The Poetry for Peace contest was held from 15 September until 14 October 2011. The winners were anounced at a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York.
Below is one of the contest entries.
"Burn Child Burn" Burn child burn Pain is the only way you'll learn I begged you to lay your sins to the pyre Only to watch as you fell into the fire Now I can smell it Try as I may I cannot repel it We're trapped in dismay See the words will never be enough When the story's all over you Written in black and blue Left to decipher what the blood read The drought has been hard on us So we quench our thirst in the crimson rivers Drowning to the inconsolable wailing of sirens Burn child burn Pain is the only way you'll learn Extinguish the flames in a hail of bullets Reign on me oh great oppressor Applaud our sin The money, diamonds, guns and ammunition - even us, we are all possessions "Africa must wake up", "We need leaders", we are used to these professions But we are the children of fury and smoke The embellishments of measured strokes The fading embers of a heritage fire The cockroaches buried in shells Bleeding lead Back on back Black on black Sweat carressing their skin There's no tonic to this gin Stained machetes Ready to mince them out into spagetti Burn child burn Pain is the only way you'll learn I need a little a support I need a little resistance So plant the seed And cut the weeds Tow your tomorrow Sow your sorrow Directed by the compass Remember all who've come past Remain as compost Burn child burn Pain is the only way you'll learn Burn child burn Burn and never learn
— Qaqambile Q. Mapukata
All Poems Submitted to the Contest