Tūhono: Poets Among Us

Kia ora aspiring poets, and up-and-coming sonneteers! Tūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for children and teens, is now open for submissions until 14 December!

This gives you a little more time to write a poem, and send us your creations! We have loved reading all the wonderful poems sent into us so far!

This year, the theme is “Whakangā | Breath.” Whakangā refers to the taking in of breath, or to the process of breathing. It also calls to mind the idea of inhaling from the world; taking a breath to create calm; taking time to stop, slow down, relax, be.

Enter here!

Click this button to enter!

Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets sent to us will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, and in a limited print run for our libraries, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory! Check out previous editions of Tūhono on our catalogue here.

Last blog, we shared some of the awesome poems from 2020, so for this one, we’ll turn to some of the incredible works from 2021! Here’s a few of our favourites!

  1. Alone Tiana

Alone poem image


Alone can taste like a sour lolly

Alone can feel like a bee stinging

Alone can sound like a roar of laughter

Alone looks like nothing

Alone can smell like the only clean sock 

in a wash basket of smelly socks.



2.  The Run — Vanessa 

The Run poem image

The run

Goosebumps fled, screaming up my arms

Promptly refusing to hold 

The inevitable droopy puddles

Belonging to my raw feet.


Muttering silent cries of regret 

Our class crept up up the road 

As silent as a spider hunting its prey

Shadows flickered in the shallow light

Of the nervous moon 


Gravel crunched beneath my shaking feet

Like snapping sticks

We started, clinging tightly together 

As we descended

Down the winding wave of shadows


Tall trees loomed threateningly

Over our scrawny group.

A splash was followed closely 

By angry curses up ahead


Head torches snapped on

Bobbing up and down like giddy fireflies

While the rain started drizzling down leisurely


Centuries later

Soaked, sweaty, and thoroughly mud splattered

We turned around and headed home.

Half way done.



3. The Forgotten Lake — Quinn 

The Forgotten Lake

The forgotten lake

My shaking  reflection in the mucky water 

This water used to be clear and beautiful now you can barely see the bottom

The smell of all the trash smells like slaughter

The lake is so rotten and filthy it has become forgotten


4. Guen 

Guen poem


My name is Guen 

My hair is yellow and blue, wet like rain 

My eyes are orange and big like an elephant 

My smile is funny and tall like a flower garden 

My laugh is white like a keyboard 

My shirt is purple like Shirley 

The sky is purple like tissues 

And I am soft like a puppy