Ocean waves*

March 28, 2021

2020 Walk Award
By Katen Van Harmelen, Grade 6

I am standing on the beach of the ocean,
The cool water reaching out
Just barely washing my toes.
The hot sun is warming my back,
The damp sand is cooling my feet,
I feel remarkably calm.
The sparkling waves are calling to me,
But I don’t go.
The water is dancing at my feet,
Daring me to chase them
As they retreat back to the ocean.
I can’t help it any longer,
As the waves wash up to taunt me again,
I splash into them.
I chase them all the way until I am knee deep,
And then they start building up,
I run back to shore,
And turn around just as the wave crashes,
And becomes a ripple,
Washing over my feet once more.

*Copyright 2020 by Katen Van Harmelen. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.


February 28, 2021

2020 Walk Award
By Qwill Madrone, Grade 6

The middle of the ocean.
Wide and scary.
The calm blue surrounds me.
My iridescent tail flashes and circles underwater.
I have nothing to worry about.
I dive under
The silence presses in on me.
I fill my lungs with the salty water of the sea.
Breath in, breath out.
The water evaporates in me
Leaving me with air.
A school of fish dart around me
Little silver bullets.
I use my tail to propel myself
Forward into the water.
I hold my hand out
The silky water flowing around my arm.
A bale of turtles glide under me
Their fins send water towards me
A small underwater current.
The ocean is alive.
And deep.
And blue.

*Copyright 2020 by Qwill Madrone. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Dear Rain*

October 22, 2017

2017 Merit Award
By Sterling C.H. Bemment, 3rd Grade

Dear Rain,
You probably
remember me
The vast
of sand
that is scorching hot
I would trade
all the animals
and all the plants
just for you
to visit me
And quench my thirst
And stop me longing for you
From, the Desert

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sterling C.H. Bemment. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Caitlin Press

Here’s another call for poems that seems to have some regional (and seasonal) relevance: Caitlin Press (in Halfmoon Bay, BC, Canada) “is currently accepting submissions for an anthology of poems that explores the Pacific Ocean as a wilderness, a haven, and a part of our natural world that needs protecting.”

The submission deadline is September 15, 2016 and the volume will be edited by Yvonne Blomer, Victoria’s poet laureate.

See the call for submissions and consider the possibilities when you visit the beach this summer.


June 8, 2011

Lara Niedermeyer reads her winning poem, "Stormless"

2011 Merit Award
By Lara Niedermeyer


I watch the sand eddy
with gray-green waves,
gulls frisk between those hills,
sea grass and stone scrubbed
rhythmically through the ocean’s

Sea-worn timbers recline
in still and polished dunes
as keepers of the rising, tumbling, bluff
holding it at bay.

So blue—the sky bleeds its color
into the hazing water
on the horizon line,
flushing it all mussel indigo.

I shift, am primeval
and the view drifts and blows
like the high tide line
easing my own frayed jetsam
to leave me new and ready
as wave-washed sand.

*Copyright 2011 by Lara Niedermeyer. Photo by Karee Wardrop.

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