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Your National Writing Day ‘One-Breath Poems’

For National Writing Day last week, we asked people to write ‘One-Breath Poems‘ – fastpaced, free-flowing poems to be read on one lungful of air – and the response has been fantastic! Following on from the sterling efforts of the children at Chew Valley Primary School, the students of Rugby High School, and their teacher Olga Dermott-Bond, have sent us these wonderful pieces.



I’m sitting in the armchair by the hospital bed, the box on wheels goes bleep bleep bleep while the woman in the bed next to me lets out a raspy cough but I’m doing my grandma’s hair and that’s all that matters in the world with my fingers weaving between her thin and wispy silver hair as she sings because she doesn’t know she’s singing because she’s away with the fairies but I tie a bow and look through her droopy lashes into her eyes, hazel like mine, and just for a second I’m sure she recognises me

Carys Owen, Year 10



I’m sure you would love to drown my fragile fractal lungs in flattery but clearly, my dearest, you were never told how Medusa was once beautiful too and once you had tarnished me, dear, I found the river’s relentless death grip to be friendlier than yours and so I pray, love, that you will remember me even long after I’ve surrendered to the undertow.

Shona Whelan, Year 10



I am treacling up the final hill towards Kenilworth Castle legs in ruins after 10 kilometres and my lungs’ spongy brains are in shock at having to think this hard I hear my breathing fastfast fastfast fastfast smashed into glassy shards that scrunch under my trainers yet somehow the molecular miracles of me and you and past and present and life and death just keep on running

Olga Dermott-Bond, teacher



I am trying to compose a tune and all the words are plain and structured and I am trying to clap out the rhythm but none of it makes sense and when I finally have it it’s a sign of relief but I still need to come up with the pitch and all the notes with the sharps and flats are floating around my head and I can’t think of anything to write and just when I am about to give up I finally have it and I can see the notes escaping from my manuscript page and slowly dissipating, illuminating the entire room.

Lucy Wang, Year 9



Rays of the blistering sun beat down on my back, creating a feeling of resentment towards the ferociously scorching day I feel as though all my fight has gone until I see the vast blue sky to which I rise, to envision the endless possibilities.

Isabella Bonnell, year 9



The silver halo hangs ablaze in the sapphire sky, the inky canopy of endless abyss with tiny freckles of sparkles sends beams of moonlight as bright as diamond flames and turns the sea a-glow like melted platinum and the sun dies for her every night just to let her breathe, she illuminates everything beneath her angelic aura, transforms them into alluring artefacts, just for the night and then dies again.

Jyotsna Bhat, Year 9

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Image: Toshiyuki IMAI