“Haiku” is the term for a poem that contains three lines and 17 syllables. It is difficult to imagine much can be said within the confines of such a poetic structure. Year 3 student Jai Walker, however, was able to capture the entirety of a day in the park in a Haiku called ‘Dandelions’.

For this poem, Jai has been honoured with the prize of Runner Up in the Lower Primary Division of the nationwide Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition. The award was presented to him by The Hon. Luke Hartsuyker, Member for Cowper.

The competition encourages student poets to take inspiration from wherever they may find it. For Jai, his inspiration was an interesting observation he made of a garden in a park.

“In the park, there were heaps of dandelions in one of the gardens that was supposed to have other plants as well but they had all died and the dandelions were the only plants alive,” explains Jai.

This encounter sparked Jai’s creative energy and he wrote what the competition judges commended as “an original Haiku with lovely language.”

Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker commended both Jai and the school as a whole for encouraging an interest and a love of poetry, especially in our younger students.

“It is great that St Columba has cultivated an interest in poetry…Look what Jai could do with three lines, he captured the magic of the moment,” said Mr Hartsuyker.

The panel of professional writer judges selected winning poems on the basis of their distinctiveness and demonstration that the poet is attuned to their surroundings. Head of Primary, Shannon Rosewood believes this connection to his environment is caught in Jai’s Haiku.

“The theme of Haikus should always be about the joy and wonders of nature and I think Jai really captured that in his poem,” said Ms Rosewood.

Jai says he will continue to write poetry, in particular Haikus. “There is one poem about the sunset I keep remembering at home but I can’t remember it at school for my writing book,” he laughs.