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Young Nunhead poets send us their verses about the issue of migration

Aspiring poets from Hollydale Primary School in Nunhead have written to the News with verses inspired by stories of seeking asylum.

Assistant headteacher Farhana Sultana challenged her Year Five pupils with drawing inspiration from the illustrated book The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

Farhana told the News: “Tan’s text explores the issue of immigration and the reasons why people have to flee countries and seek asylum.

“[The pupils] explored what drives so many people to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown.

“I chose the text The Arrival as Black History Month is something we always celebrate at Hollydale, it’s close to our hearts and if reflects the cultural make up of our school.

“We try and build in opportunities for the children to explore black history outside of just October and this text is a great one to study as the children also explored The Windrush alongside it and it gave them a chance to really delve into the notion of ‘belonging’.”


The eyes that urge me to leave

They follow wherever I go.

I cannot run nor hide

They follow where ever I go.

They follow where ever I go.

If I run or hide, it will surely hunt me down.

The snake of my fears it follows.

I’m in a huge boat full of lost souls,

But away from the eyes at least.

But alas! It couldn’t be true, the snake is before meshed, has brought a few friends. It hisses and spits, “Meet a few of my friends. She is Debby Debts, he’s William War, she is Mrs Death and I am the terror!

Now let us into your heart and your head,

Now let us in, let us in, let us in,

I won’t let them in,

I won’t….

I won’t…

By Isobel Keeling, 10


Living with loss

Living without family,

Is like living with loss,

On a 31 day trip,

Not even any floss,

My teeth are dirty,

My tummy is hurting,

I need something good to eat,

Preferably something that doesn’t smell like stinky feet,

I’m missing my family,

I’m living with loss,

I miss my wife’s Sunday dinners,

Even her cold beginners,

I’m broken and cannot be fixed,

Not even with glue and wooden sticks,

I’m living with loss!

By Tia Gabriel and Nylah McDonald, 10


Shadows in the dark, alas!

Fear shrouds the forgotten town,

Monsters lurk at every corner,

Their bodies are dark, gloomy clouds,

We are being captivated,

Thorny spears poke out their scales,

Growls echo from avenue to avenue,

Help us,

We are shadows in the dark!


They follow my every move.

The conjuring will hunt me down,

You hear their whispers before they strike,

After the hunt

All that is left of you is the,

Slowly sinking echo of your scream,


Is it really true,

The monsters are before me,

I give my final breath

And do my final prayer

Their poison is sinking into my veins…


We are shadows in the dark.

By Elizabeth Bennett, 10


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