Winner in the 12 and younger age category and third placed overall – Wadadli Pen Challenge 2016
Author’s comments: “My poem was inspired by actual events. When we go fishing I do not want to throw out any line because I feel sorry for the fish when they are caught. I imagine how painful it must be for them.”
Judge’s comments (positives only*): “Very creative approach, vivid imagery and very well delivered…compared to the other poetic entries, it is quite refreshing in theme and rhythm especially considering the age category..”
Note: *While only the positives are being shared with the public, in keeping with the development goals of Wadadli Pen, all long listed entries are returned to the author with the judge’s note – both positives and negatives – for revision. Congrats to Chammaiah for always having a fresh take on things. Keep working on your craft; keep valuing your voice and your art. – JCH
Here now is Guilty by Chammaiah Ambrose, 11, is a student at Antigua Girls High School, who was a Wadadli Pen finalist in 2013 and 2014, who most recently won the Friends of Antigua Public Library Stories Handed Down contest, who has participated in the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project, and who loves writing and hopes to someday be a “bestselling author”:
We would stand for hours on the shore,
Casting lines armed with bait
Into the sea filled with fish galore.
Then we would sit and wait and wait.
Then it happened – a fish could that be?
Tugging and struggling with all its might,
Using all its strength trying to be free
But eventually losing the fight.
Then it struck me, played on my brain.
This fish that would be my meal
Was in so much pain.
I wondered how it would feel.
How would it feel with a sharp hook in your mouth?
Dragged mercilessly from your home
Tossed alive in an ice cooler to jump about
And die there all alone?
How would it feel if your skin was stripped,
And with a sharp sharp knife
Your insides brutally ripped?
My what a horrible life!
How would it feel if your sides were sliced,
Stuffed with seasoning then wrapped in foil
Waiting to be fried
In a pan of very hot oil?
On the plate it looked so delicious
And it tasted great, I would not lie
But deep down inside my stomach,
A little voice was crying, ‘Why, why, why?’
I have since put away my fishing line,
Skillfully removed the hooks.
Though on fish I will dine,
On the shore I rather read my books.
For winning her age category and placing third overall, Chammaiah received:
Certificates and gift sponsored by the Best of Books
EC$200 (courtesy Juneth Webson)
EC$200 (courtesy CaribbeanReads Publishing)
An EC$60 gift certificate for books (courtesy the Cushion Club)
Glorious by Bernice McFadden, Controlling the Silver by Lorna Goodison (courtesy Pam Arthurton of Carib World Travel)
All Over Again by A-dZiko Gegele (courtesy CODE)
Gifts – Frank B. Armstrong
Thanks to all partners and patrons for making the Wadadli Pen 2016 Challenge possible. Here at Wadadli Pen, we encourage you to support the businesses and individuals who support the arts.
Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.