Pawns of Today

By the students of Billabong High

On 26th April 2017, world-renowned Northern Irish poet Cat Brogan visited BHIS to share her experience with young literary-minded students. After an interactive workshop session of two hours, each student shared the lines they came up with to create one collaborative poem, Pawns of Today:

I’m trapped in a circle, running in 360 degrees,

Searching for solutions like the cure to some disease.

Too afraid to go off on a tangent and find a new equation,

I need to have a think and make some revision.

Too much stereotypes kill mentality,

But make a strike and bring back reality.

Give your best and kill anxiety.

Give it a try and do it honestly.

The sun disappeared as if it never existed.

But as time passed it slowly started to break through,

The sun went down, my world plunged into darkness

Because you left, the others but shined brighter:

They offered little comfort, waiting in the darkness

For you to rise again, because even though you’re a million miles away,

You light up my whole world.

Play the game of life like you’re playing basketball.

Win at life and you become a champion;

If only life was easier as it in the cartoons.

My dreams were crushed as a building would be wrecked.

My life is a blank page

That I am too afraid to fill in,

Because once the words come out,

I can’t bring them back in.

Who are you?

What makes you believe what you do?

And who are the others, to dictate what you believe in?

Who are the others, to tell you;

Who you are?

It seems as if the whole universe is living their lives

Around a battery-operated clock; confining ourselves to

The twelve digits we use in a desperate attempt to convince ourselves

That we are in order, we are normal, we live like everyone else.

But why do we glorify uniformity?

What if I don’t want to conform to meaningless digits and live my life through numbers?

People laugh at things that are funny.

Does that include beliefs?

People laugh at things that are funny.

Am I funny?

People laugh at clowns.

Am I one?

To people who create life,

I am their clown:

In the game I play, they laugh.

They say, I am like a clown that plays on the court.

My shots are considered a failed juggle.

Am I a clown? Or is life framing me to be one?

Why am I funny? I just play.

Life gave me its position to entertain.

Why don’t I just be boring? Life wouldn’t make me a clown.

It seems that the world is in a state of hypnosis,

Carving us into fragile statues.

No one bats an eyelash at the coldness,

Even if you were as appealing as a sculpted masterpiece,

Sat in a museum, worth the nation treasury.

It seems as though we need a manual for living and a manual for beauty:

It will tell you the requirements needed to be successful.

Fix your body, they will say,

You don’t look right, they will say,

And I’ll believe it.

Pretty, gorgeous,

Fabulous, amazing,

Hot, they will say,

As if I’m just some microwave that heats up take out I have on a Friday night.

Am I a microwave?

No, I am a person,

And that’s more than enough for me.

My heart took a leap

And it felt like I jumped off a cliff,

And realized I had wings.

My thoughts are pounding in my head,

Feelings rushing through my veins like blood.

Life is not worth living

If people want to change

Who I am,

Or who I want to be.

Stress is a hand choking you,

Preventing you from breathing the fresh air of freedom.

Life is like an exam

You learn new things

You’re expected to fail

But I’m going to win

And I will prove everyone wrong

By bringing back full marks.

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