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

2020 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Winners


Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Details

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Sea Lions

Big cute eyes
Black smooth fur
Pointy whiskers
Ow Ow Ow
My tummy hurts
I ate plastic bags and straws

Alexandra Lepe
Kindergarten, Sonoma


The Colors of the Sea

As I enter the beach the fresh invisible salty breeze hits me,
I see the teal waves crash and the bright green palms surrounding,
The chocolate brown sea lions sitting on the rocky shore,
The bright yellow sun shining with pale peach sand,
Spiral orange singing shells rest on the seaweed,
Grassy green rocky cliffs above us.

Tessa Magnuson
Grade 3, San Diego


If Only I Saw the Flowers

If only I saw the flowers,
the world would have been brighter
I could've given it all my attention,
all my awareness,
all my recognition,
and all my protection

I could have looked at an orchid,
one that only grows on California's delicate coast,
but no,
I chose to stay inside, not bothering to open the window

now I look onto the porch,
my mind like a blank canvas,
"why?" I think "why couldn't you have enjoyed the presence of the fragile flowers
Before litter had stomped on the world as if it were mud?"

I could have enjoyed the deep lavender of the beach pea,
the soft lilac of the calypso orchid,
the baby pink of the beach morning glory,
the bright yellow of the Menzies wallflower,
but now the petals are replaced with soda can tabs,
the stems replaced with tin foil...

I can only feel regret.

Talia Boneh
Grade 6, Palo Alto


An ocean scene, composit of four locations: Golden Gate Bridge, Bixby Bridge, Point Reyes Lighthouse, and Santa Monica Pier, the sun setting in the center of the image and an whale tail showing above the water

But A Peep

A queer little bird
Stood silently on the beach
Still as a statue
A bug wandered into its reach
Fast as lightning
without but a peep
A bug forfeited its life
To this mighty beak
The bird walked away
content in its power
To feed its young
No matter the hour

Gavin Hayes
Grade 8, Burlingame


o-to be-an isopod

o-to be-an isopod—
beneath the gasping blacklit blue
to shuffle sulfur silt and sand
recall back when the sea was new
to stumble forth on jointed legs
spit ash, from dark volcanic vents
to lift, from currents, from the shell
with plankton feeds for small lament
what geography—traverse desire
must it be lonely, might they mind
this marianas solitude—
with only self for all your time
one thousand bars of pressure pounds
the sea dissolves where sound might bother
but o-to be-an isopod—
where all the pressure's only water

Olivia Lee
Grade 11, Arcadia

View the 2020 Honorable Mentions