A Collection of Original Poetry by Students of Ladysmith High School

Saturday, 17 September 2016

First Place ~ Senior Section

To Live and Die This Way

Change is supposed to be enlivening, unfortunately for our species
The change is what is killing us.
To the people in suits, white coats, overalls, uniforms and costumes-
This is our mud ball two spaces away from the life-giving sun.
Just be still and listen - Don’t move, don’t run.

The ocean breeze blows swiftly across but brings with it aviation fuel.
The sharks, whales and manatees all drown.
Huge Gorgonian fans in the oceans - Leaves made of thousand tiny bones,
Will grow with the multitudes of millions of creature-skeletons in the sea.
Don’t go anywhere, don’t turn your back.
This concerns them, you, him and me.

In all your might you stand before me.
I see the violence slide into your eyes
Like dense smoke behind cracking walls of glass.
It is your nature to inflict pain- To kill, murder, kidnap, bomb and destroy.
To even fight and kill your own brothers…And that is when buildings crumble.
Cars and busses eventually
Flicker Like Toys In Oblivion.

I see people with no spirit or life, and I feel a sun without any warmth.
You lose all you have been nurtured with-
Prayer, devotion, love, faith and care.
There is a never-ending war Of Nature versus Nurture.

Chaos and destruction mark this earth.
Turn back all the atomic clocks; Undo the devastating damage;
Help treat every painful wound.
Don’t be ignorant and don’t pretend-
Be the warriors and fight to the end.

The damage has solidified like diamond.
Goodbye rhinoceros, monarch butterfly and mermaid blue sparkling ocean.
You will have to bear being forced to set
Havoc-causing, misery-leading and Fire- exploding plans into motion.

Pictures and memories of the transcend
And tranquil past will remain forever.
But in the way forward,
The past will be nothing more than a foreign country to us…

Pryaska Goorhoo
Grade 12 ERV

First Place ~ Junior Section


They have returned, those vicious beasts,
Burning , breaking, plundering, pillaging-
Pure evil, they feast.

My baby boy, snatched from my hand
My warmth, my love
Replaced with cold, hard steel.
A rifle! NO !  I kneel, I beg, I pray…I stand.

Beaten, broken, battered; anger burns in me
But still my eyes plea!
Leave my baby boy, he’s only three

Blood curdling screams
Tears down my face stream
My baby boy I see
MAMA! Mama! PLEASE help me!

Agonising pain, as I fall
Blood oozing, I hear a victory call
My baby boy, a decade gone
A man-child, a soldier of war, over me he stands tall.

Rifle placed upon my head
My baby boy, what life have you lead
Eyes cold, he stares at me – so old
Lost Soul !
Trigger squeezes bullets fly
My son…It is I…your mama…

Keara  Singh
Grade 8EMM

Second Place ~ Senior Section

Cosmos Don't Lie 

Looking at the open cosmofield from my back window
I believe that sometime in the future good things are going to happen
That someday, I will again acquire the strength and energy
To run across the open field, plucking flowers on my way
That not long from now, I will pull the petals of the cosmos one by one
revealing that open secret I had once been expecting.
They say cosmos don't lie...
He loves me.

But now as doubt fills my head in an avalanche
I try to maintain the same optimism
What seems right, surely must be the right thing
But that cannot always be the case because in school
I was taught that my subject must agree with my verb
Or else my sense is incorrect.
It feels like ages ago,  as I no longer make any attempt to apply that principle,
Concord, not cosmos.
If in a sentence, a verb must agree with its subject,
Then in life, the future must correspond with the past.

I remember once when I looked at the open field from my back window
I remember running through the field while plucking cosmos
And pulling the petals off, one by one.
It feels like ages ago, a memory long dormant.
This is all in the past (the curtains of my back window now remain closed)
They say cosmos don't lie.
I said cosmos don't lie...
He loves me not.

Andiswa Gwala 
Grade 10EHN

Third Place ~ Senior Section


My past is a forgotten country, one littered with shards of happy
Memories that cut you like a knife when you think of them. We were happy once,
All smiles and family picnic. Our country was beautiful, in all its sunny glory and undying
Laughter. We were a big tourist attraction, but slowly we started to fall apart.
Brick by brick we came undone.

On the outside we were beyond beautiful, but inside the government was falling apart.
You were blaming her, she was blaming you and I was blaming myself for forgiving him.
Maybe if I had been harsher the monsoon of pain would have stopped, but I was a child.
A child in the word and not in nature. I mean what child had to see all that?
No child should have to feel the deaths of their soul before they even knew they had one.

The government began to turn on each other – civil war.
He used guns, she used words and I used prayer – but they never seemed to work.
Do they ever work? I wonder if God could hear my voice, maybe He just didn’t care.
I saw her pain, asked her to forgive him, she did. Time and time again she did.
I was so selfish, I could see she was dying but I asked her to stay.

He said he loved her, I had never seen such pain in love.
Does it all have guns and pain or was it just ours?
Today we sit her, touring other people’s countries, too scarred to rebuild ours from the ashes.
That’s what happens to ashes, right?
We forget them just like we’ve forgotten our country.

Omhle Duma 
Grade 12ELG

Second Place ~ Junior Section


Cold wind in his ear
Racing heart in his chest
Broken bones in his legs
Still at lightning speed, he sprints

Almost collapsing, he smiles
Not a tear in sight
He hides his pain
As the neighbour waves

After years of running, his little body grows weary
A beast is upon him
He can't go on any more
Ready to surrender

At peace one last time
Before he gives in
He slowly opens his eyes
He is lying on his bed, panting heavily

"Another nightmare," he breathed
A predator he escaped by waking up
Unlike the one coming down the corridor
That stomps and stumbles and thunders

As Father now looms at the door
Alcohol staining his breath
He is clothed with spatters of the colour red
The colour his victimized wife bled
In despair, the boy sighed
Knowing he was next

Mika Datadin
Grade 9ENW

Third Place ~ Junior Section


The past is a foreign country
With those memories at the back of my mind
In the dark collecting dust
Are the secrets I don’t want to unwind.

The memories and secrets that I hold
Some as precious as gold.
Some good, some bad,
Some I wish I never had.

The past is a foreign country
Filled with things that I have done.
I have moved on with my life,
A new chapter has begun.

The past is a story old and known to all,
Filled with triumphs and falls.
But the future is a story, new and not known.
It is a story that is yet to be told.

Juwairiyah Gaffer
Grade 8EM

Gold Awards

The Past is a Foreign Country

What life stole from me… left me vacant.
The past being my soul harvester,
that yielded everything.

My happiness was a candle
that filled the darkness
like a firefly in the midst of depressing night.
This candle shone bright but was put off
far too many times until it burnt out.

My experiences once defined me,
experiences that I crave to revisit.
Yet my Life now is like a metaphor,
 expressing things in a concrete way.

I was once told to leave my past behind.
“The past will destroy you and your future.” They said
Yet my past was me.
But how wrong it is of me to try and resurrect my past?
How shameful is it that I still believe I can relive in my futile history?

For all that was once living is now dead.
Yet my ship still sails,
It plows through the seas of my existence
and refuses to sink.

And although my past
may be a foreign country
that cannot be revived.
Within me it is still
my oasis in the bone dry desert.
My fountain of vitality.

Nishka Ramkhelawan
Grade 12

* * *

The Place

We probably shouldn't have spoken
The first conversation was too fatally flawless to be real
How one voice echoed the miraculous sound of the other
like sound waves of a siren
Not knowing where mine started and where yours ended
The deep memories between us...
We remain in an unbroken connection
yet it seems we never connected to begin with
How one hand held another without physical contact
How palms edged away from each other
after expressing what seemed to be a scene of symmetrical compatibility...
But it all remains there now
it all remains in that deep,dark ravenous place lacking illumination and truth

He seemed to be a friend,one who got friendly beyond boundaries
"He's just a friend",were your words
How was I not to feel the heat when you and I started out exactly the same?
He probably wiped away all the tears and blood from your eyes
How did I not notice that he would finally have your heart?
With his dark shadow being followed by one of its own
I was blind to his true motives
I guess I'm to blame for  not realising there's no smoke without a fire
but the fire in his eyes resembled a familiar place,familiar beyond my comprehension...
A place where memories lie,both soothing and sickening
A place of mastery in the torturing of my soul
A place of forgotten desires and moments long unwanted
and a cycle of nightmares coming to life
A place I have learnt to visit with the soul and mind but never with the heart
A place I would greatly loathe,yet somehow call home
Foreign in times of bliss yet near in times of sorrow
A place I would never freely venture unto
but forced as mere escape of my thoughts
The past is such a place and a foreign country is what I choose to call it...

Siyabonga Dlamini
Grade 12

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

The past is a foreign country,
with barren fields of sand, where
the steps of humanity once trod,
like the scorching desert that
drowns life in waves of heat.

The past is oblivion's subtle boast,
that whispers eroded memories
and secrets of the heart,
like an echo of a breeze on rolling hills.

It is an incoherent dream,
destined for non-existence,
creating derision... creating despair.

The past is a foreign country,
where time lies dormant - buried
on ancient lands dotted with the
tombs of the dead,
awaiting the gyre of "Karma"...
Awaiting resurrection.

Nsiki Gwala
Grade 11

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

There is a far away land ,
Further than comprehension,
In this strange place,
There is a young boy,
And he is saying what I once said,
Doing what I once did,
Follows where I now lead,
He's falling for the same girl I would die for,
He feels pride for things I now feel nothing but shame,
All he wants is to do is have fun,
In this case we are not the same,
For the thing I seek, the thing I crave,
Is to travel to this place,
The land of second chances,
So I can correct the mistakes he's making,
Do right where he's doing wrong,
Doesn't he know it's my life he's forsaking ?
But this boy I speak of,
In truth is actually me,
The only difference?
He's In the past as a foreign country.

Seth Lindsay

Grade 10

* * *


You never knew you were a survivor
But you knew, you were the beast
That only came out to feast
The beast that preys on the young and the weak.

It came to you at your worst
That drug addiction
If only it was fiction and hallucination
But the beast was real.

It manipulated your mind
You even tried to hide
You hated having a toxic mind
You needed an antidote of some kind.

You hurt everyone
Leaving everyone stunned
Wondering when they would say their last goodbye.

You were an intruder trapped within
 A shadow constantly avoided
You asked for help
But no ear would hear

You had angel wings to fly
But you would sit and cry
And constantly ask why?
They all hated you…

But it wasn’t the real you
Where had you gone?
Predator was your mind…
Hidden within prey your physical being…

Survival wins over predator and prey.

Charné Williams
Grade 10

* * *

My Past

The past is on my mind
with old thoughts and memories
overflowing into the next
making it as invalid as the last

For me this is not the place to be,
like a nightmare wanting to be forgotten
and never remembered.

These days are very vague
being shadowed by the fog of
what I wanted it to be.

I could never reflect on these weathered memories,
my mind refuses.
It is like looking into the pieces of a shattered mirror
all emulating the same twisted reality

Although I cannot avoid these terrible times
The past is not the template to my future
For I will define my path
And become the great I am destined to be.

Never having a proper home
Or normal family to love
Eating amongst dozens
Just like me.
I reach into an empty frame at night
Waiting for hand to reach back,
Waiting and wishing for them back

One could only imagine my past…

Neelan Gounden
Grade 10

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

When your mother gave birth to you and held
her infant child in her hands for the fist time,
As the nurse lay your tiny head in her hand,
She caresses your small skull,
as if to show that she is bestowing onto you,
All her knowledge, all her wisdom, all her love
and every ounce of the fire that burns within her.
As she dose so, she says to you-

“My child. I almost wish you were not born,
Your innocence is not ready for the cruelty of this world,
but for as long as I fight, my child your
Future will be as bright as the stars above.
You, my child are my star!”

At that moment, that split second,
You did not understand what she meant.
You are older now and do you understand,
Do you understand the struggle she went through,
the struggle they ALL went though.
The struggle THEY went through for YOU!


Alexandria Nathi

Grade 8

* * *

Dare to Care?

The swirling tides ebb their way away from the turbulent shores
As I stand paralysed beside the dusty window in agony over my chores
Do these people have acknowledgement of the torture I face?
No, how could they with all that luxurious jewellery and lace!
As streams of tears ripple down my face,
They are able to perfect my insignificance with such immaculate elegance and grace
Is this brutal behavior my punishment for committing a heinous crime?
Well if that's the situation then surely death must consume any time.

Who am I but just feeble minded and inconsequential soul
Wondering aimlessly without an ambition, without a simple goal
My painful heart pleads constantly for love and comfort of some kind
Be it in thought, be it in touch or be it in mind
Could it be my destiny to endure this piercing pain?
For they show no passion nor sympathy - they don't even know my name.

The swirling tides ebb their way away from the turbulent shores
As I stand paralysed beside the dusty window in agony over my chores
The illuminating beauty of the mystical sunset captivates me
Painting a glorious picture, one I believed I would never see
As the magical melody of that enchanting ball travels through the air.
I view my prison - with hope that someone would dare to care.

Yasthi Singh
Grade 8

Silver Awards

The Last Breath

He takes his last breath of air
The air which the scent of her perfume
once contaminated...

It was such a sweet smell.
The smell of his desires
falling so effortlessly into place.
The smell of affection
tainted his nose for 6 months without fail...

Until the clouds arrived
and the rain washed away the fire
within their souls
Leaving nothing but the pungent smell
of charred heartbreak.

Its ironic: they once said that they would dance in the rain.

Now it's time for them to extinguish their emotions completely

For what once was
Will never again be.

So he takes his last breath of air
as his depersonalised spirit fades
soothingly out of his body...
and away from hers.

She was his oxygen
- never again will his lifeless corpse breathe.

Nash Aniruth 
Grade 12

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

The past is a foreign country
in the cities of our hearts
but our foundations are built
and shaped
town upon ancient town
and is the  past really lost?
or does it play on around
us in ways we cannot fathom
or hope to fully understand
does history whisper to us softly
in the chilling breeze
and the souls of thousands
delivered by death from the
hand of Cruelty
plead with us not to make
their same mistakes
Do the ancient, foreign worlds
lapped over by the
passing of time
hold the forgotten wisdom of
ancient mistakes
What could we learn from the land
of the chill in the breeze
 Could we sail through oceans of pride
 and ignorance to the shores of
 the land where choices, mistakes
 and courage are set in stone
 so we could build new foundations
 firmer, stronger.

Chéron L'Estrange
Grade 11

* * *

Predator vs Prey

Readily bounding forward
A life to look towards
Into a trap he was lured
Away he ran without a word
Otherwise he would be skewered
From all his flaws be cured

Stealthily he stalked
So slow he could have walked
Or even stopped and talked
Yet into two, his paths forked
Almost free was life, but he squawked

Of Time, he was unaware
Yet instinct told him to prepare
To pay with life was quite a fare
So heavy a burden he would have to bare
For Time was quite unfair

Stalking Life was a skill
Following quietly, waiting for the kill
Quite a gap he would have to fill
Conquering obstacles like a drill
The quest for hunger he would fulfill

Catching a scent of the pursuit of Time
Reality turned sour like lime
No number of live, even nine
Would ensure he would be fine
There was no time to whine
For Time would drink his blood like wine

At his prime, Life increased his pace
Too afraid of what he had to face
Begging Time to stay off his case
Yet for drastic end, he must brace

For Time, he was no match
His breath, soon, he would have to catch
Had he had the endurance

He would have beaten Time's experience

Banele Kubheka 
Grade 10

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

Lost are the memories of my past
Lost in the cobwebs of my mind
The endless abyss of my heart
But not lost by chance
Left in the past
That foreign past of mine
Moulted out of my former self
To begin a new life
So I can leave behind my former worries
My former strifes
I am a new person
A new me
Adapted to life
So the future I can see
Start a new life and own it
Be the King, be the Chief
Because everyone deserves
To turn over a new leaf.

Uwais Coetzee
Grade 10

* * *

The System

attempting to understand
the knowledge prescribed
so you can be like everybody else.
The words of the page,
be it a microscope stage
or Hitler’s rage,
to digress is unethical,
to suppress is theoretical,
the highlighted is delighted
while discrimination is the imagination.
Saying “True education
is having ‘out the box thinking’”
is impetuous linking
between reality and desire
of the educational empire.

To implore the law
to let the mind explore
is subjective suicide.

Schools search for seamless,
clinically cut
and boundary bred
robotic thinking machines.

But not even the ocean
has been discovered to its
deepest depths
let alone wine which still art on the vine,
the locked potential,
a trapped voice in a
secluded crowd.

Caitlyn Reddy
Grade 10

* * *

Predator or Prey

Deep within the mighty savanna jungle,
lies the man ready for an ensemble.
For a delicate angel from heaven,
awaits her knight in shining amour.
To many people see it as childish,
but to him he sees something furnished.
What makes one feel this way,
can only be answered in a cold may.
At first it was all for a good time,
but now when I look at her I feel like a mime.
If only I could tell her how I felt,
the words would make her melt.
If only she knew what lay inside,
could be the safest place to hide.
To never fear of what comes next,
is going to be very complex.
If only she knew....Oh how much I love her!

Uvir Govender 
Grade 8

Highly Recommended

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

A foreign country
We once lived in.
A country of sadness, oss and
A cou‎ntry of hate, crime and

But, as it passes with time
Its daily emigrants breed
Love, peace and happiness.

For this cataclysmic country that
Has shamed humanity,
Is the father of our peaceful future.

Sakhiso Mabizela
Grade 10

* * *


I saw a mistress today as
Thy beauty, a Daisy amongst a field of lilies
In an attempt, I asked her name
And in that instant
I was mesmerized and hypnotized
Put in a fliverless trance
For her reply was like the sweet taste
Of the river Thames on my tongue
Monica...Monica Anele Flynn
Dead silence crept in like a thief in the night
As a man approached,
Bleached in the stain of the innocent
As he wore blue sergeant’s uniform.
He enquire what is happening
For you see, my friend
He was hers and she was his
Or so he thought...

Kimaal Ramdharie
Grade 10

* * * 

Predator & Prey

In the high grass of the savannah
There I lay with my heart pounding
My enemy passes with not a clue of where I lay
I let out a sigh knowing I had a second chance.
I hear a roar and lift my head through the tall grass
for a peep, my biggest mistake,
and now the chase is on
then after a few agonising minutes
it was all over, the hunter claimed his prize
a lovely new lion fur coat.
I then pranced along keeping in mind
who the real predators are…

Ethan Johnston

* * * 


Running always running
Forced to be quick and cunning
Stay on track keep up with the pack
Lions hot on my heels
Searching for their next meal
This is the life of prey
Live through it i may
For i must never be lead a stray
Running always running.

Jason Monhurel
Grade 9

* * *

The Past is a Foreign Country

Why talk about the past
if the future is here, my friend?
Why talk about a country
if you don't like it? It is two
different thing but have similar
meanings. Don't worry about
the past, worry about your future.
I ask you this question, my fellow friend,
Why talk about the past if the future is here?

Lindokuhle Mbatha
Grade 8

* * *


Sly               Silent

Stalking         Hunting       Devouring

Ferocious      Menacing      Naive     Innocent

Scattering         Hiding         Fleeing

Victim            Sufferer


Aishwari Parthab
Grade 8