2020 – Age 15-18 Years: Winner

Noor al-Mousawi (18)

Theme – The Struggle to Belong

Judges’ comments: We felt this poem embodied the theme in a timeless fashion.  It was abstract enough to apply to any situation or person, yet specific enough to be familiar to our current times and challenges.  The language was succinct and sophisticated and overall, the poem was a beautiful read.


Welcome Home

Welcome to a world held within four diamond walls

Where reflections are distorted and minds don’t matter at all

People are robots, with hearts made of steel

Because those who feel, get hurt, and the hurt ones don’t feel

You’ll be surprised how much we shall value your words

That is, of course, if they’re worth being heard

Please put yourself out there, it’s great for publicity

But only, of course, if we like your ethnicity

Be prepared to lose all sense of morality

And you’ll be individuals, except with no individuality

But before you get comfortable in this beautifully bleak place

Let us enlighten you on the challenges you’ll face

You must conform and compress to everything we suggest

For you must always remember that we know what’s best

And don’t concern yourself if we use up all the resources we find

We’ll just find a new planet, and leave this one behind

So, to conclude, you really must make yourself at home

For you’ll stay here a while, accompanied or alone

But you mustn’t forget, dear future successor

These diamond walls could not form, if not for the pressure


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