St Mary’s Community Celebrates Unity Through Poetry

On Monday 24th February, St Mary’s students were invited to enter a very special national poetry competition to support the ‘Global Acts of Unity’ campaign for tolerance of and understanding between different cultures and communities. They were given just five days to produce a poem of any style or form on the concept of ‘unity’, being asked the following three questions to get them started:

  1. What does unity mean to you?
  2. How would you bring people together?
  3. Where are there examples of unity in our school?

Students worked busily during tutor time to pen haikus, limericks, cinquains, poems that rhymed, poems that didn’t rhyme, short poems, long poems (although not exceeding the word limit of 400 words), acrostic poems and many more types of the creative literary form.

In total, over fifty entries were submitted and we will hear in due course whether any have been selected by the Global Acts of Unity poetry competition organisers as winners. However, to add further spice to this event, every student’s entry received two points for their house, and the highest percentage of entries determined the winning house overall.

While it was extremely close (only 0.6% between the top two houses), the overall winner was York, demonstrating a real sense of house unity. Well done!

In these unusual times, when the school moves from its physical site onto a virtual platform, the concepts of unity, community and connection are crucial for all of us. These poems have since taken on a very special significance and are a testament to not only the creative heart of the school, but also the deep and palpable sense of community that defines us.

A small selection of entries for your enjoyment are below:


Make a Connection

What does race or colour matter?

Everyone is the same,

Why keep hate and anger in your heart; that is such a shame.

Together we should unify and all become one,

Never mind the distrust and fear they give us,

Let the seedling grow and shine happiness all over.

You may ask where is the love?

I don’t know but we need Jesus’ dove!


Am I the only one who feels the weight of the world on my shoulders?

In my way stands a big boulder

And as I grow older everyone is becoming colder.

Let’s break these walls of abhorrence,

But if not, stay in your own dystopia,

Your world of injustice and moral evil will form a world of fire.

Do you prefer this burning sensation?

That will ruin God’s creation.


Let’s take a stand

And make God’s love first hand.

We clearly see unity in diversity and community;

Do we not understand the state of being one or do you prefer the disunity?

An enclosed world where selfishness has got us going the wrong direction.

Let’s get the wi-fi and make a connection!

By Chloe B (LV)


Hundred Acre World

All over the earth there is friendship

In tales like Winnie the Pooh,

The Owl and the Pussy Cat, funny old pair,

Or, Paddington from Peru.


All over the earth there is fighting

And families torn apart,

The fear, the pain, the lost, the slain;

It’s enough to break one’s heart.


If we were to stand together,

Together united as one,

We could end this futile fighting

And the battle could be won.


We can stand up for the humble,

And rise them up to be

Greater than the skies above

And stronger than the sea.


If unity could be the bond,

The bond no one could shatter,

The bond stronger than any chain,

Each link someone who matters.


All the books on the shelves of pixies and elves,

Of Kanga and Piglet and Pooh,

If Paddington can find his place,

Then why can’t Unity too?

By Felicity P-R (UIII)


One Stick

Alone the Emperor

Could not survive

He needs his friends

To stay alive


In frozen wastes

He huddles tight

To other birds

Through frozen night


He finds a place

Within the throng

Where he’s kept warm

But not for long


In time he goes

To face the cold

While others warm

Within the fold


And so this bird

By serving others

Does serve himself

Unity helps each

It helps all

Mimi R (LVI)


A Dream

I have a dream

That today we can reach out

With fingers touching, entwined with hope

To cancel out hate and destruction and stand together.


We cannot defeat fear with hate,

For it multiplies and changes state.

Love is our only weapon,

For while we hate, we cannot be free.


The world is bound by chains of despair.

The burning bushland

And polar ice rivulets of tears,

Loneliness forcing isolation and loss of hope.


We must live from a humble spirit,

We can live from love.

Together we can create an oasis of freedom and justice,

And put our arms around each other

And the world.


Unity is a joyous daybreak,

Filled with integrity,

We must stand together to rise upwards and save each other.

I have a dream today.

Beatrice C (LIV)


St Mary's Shaftesbury-St Mary’s Community Celebrates Unity Through Poetry 1