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Bridge to a Cool Planet Announces The Winners of its Writing Contest!

December 1, 2009

Thank you to everyone who submitted their writing on nature and climate change to the Creative Writing Contest for Bridge to a Cool Planet. The contest is now closed. Our judges have declared the winners of  the contest and we are happy to announce their names here!

We encourage writers to continue to submit creative writing pieces on climate change and nature to this blog and to continue to spread the word of the blog’s existence.

Congratulations go to the following Winners of our Contest!

Children’s Poetry Winner: Turtle and the Water, by Azlen Elza, written at age 7 (now age 9). Azlen wins a horseback riding lesson from Laughing Stock Ranches.

Children’s Short Fiction/Non-Fiction Winner: A Promise of Gardens, by Diego Corry, age 10. Diego wins a book club membership to Christianne’s Lyceum for Art and Literature.

Best Adult Poetry Submission Winner: Gretel Survives the Witch, Only to Encounter Climate Change, by Zoë Landale. Zoe wins a 2-hour spa treatment for her Mac Computer from Macinhome Consulting.

Runner-up: The Weather Makers, by Matt Rader.

Best Overall Adult Entry (Short Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, or One-Act Play) Winner: Kayak, by Jordan Hall. Jordan wins $100 in the name of Room to Read.

Runner-up: Sweet Airs of Summers Past, by Ann Ross.

Many thanks go to our Judges, Dr. Christianne Hayward and Laura Farina for going through the submissions and selecting the winners!

Dr. Christianne Hayward founded the Lyceum of Literature and Art as part of her dream to contribute to the rich literary and arts community in Vancouver. She has been educating children and adults for over thirty years. She is a local storyteller and popular reviewer of children’s literature. Her Ph.D studies in education (UBC, 2000) focused on using select children’s literature to develop socially relevant curriculum in early childhood settings through to high school.

Laura Farina:
Laura’s first book of poetry, This Woman Alphabetical, was published in 2005 by Pedlar Press and won the Archibald Lampman Prize.  She has taught creative writing in schools and communities across Canada.


One Step Forward Two Steps Back, by Angelica Poversky, Age 11

October 29, 2009

As my pencil touches the paper,

My hopes that my thoughts won’t go to waste,

The paper that I am holding

Has lived in that disgrace.

Not being given the highest hope,

Not being used in every way,

Living-care free,

Should not see another day.

Everything that others want,

It will never be true,

If what’s said isn’t done,

If what the earth wants you don’t do.

The grass will be green,

As the winds continue to sing,

The ongoing nature repeats,

Considered on what we bring.

A life full of adventures,

May be turned into a troubled place,

If every move that is placed forward we take a step back,

If each time you higher your speed you lower your pace.

One chance,

One way,

Start this,

Make this your first day.

A Moment After, by Kathleen Downie

October 26, 2009

2521356975_5d2f6dcb34The rain pressed upon me gently

Drops like fingertips embracing my face

I met their touch with joy

That cool, late spring rain

Arrived as if to satisfy some deep longing

To be bathed in the sweetness of not knowing

Gently the embrace encircled my toes

The delicate swirls of water inviting me to dance

Spiraled and flowed into the depths

The spirits come and go bestowing their blessings

Pouring a libation for the invisible queen

That I should have walked in that moment was a gift

originally published in Surface and Symbol, November 2003, Vol.15, No. 9

Turtle and the Water, by Azlen Elza, written at 7

October 24, 2009


a pond in a river

a river in an ocean

and an ocean in a turtle’s eye

Illustration, P. Cisneros

The Art of Nothing, by Mina Elza

October 22, 2009


Lying in the snow

Sun blazing through gnarled roots

Almost a part of me

Ocean of clouds

Mountains like Islands


Speckled with clouds

Like snowflake obsidian

Frost glistens on the roots

Roots in a dome

A bent tree above me

Hands behind my head

Feet resting on the roots


Locarno Beach, Vancouver, by Pat Ajello

October 22, 2009

179999863_72add86a91It is August 16th, 8:40 p.m., the sun already slipping into the Strait of Georgia. Eight fishers, strung out along the curving shoreline, have tossed out their fragile nets for smelt.

Turning to the west, I am immediately struck by a scene familiar from photographs in a thousand National Geographics, from the pages of countless books, magazines, television documentaries, from beaches across the continents, from islands, lakes, rivers, estuaries, oceans. The skies at sunset may differ, as may the nets, the beaches, the fishers themselves. Yet the timeless tradition of ordinary men gathering a modest sustenance from the sea endures.

The western sky is striated with blue-grey cloud and, high above us, with the pinks, reds and pale yellows of the afterglow. The forested peninsular of Point Grey to the south and the gentle slope of Bowen Island to the north are etched against the sky, but the water, the shimmering water, is a scintillating silver sheet, puckered, rippled, like crumpled foil. Silhouetted against it, waist deep in the water, the fishers stand, momentarily frozen, each caught in a gesture distinct from his neighbour. Gradually they begin to shift, to lift an arm, to shield eyes, to bend to a net. Now they no longer resemble the page of a book, a still photograph, a scene painted on canvas.

I am glad I have no camera. The scene will remain captured and held in my memory for as long as I retain a mind to recall it.


Photo courtesy of Szymek S.

Lament for Mulliativu, by Sarah Dobbs

October 20, 2009
Tsunami Hand

Tsunami Hand

Oh green lush Sri Lanka,
Teardrop of India,
The world weeps for you, and leaves
Unwanted salt water tears
To flush away memories.

Such betrayal from Mother Ocean,
Once nurturing and generous,
A deep rumbling within her womb
Angered her to rise and lash out at your people
For whom loss is not foreign

Surviving fisherfolk!
Cast your nets around her waist
Hold tightly for fear of being lost
And wail for those bodies held
Deep within her grasp.


The Tamils say the the Tsunami was the second disaster for them, the first being the civil war. I visited Mulliativu (and other towns behind Tamil Tiger lines) five weeks after the 2004 Tsunami, in which 5,000 of the 25,000 souls were taken by the sea. It is believed that human induced global warming causes extremes and frequency in weather events such as tsunamis and flooding and continues to devestate people’s lives throughout the globe.