California Coastal Commission

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2007 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Honorable Mentions


Grades K-3

Great White Shark Goes Chomp

"Great White Shark Goes Chomp"
Nicholas Saikley


"Sea Otters"
Angela Anna Kathryn Goncalves
3rd Grade

Playful sea otters
Anchored by a stipe of kelp
Free spirited souls


Pescado Brillante (Shiny Fish)

"Pescado Brillante" (Shiny Fish)
Maya Espinosa
1st Grade



"Wild Surf"
Ravyn Trippsmith
3rd Grade

The ocean is a beautiful flower
And the sea creatures are her babies
Rocking to and fro in the wild surf
Guided by the moon's sweet smile
I am a seal swimming in my momma's arms
I am a dolphin dancing in momma's belly
I am a shark hungry for momma's love
I am a sea horse fighting off eels that want to eat me
Cycles of birth and death recycle my fears
I am plankton about to be slurped
By a whale wondering wisely why we won't stop
Polluting the sea with all our human stuff
She can't breathe this waste
She can't eat these chemicals
She doesn't want to be extinct
When will we see what whales see?
When will we. know what our true porpoise is?
When will we respect the lives of the creatures
From which we evolved?
Is it too late to show them we care?
Perhaps we'll have to return to the sea
And start all over again
And this time
We'll dance in the sun on the top of a wave, just for fun.


Garibaldi Among Coral

"Garibaldi Among Coral"
Rohan Dhesikan
1st Grade

"A Poem about the Least Terns at the Ormond Beach Wetlands
Where I Walk with my Family"
Isaac Goldstein
2nd Grade

Here we sit by the wetlands shore
The sand is flat and smooth no more

Sand dunes were formed by the ocean's breeze
Disturb them not while taking ease

The least tern is turning into the less turn
When will people learn?

The Ormond Beach wetlands, where the ocean sun sets
The Ormond Beach wetlands, the tiny tern gets wet

When you go to the wetlands, don't bring your dog
It might sniff out a least tern in the wetlands fog
Where I once sighted a house with no door
A shell's inside echoes the ocean's roar


The Hermit Crab

"The Hermit Crab"
Harrison Mariottini
3rd Grade


"Pelican Haiku"
Margo Verduzco
3rd Grade

Pelicans swoop down
Unsuspecting fish swimming
Only bubbles left



Grades 4-6


The Responsible Visitors

"The Responsible Visitors"
Dianne Faith T. Jamandron
5th Grade


Michael Jankowski
5th Grade


"The Beach at Point Reyes "
Michael Arbor
4th Grade

Soft cookie crumbs
crush under big feet

Shoots of emerald
sprout from little yellow mountains

Thunder booms from the foamy sea
as little blue hills topple
and turn into dirty snow packs

Little treasures call your name
as the wind freely blows
and takes part of the beach with it

Black and white planes
jet out to sea
looking for little creatures
to satisfy their hungry stomachs.


Julie Wang
5th Grade



"Salmon Creek Sunset"
Sophia Wasteneys
5th Grade

As the sun sets in the western sky,
Seagulls through clouds of gold, red, and purple fly.
Waves slowly break along the sandy beach,
Sandpipers scurry out of water’s reach.
Fish swim through glistening waters deep.
Seals on dampened gray rocks sleep,
As the moon rises in the eastern sky,
To the coast I say goodbye.


California Redwood Coast

"California Redwood Coast"
Marvin Liu
6th Grade


"The Rush of a Wave"
Katherine Webb
5th Grade

I can feel a rush
here comes
the wave I
see it
by my feet,
feel the icy
touch of the water
but I do not fear
the ocean, I do
not move my feet,
because I like
the feeling you get
from the rush
of a wave.


Grades 7-9

Hands Across the Water

"Hands Across the Water"
Sage Shrader
7th Grade


See a variation of T.S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" written from the point of view of the ocean (by Alec Crawford, 8th Grade). [in PDF]


Sierra Suttles

"Rolling Waves"
Sierra Suttles
7th Grade


"Watchers of the Bay"
Hadas Jacobi
9th Grade

Watchers of the Bay,
they guard it from intrusion
happy to see all
yet no one passes by.
the delicate petals
are cheery with the light
they watch over the waters,
still calm with morning air.
Do not be fooled
by the lighthearted breeziness
the golden poppies’ aura
is nothing but a mask.
When they become disturbed,
the poppies have no mercy
the winds they will unleash
to chase the offense out.
Windswept cliffs thus tower up
barren, saddened rocks
they, too, are washed with light,
but they do not reflect it.
Gleaming waves graze lonely beaches,
sprinkled among the cliffs
no soul has walked these sands
the poppies hide them well.
Now and then a lone bird comes
aside from that they’re alone
the poppies keep invaders out,
The Bay belongs to them.


California Blooming

"California Blooming"
Jae-Won Hur
9th Grade


"The Common Puffin"
Peter Tseng
9th Grade

Lustrous wings
beat their constant rhythm
into the sky and then you spiral
downwards, beak first,
into the icy iridescent water.
Curving through the cool chasm
of deep blue you are a blur
of black and white.
As you rise from the Pacific
you shake your plumb body in exultant triumph.
Standing above the water
on solid mound of hoary rock
you spy a shimmer of gray
amidst the ocean and
then you labor
into the air once again.


Kelp Forest

"Kelp Forest"
Yvonne Lin
9th Grade


"Stand Fast"
Alisa Allen
9th Grade

Standing on the beach,
staring out on the storm tossed waves,
water dark as if stirred by a giant’s hand,
In the cloudy light her face was pale,
flickering in and out through the mist,
the pale sand flowed beneath her feet,
dancing in front of the wind,
her hair,
tucked so carefully behind one ear,
tugged loose and flapped behind her,
like it was trying to escape,
a starfish stuck in the sand,
caught her silver eyes,
it had held its place before the storm,
defied the winds,
like a beacon to stand fast.


California Sea Lions on the Beach

Mi Rae Yi
"California Sea Lions on the Beach"
9th Grade




Grades 10-12


My Reflection

"My Reflection"
Cary Lin
11th Grade


Rachel Cromidas
12th Grade

Mingling with metronome footfalls,
My empty stomach sloshes and splashes like the waves.
The gurgles and panting, gasping,
And patt, patt, patt,
Are my overwhelming companions,
Urging me on so that

I won’t stop,
Because when I run I die;
I melt.
When my nails scrape across my skin
I see that I am turning to salt.
I become a billowing pillar,
And like a comet I will stream behind myself until I burn out with the sun,
Past the waves and beneath the calm.

For dinner last night I had a cold miso soup
From a box; I only added boiled water
To bring its dried mushroom and tofu contents back to life.
33% Daily Value* of Sodium
the package blandly stated in tiny, black letters.
It was so salty.
I wonder if I could have been sipping the bodies of fallen angels
From my soup.

When I go running on the beach,
Time shock-freezes in between each suspension.
The sand stretches out for miles before me like a bather in the sunlight,
Where they fell from the sky. (The other 67 percent.)

What is my Daily Value?
If I can’t bring them back,
If I can’t heat the sea with my sweat until it boils,
Then the seaweed will always resemble
Hulking carcasses, greedily harboring swarms of flies.

Besides an empty shell or two scattered carelessly along the shoreline,
There’s no marker, no arrow,
No trace but miles of sand.
If I can’t pump life into them with my own breath,
Then I will never run without the reassurance
With each dull thump on silt,
That I am still connected with the ground.
No amount of sweat or speed or screams from stressed lungs can elevate
a kind of salty angel who has lost her wings.
Like the proud sandcastles so quickly washed away,
Maybe they did not mean to be saved.
I can hear no sorrow in the fall of nearby waves.
Maybe they knew something I didn’t.


Laguna Beach Night

"Laguna Beach Night"
Ashley Morgan
10th Grade


Sloan Martin
12th Grade

California, I am leaving you.

California, I am leaving your sun-burnt hills and sun-burnt air, your dry, fried sands and
stiff bitter grasses.

Your fruits ooze juices like the sea crawls on the beaches and your dynamite-crackle
waves that draw so many, they are pushing me away.

Your streets whisper secrets like autumn leaves, and the pavement smells like body

When your darkly sweet scent chases over the Rockies, I will be gone, leaving behind me
new cities to love and long for.

When civilization crashes down from rust-burning rain, I will have left you, and green
smells and clean water will not drag me back.

California, when caustic marshes reflect grey sky and your ocean rolls away from you, I
will look for home again on your hot long freeways.

Every car window with painted prayers and ribbons showing

Showing hope for people who have no hope left at all.



Untitled (Shells & a Crab on the Sand at the Beach)
Hsien-Ping Jenny Cha
11th Grade


"July 16"
Greer Montgomery
10th Grade

One moment the water is glassy, smooth.
Waves consistently roll and brake with a perfect shoulder
And yet,
Even the ashen sky can’t prevent the air from being hot and still
Like coarse wool.

In that instant swollen drops begin to fall.
They run down my salt arms.
Sticking out my tongue to taste.
The sky is cracked in two by lightening,
Then thunder shakes.
One Mississippi.
Two Mississippi.
The lightening dances and divides once more.
Two miles to go.



Somewhere Over the Kelp

"Somewhere Over the Kelp"
Tim Malko
12th Grade


Kaidi Liu
11th Grade

Almost same as We—
Your masters, says God. Though we
Belong to the same

Kingdom, abstract terms
Separates us; by tissue,
By blood, but not by

Nature. The water
Embraces me too; only
Can the wetness abridge

Our ruptures. Only
Can sand, breeze, and surfs mend our
Estrangements. See, We
Have left you in peace,
Not as inhuman to you
As We are to fowls,

Lions, and pigs – Our true
Equivalents. Maybe it
Is your external

Brazenness, hard to
Conquer. Maybe because you
Drill deep into the

Blackest blue- your claimed
Territory, your haven,
Your Eden; Where once

We too, called home. Your
Radial perfection, We
Take, by ignorance,

As your humbleness:
Burying your shames face down—
Down into the mud.

But are not We too,
O long lost brother, aren’t We
Still burying Our ways up?