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School Years 5 - 6 Runner Up Just listen By Faye Chichon

NIGHT
Stay quiet, do you hear me now?
The howling wind, the hoot of an owl.
The moon on the water, watch how she glistens.
Shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, just listen.

MORNING
Are you still here? Now you know what to do.
The school bell rings, all I hear is the buckle of my shoe.
It's snowing outside, I need to put on my mittens.
Shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, just listen.

DAY
It's three o'clock, lets have some lunch,
I could hear chomping during morning brunch.
Someone's chewing loudly, it must be one of the children.
Shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, just listen.

DUSK
It's sunset now, I've taught you well.
What's that sound? It's the big town bell.
The T.V is loud, it says someone's missing.
Shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, just listen.

Now you know to watch out, wherever you are.
Even when you are out and about.
What shall I say, you've learned your lesson.
Always remember to shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, just listen.

Judge Charles Durante comment:

School Years Runner-Up: Faye Chichon with Just Listen. We have created a cacophonous world: the roar of traffic, aeroplanes landing and taking off, cars throbbing to the sound of brainless music, the incessant jabber of empty minds, shouting, shrieking, and bawling. This poem simply tells us to ‘just listen.’

Structured around the circadian rhythm, it bids us to listen attentively to the soothing sounds of nature, to appreciate the ordinary goings-on that fill up our day. The poem has a didactic thrust: it is a lesson on how to respond to the circumambient world, to attend with an open mind to what others are saying and doing.

The different times of the day and the recurring ‘shhhhhhhhhh’ give the poem a pleasant symmetry. Ingenuous but in a winning way.

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