A young Derry schoolboy has penned a heart wrenching poem on the Troubles and scooped first prize at citywide competition.
Jason Feeney, a Primary Seven pupil at Greenhaw Primary School, took first prize at the ‘One Day I Planted a Seed’ competition in association with Mute Meadows and the Peace Bridge Initiative, pipping over 200 other children to the post.
“My poem is essentially about the Troubles,” says Jason, from Galliagh. “It’s my interpretation of what has happened and what we can do to make things better.”
Jason, who was born two years after the Good Friday Agreement and grew up in relatively peaceful times says he, along with every child of our times, grew up with vast knowledge of our country’s troubled past.
“My Dad was injured in a car bomb in Belfast years ago,” says Jason.
“He has shrapnel in his hands, which still shake when he is pouring tea. I know about what happened here in Northern Ireland.
“I know we almost had peace here, we were so very, very close. With these dissident attacks we have taken a step back. It’s very sad.”
Jason, who has been writing poetry for a few years, says that his Troubles poem was the first time he wrote ‘good poetry’.
He plans to develop his writing talents at St Columb’s College when he starts there in September.
Greenhaw Primary School Principal Ms Vindi Torney says the school are delighted with Jason’s accolade.
“Almost 200 children from around Derry took part in this competition,” she said. “We are all very proud that Jason and his work were chosen for first prize. We think that everyone should read and enjoy the poem”
Jason won first prize in the competition - securing himself a Nintendo 3DS and accessories pack.
One Day I Planted a Seed - J Feeney
One day I planted a seed.
But this seed was in my mind,
A dream of peace and safety, I must plant in your mind
And the roots will no doubt spread,
Spread to you and your neighbour,
This idea no-one will forget,
It will unite the people once divided.
Because our dream is all the same,
A dream of a better future,
A dream for anyone who wants it,
Imagine people loving one another.
That will make my seed a plant,
Though gaining strength it is still weak.
And will die without your help.
No one wants us to go back,
To when we killed out neighbour,
Killed them for no reason,
But if we don’t even try,
I guess no one will ever know,
How good our city can be.
A place where we know people,
Old, young, cool and boring,
A place where we drop our weapons,
All guns, bombs, swords and shields.
Our city may be broken,
Our city may be dead,
But things are looking up,
Something will be done.
We almost have a tree now,
Our goal is very near,
But what looks strong,
Is always crying under their skin.
More and more are joining me,
On my mission to save us,
From these horrible days,
When we killed our own loving people,
Because you were not the same.
People now believe in our young,
This has turned my plant a tree,
A tree for us to share,
To share with everyone we know,
And everyone will know that,
We did all this together.