Check out the winning poems of the COBIS Poetry Competition 2018!


THE theme for this year’s massive Poetry Competition was “Through a Looking Glass”.

Students were invited to write an original poem that reflected the theme, and how they felt about it. This year, First News helped to judge the poems – which you can read right here!

There were 372 entries, which came from 80 different schools in total! Well done to everyone who entered, there were so many excellent poems!

Category A: 10 yrs and under

Winner: Arysha Haya Kanda, The British School of Kuala Lumpur

Through the looking glass I see, Dinosaurs roaming wild and free, And next there is a mighty bang, An explosion heard all through the land.

Petrified, afraid, I pull away in fright, But curiosity gets the better of me, And I feel as though I might…

A caveman hunts with a jagged spear, While a mammoth toots and trumpets in fear, The sabre-tooth tiger, strong and brave, Stays awaiting his prey in a gloomy cave.

A young girl, maybe as old as me, Suddenly jumped down an ancient tree, I followed her, twisting and turning, underground, But she stopped as she found… a pound!

Oh dear, Oh no I must have dropped it, Down this awful, great, dark pit! Just then, everything started to disappear, Caveman, mammoth and the spear.

Consumed in terror I turn and shriek, But, Oh, but it wouldn’t hurt to have one more peek! A new world takes shape around me, There is nothing, not a bird or a bee,

Suddenly, there is a loud, scary crash, And two soldiers appear before me, in a wild dash, Panting and panting they were clearly out of breath, Looking like they trying to escape from certain death.

They pushed right past, wheezing and shoving, And when I turned around I realised they weren’t bluffing! An army of thousands was headed this way, And they didn’t look like they wanted to play!

I tried to pull out but I was stuck! Oh, oh, what bad luck!

I wished and wished with all my heart, That I could really well and truly depart, A sudden bright glow engulfed my face, As the magic mirror took me to some other place…

Runner Up: Olivia Sell, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School 

Through the looking glass I see
Memories staring back at me
Birthday candles, Christmas trees
White sand and crystal blue seas
Laughter, smiles, a warm embrace
Joy upon a familiar face

Through the looking glass I hear
Distant sounds as though they are near
Barking dogs, bees that sting
Roaring thunder, with lightning
A childish wail, a fearful sob
A mother’s words of comfort, soft

Through the looking glass I smell
Fragrances to entice and repel
I rage at the forbidden treat
Cotton candy, smelling sugary sweet
The stink of broccoli, so good for you
Causes rows at the table, tears too


Through the looking glass I feel
A hand in mine, strong like steel
Pushing me high in the park on the swing
Oh how many memories this can bring
A presence now long gone away
An aching sorrow everyday

Through the looking glass I see
My face- a map of what has been.

Category B: 11-14 yrs

Winner: Tamara Almoayed, The British School of Bahrain 

She asked me to write a poem,
About a looking glass,

I have to write about a looking glass,
About our world,

I can’t write about orphans,
Who feel alone,
And cold,
And empty.

I can’t write about the leaders of the free world,
Arguing with words,
Words stronger than weapons.

I wish I could write about money,
How some people have none of it,
And others have too much.

I want to write about the melting ice,
The dying animals,
The air,
Thicker than smoke,

How some people can’t
Because they’re too scared,
I g n o r e d.

I would write about the countries,
Where there are more tears than water.

About ribs,
Poking through skin,
A cry,
For food.

About the refugees,
Running from country to country,
Staying alive,

I hope one day I can write through a looking
About a painful lonely world,

But I think,
A looking glass,
A parallel world,
Would show happier things,
Than this train wreck we call life

Runner Up: Oresti Bakali, Campion School 

(Pt. I) Through the Looking Glass, to myself I always lied, That there is nothing on the other side But deep inside, I know it’s not true Is it me, or is it you? A parallel me, different, but… the same Is he or me the one with more fame? A better one, a better self The one with a bit more wealth? Is the other side aware that their other side exists, And do we know but despite that resist But what if everything on the other side was clearer? So I reach out for the mirror

(Pt. II) I transport into another world And to me, everything has unfurled At first, the world seems to be our world’s equal But reveals to be our world’s sequel It’s what we’d perceive to be like the future… Is this a world they mostly nurture? But then I saw him, I couldn’t believe my eyes It was me, but looked more wise All over his body he had scars But his eyes twinkled as if they were stars He started to speak, what he said was absurd They were the saddest things I’d ever heard

(Pt. III) “Our worlds are replicas of one another But still are almost nothing each other My world is more advanced in technology, you see, But countries are constantly at war, and soldiers are children, like you and me He opened the front door, he showed me outside And I saw tons of dead bodies on the roadside And then, a single tear came out of my eye As if the world was agreeing with me, rain came from the sky Then gunshots and screaming, horrible sounds Fleeing and evil laughter, bullets on battlegrounds He pushed me through the door, to save me, but for him too late The bullets in his body, at least eight…

(Pt. IV) Blood from his mouth, he was ready to die He hushed me when I started to cry “Shhh… don’t think of it, to you it’s not real, Through the Looking Glass, my world will not heal,” As he left life, I returned to my side of the glass I looked at the clock, I saw no time had passed I now realized that thousands of choices could be made in a split-second And more could die like that, I reckoned I told no one of that, but it was still in my mind How does nobody think of this? Am I living in a world gone blind? And so like that, time did always pass, In my side of the Looking Glass

Category C: 15-19 yrs

Winner: Lamees Abu Saad, International Community School, Amman 

It is through the eyes of an innocent
That you are given the permission to see
Something beyond what is taught
By the monster known as reality
We are blinded by our lies,
Hung by our hate
Screaming innocent cries
And we are taught
That this…simply…is fate
I am no longer human,
I am no longer a child,
I am a mixture of flesh, blood and meat,
One who is given a death sentence,
One who is bound to die.
Humans, they aren’t as innocent as they seem,
A mutation a virus, a penetrating disease
Eye simply used for staring,
Hands used to cut,
The mouth used to fire out shots of words,
Tongue tied in a knot,
I am who I choose to be,
And through the looking glass,
I ask for you to see

اطلب أن ترى

Much more than a child refugee

Runner Up: Sara Urso, The British School Alexandria

I always liked watching the raindrops slide down and race to the bottom.

Watching the fat, heavy drops consume the smaller ones and grow fatter and heavier. I hardly ever noticed the shapes beyond the blur of the rain.
The shivering bodies huddled under some nook in the wall, some shaded corner, curled up, their knees under their chins, with everything they own on their backs.

Why would I want to focus on the shaking fingers when I can feel the blast of warm air on my cheeks?
When I could press my nose deeper Deeper into the fur lining of my winter coat? I always avert my gaze faster when they have children with them.

I can see the hail outside between the raindrops lashing down, down, spat out of dark clouds obscuring the blueness of the sky. The grey of dirty blankets almost matches the muddied pavements. I turn back to the raindrops.


Leave a Reply

aamzaf · 3 years ago

First to comment!

book_girl · 3 years ago

So beautiful!

sisi · 3 years ago

Second to comment!

pandacool · 3 years ago

good poems!!!

agentlord · 3 years ago

Long Poems!!!!!

graciewose · 3 years ago


natalija · 3 years ago

It has taken so much effort and time.

rainbow07 · 3 years ago


sgadders · 3 years ago

awesome, love them

sisi · 3 years ago

Wow! Some of the amazing metaphors bring it to life.

redpikachu · 3 years ago

You can really see that they have edited them until they're perfect and they've put lots of time into it instead of sitting on their xbox or playstation or whatever and just pressing buttons. WOW! :)

coolgirl09 · 3 years ago

nice poems

coolgirl09 · 3 years ago

super long

pizza2727 · 3 years ago

I agree

dottywrite · 3 years ago


maevegall · 3 years ago


hotdog07 · 3 years ago

these poems are beautiful!!!

hagrid · 3 years ago

As long as robots don't try and take over poetry like they are art, I'm fine. Some lovely poems above. Amazing!!!!!!!???

gwenrat · 3 years ago

Amazing ?