California Coastal Commission


Down by the Sea

The sky is blue and wide
And you're by my side
Water touching our toes
The sun shining on our noses

You make some castles
With sand and pebbles
And down by the sea
You are free

Anushka Iyer
Grade 1, Cupertino


Gentle Wind, Gentle Waves

Gentle wind, gentle waves, basking in the sunlight. Crisp white sand
baking in the heat. Blue sky, blue sea, children laughing in the waves
Gentle wind, gentle waves, till the sea turns silent.

Sam Pinder
Grade 3, Los Angeles
The Coast

Deep in the sea, sea, sea
That's where you can be, be, be
You can have some fun, fun, fun
Under the bright, hot sun, sun, sun
On the hill nearby
I see birds in the sky
I soon wave to them
And off they fly, fly, fly
And into the sky they go, go, go
And they won't be that slow, slow, slow.

Yuktha Prasanth
Grade 3, Cupertino


Silky wind kissing the great big redwood,
Sun painting the path of my journey
Lost Coast.

Solee Ackley
Grade 6, Potter Valley
Ocean Bond

Calming clash; a wave
about to strike again; soft
Something speaks to me

Elena Brem
Grade 5, Yorba Linda
Great White Shark

Through the deep, dark waters
An unwary seal
Is caught
By surprise

Morgan Drake
Grade 6, Sausalito
The Gull Dive

Your eyes
your prey.
Your stare
follows it down
as you circle
around like
a cat ready to
Then you nod your head

Alana Jacqueline
Grade 5, Ross


iridescence and islands

blackened blue strata cliffs
rising into the halcyon
lightened sky, realize that
ocean is ephemeral,
ocean is the salt that washes up
on sanded shores,
ocean is the love of sluggish
crystal lagoons, a scintilla
of phosphorescence
breaking onto the sand, rounding quartz and
scaring the fish.
iridescence and islands.
at the ocean listening
for breathing and
missing the feel of air
whooshing through lungs,
ocean above sky,
earth above air.
dry grasses fashioned
into paintbrushes &
ground-up sunflower petals &
winged seeds
blowing away like smoke
into the sea.

Allison Choe
Grade 8, Milpitas
Gray-Blue Sea

I walk along the
gray-blue sea,
waves swishing, swirling
around my ankles,
golden sand washing
gently ashore,
brushing and tickling
my bare feet.

Out in the ocean
a massive gray whale heaves itself
into the air,
water flung up to the deepest blue sky.

I want to be out there,
amidst the silvery fishes
like the brown pelican,
swooping so gracefully down,
wings skimming the rippling waves.

Allyson Jian
Grade 8, Concord

A great ball of fire sinks down
Into the cold hands of Water, in her blue gown
The fire, out of its own control, will decay
Until Water decides to light the fire the next day

Kelly Lu
Grade 7, San Jose


Ceremony of the Sea

The waves spread out a new layer
Of silken silver mesh
Beads of sand cling excitedly to this new veil
Seashells adorn the piece too,
Although cracked and worn by the ocean's loveless currents
They now glimmer as jewels do
Awash with the new beginnings the tide draws forth
Sand crabs scuttle curiously
Through the pews of driftwood
And gulls and scavengers scurry to catch
A bouquet of prey.
The rocks, turned and smoothed,
Glint with subtle beauty
At closer inspection they gleam and shine
Each unique in pattern or size.
The seaweed, once a part of a massive ocean plant
Spreads its joyous arms
In the matrimony of the beach.
The tide churns in a rhythmic hum
Then unites with the sandy shores,
Washing away the rocks and gulls and crabs and shells.
My lips are caressed with a ghostly kiss of ocean spray
As grey grains of fog shower down.
The waves retreat to the endless sea
Such a ceremony is never complete.

Nikki Lei
Grade 10, San Francisco
Ode to a Dead Seal

What stout force of life you must have possessed
that, even in decay the flies converge
and vultures honor you like a brother
the wind carries your power in its stench
and you give to the ravenous creatures
not asking for anything in return
you don't hide white arc of your ribs
kind and true in sunk-eyed, peel-skinned glory

Elise Wing
Grade 10, Kentfield
Treasure Hunting in Santa Cruz

Sea cliff bedding planes
layers of some immense cake
brackish, slumping
human history is only an inch deep here

The fossils come away dusted
chalky veil, swept away by callused fingertips
the spiral, delicate
is veined by grooves regular
as a corrugated tin roof

Somewhere my mind shapes a detour
kelp is a lushness and rustling
flash of silver as a minnow darts
light is meek and blue
but bold enough to say, "good morning"
to the shelf where this very shell resides

How was it to know, that out of the billions
it would be the one preserved for posterity?
will my ginger beer can be the one
found lodged between layers
some three million years hence?
when they, whoever they are
look back on the trashed oceans
and plastic-spotted rocks
and recall the anthropocene?

Elise Wing
Grade 10, Kentfield