October 27, 2010
October 26, 2010, Long Beach, CA. The Aquarium of the Pacific is pleased to announce the winners of its Urban Ocean Poetry Contest that was open to local high school students.
First place was Megan Foo for her poem Coexist:
Just as buildings rise up from the land
Kelp shoots up from the ocean floor
Fish swim and move about it as people move about the high-rise buildings
Coral reefs are the metropolises of the ocean- cities underwater
Whales swim alongside cargo ships- whales of a different sort
Is our ocean a completely separate world?
One of a deep blue abyss?
Or is it merely and extension of our own dry world?
As the cities of the deep come to merge with our own
We see not a separate world
But one that we’ve learned to protect
One not so different from our own
An under water urban parallel
With which we coexist
Second place was Anna Leon for her poem Use, Don’t Abuse:
Use, Don’t Abuse
My bare feet touch the cold salt water A ship arrives at the dock and unloads Crabs gather in tide pools.
They have relatives in the Gulf, the crabs They sense something not well, something not right “Mom, how come we don’t eat shrimp anymore?”
Somewhere a loud horn sounds “Let’s get this shipment filled boys… Got two kids to put through college.”
Crystal clear ocean for uncountable millennia Now waves roll up, their contents unattractive Green initiatives needed for rescue Before just a swampy landfill remains.
The cool breeze whips my hair around my face
Salty air rests on my lips
My bare feet touch the cold salt water.
Third place was Kelly Annala for her poem The Urban Ocean:
The Urban Ocean
Whales swimming with cargo ships, Jet Ski’s frolicking with the dolphins, starfish practically suctioned to our shoreline buildings; we have built a very thin line between our water and land. The everyday contact between us and the creatures of the sea seems so harmless. But what makes it alright for us to invade their home? We enforce the “dos and don’ts” to keeping the ocean safe for animals: DO be friendly to the ocean and its creatures, DO recycle our trash, DON’T pollute the ocean, DON’T harm the animals, ect. But some people believe rules are meant to be broken. So does the sea and land really mix without tension? Is it really okay for the ecosystem of the ocean to combine and intertwine with non oceanic beings? There would be real issues if swordfish were swimming through our streets and sharks were constantly eating our food. So we should ask ourselves again, what makes it alright for us to invade their home?
Thank you to all the contestants, and congratulations to all the winners.