All Purple by Jonathan Chu

The sky here is purple. 

On a good summer’s day,
                        you can hear the flick
            slip of koi dipping out of pitch.
Raindrop shatters
            against barnacle rocks. 

In the midst of autumn, 
the sun crashes agitated beneath
surface water. 
                                       Limp and snuffed out, like a lamp
it lifts its eyes to take a peak
                                                    at night’s threshold.  

Winter runs her hands through the desolate
.             Courtyards of logs
.                         brooding their leafy dresses,
                                                                                torn to tatters up to waist height. 

Deep purple plums populate the yards.
Their sun-baked skin
.             rusted around the edges. 

Winter dressing bland purple hedges,
Like Sunday garlands.  

When the branches have broken off,
           ice caught, 
                        and barely breathing.
Winter arrives besuited and chic,
                                                                   gown ordained
 with skeleton squirrels. 



From the jury: The author describes the landscape during the transition from summer to winter, using very original images and layout. The vocabulary is richand the metaphors personify various natural elements, assigning them self-reflective thoughts and everyday human gestures. The ending is shocking through the combination of life and death, spirituality and ironyWinter arrives besuited and chic, / gown ordained / with skeleton squirrels.


Jonathan Chu loves a couple of things in his life. He loves poetry, his family, good food, and his school. He lives with his parents, older brother and dog in a city called Vancouver, BC. Although his dog, Sasha, is about the laziest thing on the planet he still loves her. During his free time, Jonathan hangs out with his friends or watches Netflix. Jonathan attends an all-boys school called St.George’s School. After school he spends his time debating and writing poetry. Jonathan is 13yr old and still learning about what this life can bring. He thanks his writing teachers, Ms. Elza, Ms. Thompson and Mrs. Matthews for helping him develop on the page and in school. Thank you!


LEAGUE OF CANADIAN POETS: What inspired you to write “All Purple“?

JONATHAN CHU: “All Purple” was inspired by the coming of the seasons and the beauty of nature.


LCP: How long have you been writing poetry?

JC: I started writing poetry 2 years ago, and since then I have been utterly addicted. With the support of numerous people, I have finally seen the fruition of dedication and hard work.


LCP: Who are some of your favourite writers? What are some of your favourite books?

JC: Some of my favourite writers include Robert Frost, Daniela Elza, and Henry David Thoreau. Some of my favourite books include The Three Musketeers, The Hate U Give, and Poetry 180.


LCP: How do you see writing and poetry being a part of your life over the next several years?

JC: I think that one of the things that I want to always be a part of me is poetry. It has shaped the person I have become and the outlook I take on life. Poetry is a major influence in how I interact with people and what I personally value. I hope that over the next few years I will be able to journey on further with poetry and live through both the good times and the bad together.


LCP: If you could give other students one piece of advice about writing, what would it be?

JC: I would tell them to take risks. The only way to improve your writing is if you risk it all. Try new styles, new formats, new types of writing, don’t be afraid to dump it all out onto the page. After all, it’s just you and a blank sheet of paper.


LCP: What is your favourite thing about poetry?

JC: My favourite thing about poetry is that there are no boundaries to what you can achieve. There are no rules to how the words are supposed to flow, how the lines are supposed the rhyme; in poetry, the only limit you will ever hit is your own imagination.


Find 2019’s other winning Jessamy Stursberg poems here.