresh and honest, and show a deft touch and attention to detail. I hope you enjoy them.

James BaddockHead of English, Drama & Media,



The river flows beneath the night sky
In spring you see the birds learn how to fly
In summer there is the smell of fresh cut grass
And all the people begin to laugh
The swans and ducks then begin to waddle away
And all the children start to play
Autumn comes around fast
And clearing leaves becomes a task
Winter comes in hard before everyone’s eyes
And we all fill up on mince pies
Hot chocolate time by the fire place
Looking onto the Christmas lace
Next comes new year
When everyone forgets all the fear

by Ella and Zoe





by  Ellie


Into the river they paddle and dip,
The slender, silvery
The willow tree
Is where I choose,
As I did before,
And before that.

Riveted, gnarled, ancient,
Yet youthful.
Book in hand,
I clamber,
Up and…

The breeze ripples and eddies,
Reflecting the river below.
Swallows dip,
Snatching up the silvery stream,
They dive, they soar,
Up and away.




The magnitude of the mountains
Their prowess engulfing the slight senescence.
Tiny streams weeping across the prepossessing landscape,
Emerging as an alluring blur –
Pronouncing the innocence and purity of the mist.

Darkness drifts silently and swiftly upon you,
The once aesthetic landscape is now reticent.
Rogue shadows slink with faint, pitiful cries,
Mourning for their relief of death,
The ripples of blood swamping this innocence and purity
With the deep boldness and obnoxiousness.

In a trice, rays of light pierce through the recondite
Of darkness, like a hot knife through butter.
A glimpse of freedom, shone as bright as a star
Through the bleak barbarity of darkness,
Churning in my head, head, head.

by Henry




The sky is like a zen garden
Lights bright like stars
Grass as green as money
Water like a mirror

by Innes




I must stay

by Josh


The purple flash left in my mind
The hut below dodged the threat
My eyes are black my eyes are blind
The place below is getting wet

The clouds line the heavenly door
The street so silent and bare
The litter does roll on the floor
The smell of chips in the air

The candle lights are no match
The tree sways and sigh
The lonely dog starts to scratch
The room to sleep I must buy

They open my door
And are cold no more




by Freddie


The sun is a little boy with a magnifying glass
Burning all the ants,
Everywhere you go a predator is watching your every step,
All the animals staring into the abyss above,
Waiting for short showers,
Fighting for a drop of water,
Nervous to approach you,
Creeping into shadows,
A desert with no oasis,
The birds guarding the skies
As you walk on the crispy cracked earth.




by Page


The old wise men of Moccas.
Where the deer roam all day,
I could stay there all day listening to
the sounds of the wind within the leaves.

I listen with content in my heart. The
Peacefulness is overwhelming and my
Mind is at ease here.You can be
her forever without any disturbance.
Just the way it should be.

Different adventures everyday,
From low to high. Sometimes it’s
Inclement other times it is
Radiant, just like the house.

No disturbance just innocence.
It is easy to lose track of time.
You lose all thoughts.
At peace.



……………a spiritual place of wonder,
the sun even cowers behind burnt branches and neglected pressure,
…………..all silence,
except for a slight rustle of leaves,
…………..I can unwind,
not everything is as it seems,
……………standing out is just someone’s hobby,
……………and there is nothing to be done about it,
glistening gold,
final seconds,
……………and I exhale..

by Ellie





by Rosie


Sifting through each memory,
Every sense of time and space,
Emotions drowning
In the midst of this desolate place

Inmates dull and grey,
Nothing left to live for.
Each day another burden,
Hearts rubbed red and raw.

Locked up at night
Locked up in day.
Memories of the outside world,
Drift by each passing day.

There’s nothing left,
All hope is gone.
There’s nothing left,
My life is done.




World War II London

by Stephen

Sirens going, whistles blowing, bombs fall to the ground,
People running everywhere, confusion all around,
A shout goes out, someone’s hurt, the ambulance moves fast,
Where are the children? Are they safe? I am remembering my past.

Once the houses stood around lovely village greens,
With enormous homes full of love and life,
And children and a husband and a dutiful wife,
A world full of hope, a future full of dreams.

But now all that’s left is a horrible scene,
I must try to stop this to get back what has been,
What is left for you and me,
When the nations of the world cannot see,
They dominate us with power and might,
What is left for our children,
How will they learn what is wrong and right?

So let’s teach them to be tolerant, patient and kind,
To learn that the use of guns is weaker than the mind,
Let’s make it right for you and for me,
So that our children can see how we used to be.





by Tshimollo

Dubai … expanse of desert
With lots of Palm trees and
Lost in the overwhelming brown
Buildings appear from a distance,
Cars going from side to side,

The Human habitation desert gone,
Dubai is as hot as a boiling kennel,
The sand is crisp gold cornflakes,
The water is as warm as a hot
running bath,
The rooms are as cold as ice cubes

That’s the city of




I go to the magical island Minorca

the smell of fresh figs breathing though my nose

Sweet heaven!

I jump in the swimming pool

I get a breath of hot air

And then paralysingly cold water

I’m relaxed and joyful

I get on the jetski

Bumping and bashing

I fall off


by Will



The Beast

by Zoe

The cries of death whispered around the corridors,
Murmurs discussing the blood that stained the sheets,
Eager footsteps caressed the floors,
As the pained looks rushed to meet their fate.

As soon as the doors opened,
The unwilling were engulfed into a world,
Sanitised and streaked with fear,

The operating room beds creased with the contours of paralysed legs,
The shadows of the doctors swarmed over patients,
As the rubber gloves searched for the beast that crawled inside of them,
The beast that could cause the end.




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