Fernie Academy Poetry Slam

As a recent judge of The Fernie Academy Poetry Slam 2023, I was called to judge these brave and vulnerable kids once again. Children who bear their souls through Poe and Plath, who rhyme their own words with passion and poise as I sit there, mouth agape wondering how on earth I am the one to judge them. Luckily, there are others there with me, basking in the words of yore and now. Judging. Out of all of the original work that evening, one particular poem moved me a great deal. It scored the highest in its category of original work and it is my pleasure to publish it here.

Please indulge in this untitled work by Rosalie Reaud-Lloyd, Grade 9.

By Rosalie Reaud-Lloyd, Grade 9

Flooded in light
All too soon, all too bright
Drowning in smiles
Stretching on for miles and miles
Dizzy with joy
Thrown around like a toy
Suffocated by love
A large hand in a small glove

This is how society,
That hateful beautiful hierarchy
Willed my life to seem to be

A shining star that I call meteor
A perfect smile to hide an angry roar
Undying joy I have yet to feel
And love so painful it becomes all too real

Such is my cage, the one they call freedom
Lock me away, put the keys where I can see them Torture me with lovely lies, tell me it’s alright
But for the people who gave in, I promise to forever fight

There is strength behind my sunken eyes,
Rage behind my smile
There is truth in all my pretty lies
And passion made hostile

There is power in this imposed pain,
There is passion in my hate
There are evil thoughts in my tortured brain
And but one locked door behind which I wait

There is danger in those untold stories, There is danger in all truth
There are shadows lining all past glories And darkness in our youth

There are leaders screaming “that’s not right!” They turn us down, say we’re not to fight
But there is always a reason to stand tall, So why do our leaders make us feel small?

There is pain in all I’ve seen so far,
Pain in every love
And everywhere I’ve been so far,
They pray for hope from high above

From where I stand, I see this hope
And it won’t fall from the sky
From where I stand, I see this pain
And I hear the silent cry

This broken world wears a pretty smile,
This cursed future carries the pained past This healthy generation has become vile And this heartache I refuse to let last

This pain cannot carry on
No longer can we take it
This is our entire world,
And now we must save it.