Second Place Winners of the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth

Flares Across the Persian Gulf

in the gutters of Dubai,

a football lies like roadkill.

punctured, patched, pummelled,

pitted, dyed pink with

scraped knees; it waits

for gloaming. the shadow

of the Burj Khalifa* lengthens

like a stain, until all

rice is scraped from its pot

and the children are released,

like flares across the Persian Gulf.

they play until dark while

their sisters watch

and their fathers encourage

a fight. dust-calloused feet

pounding against the pockmarked,

grass-bare Earth.

these boys don’t yet know

where their mother

goes at night,

the meaning of the word

apostasy,

why men spill blood

for oil drums,

the weight of their father’s

hand on their neck.

*tallest building in the world

Flares Across the Persian Gulf was submitted by Erika Ruiter, a Grade 12 student at Claremont Secondary School in Victoria, BC. It was awarded second place in the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth Senior Category.

______________________________

Hint of Blue

Although white is what I see
Your colours remain a mystery
I’m snowblind and blue with cold
Another colour is my plea
Green or pink, red or gold

If I could jump into a painting
I would choose a different hue
Because everything we do
Has a hint of blue

Night is black
Red flames lick the air
But the blue is back
Faint, unwanted, but it’s there

If i could jump into a painting
I would choose a different hue
Because everything we do
Has a hint of blue

Blue is blinding
Like a silver lining
Winding, tying my life
into you
and everywhere but barely there
Is a hint of blue

Hint of Blue was submitted by Sydney Eliot-Wilson, a Grade 7 student from Loughborough Public School in Harrowsmith, ON. It was awarded second place in the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth Junior Category.
______________________________

Each year, the League of Canadian Poets invites Canadian youth to participate in its Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth. The contest is named in honour Jessamy Stursberg and “her lifelong love of poetry,” who passed away in 2008; she is the late wife of journalist and author Peter Stursberg. This annual national contest celebrates and fosters the immense poetic talent of young poets in Canada, and is juried each year by two panels of esteemed Canadian poets, given the difficult task of selecting the winners and honorable mentions in the Junior (Grades 7-9) and Senior (Grade 9-12) categories.

This year’s Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Youth winners and honourary mentions will also be announced during Young Poets’ Week. First, second and third prize winners will receive cash prizes, and will be published in Re:verse, the LCP’s youth driven on-line e-zine, Re:verse is located on the http://www.youngpoets.ca website.

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