It's to be expected that the The Happy Families poetry competition would have a section for poems devoted to the joys and occasional tribulations of family life. Our families are central to our lives, especially during childhood, and yet all families are different, with their foibles, their failings and the occasional embarrassing relative that you wished didn't exist.
A really upbeat poem by Lily about families and the joy they bring, I adore the line And they give me all my loving glee which perfectly sums up what families should be.
Family members are everything to me,
And they give me all my loving glee,
My heart is all they really need,
I’ll help them all by doing good deeds,
Let me help them in all I do,
Yet to say to them I love you.
A delightfully written and visually stunning poem created by Gregory about the joys of relatives. Indeed, to preserve it in all its multi-coloured splendour, I've published it as a picture.
Katy's email told us that 'I wrote this poem for my auntie to show her how much I love her and how much I miss her and tell her that I am thankful to her for all she has done for me.' It's an affectionate and slightly sad poem about her Auntie Dasha and the change in their relationship after her aunt had a child of her own. Well done Katy for writing a great poem which was extraordinarily mature for one so young.
There was a precious moment in my life
When I realized I grew up.
And the person who helped me did it well
Was my auntie Dasha who always compelled.
Well, she looked after me since I was not even born.
I mean, I liked her a lot but not till the morn
When she rapidly woke me
And meant lots to do,
As for me, I just felt sleepy.
I enjoyed playing dolls, reading books, doing sums,
Drawing, dancing, cooking and knitting.
So one day it turned out
There was no place for those
When she finally got her own baby.
Now I'm sitting here with all that staff
And I feel like a lone old woman,
Recalling bright memories of busy days
With my auntie rushing through our duties -
And I'm only nine, so I have some time
To become the one like that woman.
Jack, who sent us the first competition entry, a poem about his Grannie Annie, wrote 'I was feeling bored, so I decided I could send you another poem for your competition.' I only wish I could write such fantastically clever and inventive poetry on a whim, when feeling bored. Oh, for the dazzling brilliance of youth.
I have a quirky family
I have a sister, loud and rowdy
A brother, a decade older than me
A dad, who's kind of shouty,
And my Mum, who is the pack horse.
My sister is 8,
Fairly annoying and loud,
(Not helped by the fact she learns the saxophone)
So she fits the little sister theme perfectly.
My brother, is like my uncle,
Meaning he is estranged.
Unlike my uncle, however, he at least tries to talk to us,
Despite ignoring my texts
Now my dad,
He watches tv,
Needs a diet,
And indiscreetly belches
So he is also a typical dad.
Now my mum, a pack horse
Does the ironing, washing, cooking,
Cleaning, dusting and everything else.
So yeah, that's Mum.
'My name is Shiloh, I am 6 years old. This is my poem that I want to tell you about.' wrote Shiloh. Yes, just six years old and writing wonderful, lyrical poetry which shows great maturity in its economy and elegance. But Shiloh is from a poetic family - her older sisters Jaime and Celine have also entered this years completion - and Shiloh herself entered the Animal Poems competition two years ago when only four with the poem Farmer Bill. Home schooling is clearly working wonders.
Wake up in the morning
Rub my sleepy eyes
School day today!
Rolled oats for breakfast
Then I’m into school
Head down in my books!
I can hear the rain
Run around outside
Raindrops on my head!
Mum shouts, ‘Lunchtime!’
We all head inside
More work after lunch
'It's 31st January, and I realized I still have to send you the poem. I just finished writing it. I still feel it can be better…' Writing for competitions always puts the pressure on, with subjects and rules and deadlines. Don't worry that it could be better, Ruhee, it's a really great poem with a twist which had me guessing to the end… …not least as to whether you had wilfully ignored the rules.
When I share this tale with you
You may find it strange,
We’ve got a new teacher at school
A new teacher, for a change.
He’s the smartest teacher in the school
I’m sure none can ever deny.
And when I won a race at school
He gave me a high-five!
And sometimes when I am naughty
Or when my grades go down,
He shouts and scolds at me
And scares me with a frown.
Once I banged against the wall,
Scraped my knee and fell,
He helped me with the first-aid
Till I stopped to shout and yell.
On the days I forget my lunchbox
I find him unusually kind,
He readily shares his lunch with me,
Which I too never mind.
My classmates feel he is weird,
The weirdest teacher we’ve ever had,
They still don’t know the secret...
Our teacher is my DAD!
'At Christmas time each year all my cousins, uncles and aunts and grandparents come up from down south. It is a very exciting time and we always have lots of fun!!! It is also a great time to catch up with everyone.' wrote Jaime on the email accompanying her second entry for this years contest. It paints a very vivid picture of a happy, family Christmas in the Australian sunshine. What a contrast to our wintry Christmases in England!
Warm, morning sunshine rays,
Wake me up on Christmas Day,
I jump out of bed, with excitement in my heart,
Race through breakfast, load the presents in the car.
Hi Grandad, Hi Gran!
Cousins, Uncles, family everywhere!
Crowd in together,
One, two, three, "Cheese!"
Beautifully wrapped presents, Grandad hands,
Stashed around the decorated gum tree,
Wide eyes watch, Christmas wrapping rips,
Shouts of joy and surprise resound.
Hockey ball flies from stick to stick,
Running, shouting, excited kids about,
Fresh, gourmet sandwiches,
"Gran, your best ever yet!"
Swimming in the dam,
Tired babies nap,
Barbecue around the fire,
Twinkling sky above.
Follow the links below to view the other competition entries: