Earth Day has a long history in Maple Ridge, with festivities held every year in Memorial Peace Park.
Of course, those festivities were cancelled this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But it didn’t stop organizers from proceeding with their Earth Day poetry and photography contests, said one of the organizers, Leanne Koehn.
“We are excited to share the winning entries with you – congratulations to everyone who shared their poems and photos to celebrate a healthy community,” she said, explaining that the contest was open to poets and shutterbugs.
There were three age categories for each of the contests, ages 10 and younger, youth ages 11 to 16 years, and then adults (age 17 and older).
The them for this year’s contests was Get Active! Healthy Community, Healthy Self, with a focus on healthy infrastructure, environmental health and physical health. That gave contestants a lot of options, Koehn said.
ON THE PHOTOGRAPHY END, THE WINNERS ARE:
Child winner is Amber Moreno – Age 6 – Hummingbird
Youth winner (tie): Evan Biles – Age 15 – Fetch
Youth winner (tie): Bonita Shao – Age 15 – Heal(thy)
Adult and overall winner: Linda Killerich – Reflection
ON THE POETRY END, THE WINNERS ARE:
First place – Antoinette De Wit
Earth Day Marriage Ceremony
In this eco-community I thee wed
The earthlings now join a garden bed
To have, to hold, to honour and love
To reduce, recycle and stand above
Neglect, abuse and thoughtlessness
And embrace the oath of reusefulness.
Pledging to uphold basic commonsense
Truly the seedlings to making a difference
A difference to our holy Mother Earth
And to all that she is worthy and worth.
The pledges between the two betrothed
Do indeed signify a huge workload
For better or worse the vows do say
There just is no other better way.
Second place – Janet Kvammen
We all think we will have more time.
Days to shine in golden light.
Nights to dream,
an ebony sky dancing,
starry blue above.
To breathe in clean ocean air.
To sit beneath a canopy of majestic cedar.
To respect —
the sweet water.
To protect the land.
Our sacred earth
does not have time for tomorrow.
We must wake up.
The time is now.
Third place – anonymous
Healthy self is my overall vision
Reaching that, will be this year’s mission
Eating things for a healthy body and soul
Am I gonna be able to be in control?
I love to eat and not always as healthy as it could be
Seriously, the love to eat “whatever”, is often key
Getting active is certainly the hardest part of the “healthy self” deal
Just walking and working is enough for me, I feel!
Maybe incorporate some biking and swimming?
Could it possibly assist with some needed waistline trimming?
I will try my best to complete my vision
It’s all up to me; today I make a conscious decision!
First place – Sophia Barker-Voisine
Windswept Sand scrapes a shell of me
and a sculpture of scallops tower to the crown of my conscience
A skeleton for gulls to peck
and crimson crabs to carry down to grasping claws
and buried feet
Glints of pearly seashells reflect a new mirror of myself
swathed in bleached wood
sedentary in sunlight
Flippant among the shards of memory
cursed by the spite of salt
Evanesced by limelight
stripped by daylight
Drying as bone in the speckled sand
Dancing away through bundles of sage blending into the horizon
The buzz of bugs follows clueless and hopeful
and drown in grasping claws
and buried feet
Sorrow catches the tilt of my eye when I turn my head against the winds of remembrance
neglecting the water buffalos of memory stampeding through the tendrils of my conscience
Waiting for waves that will never reach
Watching them swell and collapse
Billowing through a rumour
a mere whisper carried by the salt speckled wind
A sirens call lures down
to grasping claws
and buried feet
Saudade reverberates through my skeleton like a ghostly albatross
as waves crash thunderously
taunting the shore
Yearning for release from a cage
wailing for liberty
as I was collecting fragments of myself,
crumbling ribbons of velvet sand
running through my fingers
Callous knees buckle
driving past trodden sand
Cold hands with iced veins emerge from the wind
patrons of Anemoi
calling my name and whirling me away
Crabs rise up carrying the shell
of my old self
to the place of dunes and doom
and buried feet
Standing tall in the horizon behind me
a mirage of Golden Ears
silver lining the sky
At my back in silent comfort
My hair in halos lash
as I tread down the groaning bleached log
Blisters and splinters corrode my worn feet
and sun rays fill me up, lifting me high
above the golden mountain range
freeing me from static hostage
To match the clouds
and rain down again
Rainbows arching between land and sea
Joyous between halcyon light
free of grasping claws
and buried feet
First place – Donovan Wu
The One with the Earth
It’s a Beautiful world!
To keep its beauty you gotta be bright.
Help it and then we will ignite.
Help people and help yourself.
It will be a better place if you help every place.
You are like an angel flying in the air.
It’s kind of like you have to help the world because you do.
It’s the kind thing to do!
You have to be.
We love you, just the way you are
You don’t have to change. We love you the way you are.
We love you, we love you, we love everyone.
Help the world and it will help you.
Good happy thoughts make the world better.
You have to do and get better.
Learn as you go, so you don’t flow away.
You must help children learn and play.
And in the future it will return.
You have to help everybody, everywhere.
Just because it’s the good thing to do.
Just help everyone, you will be good.
Save everyone on the earth and the earth too!
You save the earth and happy will rise again!
This is the end of the bad, it’s the start of the good.
This is awesome everything is awesome if you help.
You should be good if you help do so much good.
Help the world be good good good.
The one with the ocean.
The one with the trees.
The one with the wind swaying through the breeze.
You are awesome the way you are.
2nd place – Marley Kamlade
Time of My Life
I close my eyes
I dream about the firefighters, the police and the doctors
Because they are the best
They help people
They make people happy
And they are special to me
Thank you everyone
All winning poets were invited to send in a reading of their poems. A few of them chose to participate. See video above.
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