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Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Posted on March 24th 2017

Leah's Poem Published in 'Youth in Excellence' Anthology


We're very proud that four of our students' poems are published in an anthology called War and Peace in Today's World, produced by Youth in Excellence.

They are Zainab Ibrahim, Leah Miwa, Lilly Mahoney-Moore and Mistura Aderibigbe.

Students from all over the country were invited to write a poem for the anthology but only a small handful were selected for publication. Leah's poem Concrete Paradise was judged the overall winner. We're proud to including all four poems in full below.

The Question, by Zainab Ibrahim 


What is it?


A heroic moment in history.

What is it?

An escape plan,


You tell me.

You are all victims and perpetrators,

Believes and non-believers,

The cause and not the cause.

So you tell me.

What is war?

What is it that makes it so painful?

What is it that makes people die?

Why do we have it?

It is a flaw.

Or is it the true nature of human


So again I say,

What is war?

Concrete Paradise, Leah Miwa


Stressed, compressed into my chest

she rests, depressed.

It's complex,

what five year old do you know in this mess?

Feelings pressed into silent distress.

It's not her fault

she can't be strong,

 she just...doesn't have an Adam's apple,  Even the sewage pipes laugh as she quietly babbles.

Let me speak of my assorted dreams,

prepped and baked in beads of damp frustration.

But we are unlike others,

it's bittersweet.

Because the cement isn't that bad and

God saves the meek.

We do not seek to speak of the harsh reality  our empty pockets hold grudges to our previous greed.

We used to  "need",

excess materials to slip into society's regulations.

Now here we are

with nothing to possess.

Some accept the unimaginable fate,

others would struggle

to survive.

Life without love, Lilly Mahoney-Moore


Undisputed perfection in all that she said, Sweet birdsong seemed to spill from her lips.

A graceful glow emitted from her existence.

The enlightening promise in a desolate world.

Angels and mortals alike were envious of her allure.


Joy is what she supplied me with,

A fulfilling feeling of contentness.

Whenever I glanced into those dazzling sapphire eyes, Nothing could be wrong in my life.

She was the epitome of flawlessness.


A sudden tempest. Thundering rain clouds and flashing skies, Disturbance raged above monstrously.

Persistent, constant, draining.

No calm ended the unforeseen storm,

Instead the velvety blankness was filled with agitation.

Sombre nothingness engulfed my weeping soul.

Unrequited devastation tore through the tapestry, Blanketing numbness gone, The beating centre of my body ripped to desperate shreds, I finally settled in empty resignation.


Society, by Mistura Aderibigbe


Hypnotised by my conjuring infantile face,  society welcomed me, loved me and gave me value.

Society protected me,

ensuring I was constantly cherished and adored.

For years, I remained under the detrimental illusion that society hid itself behind.

The words "don't grow up too fast"

endlessly hammered into my developing ears and continuously floated out again.

My naiveté allowed me to be deceived by society, until the entrance of the 'golden age'

of puberty.

I was now the prey of a pernicious beast that waited until I was ripe to pounce and attack.

Pimples polluted my once sweet and soft skin.

Thrown from under society's wing,

I am now left exposed to the true impact of the relentless world.

Some people reminded me of the fact that they warned me; others just left me to face the wrath of society on my own.

Sweet society has now switched

into a swirling storm of despair.