by Sethson Burton, 19, American University of Antigua
Waves running towards the shore as the pleasant sea air blesses one’s nose.
Young men playing cricket as the scorching sand clings between their toes.
The sun in the sky beaming with triumphant glory,
With radiance so splendid that it dare not be mimicked.
Roaming the sandy plains and the crystal-clear sea allow us to mingle.
Not with those who are forced to stand tall on their two majestic feet,
But with those who crawl and use shells to mask their decency;
And with the studded stars of heaven God placed on the ocean floor.
This is the beach that I once loved.
With nature’s wealth bestowed unto us, the expectation is gratitude.
The expectation is to honour Mother Nature with reverence to the greatest magnitude.
This expectation, humanity never met;
And ultimate disrespect was given out like a cheque.
Fossil fuels burn, and the earth feels the heat.
Cutting down trees causes its life to deplete.
Heartbroken by this treacherous display
Mother Nature has a scheme underway.
Harnessing rage like that of a bull, she charges forward with retribution.
I hope nothing happens to the beach that I once loved.
Now, the crashing waves run marathons and do not slow down.
The once seductive infinite shore is becoming no more.
The games of cricket might soon be obsolete,
Because of the sand’s decision to retreat.
The once glorious sun has suddenly become cold,
And shows no mercy on the residents this earth beholds.
The crawling friends once found on the beach, have now passed on.
Was it the torturous hurricanes or the raging heat?
It matters not, because now they have departed to a greater place.
With a sunken heart I sympathize with the beach that I once loved.
ABOUT the poem: The poem is set in the future, in which the narrator recalls from his memory, how growing up on the beach was this wonderful place. However, because of human disruption, climate change had changed his once beloved beach for the worst. This poem placed third in the 18 to 35 age category of the Wadadli Pen Challenge 2020.
ABOUT the author: Sethson Burton studies medicine. His hobbies include playing, and watching, football and cricket and also writing. From a young age he enjoyed many forms of writing including songs, poetry, essays and short stories. Even with a hectic schedule, because of his studies, he expects to continue his passion for writing in his spare time.
ABOUT prizes won:
Prizes – Patrons:
Signed copy of Musical Youth 2nd edition (paperback) by Joanne C. Hillhouse
Each winner is also set to receive a certificate, a selection of books from The Best of Books Bookstore and cultural items from the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda.
ABOUT Wadadli Pen: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 16 years later. It is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, encouraging writers (and visual artists) in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to create a piece on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. In 2020, there was also an Imagine a Future climate change challenge. To support the work of Wadadli Pen, contact email@example.com
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