2017 saw the 50th birthday of Potential Plus UK and to celebrate we held a writing competition across our ezines, based – naturally – on the theme of “Fifty”.  It was a tough job choosing winners from such high quality entries, with poetry being a favoured form. Here are the winner, runner-up and highly commended entries from the PPUK ezine Fuse for ages 8-11.


Michael C.  The Big Five O


Aliya S.O. The Wonders of 50

Highly Commended

Finn A-H. When I think of 50
Erin L. & Niall L. ‘Team Trouble’ Fifty
Naima M. The Crystal Hunt
Dawn S. The Surprise Surprise



The Big 50 by Michael C. (aged 10)

Fifty is a number, the big five 0
Half a century, that’s old, whoa
People are in their 50’s but say they’re in their 20’s
How many people do that? I can tell you, plenty!

If you score 50 in a rugby match, you’re doing well
You usually have 50 minutes for your lunch break, before they ring the bell
The number 50 bus goes through Kings Heath
When you’re 50, you start to have false teeth

50 is a bank note, think of all that money
50 degrees would be unspeakably sunny
The 0 in fifty is, around the castle, a moat
You could easily sail there but first you’ll need a boat

50 percent in a test is half
Bad enough to make you laugh
You’re not that great
If you’re 50 minutes late!!!

50 in the charts is not a very good song
If you don’t like it, it’ll last very long
50 years old is a grand old age
Old, but everyone has to go through that stage

50 backwards is 05
You’d only just be alive!
“50 miles in that direction”
50 votes in an election

50 years of potential plus
Wow, that’s lush
You’ll notice this poem is really long
‘Cause next year I’ll be writing ‘bout 51!



The Wonders of 50 by Aliya S.O. (aged 8)

Fifty is known as a half century in cricket and life,
And in anniversaries the 50th one is gold,
It is like cutting 100 into 2 with a knife,
Fifty is the best number ever that one has told,
With fifty you never ever have a conflict or strife,
This number in human history can never get old.

I have fifty favourite books,
Each one equally read,
I even have fifty different looks,
Each one with a different hat on my head,
So many items get lost in crannies and nooks,
By the time you find them, you will mostly knock out on your bed.

50 in dog years is a little more than 7,
I even have two dogs namely Pepper and Droopy,
But the number of cats I own is eleven,
My favourite cartoon character is that dog Snoopy,
Put me with fifty dogs and I will be in a state of zen,
When I come home to my pets I say, “Whoopie!”

Fifty has so many combinations to get to it,
25+25 is one followed by 40 plus ten,
Math is so exciting that one can’t even sit,
I love solving math problems with my pen,
Always keeping numbers specially 50 in my liking kit,
As numbers are my friends when I am alone in a dark den.

Giving in 50-50 % is the way to solve a fight,
When it comes to your loved ones, always share and care,
Being kind is more important than showing your might,
Seeing others unhappy is something I can’t bear,
Everyone should be happy and spread some light,
Always going the 50-50 way is something I swear!


Highly Commended

When I think of 50 – Synesthesia by Finn A-H. (aged 8)

When I think of 50 I think of green, black and chocolate. It’s because 5 is green, 0 is black and 50 is a chocolate number. Sometimes, when I’m supposed to write A, I write A. Ooops! I mean 1. That’s because 1 and A are red numbers and they both connect to Friday. I don’t know why – they just do! It’s the same with other numbers and colours and days… Spaghetti hoops are orange so they go to 3; fried potatoes go to Y and Sunday; lentil and bacon stew goes to T, V, Tuesday and Thursday. L is a gentle letter so it goes to Minuet in G by Beethoven, which is pink. G, brown and pink go to Penny Lane by the Beetles.

Anyway, back to 50. I think the person who started the Green & Black’s chocolate company must have done it when they were 50.




Fifty by ‘Team Trouble’ Erin L. (age 9) and Niall L.(age 7)

What do you see, when we say ‘fifty’?
All think differently, you see.

Would you see a number line, shiny and short,
Or do you find an elderly, wrinkles taut?
Or will you see a candle of 5 and 0,
Flaming and fizzing, putting on a show?

For we see magic, on potential plus,
On its 50th Birthday,
So please believe us.
As this is a milestone, a mark in time,
And 50’s a beauty of riddle and rhyme.




The Crystal Hunt by Naima M.

Once upon a time a young, beautiful girl beautiful girl named Catherine was going to the library. She found a book which was brown and coated with fluff called 50 stories. She opened it and suddenly she whizzed into the book. Catherine walked along a steep hill and found a messy, blue-eyed, crazy girl saying,
The queen is gone we need to find 50 crystals
She saw Catherine, “You must be Catherine , I’m Izzy” said the girl.
Find 50 crystals? What do you mean?” blurted Catherine.
10 crystals are hidden in five places, when you have 50 they will form a light and guide the queen back, here are the clues” Izzy replied.


Catherine muddled the letters ”potsoet , pet, potatoes! “ she said and headed to a garden centre to find 10 crystals. Beside the potatoes, she read the next clue.


She tried to think of rhyming words  “jight, right and knight” she thought and rushed to the palace. Next to a knight she found 10 crystals. Catherine read the last clue,

You will find the next 20 crystals in a shady place where plants surround you

She thought of a shady place with lots of plants, she realised it was the forest. She walked to the forest and found 20 crystals. She put them together and a golden light formed above them. It was the light that was guiding the queen home. Catherine’s adventure was over, suddenly she whizzed back home.




The Surprise Surprise by Dawn S. (aged 10)

Dad! We know it’s your birthday but please wake up!”
Jonathan feebly opened his eyes. It took a few moments to realise why there were an enormous pile of presents by his bed…of course. It was his 50th birthday.
Let’s see ‘em, then,” he said. He wanted this done with, he had a secret that could finally be revealed at four o’clock…

Jonathan looked at his new watch. ‘Half past three’, he thought. ‘Come on!’
What’s up?” asked his son, Harold. Jonathan chuckled. “You like thinking something’s wrong, don’t you!
They’re not bothering you, are they?” his wife Michaela asked. “It being your birthday, and everything? Why don’t you go upstairs? Do The Puzzle Book for Over 50’s?

Yes, this is part of the plan‘, thought Jonathan. ‘I’ll play along‘…and he trooped upstairs, shrugging like he had no idea what this was about. He sat down on his bed. ‘Twenty to four. I have acted well‘, he thought.

At one minute to four, the doorbell rang.
Just Tesco!” called Michaela. “They’re always on time, aren’t they!” But she didn’t answer to HAPPY BIRTHDAY! or the mumbling voice of a deliverer from Tesco. It was to “Is Jonathan in?” If this was his surprise birthday party…Jonathan bounded downstairs to see his best friend Samuel.
’F yer not ‘avin’ a par’y, d’ja wanna come?” he asked. Shocked Jonathan agreed, and off they walked.

That was a good job of making Dad think he had a party at four, wasn’t it?” asked Beatrice.

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