Darwin Middle School – Student Poems

In a workshop with celebrated poet Sandra Thibodeaux, Year 9 students from Darwin Middle School were challenged to write poems inspired by "The Tank". This location was originally developed as a water storage facility for Vestey’s Meatworks, a then-successful abbatoir which operated in Bullocky Point, Darwin. The Tank has since transformed into an undercover gymnasium and open air auditorium and assembly area at Darwin High School.
 
These are the students' poems.
 
 
The Tank
by Anya R.
 
Where animals were slaughtered
Flesh rotted, and blood would pour
A large building stood
Holding death within it
 
Red as a rose, the floor became
After heartless workers
Ripped life apart
Destroyed helpless souls
 
After years passed
And changes were made
Almost everything was forgotten
About the animals that once laid
 
The old demolishing walls
Repaired by cement
No longer hold the animals
It used to hold within
 
A tree rips through the walls
Desperately trying to bring back the life
Where death once laid
 
Birds sing by the tranquil pond
Covering the sound of the animals crying
Life is being replaced
 
 
The Tank
by Emily O.

Life in a place of death
What was once a horror scene,
Dripping with blood
And smelling of decay
Is now a peaceful place
Where children study
Within the walls
Leaning about what used to be 
 
 
The Tank
by Gabrielle S.
 
The animals hang aligned,
And create a stench of decay and death.
The blood haunts the walls,
And horrors seep through the fractures in the brick.
 
The spirits of the animals,
Now inhabit pools of laughter.
The children climb the ladders,
Unaware of the previous slaughter.
 
The students who are now learning,
Within the walls of recollection,
Study the remnants,
Of a past that was disappearing.  
 
 
The Tank
by Juliette P.
 
Blood dribbles down my iron walls,
Animals are slaughtered,
As those on the front are soon to be
Carnage stains me; shrieks make me tremble
But still I stand tall
 
The last bullet sounds,
And blood is drowned by water,
Forgotten past, hopeful future,
Laughter splashes corrugated iron
 
My stomach bustles with students
Life in a place of death
Firsts, lasts and happy times,
The school has since forgot
 
New life grows where old life dies
The echoes of screams, masked by laughter,
A new bud blooms,
As we forgive, forget.
 
 
Lifeless 
by Kitty N.
 
A blood-crusted towel rubs her,
Friction heats her steel body
As she eyes the animal fur
From a distance, on her hook.
 
A giant hand grips her
Holding her upside-down
She sees him, full of life
Along with its fearful frown
 
A swing, a whoosh, a force
A force greater than gravity
Only from the meaty hands
Of a cruel being with cavities
 
A heavy impact, a fluffy world
Then the warmth engulfs her gleaming body
Red blinds her vision
In the distance, a muffled squeal
 
The red turns blue, hot to cold
Beating of its heart stops abruptly
As she exits the world of red
Back into the atmosphere of the Tank
 
He’s lifeless.
 
 
13 steps
by Remi G.
 
13 steps to nowhere
where a life ends
to replenish another
where holes in the walls
ooze memories
 
13 steps to nowhere
where life splashes
playing with fire
where freedom roams
heedless of foreboding
 
13 steps to nowhere
where flowers bloom
to passers by
where life flourishes
in the face of death
 
13 steps to nowhere
where students run
hiding from the future
as confetti lightens
the dark of day
 
13 steps to the future
and the future is here
 
 
The Tank
by Teuwira
 
Once housing animals,
Awaiting a cruel demise.
Slaughtered to feed hungry soldiers,
Sliced open, dripping red.
 
Once holding water,
A deep dark abyss,
And on hot and humid days,
A place where children play.
Once blood now runs water.
 
Currently, Nature reclaims the land.
Vines intertwine with steel.
Trees topple brick.
Grass covers cement.
Metal rusts away
Animals frolic where animals once died.