Stories From the Bow Seat

2017 Winner: All in the World Was Well (High School Poetry)

2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest: Honorable Mention Award in the High School Poetry Category

Nina Spinello
Age 17
Templeton, California

“All in the World Was Well”

In love in the morning I stand at your bedroom shore.
The blue comforter, lightly stained,
Spills with each breath
Over the precipice of your mattress.
Head sunken deep into a pillow
Like rocks at high tide.

Your hair,
A loosely tangled cluster of budding algae
Cascades across your rocky temple.
Your body floats buoyantly,
Like old wood in oblivion,
On the surface of your frothy bed.

Clothes litter your floor, bed, and body.
A thick polyester curtain hangs on your window
Blocking all light from penetrating the depths of your room.
Shoes float dangerously in the colorful debris
Of unhung shirts, pants, and underwear.

I can hear your breathing clearly now,
Heaving surges of angry wind escapes your mouths cave.
A wave of rancid air floods over me as your exhale fills the room.

How have I allowed you, whom I love so fervently,
To have drifted so far?

I enter your stagnant dwellings,
Dodging fragmented articles with every step.
Submerged, I slowly bend, lifting a shirt from the mass
And fold it.

Proceeding this way, until your floors are released
From the tight net of havoc caused by neglect and disregard.

My toes touch your carpet with a sense of familiarity,
No longer disturbed by shards of plastic or rubble.
Like soft sand it caresses my feet
So that parting your sea of clothes
Becomes soothing and pacified.

Floors cleared and shoes docked
I lift the plastic sheet from the window.
As the jovial light ripples across your face, you stir.

With red eyes and dry mouth you breach and stretch.
Long arms fill the small room
As you reach to touch the mornings glory.
Together we worked to change the sheets,
From the splashed soiled blankets
To a new, tonic spread.

With open windows we dove under the chilled comforter.
A sense of celestial tranquility washed over us,
And in that moment I knew
All in the world was well.


Student Reflection

In this allegory, I draw a parallel between a lover and the ocean. Far too often individuals claim to care greatly about the ocean, beach, and aquatic life, yet fail to acknowledge the stark reality that is ocean pollution. Through water-related symbolism, metaphor, and diction, I wrote a poem that relates to a plethora readers. If one has ever been in love, this poem highlights the selfless tendencies of a couple. When one analyzes the poem further, its true meaning becomes revealed.

Ocean pollution is a threat to a part of this planet loved by many. Because of the neglect and mistreatment of our seas, we have allowed for the problem to escalate. In order to solve ocean pollution we must take an active stand. Sitting back passively will not accomplish anything because the problem is too severe. Through direct action and diligent dedication, ocean pollution can become a far less critical issue.

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