Saturday, 10 January 2015

Competition Results

So I'm heading off tomorrow to be gone on camp for a week (yes a week! How on earth can you stand me being gone that long???) and I suddenly thought that you might like me to let you know the competition results before I go. ;) Can't have you waiting an entire week in suspense, can we??

I ended up with a grand total of four entries. Which was great, since for much of the competition I only had one! I was happy to finally get the other three. (However, even with four entries, it still wasn't really worth doing the competition. I don't think I'll do another competition for quite a while.)

Each of those four entries was completely different and utterly brilliant in their own way. It was quite a task judging, that's for sure! I ended up enlisting the help of several family members to assist me in judging and finally ended up with two poems tie-ing for first, a second placing and a special mention.

Congratulations to each poem author. You all did so well and I loved reading your poems!

So without further ado, let me present to you: the two winners of the Bonnie's Blessings New Year Poem Competition:

First Place:
Matthew and Danella

Well done to those two.

As I promised, here are their winning poems.

The Woeful Tale of Farmer Ed
written and submitted by Matthew

This is the sad tale of a poor farmer on New Years Eve who has had a drought and a very hard, dry year in 2014, and is wishing that the year 2015 would arrive. (This poem also explains the mystery behind a nursery rhyme.) 

The year had been a tough one, and hard for Farmer Ed
The land was dry, the trees were bare, the ground it felt like lead.
But the year was almost done, and Edward had great hope
That the New Year would bring rain and he’d be able to cope.

All his crops were dying, his sheep were lying down.
Too weak to even try to stand, their wool was turning brown.
Farmer Ed let out a sigh, “if only it would rain
Perhaps the year ahead of me will not bring me such pain.”

The cattle out in barren fields were giving him no milk
The special worms inside a cage were giving him no silk.
And Farmer Ed looked to the skies, and wished the year would pass
“Perhaps the year ahead of me, will make green all the grass.”

The pinkish pigs were spotless clean—I’ll tell the reason why.
It was because their muddy pond was now all dusty, dry.
“What good are pigs?!” cried Farmer Ed, exasperation showing,
“If dirt does not encase them, from all their muddy wallowing?!”

“I need some rain—and lots of it—for me to run this place!”
A terror-stricken look had come upon the farmer’s face.
“My only chance—my only hope—rests in the coming year.
And it needs to bring some rain—oh why can’t it get here?!”

Farmer Ed looked out of doors, and saw the horse was dead.
And all that he could hope to do was sigh and shake his head.
Once more, once more, he prayed for rain although he sadly knew
It would not bring the horse to life—but what else could he do?

The chickens were not laying, the ducks were waterless,
The dogs and cats were out of food, the rain they both did miss.
The only animals that still, felt very, very fine
Were his cheeky Billy-goats who ate the washing line.

Numerous other animals that lived upon the farm
Were crying out in thirst and pain at poor old Edward Brown.
But Farmer Edward Brown he knew, of nothing he could do,
They needed rain, but no, alas! the sky it still stayed blue.

That night the worn out farmer, retired to his bed.
“Tomorrow it will be next year,” was what he glumly said.
But as he went to lay his head he badly cracked his skull
Upon the bedpost next to him—he didn’t feel too well.

He lay right down upon the bed and promptly fell asleep.
He did not even have to do, the counting of some sheep.
And soon Old Mr Edward Brown, was snoring very loud.
So loud, in fact, that he would make dwarves from The Hobbit proud.

But hark! But hark! When the clock struck twelve, above the Farmhouse Brown,
The heavens suddenly burst forth and rain came pouring down!
It beat upon the tinny roof of Edward’s old brown shed
What a way to start the year, rejoicing was ahead!

The animals of Farmer Brown, at once they felt alive!
All except that dead old horse (which you could not revive.)
The many, many creatures held a New Year’s party, grand
All except that dead old horse (who could not even stand.)

The story comes unto its close—the story endeth sad.
(And I can nearly promise you, it will not make you glad.)
Poor Old Farmer Edward Brown, who’d prayed so hard for rain
He never ever waked from sleep, he never woke again.

If truth be told of Farmer Brown, alas! he was now dead.
(The only thing that it could be, was that bump on the head)
The sad thing is that he’d become just like his deadened horse
Heaven now is where he’ll be, and happy too, of course.

And so at last you know the truth, the truth of that old rhyme.
I’ve more to tell you—other tales—but for another time.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning. 

Or, as some ancient authorities put it:
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.
He went to bed and fell down dead and couldn’t get up in the morning. 

Judge's comments:
I thought that this poem was excellent. I always love poems that have a steady rhythm to them and this one certainly did! Each sentence was just the right number of syllables. I did think that the whole 'tying into the nursery rhyme' thing was unnecessary and very distracting. I felt that it took away from the poem itself, which was in itself a great poem (except for the farmer dying). If you had made the farmer live, cut out the nursery rhyme totally and left it at that, it would have been a stunning first-class poem. But overall I very much enjoyed it. Great humour and excellent everywhere. A magnificent effort.

So now we come to our other first place winner.

2015 is a Year For…
submitted and written by Danella

2- Two children crying over a broken doll
Struggling to remain friends on account of their toy
Smiling through tears they become again one in soul,
2015 is a year for new joy.

0- Zero hard feelings, zero regrets-
This is our goal, all to be a blessing.
Last year’s misgivings on our list of forgets,
2015 is a year for new beginning.

1- One Lord ever true, ever the same
We learn to be more like him, moulded on his lathe
Life on earth is a shadow, soon we’ll go home
2015 is a year for new faith.

5- Five fingers, five toes to bring him glory
Created in his image, all I am, my whole being
For all He has done, all of my story
2015 is a year for new thanksgiving.

Judge's comments:
I thought that this was a beautifully structured poem. I loved how you had taken each letter of '2015' and written a stanza of the poem about it. I thought that that showed great creativity. I felt that the only thing that let this wonderful entry down was the fact that rhythm was a bit funny here and there. It seemed a bit disjointed and that disappointed me because this was such a great poem! A wonderful entry and a pleasure to read.

So now we come to the winner of Second Place.

Second Place:

Here is Michael's entry:

written and submitted by Michael

2014 is the year we're in now
But the end of it is drawing quite near
It's time to look forwards
To the coming brand New Year

There will be choice and decisions
Some hard, some not
But one things for sure
Our attitude affects a lot

If we choose to be angry
To storm rage and shout
Our loved ones will change
They'll look for a way out

Because anger does harm
It's a destroyer of trust
And if you find it in you
You must deal with it, you must

Or else we could choose to clamp our mouths shut
And fail to connect emotionally
Our friends and family will go elsewhere
And you'll see them leave unhappily

Because silence is loud
It speaks to our heart
"I don't value you
Go away, depart"

However a life boiling over
With tender openness
Is a year when others
We are sure to bless

"You're important and special to me
Sure I'll sit down, and have a chat"
I'm telling you guys
Tender openness means all that

If you decide to encourage others
To lift them up rather than pull them down
Your friends will come to be with you
Rushing from all over the town

Because when we learn to appreciate
The great things our loved ones do
It makes their life a little happier
As well as making yours too

So aim for the attitude of Christ
One of love and gentleness
With joy and peace and in the spirit
Of constant and quick forgiveness

And you'll find that 2015
Will the best you've ever had
Because others will be cheerfully smiling
And you my dear friend will be glad

Judge's comments:
This entry was full of all sorts of helpful practical advice to have a good year. It was a great poem highlighting the importance of our attitude. I felt that having a steady rhythm would have improved it dramatically, as would have the careful use of punctuation (a stanza feels unfinished unless you put a period/full stop at the end of it!). But overall this was an enjoyable entry to read and a good reminder to us all to have a good attitude in 2015.

And.... our special mention....

Special Mention:

Good work!
Here is Helene's entry.

A New Year
written and submitted by Helene

A new year!
Oh, what a lovely time
A fresh year!
See the tall green pine
A gentle year!
The grass is brown and dry
A peaceful year!
Trees sound as if they sigh
A bright year!
The sun is yellow gold
A mellow year!
The gum tree’s getting old
An exciting year!
What will tomorrow bring?
A happy year!
God knows because he’s king

Judge's comments:
This was a lovely little poem, short but sweet. All the rhymes worked out nicely (except for the first one: 'time' and 'pine' - but that's really neither here nor there) and I really liked the different adjectives about the new year in each alternative line. The last line about God knowing everything because he is king was great, I loved how you brought him into it - he is in charge of time, after all!! I would suggest making it a bit longer next time but I think it is a wonderful poem and a great entry. Well done Helene.
(Also, Helene was the only entrant under the age of 15. This was a great effort!)

Okey doke. The two first place winners now receive the opportunity to guest post on my blog! Matthew and Danella, I shall be emailing you in the sort of near future to discuss whether you would like to take up this opportunity.

And for the rest of you, I hope you have a wonderful week. I'll be scheduling posts to come up while I'm away so you're not completely abandoned... :)

Weren't those poems great! Did you enjoy reading them?
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