California Coastal Commission

Right Column

2003 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Winners


Ocean Turtle, Art by Alison Garcia, Grade 11


Ocean Turtle
Alison Garcia
Grade 11



If I Were a Seahorse

Seahorse graphic to accompany poem

I'd neeeeeeeh loudly like a horse.
I'd see kelp.
My tail would flap like back and forth, back and forth.
My mouth would chomp on kelp like chomp, chomp, chomp.
I'd touch my skin.
I'd smell saltwater.
I'd hear danger coming.
I'd eat kelp.
I'd move my body up and down like do, do, do, do, do, do.
I'd sniff the saltwater like sniff, sniff, sniff.
If I were a seahorse.

Alexandra Morgan
Grade 2

Put Your Trash in the Can, Art by Mark Kraus. Kindergarten








Mark Kraus



Seagull like a fleeting cloud
your voice rips
through the sound of the waves
a fisherman casts his line
causing screeching contempt
as you return to your nest

Bar Smith
Grade 6


The Net, Art by Nadine Marie Allan, Grade 8

The Net
Nadine Marie Allan
Grade 8



Think Outside Your Box

"Think outside your box, he told me

Easy for him to say, he could swim.

On the bridge, stepping onto the white boat

As my stomach churned the way I imagined the sea would

Tumble me around in its endless infinity,

Hiding its currents in the pristine blue under the flat glass surface that was

Just a facade. Really.

On the pontoon, sitting on the platform in those gaudy yellow flippers

Really hard to walk in

Anything to mask the nervousness, like the awkward mask on my face

that would probably not help to stop me from drowning.

"Think outside your floating box," he told me

Nothing wrong with a floating box

The pontoon rocking gently on the ocean

Separating me from that pristine blue

Some beauty is meant to be admired from afar.

''Nope," and he took .my hand and pulled me along.

And the ground disappeared beneath my feet,

and my world of stability,

And I gave myself up to his grip, and to the life jacket,

And to the God that separated the water from the land

and saw that it was good.

Frozen with fear,

Though the pontoon had posted the daily water temperature to be fifteen degrees Celsius,

I could only look down,

Anchored next to the pontoon as the lapping waves gently pushed me in all directions

. . . .The ocean floor wasn't getting any closer.

I was floating upside down, and conscious at that.

The sea. It was pure and gorgeous, and it wasn't drowning me, either.

So the fifteen-degree water melted my fear, as did his reassuring smile

The spectrum of coral beckoned. Beautiful. Not that far.

And we were off.

Bernadette Vadellon
Grade 11


Twilight on the Bay, Art by Cara McLaughlin, Grade 6

Twilight on the Bay
Cara McLaughlin
Grade 6


For seven hundred sixty miles

The sand lies stretched against the sea,

Broad bands of white in sunbaked coves;

A trail of seaweed, salted air,

The children build fiail castles there,

While seagulls spread their wings to dry.

Sand sculptures carved by wind and waves,

A landscape shaped by time and God.

As nature's fingers slowly etch

Their fingerprints on granite walls,

The land recedes, the rocks remain

Marooned off shore, surviving still.

The turquoise shallows softly sway,

The sapphire channels surge between;

The sparkling foam like ruffled lace,

Lies softly gathered round her neck,

Exposing now a glimpse of land

That changes with each ocean's breath.

And when Earth's golden orb is set,

A silver moon soon takes her place.

The cities form a strand of light;

A jeweled necklace clasps the shore,

While overhead the stars like sand

Are spilled across the Milky Way.

"Pacific" named, so peaceful seems

The ceaseless sound of steady swells,

The timeless tides that touch the earth

From mountain slopes to redwood groves,

The fragile life in depths below;

This place holds all of what we know.

Mikaela Aziz
Grade 8



Dog on the Beach, art by Samantha Curl, Grade 8

Dog on the Beach
Samantha Curl
Grade 8