A Tree’s Life
by Connie Xie, grade 9
We were once fishermen, and lived in this bay.
The strong winds remind us of the days we went out to sea.
Sailing day and night. Down here by the bay,
each season comes with its own gift,
and each gift comes with its own surprises.
In winter my branches are bare. The nets are empty.
The winds are fierce, the forest is calm.
The docks are quiet, and the smell of sea foam,
sweeps through the streets. The people are asleep,
but the sea’s wide awake.
Springtime is when the birds come back,
soaring through the trees singing their hymns.
The forest is an orchestra, and we are coated in many shades.
Our flowers cover the road below us—
A sea of pink, with fragments of red and white.
In Summer from a distance we can see the boats we once sailed,
going back out to sea. Our flowers are replaced
with bright green leaves.
When fall comes our leaves go in a gust of wind—
schools of fish swimming through the waves.
The birds sing their last songs before flying south.
A soft breeze ruffles our remaining leaves,
leaving us bare once again for winter.
We are the trees down near the bay.
We were once fishermen, sailed our boats out into the sea.
But when our lives passed away,
and our bodies rotted alone in the grave,
our souls found their way to the forests.
“This poem has a pleasing mystical quality. It is a good, multi-sensory portrayal of the seasons with simple, clear description and an intriguing twist at the end that makes you want to read it again. There is just enough repetition to build the panorama, and to help the piece hang together well. ” junior Stursberg jury
LEAGUE OF CANADIAN POETS: How long have you been writing poetry?
CONNIE XIE:” I’ve been writing poetry since Grade 6. It’s been 4 years since then. (2014-2018)
LCP: Who are some of your favourite writers? What are some of your favourite books?
CX: One of my favorite writers are Sarah J Maas who happened to write my favourite book series “ Throne Of Glass” I also enjoy reading the works of Erin Hanson and Rupi Kaur. They inspire me since they’re both still at such a young age and they have the ability to write such amazing poetry.
LCP: How do you see writing and poetry being a part of your life over the next several years?
CX: As music is a way for musicians to express themselves and dance for dancers- poetry to me a too another way to express myself. Poetry started off as a small thing to spend my free time doing. Writing has always been a huge part of my life so far. I always wanted to write well and poetically and would end up frustrated if my works didn’t turn out the way I wanted.
LCP: If you could give other students one piece of advice about writing, what would it be?
CX: When in doubt just write it all out. Write out all the feelings , adjectives and nouns even if they sound silly or dumb keep writing what you feel like in that exact moment because you’ll never feel the same way again. Take breaks. No one expects you to become a great writer over night. And finally don’t copy other writers. Find your own writing style and go with it.
LCP: What is your favourite thing about poetry?
CX: Everything about poetry is so magical. I’m amazed by how well words blend together and how pleasing it is to read. I love how poetry can bring sadness as well as happiness. Poetry makes me feel so many different emotions I didn’t know could exist. And when that happens I just write it down.