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2015 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Honorable Mentions in Poetry


How lucky I am!

How lucky I am to live close to the beach.
I listen to the waves,
to the birds,
to the wind.
How lucky I am to be able to explore the ocean.
I go as far as I can,
on slippery rocks,
to see sea stars so beautiful and bright.
Oh how lucky I am!

Elin Ekenhein
Kindergarten, Belmont

Over the Seashore

Over the sea shore
Where the waves roar.
Over the sea shore
Where the sand blows.
Over the sea shore
Where the kids play.
Over the sea shore
Where I smile all day!

Eesha Muthineni
1st grade, Santa Clara

Listen to Eesha read her poem, recorded for TAB, The Journal of Poetry & Poetics.

I Wonder...

I wonder if there is a fish that can eat people.
I wonder if there is a crab that can eat a whale.
I wonder if there is a half fish, half man.
I wonder if there is a half whale, half fish.
I wonder if there is a shark as small as a grain of rice.
I wonder if there is a fish as big as a whale.
I wonder if there is a whale that can eat a shark.
I wonder if there is a starfish as big as a house.
I wonder if there is an octopus as big as a blue whale.

Henry Stanley
1st grade, San Francisco

View the 2015 Honorable Mentions in Art

View the 2015 Winners in Art and Poetry



The Contents of a Sea Otter's Heart

He dips and darts
And splashes all day
All that he wants
To do is play

When he starts to
Feel sad and weary
And lonely
He simply dives down
And finds a nice abalone

His fur all neat
And soft and dark
This is how the
Sea otter makes his mark

And so from the
Beginning as he dives
And darts,
These are the contents
Of a sea otter's heart

Riley Mabry
3rd grade, Carmel

The Beach's Ways

The peaceful egrets still as
The clear blue sky
Scorching sun beating on
My sandy back
Dolphins jumping with their
Pods in the crashing waves
Oh, that magnificent
Sound screaming my name
Saying, "Play with me,"
When I'm in the golden luscious sand
I hear the waves saying
"Play with with me"

Dahlia Robinson
3rd grade, San Diego

Sea Otter


Ribbons of kelp

Lucas Salazar
3rd grade, Newhall

The Deep Sea

Do you sea
the shimmering sea
glinting and reflecting?
The sea quietly
and gently lapping
against the sandy
sea shore.
The waves
can be many things,
for a person they
are wonders,
for a fish
it's home.
When I'm on the
I feel like
I am free
to build
to break
and to build
My feet
are delighted
to make
in the
The deep
makes me
in every

Zak Trevan
3rd grade, San Diego

Listen to Zak read his poem, recorded for TAB, The Journal of Poetry & Poetics.

View the 2015 Honorable Mentions in Art

View the 2015 Winners in Art and Poetry



Telephone to the Water World

Scanning the sand, in search of something special,
a treasure connection to reach a hidden world.
Finally! A glint in the sand.
Iridenscent inside, once a cozy home to ghosts long ago.
I hold it up to my ear, and I can faintly hear a small fish answer,

Gia Boisselier
5th grade, Port Hueneme

The Sunset

The waves slam against
The quiet humble sharp cliffs
As the sun dives down

Ashwin Chembu
6th grade, Fremont

Baby Otters are Picky

A mommy and her pup
were drifting in the kelp.
They were cuddling, hugging,
and playing, when baby began to yelp!

Mommy otter knew right away
that her baby needed to eat.
Se was old enough for more than milk.
What she needed was some meat!

She dove down deep into the sea
and snatched a little fish.
Her pup refused to eat it.
She had a different wish.

She patted her pup and dove off
and picked a purple sea urchin.
She gave it to her pup and said,
"I hope you like it cause I am done searchin."

Amaris Conley
5th grade, Santa Maria

The Sunset

The sun, exhausted,
Slowly sinks down below
To rest upon its bed of waves
The day once gone leaves little trace
While quiet calmness claims its vast expanse
Waves lap upon the shore
Recollecting memories of times before

Naina Gupta
5th grade, Cupertino


When the sun slips on its winter garment,
The fluffy clouds do mourn and weep,
For summer warmth is gone and now,
Winter coolness wakes from sleep.

Skies dark with crystalline rain
Are mirrors of ice on frosted panes,
Birds have gone from the sands and seas,
Gulls and robins, crows and geese.

All the land is waiting for the sky to shine once more,
Let the frost be gone, and breeze be warm, on the sunlit sandy shore.

Natasha Gupta
4th grade, Cupertino

Listen to Natasha read her poem, recorded for TAB, The Journal of Poetry & Poetics.

A Grain of Sand

Trillions of atoms
Millions of molecules
And yet
I'm still
So small
Every day
I get
increasingly tinier
Until one morn'
When I'm reborn
Into something that doesn't exist

Martha Quirie
6th grade, Fairfax

View the 2015 Honorable Mentions in Art

View the 2015 Winners in Art and Poetry



The Surfer

The surfer he stares
Often caught unawares
By the passing of life
So that when he looks up
In his heart he despairs

His blue filmy eyes
The color of skies
Seem vacant and dreamy
Look past you as if
Beyond you there lies

A bright sunlit beach
He hears not my speech
For I am nothing more
Than a rock in his path
He is out of my reach

Roaring waves that resound
With bluffs all around
Among us he seems lost
For it's only at sea
That he really is found

They say he longs to be free
But I disagree
He is unrestrained
For when his body is trapped
His mind is at sea

Lilly Blackburn
9th grade

Glass Waves: A Sonnet

Glass waves tumble and break hitting sharp bluffs
Shattering into shards against the rocks
Horizon line cuts water and white puffs
The ice water rolls and churns moving blocks
Beneath the ice clear surface under sea
Moving rainbows color shallow waters
Darker depths hide timid creatures that flee
Deep-sea monsters stalk prey-plotting slaughters
Turning twisting waters chase sand beaches
Soft rippled waves follow soft winds churning
Light streaks colors through black and blue breaches
Beaten familiar waters returning
Sun set sky with picture perfect paint stroke
Until frozen fire lights darkness with smoke

Fiona Good-Sirota
9th grade, Santa Cruz

spring tides at daybreak

the path twists down the crags to the field
before the shore, faded, footfalls like dust-catchers
in the sand. woad waters round the skerries
like cream in coffee, brackish blues
crested with pallid tones. the murmur of the tides,
returning, receding (the moon lulls
the ocean in its cradle). even the shoals
are quiet; the occasional roseate seastor,
ragged on the dark rock. a gull cries,
widespread wings as it glides past, the silhouette
otherworldly in the fog. settled water,
springs's first saffron poppies
bright among the driftlogs.

Sabina Holzman
9th grade, Irvine


A perfect slab of rock
on the San Francisco Bay
waiting ever-so patiently for me
I sit, close my eyes, and
just listen
I hear the silence
scared that life has gone
but then a quack and another
I open my eyes and discover
great gorgeous gliding
Mallards swimming into the distance
as peaceful as the Buddha
splish splash
the quiet still flowing water
slaps a chunk of rock
the tide's getting high
I stare into the ocean with a blank face
thinking one phrase
love where you live

Niharika Misal
7th grade, Tiburon

In the Most Beautiful Way

"You can't color the ocean pink. Oceans aren't pink,"
"The clouds aren't purple. Color it again,"
"Whales aren't green, sweetie. It's blue,"
The teacher says to my baby sister.

I look outside to see the sun set in the ocean.

The Ocean,
It's blue, pink, red, yellow,
In the most beautiful way.
I thought the oceans were only blue.

The clouds,
It's white, grey, lavender,
In the most beautiful way.
Clouds are only gray...aren't they?

The whales,
It's white, yellow, orange, green,
In the most beautiful way.
I can't find any blue on that one!

Colors of nature are so unpredictable...

That's it!
Artists paint nature because their colors are so unpredictable,
In the most beautiful way.

In art nothing should make sense
The grass can be orange,
Trees can be purple.

This is art:
Being able to make things without making sense,
In the most beautiful way.

Sharang Christine Youn
8th grade, Rancho Palo Verdes

View the 2015 Honorable Mentions in Art

View the 2015 Winners in Art and Poetry


GRADES 10-12

A Leap From the Jetty

The bonfire sizzles,
The once orange embers
Dying out and receding to their
Black, permanent, graves.
The last drops of sunset slip away, too,
Dashing all light from the sand and the stones,
Leaving the coast bare and dark,
And full of stars.

At once, we wake, not from sleep,
But from our towels and blankets to dive into the night.
Ignoring the rocks at our feet, cutting up at us like the things we wish to ignore,
We lean into the wind.
Darkness whistling,
Sweet wind filled with salt.
our screams go silent, replaced by bare joy.
Teeth shining, hearts pumping, lungs heaving,
We fall from the earth and into the void.

Lights and sounds of humanity,
Now worlds away,
Grow soundless and empty in the roaring blue-black.
Water surrounds us,
Both falling from above, and lapping up from below.
Black rises, black falls,
With no lines of day to separate the two,
Heaven and earth crash into each other.

I dive below,
The blackness around me,
Pure and wild.
A pearl at my feet shines,
Guiding my way.
Bleeding-red coral
And milky-green fronds:
My only companions in this
New shimmering night.

One moment, draped in towels,
And the next dancing
Through the misty waves,
Avoiding responsibility like ships
And words like hooks.
Deeper now, we see the creatures, scattering beneath moonlight
Like man under cloud,
The violence above lost on their
Silver-white skins.
Close by, we hold hands,
Pretending to be them.
Further we swim,
No warmth upon
Our backs nor any needed.

We surface again, shouting to the stars,
Letting ourselves loose,
Unaware of reflections,
Wishing we could stay in the cold underneath.
I look from the sea,
Lifting my hands to the sky,
Where the once hyper-blue air filled
Our lungs with light.
I look back to the ocean, splashing into the water once again,
Aware of the life swimming deep below,
And now hopeful of the life that fills the space above.

Jarid McCarth
11th grade, Oceanside

                          (you loved me across the seven seas)

You make me feel like the ocean as it rushes by to swallow us
but it crashes within itself swarming in distorted sea form
fizzling away to calm waters again but the tide always
comes back in roaring whispers that seem to say
"hello beautiful, you fluster my heart"
the sea salt tinged winds messily tousle my hair
and you so cautiously brush it away
i shiver
(don't blame the wind)
you pull me closer; your arms around me
your gentle touch to warm me up as the sun sets
a laugh escapes; i could never be cold around you
and my heart explodes as the sky does,
a barrage of unfiltered color as the sun sinks,
and as i sink into your embrace.
you tilt me to the view
but it could never be as beautiful as you
someplace distant the seagulls caw repeatedly
as you call me "mine, mine, mine"
and darling, i'm yours,

Minghua Ong
10th grade, Gardena

Ocean Breeze Memories

Puddles glisten on the floor,
Left where feet stepped just before.
Trails of sand lead the way
To the children still at play.

A zephyr plays with the curtain's hem,
Blowing softly on my skin,
Washing away Summer's warmth,
Stirring up the seashore surf.

The gleaming sun's scattered glow
Shifts back and forth, to and fro,
Leaking through the clouds above,
Gathering Earth in a lingering hug.

But Summer only stays so long;
The birds will leave to sing their song,
In other lands, for other ears,
In the sun-soaked hemispheres.

And when the cries of laughter cease,
When there is no ocean breeze,
When the rays of sunlight flee,
Our house will still smell of the sea.

McKenna Pahl
12th grade, Felton


The warm water engulfs us as we frolic in the ocean of our ancestors.
The sand comforts my father as he watches us shatter the rippling clear veil under the heat of
the Pacific sun.
The wind dances elegantly, and the ocean dances with her.
The wind is graceful, smooth in motion, courtly in presence, joyful in her mother's
She caresses us with air, and comforts us with warm companionship.
But her brother moves as a fierce warrior,
Clapping his hands, thumping his feet on the shore, yet
He is smooth, in his demeanor, in his movement, in his dance.
He is the warrior that our people rode, and she is the dancer that guided them.
We watch and hear the dance performed.
As we exit the theatre of ocean and wind, we can still hear their mother's song.

Ivan N. Vatikoni
12th grade, Watsonville

View the 2015 Honorable Mentions in Art

View the 2015 Winners in Art and Poetry