In what can only be described as an exceptional achievement, sixth year student at Oaklands Community College, Jade Moore, has been named as the outright category winner in the Trocaire Poetry Ireland competition for the second year running.
Jade’s poem tree wowed an independent panel of judges to be named first place in the Post Primary Senior Category. This follows Jade’s success in last year’s competition where she took first place with her piece entitled blanket.
The awards ceremony for the highly contested national competition was held in the National Library of Ireland on Wednesday May 22nd. Jade, who attended the ceremony accompanied by her proud parents and English Teacher, Ms. Hazel Weir, read her poem as part of the ceremony and received her prize and the publication of the winning poems.
Remarking on Jade’s achievement, Jane O’Hanlon from Poetry Ireland remarked how Oaklands Community College was now “an old friend” of Poetry Ireland, as the competition was previously won not only by Jade but also by former Oaklands student Adam Cooper in 2017. She also noted that Jade’s ambition now was to “become and educator” and “pass on a love of literature, poetry and the arts” to her future students.
The annual competition, which is open to published poets, un-published poets, spoken word poets and students, uses poetry to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. The theme of this year’s competition was “Land is Life”. Jade’s winning poem tree is published below.
i don’t know this land.
the barren deserted ground i walk is unfamiliar, unrecognisable.
my cries drowned out by every schot of gun, hope cascading
into the fountains of youth and drowning.
my roots are dying, my heritage forgotten.
where are my people? have they been destroyed by some godforsaken
militia, did the men in suits become greedy again?
perhaps my people left. the hurt i feel is immeasurable.
i am hungry for change.
“let me nourish you.” she says. she waters me, watching me
grow and stretch as tall as my ancestors once were.
her kind face smiles from east to west. she plucks from me
the food her starving saplings demand. just as i have,
their roots, their lineage grows and stretches, breaking
this soft clay. soldiers cannot fight on broken ground, let them
return. let them shed their sorrows and plant a
seed of hope. i thank artemis. i will giver to her what
she gives to me: a life, a soul, a purpose.
Jade Moore, 2019.