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Slam! Poetry with Punch

Miss Owen's grade 9 classes recently completed a section on slam poetry. What is it?

Slam Poetry is a type of poetry expressing a story and/or struggle usually in an intensely emotional style - very powerful, sincere, and moving.

Slam Poetry is a type of competition where people read their poems without props, costumes, or music. After performing, they receive scores from randomly selected judges. The judges can be anyone: they don't even need to be poets! Scores are awarded based on how much each judge likes a poem. In this case, Miss Owen did have guidelines that the four judges used.

It was an amazing two-day event held in our Learning Commons and was followed by a pizza party thanks to the generosity of Miss Owen - what a RAK moment!

Slamming into first place were Peyton Proudlove and Kendra Kowerchuk who represented the A and B classes in true slam form! There were so many wonderfully powerful poems - some funny, some about nothing, and some with serious messages that addressed topics relevant to our Crusaders.

In honour of PINK day, we would like to share, with her permission, Peyton's poem.


by Peyton Proudlove

You’re “so beautiful”, and I am “just fine”.

Hard stones on soft skin

purpling into prodded bruises.

You’re “so skinny”, and I’m “just fine”.

Girls crying in bathrooms after emptying their stomachs

then refilling them with weight loss pills.

Pushing all food away like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode

and nobody asks because they understand the want to starve yourself

as if you’re in a barren forest with no self-serving fruit.

You’re “so gorgeously tanned”,and I’m “just fine”.

Burning your skin in a machine

as you scorch the impression of what people say

onto your sun-kissed skin.

You’re “so caring”, and I’m "just fine”.

Walking home to the sound of fear-filled screams

as you see the bruised, bloodied sibling you care for

with your angry-eyed uncaring parent above them.

You’re “so active”, and I’m “just fine”.

Running from old friends, from old life,

Running as fast as possible hoping the past won’t catch up to you

to beat you down again, and again, and again.

You’re “so confident”, but I’m "just fine”.

Hours of practicing in cracked mirrors.

Swallowing your stammers down, minutes of hyperventilating

eventually passing out from the anxiety of it all.

You’re “so smart”, and I’m "just fine”.

Enduring paper cuts galore,

staying up into the star-filled nights, and even the light-filled mornings.

Studying so hard your brain hurts because

that’s all you can seem to do right anymore.

“I’m absolutely fine”.

I’m lying to myself and to you right now.

You’re “so very understanding”, and I’m "just fine.”

12 years old, first day of school and

the teachings are hanging vines of ivy

and you could immediately see who would make the vines into tightly knotted nooses to hang themselves with.

You’re “so happy”, and I'm“just fine”.

Drawing maps to better places on your waist with a blade.

The blood running like the streams of your soul,

Dripping; spilling over the tips of your fingers.

You’re “so creative”, no, “I’m just fine”

Writing an ink-filled poem as the feelings

dripped from your eyes falling through cracked stone

and splattering on the page.

Wishing someone would notice these tears that stain my skin,

showing I am not myself,

but also hoping that they glance by and think everything is ok

“I’m fine”

You bully me with fake compliments

knowing I second guess myself,

and you speak the jokes you do

knowing full well someone might have

the thoughts and feelings I’ve explained

So let me tell you

I want to be fine,

but I’m not,

not even close,

and if you bully

you’re not fine either.


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