Crop from Yvonne Wang's artwork showing a sunset sky and palm trees

2021 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Winners

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Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Details

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GRADES K-1 ART

GRADES 2-3 ART

GRADES 4-6 ART

GRADES 7-9 ART

GRADES 10-12 ART




 

GRADES K-1 POETRY

Me by the Sea

Where the redwoods meet
the sea
you'll find me.
By the rocky cliffs,
in the salty sea air,
I'll be there.
Where the tide pools are
with treasures hiding,
their secrets I'll be finding.

Liberty Lawrence Kolsch
Grade 1, Carmel-by-the-Sea

WINNER

The Beach

The sun.
The surf.
The boards.
The sand.
The towels.
The castles.
The food.
The birds.
The fish.
The shark!
    The Beach.

Cruz Morell
Kindergarten, Camarillo

HONORABLE MENTION

GRADES 2-3 POETRY

I Cast my Bait

I cast my bait,
Into the ocean,
Shake my line,
Like a potion,
Is there a single fish,
In this cold ocean?
I'm going to catch the one
          that causes a commotion,
I'll pull Moby,
From this brine,
When my bobber,
Gives the sign,
I will catch the fish to beat,
Pics will pop as it flops
          at my feet,
Then of course,
I will set it free,
Because all fish,
Belong in the sea.

Ender Guthrie
Grade 3, Arcata

WINNER

Deep Sea Diver

Scuba man in
the deep
Saw a sea lion
fast asleep
Pretty sure
counting sheep

Rhett Menexas
Grade 2, Trinidad

HONORABLE MENTION

Not by Myself

I imagine I am a jellyfish all alone
I swim over to an orca
Then I see two sea turtles, other jellyfish, and sea urchins.
It makes me feel happy because when I'm in the ocean
Sometimes it's lonely and dark
But seeing all the animals reminds me
I am not alone
And I have friends

Juliette Watson
Grade 2, Hidden Hills

HONORABLE MENTION

GRADES 4-6 POETRY

Land, Sea, and Sky

Waves crash and roll
Up to my knees in sticky sand
Grandfather helps me up and says
Taking me by the hand

"Sometimes in life you have to make choices
And not just whether to eat soup or tofu
I'm talking about where you belong
Where you are most like you

"Your mother is from the sky
She flew down here at birth
And as much as she loves this little planet
She wasn't meant for Earth

"Your father loves the land
The land is from where he came
And I can't say I understand
But I love him all the same

"I am from the sea
I could watch the waves all night
And when my time has come to go
To be buried there would be my delight"

When he suddenly passed away
And his sand mixed with the sea's
I remembered his last words
About who I was meant to be

"You could be from the sky, sea, land," he said
"Or anything else you choose
Just don't try to please others
Yourself is something you cannot lose"

"Grandfather, I'm from the clouds
It's a little bit of each
I've been to the sea and sky
And of course the sandy beach

"Grandfather, that’s where I'm meant to be!"

Emily Hembruch
Grade 6

WINNER

No Matter What

The wind blows hair
on my face
telling me
to close my eyes
and
listen,
listen to the beauty
of the never
ending roll
and crash,
the symbols of life
beating out a steady
rhythm,
no matter
what
happens
next.

Kira Mielcarski
Grade 5, Walnut Creek

HONORABLE MENTION

Low Tide

Alone in my room,
I haven't lost your wilderness.
Timeless screen time has not
tamed me.
I still long for your waters
On a dry day
I still want to dive
In a shallow world.

Malibu shores
Share the tedium of my chores.

Shades give way to your sun
But your sun always shines
All the way to my bed
And I
Beached like a gray whale
Am waiting to be pushed back
Into freedom

Maybe I'll follow you
Sea lion
From doomed day to Dume Beach
Where the low tide
Reveals treasures.

Linnea Oliver
Grade 4, North Hills

HONORABLE MENTION

The Sea

I feel the salty spray of the ocean,
Breathe in the fresh morning air,
Skip through the soft sand,
Leaving a necklace of footprints on the beach's chest

I stop at the water's edge,
Feel the gentle lap of cool water against my feet,
Run through the refreshing water,
Splashing droplets everywhere

Look at the brilliant sun,
Just now rising,
There are diamonds in the water,
That sparkle unbelievably bright

Joy, as I am unable to imagine, fills my body,
I feel more alive than I ever had before

Carolyn Zhang
Grade 5, Fremont

HONORABLE MENTION

GRADES 7-9 POETRY

we, the ocean children

we were born with sand in our fists and
         salt on our tongue, drinking honeyed sun
                 from Mother Earth before milk from our
mothers;
         tasting pearls of ocean rain before
                 we could cry.
         shhhhhh, the waves would whisper
                 weaving together the squawks of gulls
         and crashing of waves until it was not cacophony,
         but a symphony, a
                 tapestry of gold and silver—
                         a gentle hymn swaying in the
                 wind—
         long fingers brushing our face and pinching our
                 cheeks as a grandmother
                         would.
so even as we stood,
         surrounded by flickering neon and
                 car horns blaring,
                         stinking of sweat and city ash,
         we closed our eyes and felt the spray
                 of mist once more; the slippery ropes
                 of kelp circling our feet.

our heart thrums as it always has—
we are home.

Maithreyi Bharathi
Grade 9, Saratoga

WINNER

Over the Sea

The tall stone
mountains that
stretch along the
California coast.
Their dirty bodies
smell like a whiff
of brown acrylic paint
  sitting in the dry hot sun.
   Standing there, gazing over
     the amazing view of the vast
        ocean, they seem to know more
          than time itself since life first
             started. Always still and quiet,
                 as if asleep for centuries, before
                    moving together into a
                        bigger, taller family.

Devon Mann
Grade 7, San Anselmo

HONORABLE MENTION

Remember

Remember,
there is a girl somewhere,
standing still
by the sea,

who is at peace
with feeling
small
and insignificant

before the layers
upon layers
of nature
and history

that she merely
touches the surface of
with her own
two feet—
the surface
of her tiny
piece
of California.

Sydney Mielcarski
Grade 8, Walnut Creek

HONORABLE MENTION

A Romance on a Rainy Beach

A Romance on a Rainy Beach #1

Hair wet, but feet dry
Dancing beneath a gray sky
For even seas cry

A Romance on a Rainy Beach #2

I am a letter
Enveloped in your waters
Sent away to fade

A Romance on a Rainy Beach #3

Don't shy from the sand
If the waves appear daunting
I will help you swim

Matthew Oda
Grade 8, Belmont

HONORABLE MENTION

GRADES 10-12 POETRY

Not Your Average Artist

Huntington State Beach
Magnolia
Smoke Stacks

6 o'clock in the morning
Every day
I wake up to
Construction workers
Stores are opening
The gates
To the beach are opening

I suit up
Grab my surfboard
Hear the waves crashing in the distance
Catalina just on the horizon
The sand
Cold as ice
The water
Colder than ice

Many people see a wave
I see
An empty canvas
My surfboard is the paintbrush
I am the artist

I paint my picture
Just for it
To Wash away
Like a Sand Mandala

I wake up every day
6 o'clock in the morning
To see the beautiful sight
And paint my picture

Mason Espinoza
Grade 12, Fountain Valley

WINNER

Seas

From my view outside
the deep green expanse
is infinite,
like the depths
of the water past the waves
that are only a drive,
forty-five minutes away.
Past the rows of green

turns ash, dried
leaves and branches fallen,
charred-black boughs
and hollowed black stumps.

It's almost like the layer of clear
to blue, getting deeper
in color, until you are in
a sea of complete blackness.

Past the ash, however,
the vibrant green rows come back.
The black depths are finite, too,
but infinite in that there is
no sea beyond them,
past the depth's end at the bottom.

Donald Grijalva Baker
Grade 12, Boulder Creek

HONORABLE MENTION

Algal Bloom

The algae floats atop a fragile wave
like star dust in the milky way.
But as far apart as they may seem
the algae know when to glow and gleam.
Like striking a match, the waves blur into neon blue
and curtains of foam ignite.
They make it seem so easy,
to link hands and unite.

Alyssa Ho
Grade 11, Pasadena

HONORABLE MENTION

Briny Cravings in a Dream

This is not the first time
             you wonder why the
ocean drowns your body
             in long-drawn exhales.
Buoyancy as deception.
             Tongue bulbous with
expectation. You ask why
             the moon tugs at the
current like squandered
             heartstrings. You look for
lost things on the shore:
             half-baked sandcastles,
an eyeglass, seagull.
             Perhaps you are not
here at all. In the crack
             of dawn you will gorge
on saltwater memories,
             hunger as a memento
for lost adolescence.
             Seabreeze thick with
longing, the frills of
             your sundress as creases
on books of poetry. Again,
             wonder why you were
born a fisherman's
             daughter. You fasten
prayers into the horizon,
             the waves heedless.

Jessica Kim
Grade 10, La Canada

HONORABLE MENTION