WDRC Executive Director Moonwater with the 2017 Peaceful Poetry Winners, From Left: Lily W., SYlvan W., Kate G., and Jessica J. (PHoto Credit: Katheryn Moran Photography)

WDRC Executive Director Moonwater with the 2017 Peaceful Poetry Winners, From Left: Lily W., SYlvan W., Kate G., and Jessica J. (PHoto Credit: Katheryn Moran Photography)

Youth are invited to write a poem, song, rap, or story about peace

Youth voices are essential for creating community resilience. The Youth Peace Poetry Contest invites kids and teens to write a poem or song about peace (with themes like: listening, respect, anti-bullying, friendship, etc). Five winning poets receive public recognition, and have the opportunity to read their poems aloud at the WDRC's annual Peace Builders Awards Gala.  Scroll down to read last year's winning poems. 

Kids (aged 4-18) may submit poems online or download this submission form.

The 2018 Submission Deadline has passed!

Are you a teacher? Interested in submitting poems from your students?

We have a 30 minute poetry-writing curriculum available. This short lesson includes an overview of three poetry styles, a vocabulary brainstorm, and time for students to construct their own poem on submission forms. All you do is mail them in! Contact youth@whatcomdrc.org for the free lesson plan. 

Thanks to our Youth Peace Poetry Contest Sponsor, Village Books!

 

Congratulations to our 2018 Peaceful Poetry Contest Winners

Pie
Lily Patterson, Silver Beach

At the end of August every year the tips of my fingers grow red-cold as i pluck pearls off a bush each little sapphire heavily guarded with gold leaf they have diamond branches each lapis lazuli sphere precious to pie. The synchronized plop of a berry, then a drop of liquid silver from the heavens. drop, drop each berry i pluck makes me richer, but then, i spend it all for the pleasure of pie some find joy from licking all of the frosting off of their cupcake or eating only the pie filling, but i enjoy a crisp crust. I sit on the couch with no book to read, or pencil to draw with but i find peace with the scent of pie

Volcano’s
Giana Mendoza, Alderwood Elementary

We’re volcano’s, we erupt, and we explode, But we mean much more to the earth. If you look at us with peace in your heart you see a beautiful hill, covered with grass, flowers, and much much more. But if you look us with a cold, broken heart you see a pile of ash to be thrown away. We stand there and think about how we see others.

The Puzzle of Peace
Moana Peterson, Cascades Montessori Middle School

Peace is a puzzle
A complicated puzzle
And we are the pieces

We each have a piece inside of us
A piece of peace
We need to join hands
And start making our puzzle
Join hands with friends and neighbors
Join hands with family and relatives
And maybe have a open hand
Open your hand to the plants
Who bring us of life
Open your hand to animals
Who bring us hope
Open your hand to your ancestors
Who bring us determination
Open your hand to other people
Who bring us friendship
But the only way we can do that is
Peace

Peace is a puzzle
A complicated puzzle
And we are the pieces

Through the Window
Amelia O’Connell

This is coming from the one who said that if anyone talked about what happened that day one more time, I would throw a computer printer through the window.
This is coming from the one who jumped up and ran from my chair yesterday to investigate a loud noise downstairs.
Once I was completely unaffected.
Then one day, it all hit me like a freight train.
A student like me should pay attention in class and learn.
A student like me should not have to spend class strategizing their plan of escape from the classroom in case of emergency.
They should not have to figure out how to throw a computer printer to break a window.
They should not have to figure out how to run to the bookstore downtown while partially incapacitated.
They should not have to leave class ten times a day to make sure there is not a man with a gun in the hallway.
I don’t care if you think that this is their fault.
It’s not.
I don’t remember how many times I read or heard that it happened again.
Every time I would seriously consider skipping school and walking into town instead.
One day I heard that there was a shooting in my state.
That day I had to babysit for the neighbour kids.
They caught me sitting by the window, crying, and asked me what was wrong.
I said that my goldfish died.
People ask me why I don’t have opinions.
I tell them, yes! I do!
I tell them I have an opinion and a half.
If only they knew how much I want to yell at the top of my lungs.
That I want to jump onto that stage and preach with them.
To say “Listen up! Lives are being lost and we need a change!”
But when I get anxious, my voice fades out and I can’t talk.
Sometimes I can’t move.
Sometimes I faint and fall onto the ground.
But I still have hope for the future.
I have hope that someday not only will our laws change, but our mind-set will change too. This is what our country needs.
Not just the voices of congressmen or newscasters, but the voices of the people. People like me, who have never spoken up before.

Congratulations to our 2017 Peaceful Poetry Contest Winners

Friendship
Sylvan W., Columbia Elementary School

friendship is a circle
it never stops rolling  
friendship is a weed
it never stops growing
friendship is a dog
when it comes it brings happiness


The River

Lily W., Montessori at Samish Woods

There is a river, a long river
A river that is flowing with peace. 

We might not all see it the same
But we all know it's there. 
Sometimes it sparkles to you
and sometimes it looks like
GLOOMY
GLOPPY
MESS.

But when you see it that way
Close your eyes and breathe
And open them again
And then it will sparkle to you.

There is a river, a long river
A river that is flowing with peace.


Between Two Trees
Kate G.,  Kulshan Middle School

Between the two trees
one oak and one birch
him and I sit
face to face
we gaze and gaze
we scream and cry
we yell and fight
we hug and kiss
nothing is better than this sweet
sweet
bliss.
I sit alone and wonder
how my life would be without him
I ponder and ponder
until i can't take it any longer
I call and hear his voice
we rejoice
we scream and cry
we yell and fight
and oh, how we wish we could kiss
we say goodbye and then goodnight
Tomorrow
we'll meet up and renew our sweet bliss
we'll sit
face to face
we're the same
him and me
he and he
we'll sit happily
between the two trees.


Roots

Jessica J., Ferndale High School

Peace is in our blood
The blood we donate to hurricane victims
Working together to provide for those who have lost everything
Peace is in our hands
The hands we stretch to bring stray animals home
Who have felt unkind palms before
Peace is in our voice
The voice we raise in protest to the injustice faced by those in our community
Getting louder and louder with the strength in our solidarity
Peace is in our eyes
The eyes that shed tears when we hear of the children in the east that we have lost
Covered in a blanket of hatred and war
Peace is in the way my hair curls
Similar to that of my ancestors
The people of Maize
Who cherished the earth
And harnessed its nutrients to sustain our people
Their skin glowing under the beating sunlight
Peace is in the nature around us
Enraged with the mistreatment of its land
Yearning for a change

We are walking constellations of all the people
Who love us
Have helped us
And have shown strength through their kindness to others
Connect the dots and find the way
For we may have forgotten what Peace looks like
But mistake not,
Peace is us.

 

 

 2014 Contest Winners, Photo credit: Phil Rose Photography

2014 Contest Winners, Photo credit: Phil Rose Photography

2016 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Winners

  • Robyn J. from Lummi Nation School

  • Grace N. from Mount Baker High School

  • Haley W. from Mount Baker Middle School

  • Millie P. from Bernice Vossbeck Elementary

  • Brandon Z.

Community members can celebrate these young poets as well as Peace Builder Award Recipients at the 14th Annual Peace Builder Awards Gala, Nov. 18th at 5:30pm at Settlemyer Hall. 


2014 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Recipients on BTV


2013 Peaceful Poetry Contest Recipients on BTV