Budleigh Literary Festival

BS Poetry Prize Winners2Ned R, Jasper J, Hazel M and Anouska GM, all Year 9, took part in the Schools Poetry Slam event at the Budleigh Literary Festival last week, putting together a piece of performance poetry in workshops over the course of the day before performing it in the evening, competing against teams from schools from across Devon.

Both pairs performed brilliantly. Anouska and Hazel made the final before winning the overall prize.

The winning poem - A Bird’s Migration
By Hazel M & Anouska G M (both 9O)
Winners of the 2019 Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival Schools Poetry Slam

Crescendos folding softly into diminuendos as the phrases intertwine.

The gentle voice of the flute,

backed by the steady bow of the cello,

an undercurrent lifting the piece and taking it higher.

The rhythmic major chords of the piano.

The trills of the flute.

The slurs of the cello,

like the waves flowing up and down the beach,

in and out of crevices and cracks.

A bird flutters by the window.


Wings spanned out.

Head held high,



dancing in the air’s buoyancy.

The tip of the conductor’s baton drawing a path of flight

as it ducks and rises in perfect time to the tempo

of the music.

The soft breeze playfully ruffling the feathers,

pushing him on,

ever on,

until he reaches the Pyrenees, the Sahara,

until he arrives in the warm summers of South Africa.

Dropping his wings onto a slant.

Letting it skim a vibrato,

Soft ripples resounding in his wake.

And then a flash,

a subito in the music.

It catches his beady eye.

He dives,

staccato echoing

as he hurtles himself into the waves.

Straight and to the point.

His dynamic shape embraces the water as he plummets down to his flitting jewel,

catching the sun in its facets,

emerging triumphantly

as the crescendos strengthen,

he tears at the flesh of his catch.

The biting cold begins with the darkening sky,

the crash of symbols.

Clouds bulge and convulse,

sending needles of rain

to chip away at their resilience.

They will survive.

France is in the distance now.

Vivaldi’s four seasons pass:

Spring’s solo viola,

singing out sweet and clear;

Summer comes on,

bright and lively violins;

Autumn, deep and solemn,

accompanied by stern cello.

Winter arrives

cold shards of the harpsichord.

And so, a year passes.

Yet soft glissandos are still present in the room

as the flute and cello harmonise as one.

The bird flutters by the window.

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