Student Writing

Lord of the Flies

Students at Unley High School chose a topic based on the novel, noted a series of words and phrases from the text and used some of them to write a poem in free verse, concentrating on colour, description and the senses.

Descriptive words and phrases about the island from us.

1998 POEMS
Piggy and the Conch
The intelligent voice ot reason
Thinking things through, logical.
Fat and vulnerable,
Armed with his brain and a shell.
The conch,
A symbol of law, peace, equality.

His constant nagging is heard but ignored,
'I've got the conch!' There is no answer,
no one is listening.
'Kids, like a bunch of kids.'
Isolated, ignored, 'We need rules.'
'Shut up! Shut up! No one cares. Shut up now!'
Shattered, the conch is washed out to sea.
Splattered, the voice of justice floats away.
'Shall we hunt now?'
'Let's kill, let's fight.'
Death, hunting, cruelty.
'Has evil conquered?'
'Kill him, we'll smoke him out.'
Frantic, screaming, running, hiding.

Rescued, the loss of a dear friend .
A return to civilisation.
The battle is over. Who has won?


The Story of the Conch
Its glistening body lies under the waves.
Gently resting in the white sand.
A small hand reaches down.
Trailing sparkling drops, the shell is plucked.
After a brief but careful examination.
The shell rises to the young mouth.
At first raspy but then trumpeting
The sound escapes from its white spiral.
Loud and distinct it disturbs the quiet.
Only the holder of the conch may speak.
It now possesses great power,
But its power does not last.
The group is split.
The shell now remains nothing
but an old symbol of unity
It comes to its end
Brought down with Piggy,
Splintering into a million fragments.


Savage Hearts
School boys
Their home far away
Stranded, left alone
With no peers for comfort.

Deserted Island
Imaginations set alight.
Wonder what rules to break
All the clothes will tear.

Good and evil
Soon find their spears
Makeshift but dangerous
The hunt brings new fears.

Trigger happy
Live for the kill
And soon a savage heart
Shouts out with strength,

"Kill the pig!
"Bash her in!"
Good fades to rebellion

And like a story
The climax is cut-throat,
The lions chase the sheep
And the world s upside-down

At last the earth
Stops spinning. In the savage heart
Realization sets in
A conclusion in sight.


The island and its People
We are stuck on an island
It is exotic and covered in forest
It is away from everything else

There are many fruits
They are scattered through the trees
They are different colours-reds, yellows and greens

Tomorrow I am going pig hunting.
I don't want to but I have no choice.
I will go but I will not kill.
The thing I love most is the smell of the sea
It even smells better when there are no parents to bug me
Without any parents there are no rules
Without rules there are arguments

Arguments lead to hate
Hate leads to violence
Violence leads to death

Darren Ha.

Ryhthmical pendulum motion of leaves
Never changing
Canopy interior a wild green house
Roger listens
Birds calling, insects humming
What else lurks here?
Flicker of movement
Spin around
Eyes focus...
Leaves have changed..

Something was there
Beneath the undergrowth
Rocking the plants from ever-boring arc.
Sweat formed on Roger's back.
Adrenalin pumping spear into flesh.
Unknown strength
Settle down.
Roger wiped saliva off his chin
Who is the beast?


The Hunt
Sharpening their spears
Hatred for that pig
Growing, growing.
The boys want meat
Pig in the jungle means meat.
Jack is now ready to hunt.
Roger follows.
He stands, anxious to start
Finally moving in single file
Very quietly
One of the boys senses the pig's presence
He turns
Sees the animal
Runs towards it.
The hunters respond,
Slither towards the pig.
You can hear the ghastly shriek.
It scrambles through the bush
Tremendous savagery
The pig will not get away
The hunters are hurting
Their adrenalin is rushing
Gaining on the animal.
Jack stabs it.
A terrible shriek.
Roger pushes the spear further in
The pig is dead.
The boys are victorious
Now they feel pain
It pushes to the surface and it hurts.
They don't care.
The hunters have beaten the pig
Now they have meat
Blood and guts have been spilt
The dark flies gather.

Darren Hu.

The Hunt
Silence is all around,
Tension in the air.
Light filters through the tall, still trees.
The painted faces wait in silence,
Spears in hand, minds in focus.

A pig lies asleep,
Soaking up the midday sun.
Snap! A twig is broken,
The pig then stirs and perks his ear,
The hunters slink back, not a sound.
The silence is deafening as
The hunters close in.

Faces now appear from the shadows.
A ring has formed around the prey.
Someone sneezes and the pig awakes
It jumps up,alert, and the race is on.
The evil faces lighten up
A war cry fills the air.
The spears then fly, the pig is wounded
The feast will soon begin


The Freedom of the Island
"Aren't there any grown-ups at all?"
Freedom from strict authority and rigid oppression,
Release from school, parents and society.
An abundance of entertainments, luscious fruits, laughter and happiness.
Childish delights and joys all day long, before a warm, blissful sleep.

Then an eyeful of sand, a kick, a shove.
A stirring of tempers as tensions mount.
A breakdown of rules, no agreed leader or authority,
A constant hungriness, a horrific and bloody sacrifice,
The ever-present threat of the beast.
A breakdown of communication, a division between groups,
A slow but steady transformation,
As man reverts to his primitive, instinctive ways,
The ability to kill.

Then a fast and continuous downhill spiral,
As the freedom transforms into the oppressor,
And turns out to be the scariest creature that has ever inhabited the island...


The Conch
Radiating invisible light
The symbol of good and honour
Its inner beauty
Far exceeding its outer
A gift from the gods
Opens peas from their pods
And makes them free

Glinting in the sun
Ignored by none
Until flies dirty its surface
Few are loyal
Those who are left, make good toil

Fire is lost
The shell's only friend
The strength of white is soon near its end

White challenges black
The king succumbs
To the strength of the pawns

Ashes to ashes
The symbol of peace is now lost
But in one
The spirit remains


The Conch
The Conch rested in the flinking water,
against the ferny weeds.
Bright fish scattered,
Ralph lifted the Creamy shell,
and water dripped out from the long Spiral.

Ralph held the conch to his mouth,
and he blew from his abdomen.
The loud low trumpet sound,
broke the still silence.
Children all through the forest heard,
and respected the call.
They came from everywhere, running.

The Conch was an emblem of power
everyone obeyed it,
It enabled whoever held it,
to speak and be heard,
Freedom revolved around the Conch.


A shell,
Creamy in colour with touches of pink.
A slight spiral twist,
With a delicate, embossed pattern.
Interesting and pretty,
It has power and control.
Calls the others,
It brought everyone together.
Blow from the abdomen,
A deep, harsh note.
A white magic shell,
A shining beauty.
Exploded into a
Thousand white fragments.
Ceased to exist.
Smashed to powder.


Its glistening body lies under the waves.
Gently resting in the white sand.
A small hand reaches down
Trailing sparkling drops, the shell is plucked.
After a brief but carefull examination
The shell rises to the young mouth.
At first raspy but eventualy trumpeting
The sound escapes from its white spiral.
Loud and distinct it disturbs the quiet.
The boys, united by the powerfull shell,
Only its holder can speak.
The shell remains nothing
But an old symbol of unity.
After Jack splits the group.
Later the shell is destroyed.
Smashing into a million fragments.
The peace and serenity
Of its first home under the waves
Is a fading memory.

Pig Hunting
The boys camouflage themselves in natural colours
They sharpen their spears and prepare to kill.
Led by Jack they search.
Suddenly a rusting in the bushes.
Jack investigates cautiously.
After one hand signal, the chase is on.
Spears fly everywhere,
some miss by centimetres
A squeal ends the hunt.
The spear is removed from the flesh and the head sacrificed to the beast.
Killthe pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!
Chant the hungry boys.

The Hunters and the Hunted
Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.
The savages smeared
Red, white, black
On their already dirty faces.
They're only
Young, innocent, sweet
Boys. What harm could they possibly do? His
Long, damp, matted hair
Both eyes shone through
Cold, pale, evil.
Scattered round forest. Forming line.
Stepping cautiously over stubborn creepers.
Bundling through thick scrub. Careful. No noise.
Prey-laying down peacefully.
Sow resting her rump full of sumptuous, mouth-watering, flesh.
Round her were her piglets. Sleeping placidly near beloved Mother
Suddenly Chief Savage screeches NOW!
Drove of pigs. Startled. Scamper away. Rush. Madness.
Spears flung rapidly from scrawny savages. Aimed at prey.
Sow gives almighty squel.
Spears agonisingly penetrate tender flesh.
Savages yell.
With every ounce of strength, sow blunders.

Through impending line to darkness, safety of forest.
Boys dash straight after her.
Pause for moment. Lost for moment.
She totters and reels, immensely hindered by needles implanted in flesh.
Mother stumbles crazily, bleeding profusely.
Driven by some unknown compelling force.
Hunters relentlessly following.
With absotutely no fight left, sow collapses. Pounds earth.
Still alive. Squealing frantically.
In the wake of terror. Lying in pool of own blood.
She knew death was imminent.
Boys hurled themselves at her.
As if it was the first thing seen in eternity.
They brutally stabbed multiple times.
The Chief Savage pushed his spear excruciatingly slowly into the mother.
Then he pierces her throat. Blood gushes.
The mother collapses.
She lies inanimate. Blood is sprayed in all directions.
In response, boys could only laugh, mock
At what had just happened.
Humanity lost.
Mother dead.
Evil unearthed.
Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.


The Fire
Fire, Glowing,
Mustn't let it stop,
The flames, so enchanting,
A symbol of hope,
Such importance,
Mustn't let it stop,
So useful, so warm,
The coals glowing,
The smoke drifting,
Mustn't let it stop,
Cook the meat,
Fry the food,
The fire burns relentlessly,
Mustn't let it stop,
Mustn't let it stop!


School Boys
"Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison,"
The boys chant,
walking in the humid forest
on the unknown island
which they have been stranded on
not knowing where they are.
They are thinking how to be found.
A fire is a good idea
but no one bothers


1997 POEMS
Percival Wemys Madison
The sun sank and darkness descended upon the island.
The boys crawled into their shelters.
They lay restless,
Especially one boy,
Percival Wemys Madison.
Percival would not let himself sleep.
He was afraid of what the dark would bring.
He lay awake listening to the sounds of the island,
The waves breaking on the reef,
The palm fronds shaking in the breeze.
He smelt the candle buds and the seaweed on the beach.
Percival heard a strange noise.
His whole body became tense,
He was overcome by terror.
His mind filled with thoughts of the beastie,
A snake ever so big that came at night.
In the morning it returned to the forest,
Turned into vines and hung in the trees.
Or the beastie came from the vast sea,
A ghost that emerged at night.
Finally Percival's eyelids became heavy,
He could no longer stay awake.
His dreams were filled with the terror of the beastie.


Deserted green mountain
Looking over the island.
Swaying palm trees,
Smooth, flat sand,
Bright blue water bringing in the tide.
Crashing plane,
Breaking the smooth sand,
Leaving a scar on the untouched earth,
Changing the cycle of the island
By leaving boys behind.
As time goes on the boys turn against each other.
Lucky for them they are saved.
They haven't changed the island.
The island has changed them.


Hunting Pigs
Hunting squealing pigs,
Are fearless loud kids,
In thick tropical forest.
Scratched through the rips
Of their torn clothes,
They force themselves on.
Chanting extremely loudly,
Once they find a pig
Sharpen a stick to insert.
Light a heap of foliage,
Stoke the fire up,
To roast a juicy pig.
Once ready, the cries start,
Hungry hands grab,
Vicious teeth rip flesh.
Once they are saved,
Their lives change back,
From savages to normal kids.


The hot sun's rays never left the boys,
Constantly heating and burning
Except for the night time,
Slowly and silently
Changing their thoughts,
Losing their childish ways.
Fun and freedom
Turned to savagery.
From English schoolboys to savage animals,
From 'Hands up' for speaking
To vicious killing and chanting.
Carefree young boys
Are now feral creatures of the tropical jungle.


At First
At first it was great,
Freedom and fun,
Running round and swimming under the hot sun.
Then the heat got to be too much.
At first there were many rules
But the rules started to fade.
Our fun easy days
Were soon to die away.
At first we picked wild fruit
Then we started to hunt.
The hunters became more savage,
The innocent were killed.


Tropical Island
On a tropical island with swaying palms,
Decaying coconuts and saplings decompose all around.
Young schoolboys flock to the sound of the conch,
To organise a civil society.
But deep within this supposed paradise,
A place without parents, adults or rules,
Is a rotten feeling of savagery
Lurking at the core.
Cruelty, viciousness, hatred and death.
The innocent young school kids seem to have become
Raw, savage beasts attempting to catch their prey,
Fighting for food, leadership and life.
At the end, they hunt down Ralph for the kill,
And the terror shows in his eyes.
An English sailor in white socks on the beach,
'English boys should put on a better show,' he says


They can have their own rules.
No adults to tell them what to do.
They can swim and hunt,
Make fires, build huts,
Have fun on the sand in the sun.
But lurking darkly on the island is a beast,
The monster that terrifies them in the night.
The slaughter of the pigs,
The killing of Simon,
The murder of Piggy.
The beast is them.

The Island
A jungle green island sits among the sunlit sea.
Decaying palms scatter its surface,
Weeds grow like grass, across the island floor.
The waves scramble up the sandy beaches
that run along the coast.
Howling wind, growling like a monster.
The entagled creepers swallow the tree trunks,
The shimmering water of the lagoon reflects the sun,
Red granite rock surrounds the island's darkness.


The Hunt
Creeping through the thick jungle,
Pig tracks cautiously followed,
The squealing in the distance.
The rush of the hunt,
Smashing through dense trees,
Hooves beating the ground.
Chasing the wild pig,
Breaking through creepers.
The sound of the pig is closer.
Spears held at the ready,
Encircling the small creature
Heavy panting all around.
Going in for the kill,
Spears are thrown down.
The pig's life is ended.

No Rules
Green shadows drop from the high leafy shelters,
Soft soil littered with debris.
Sharp rocks and mountains casting dark places,
Many boys left here with painted faces.
Changing mentality to man's origins,
Comes forth tribal lore and tribal fear.
Surrounded by white sand and powerful sea,
Old fashioned teachings, gone and set free.
Two leaders, both with shaky power,
Small children play without bars,
Beautiful landscape with pockets of wonder,
Burnt down with blind boys' blunder.
Scientist looking down, his sadistic experiment,
Watches a fatal change of mind.
Time wasted and innocence lost,
Savage action, blood paying the cost.
Dark shadows from boys' minds,
Soft friendships littered with sharp spikes.
Cold wind, talking trees,
Leaves boys at nature's knees.

The sweet sea breeze,
The whistling of trees,
The noises at night,
That cause a fright.
Nightmares that scare,
No parents are there
To help you through the night.

The Island
Coral reef under the crystal clear sea,
Silky white sand beneath soft feet,
Swaying green palm trees blowing side to side,
Such a beautiful, tranquil place.
Polite little English schoolboys,
Turned into wild, savage hunters,
Blood and guts over their bony bodies,
Children killed over simple misunderstandings.
Burning down the forests of the island,
Becoming worst enemies with best friends,
Blazing fires and slaughtered pigs,
An island once beautiful now a killing place.

The Hunters
Hunting, stalking the prey.
Running the pig trails,
Like the hounds of hell.
Sun fading,
Dying over the horizon,
Still the hunters follow.
Spears raised
Knife at the ready,
Running down the path.
The enemy is in sight.
Crouching by the bush,
They spring out.
Slashing and stabbing,
Shouting and squealing,
Driven by murderous brutality.
The pig lies dead.
Bloodthirsty howls of butchery
Cut into the night.
Back they march,
Vicious hunters calm now,
But they'll want to kill again.

A Magical Trumpet
Deep in the shimmering blue waters
Lives a magical trumpet.
Warm creams and fading pinks,
A fragile, spiral body.
Its delicate embossed patterns shine,
Through the ferns and weeds on the sea floor.
But soon come invaders,
And steal the magic from its tropical home.
What once was a living creatute,
In deep blue shimmering waters,
Is now a trumpet
In intruders' hands.

The Meetings
They blow in the creamy conch for meetings.
Everyone runs to the red granite platform.
Whoever holds the shell can talk,
But no one else.
They put their hands up
Just like at school.
The littluns wiggle the trunk
And fall off,
Laughing and fooling about.
They talk about what to eat,
And whether they're doing their jobs,
But only some are.
Soon the group splits
And no one obeys the conch.


Some short poems by UHS Year 9 Students

Easy to get,
Available anywhere
Information Superhighway.
The new supermarket
Making life easy.


Hyperlinks and more
Provide virtual domains
For you to visit.
Millions of users world-wide,
As we try to keep in touch.


The mysterious internet,
Searching, exploring, weaving
Through numerous pathways,
Opening many doors
To new worlds.


Gives you cold fingers,
Highway to information,
Place of answers.
Takes you to meet new people,
Little insulated wire.


Cola bar,
Strip of sticky brown tar
Dotted with white pebbles.


A yellow smartie,
Brightly shining ball of sun
Hits hungry taste buds.


Bright, colourful, round,
Like shining buttons
Without the four holes.


Tiny and precious
As they open their eyes,
Shy violets shrinking.


Have you ever seen a lion?
Golden-backed, fang-baring, flaming-maned,


Quickly he fires,
Piercing the constant rhythm,
Bullet through your heart.


Year 10 students at UHS were asked to write about Australian symbols which we might use on a new Australian flag.

A gentle breeze blows over the plain,
flat bare and dry.
Except for the rock,
dominant over the land,
breaking the horizon in two pieces
with its dry, red broadness.

Its millions of secrets are buried
beneath the unbreakable surface,
with unseeing eyes,
watching the dusty land,
for all eternity.

Judith R.

Seaton High
Big Brother One
On Tuesday the 24th of April
There were 6 girls and 6 guys,
They were looking hip and looking cool
On the show that never lies.

First on the scene was randy Andy,
Then came sexy Blair,
Ben, yeah he might come in handy
And Todd, 'What's with his hair?'

Sarah Marie loves her body
Yet Lisa is quite shy
Christina is a ballerina
And Johnny is the gay guy.

Peter is a ladies' man,
Sharna is a grump,
Gordon's not an Andy fan
And Gemma is a frump!

A camera here, a camera there,
They never get a break.
They catch them in their underwear
Follow every move they make.

Friendships end as evictions progress,
Now there is no trust.
The house begins to look a mess
And winning is a must.

The bitching begins to start
And relationships take place,
Not everyone is taking part
In the fight to win the race.

So take some time to watch this show,
For there is no other.
Ring up and say who has to go.
This program is Big Brother.

Seaton High School 2001

Response to the film, "Gattaca" by Ben, 2001, SHS.

Yr 11, WGVC, 2000

I have a cat named Tiger. He is ginger with black on his paw. Every night he sleeps on the end of my bed. He is full-grown and loves to chase the bird. Last Christmas we bought another cat and named him JT. JT is mainly white with light brown on the top of his back and face JT is very scared; mum thinks he was traumatised when he was little. Every time we have visitors JT runs and hides under my bed until they are gone. For this week we have had Noelene and her son, Josh, staying at our place so both Tiger and JT have been living under my bed.

I also have two pet dogs. Their names are Buster, he's a boy, and Jody, she's a girl. I have had them ever since I can remember. I remember when mum told me - it was after school - She got them from the aboriginal man down the road. Richard claimed Jody straight away. We had to change her name from Miminy to Jody because Miminy means girl. Buster and Jody are brother and sister. They have had many healthy puppies. We think she is pregnant again but we are not sure. Buster and Jody have survived 10 years. I'm scared of losing them because if I do, I'm scared I'll fall apart without them.


Being a teenager isn't so bad. I do what I want, And that's the way I like it. I live with my dad, not that I see him, and when I do I'd rather not be there. I have lots of friends around me, which is always a good thing, and when they want help, they know that I'll be there for them.

I don't have much spare time in my life, but I make the time to see my boy, when I am not with my two best pals. I have no work but I am looking, and when the right thing pops up, I know that I'll get it. I make my life as much fun as can be, and if it's not, I know that it should be. Well that's all I can say on this subject, and if ya don't like it, well that's tough, coz that's my life and the way I like it.


I woke up one morning and opened the door,
And what did I see? My school bag on the fIoor,
My essay was ripped, and my maths work destroyed,
I picked it aIl up and boy was I annoyed,
I heard a strange noise coming from the laundry,
Opened the door and saw my dog Milly,
She was eating yesterday's sandwich mum had made me,
How can I explain to the teachers at school,
Why my work was covered in what appears to be drool?
They would never believe me I was doomed for sure,
I arrived at school with my work in my hand,
And l gave my essay to Ms L__
Who is the meanest lady you will ever know,
She looked it over then gave me a stare,
Why is it covered in what appears to be hair?
"Sorry Ms, my dog ate my books,"
The class started laughing and gave me all kind of looks,
She wasn't impressed I could tell by her face,
She gave me detention and said, "You're a disgrace,"
This is crap, it just isn't fair,
So I picked up my stuff and said,"I really don't care."


He's got the talent, he's got the ability
This kid could go all the way in cricket.
What a waste-he could have been anything.
This is what people say about me already.
I'm a could have been, a should have been.
They can all kiss my arse.
I've achieved a lot - State district turf A GRADE senior cricket,
I'm sick of my attitude and life being questioned
By people that don't even know me.
All the people that annoy me
Have now reached their goal.
All the anger and frustration is building up
And it will explode this weekend at cricket
When I will show the people again
That have doubted me before
That I'm not just some stupid kid
Playing with the big boys.


Well, I like being a teenager.
You get to go out and stay with friends
But sometimes you just need space
And as a teenager you don't get very much.

It is quite normal for a Teenager to fight with parents,
But when I am really angry I
Just need space and want to be left alone.

I am just like other teenagers even
If other people don't think so. I do exactly what
Everyone else does unless it is not fun or makes
Me get into trouble.

In my spare time I like to hang around friends
and talk about nothing but boys
or talk about stuff on TV or past experiences.
Then maybe we just sit and think
about when we are going to get a job.

Sometimes at lunch and recess we just
Talk about song lyrics,
the ones we like
And sing along to them on the radio.

Sometimes it makes me think I want
To be older than I am.
But then I think about it more and
Thank God I don't have to pay bills,
have problems at work and try to feed the kids.


We've broken up,
And now I feel the pain.
My heart is like a thunder storm,
A storm without rain.
It feels like I'm in darkness,
I cannot see the light,
But that's the way it has to be
Our love just wasn't right.
It was all for the best
But no matter what I say
My feelings will not change for you
I'll love you night and day.

You invade my thoughts and dreams.
When I close my eyes your face appears.
You are the one for me, it seems,
My heart warms up when you are near.

But I cry because I know we cannot be
As I realise you are too good for me.
But I can wish and I can smile,
As I watch you silently all the while.
You don't know your influence on me.


The moonlight shines on the ocean,
Its reflection distorted by the waves.
So often my reflection looks the same.
I look to see if I still exist,
To see if I'm alive
To see if I'm game.

Encouraged by money
Let down by few,
To me I seem so lame.
The words said to me
Seem sugar coated and warm
But they're coated, coated in pain.

They set you up to take the fall
Then they laugh when you crawl,
My bloody knees are the sign
That I fail every time.


Crawl inside your black domain
watch the world go by
listen to the laughter while you sit and cry
life was once a blessing
now it is a curse
I sit and hear my heart screaming
screaming for me to bleed.


Being a teenager is about growing up and learning new experiences, going to school five days a week, waking up at seven o'clock in the morning, doing homework every night after school, passing SACE, playing sport, going to town and meeting friends, seeing a movie during the holidays, going to the end of year disco with your best friends, looking up your idol or TV stars on the internet, getting a job or a career, buying new clothes for your collection,listening to your favourite songs on the radio, buying TV Hits magazines at the newsagent, wearing make up, having your own opinion, reading teenage novels, dyeing hair and changing hair styles, thinking about what the future will bring.


Go kart,
Driving it at Kart Mania, Bolivar.
It's good,
Push start it.
It's fast, 90kph
Revs out to 18000rpm
High performance engine,
Power sliding round corners,
It's low,
Mine-Go Kart.

Ford Escort 2 litre
Lowered Mags, fat tyres,
Sport seats
Stereo 21/2 inch exhaust,
Side skirts
Front and rear spoiler,
Overhead cam
Diamond white,


Get home from school,
Turn on the telly,
Go to the fridge,
Look inside | - Nothing but fruit and vegies!
What a disgrace!
Where's the junk food?
Open the freezer
And what do I find?
A tub of icecream, That's all mine.
There's nothing to watch,
Look at my schoolbag
And remember my homework.
My eyes dart from the TV to the bag, backwards and forwards.
Take a deep breath,
No, it can wait,
The homework's not important,
Really need a break.

As I walk into class,
"Done your homework?" says the teacher.
Panic! What shall I say?
"Sorry, " I say, "forgot all about it."
"No problem," says the teacher
And writes out a detention.

Get home from school,
Turn on the telly,
Get a snack from the fridge,
Watch and chew and remember the detention.
I turn off the TV and try not to get another one!


I arranged an email/chat exchange and after school debate (link no longer working) with Japan in 1998, written up in Japanese and English by the Japanese teacher, Mr Higuchi. There was a photo of my class at the time and some comments which I did not expect to be preserved for posterity, following injudicious remarks about the mating habits of dogs during a live debate session, by my students. It was all meant in good fun.

Australian Theme Form Poetry
This poetry was composed and sent to the USA as part of an email exchange. We used the tried and true form poem structure.

Email message: This is all of the poetry. Most students enjoyed the project and produced very nice pages of illustrated poetry, using computers or hand-drawn graphics. You will see that what is Australian is many things to many people but native animals, scenery and sport were favourite topics.

Best wishes from Louise Nordestgaard and Year 9 English students, on show at Unley High School's Expo Day, Sunday, May 21st, 1995

This year's Anzac Day
Only one survivor left
It's depressing me

loud, annoys
Swooping, calling , chortling
Parks, trees, picnic, food
Flying, diving, scavenging
Black, white

Have you ever seen a corroboree?
Sweat-drenched, dust-covered, face-painted dancers.

Have you ever seen a dead kangaroo?
Limp-bodied, head-missing, bloodied-mess, on the side of the road.

Hannah S

Red, rough, hot dry,
Lizards, bush, raw, bright
Browns, dirt, blues, sky
Cold, dark, silent, night.

Long, winding traffic
People driving to the footy.
The smell of meat pies wafts
Like putrid tyres burning.
When everybody cheers
The power overwhelms you.

Did you ever see a koala,
Gentle-faced, softly-furred, quiet and shy?

As the soccer player gets a goal
They all rise and cheer,

Feeding birds disturbed and flying to the sky.

Brightness, flickering, fullness, splashing
Wavy, ripples, reflection,
Shiny, ghostly, shadow, crashing,
Romantic, roundness, complexion

The gum trees swinging
Leaves falling to the ground
As the seasons pass

Rough, ragged
Working, walking, camping
Billabong, water, outback, flood
walking, running, leaving
Lonely, alone,

Leah P

The red sand hills in the desert,
Rollers out at sea

Never coming rain
A very worried farmer
Here come the rain clouds

Flapping, tight, tense, high
Higher, lower, faster
Ripping, tearing, pulling , sky
Tugging, jolting, master

Did you ever see a frog?
Slimy-sided, bug-eyed, big-mouthed, bright green

Rough, tough
Watching, riding, steering
Saddle, reins, hat, horse
Chasing, Lassoing, racing
Hot, bothered

Andrew G

In the School Classroom
Busily working while chatting noisily,
Pens scribble,
The teacher shouts.

See the tall white gums
Kangaroos graze near the trees,
Then bounce by swiftly.

Happy, bright
Wishing, hoping, dreaming,
Stranger, family, friends, animals
Dancing, singing, laughing
Cheerful, talkative,

Have you ever seen a flood,
Gushing waters, rushing rivers, destroying?

Short, big, small, bed
Bright colourful, happy,
Daisy, wattle, yellow, red
Stems, green, sappy

See the tall gum trees
Koalas eat the green leaves
Then climb down the trunks.

Jane M

Snarling, vicious, sleepy, small,
Lurking, speeding, trapping
Racing, stalking, protecting, call Turning, fear, zapping

One of Australia's great buildings
Silently sitting there,
all by itself

Rainbow of shaped coral,
With fluttering fish
A land of water

Have you ever seen Ayers Rock,
Animal-infested, Australian meteorite,
Bigger than any other rock?

Gentlemanly, white
Batting, fielding, bowling
Bat, stumps, pads, helmet,
Turning, throwing, hitting
Puffed, excited

John F

Have you ever seen a kangaroo,
High-jumping, long-leaping, strong -legged?

Running, diving, tackling, fights
Mark, umpire, crowd
Moving, dashing, kicking, under-lights
yelling, excitement, loud.

Slowly emerging from the deep,
The wombat, quiet and sweet

Fast, quiet,
Darting, swimming, gliding
Beach, wave, surfer, surfboard,
Yelling, screaming, escaping,
Misunderstood, deadly

Simon R

Did you ever see a Unicorn,
Powerful being, Graceful body, mysterious horn, imaginary?

Slick grey porpoises
Gliding near a silver moon,
Caught in a death net.

Hot red desert burns
Dead animals all around
Swagman sings his song

Lauren G

Understanding, kind
Joyful, thoughtful, patient
Loving, caring, working, laughing
Helpful, wise, considerate
Sharing, giving

Little girl crying
Down the road and far away
With her teddy bear.

Swaying, flourishing, drooping, neat
Frowning, sighing, strong
Giant, fretting, crystal, deep
Growing, climbing, long

Have you ever seen a kangaroo
Mightily-bounding, majestically-powerful, strong?

In the court of a judge
"I'm innocent, I'm innocent!"
Silence, silence


Quiet, magical
Bubbling, gurgling, streaming
Trees, banks, jumbuck, refreshing
Cool, calm

Tired wombats crawl
Towards their humble dwellings.
A long haul awaits.

Did you ever see a jumbuck,
Woolly-coated, sleepy-eyed, lazy-legged, bewildered?

Sly, golden, native , beasts
Fierce, howling, predators
Slaughtering, ferociously, devouring, feasts,
Remorseless, savage, terminators

In an Avenue in Winter
Leaves dancing in the wind
like a fairy sprinkling dust

Chantal A

Dirty, sweaty
Digging, walking, snoring,
Bush, billabong, flies, tent
Working, chasing, cooking
tired, hairy

Have you ever seen a koala,
Soft-furred, quietly sleeping, teddy-faced, cloudy-grey, cute.

In the Australian bush
snakes and lizards sunbake

In the hot desert theres no water thats seen,
Just snakes and lizards

Woody, big, dry, grey
Bark, bush, white
Leaves, gumnuts, tall, sway
Rustling, Australian sight

Ngan T

A rainy day at the netball courts
Girls running, jumping, catching,
Soaked as they land in unavoided puddles

Muddy, crowded
Kicking, diving, skidding
Spiked-boots, Umpires, players, goal
Running, punting, marking
Fast, active
Grand Final Match

At the crack of dawn
The magpie warbles its song,
High up in the trees

Have you ever seen a kangaroo,
Strong-legged, prickly eared, soft-furred, untamed?

Shouting, jumping, screaming, cheering
Splashing, kicking, more
Muddy, raining, opposition, jeering
Kick, dive, score

Kylie H

Leaves blowing on the tree
Dead leaves on the ground

The Classroom
People talking, yelling, shouting,
teacher very angry

Hot, brown, rocky, dusty,
lifeless, sandy, red
Dry, barren, sun, crusty
Sore, crumbly, dead

Did you ever see a crow,
Black bird flying, squawking noisily
Adelaide footy team?

Understanding, loving
Laughing, crying, chatting
Person, girl, charm, ally
Caring, listening, being there,
Shopping, driving

Sonia B

On a great Highway
As the speeding cars go past
Busy ants, zooming through their day

Scary, ghostly, haunted, creeping
Shadows, chains, spooky
See-through, lurking, hiding, sleeping
Night, dark, kooky

Have you ever seen a dolphin,
Zig-zagging, twist-turning, stream-lined?

Fast, wicked
Clutching, going, accelerating
Skids, burnouts, gears, speed
Beefy, loud, V8
V12 Ford

In clear blue water
With a great deal of patience
I wait for a fish.

Tristan L

The branding of a cow,
The pain on a cow's face
Like a tree being cut down.

The outback Dunny
Red backs under the wooden seat,
be careful, they bight.

Matt R

Big, bouncy, jumping fast,
Scared, angry, frightened
Sideways, forward, back, past
Smoke, fire, end

Tennis is a sport,
Bouncy balls flying around,
Excitement always.

Have you ever eaten a meat pie,
Hot-meaty,pastry-crisped, tomato sauce-oozing, delicious.


Brown, fluffy, pouch, big
Jump, dusty, dry
Bouncing, tail, leap, dig
Bound, blind, fly

Look at the emu
Its feet pounding on the desert floor,
Rain droplets falling off his feathers.

Did you ever see a gum tree
Silvery green, smooth barked, wind-swayed,

Jessica H

Have you ever seen them play?
Muddy-strong, covered in girls, and they love goanna oil.

Police in the outback chasing criminals,
police cars, gaol cells
all in the country

Chris P

In the School Yard
The laughing children on the oval,
Bouncing up and down

A warm morning,
Ice is melting,
Snowman crying

Exciting, entertaining
Swinging, sliding, smashing
Wimbledon, US Open, Australian,
Grunting, serving, smiling
sizzling, fun

Have you ever seen a fish,
Slippery-wet, soggy-slithering, lacking-breath, dead?

Mark B

Convicts Tough, dirty
Working, hurting, plotting
Labour, ships, crime , justice
Crying, dying, toiling
Strong, hardened

Streamlined, smooth, swift, graceful,
Fast, calm, unmolested
Wet, green, tasty, beautiful,
Determined, quiet, majestic, protected

The wheels started screeching,
the car spun around,
Then it came, there was no sound,
The window broke, the metal crunched
Then the noise started

In the dry outback
Where the blow-flies hum and buzz
My hut lies waiting

Did you ever see a beach,
Booming-surfed, yellow-sanded, hot-sunned, free?

Karl F

The dry, silent land,
Cracked clay under a hot yellow sphere.

Swimming, snorkelling, surfing, splashing,
Children , lifeguards, duty,
Shores, sandy, waves crashing
White, clean , beauty.

Green tree frog jumps high
Escapes from that big glass cage
Finds its paradise

Big, international
Bowling, batting, catching
Bowler, batter fielder watcher
Scoring, cheering, finishing
Messy, silent

Did you ever see a kangaroo,
Brown-furred, long-tailed, big-eyed, shy?

Alice C

A day at the Football
The ferocious nature of the crowd,
A lion stalking its prey

Unforgiving heat
beats down on the eucalypt
Where the koala sits.

desolate, forbidding
Baking, shimmering, scorching
Wilderness, wasteland, solitude, emptiness
Awaiting, flourishing, wilting, desiccating
Arid, sun-baked

Emerging, frightened, suspecting, starey,
fearful, eyes, shone,
Timid, distrustful, alert, wary
Bounding, away, gone

The wave of the crowd,
Scattering seagulls

Did you ever see a blowfly,
Buzzing, annoying, ugly-faced, uncatchable?

Peter D

They live in gum trees
Surrounded by Eucalypt,
Grey, cuddly, koalas

The bucketing rain soaked the huge crowd.
This made them angry and complain real loud

Did you ever see a footballer,
High-leaping, quick-moving, good-scoring, aggressive?

Chasing, tackling, possessing the ball
Moving, running, spinning,
Running, bouncing, passing all
Kicking, scoring, winning.

Mark H

Have you ever seen a magpie?
Formally-attired, proudly-perched, warbling-songed

In a Winters Chill a cold wind Blows
The gum trees sway gently
The sweeping motion of an old worn broom.

Sparkling skimming, splashing leaping
Lurking, skipping, churning
Shimmering, glistening, lustre, creeping
Speeding, rushing, turning

The fierce blazing sun
Searing, withering, fiery
Blistering, scorching

Crowded, busy
Hustling, bustling, walking
Footpath, mall, highrise buildings
Hurrying, rushing, shopping
Polluted, congested

Laura F

Did you ever see a river,
Droplets-cascading, fiercely-gushing, furiously liberated,

Creeping, leaping, streaking, flowing
Crackle, sizzle, jeer
Golden, dazzling, vivid , glowing,
Blister, scorch, sear

A wooded forest
Pungent rotting flesh of wood
Dewy, moist and cool.

Cold, Furious
Crashing, breaking, sweeping
Collecting, watching, creating,
gentle, calm

A fly caught in a web
A person trapped by a lunatic

Fiona J

Have you ever seen a koala?
Grey furred, sharp-clawed, big-eyed, pouched.

Free, dark-skinned
Open-living, hunting, singing
Land, corroboree, caves, paint
Dancing, killing, sleeping
Outback, nomadic

Linda B

Have you ever seen a gridiron player,
full of muscles,
true player

Simon H

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