Alexa Berenice Campos Castro

Alexa Berenice Campos Castro

Second Place Winner, Age 13-17 Category. San José Public Library | Spring into Poetry Contest 2023

Amongst the ground, claimed by nature
Dressed in zacate, in plants exotic to man

Watch the crumbling wall beside this visage
Something small scurrying away, hiding from sight

Take a deep breath, the air fresh in a foreign way
Essence of something greater gathering akin to papalotas ‘round a flame

Stand and look
Look ahead, eyes locked on something else
On mountains blanketed in green rare to see
Rolling on and on, with the infinity of an ocean so far away
Sea of esmeraldas, ethereal reach
Wilderness sprawled before you, stretching high yet beneath your feet

Stand above
Stand amidst a sky painted in sapphire, far beyond a torogoz's reach
The horizon seems to meld into the ground
The world's never seemed quite this big
Release a breath that doesn't seem like enough
You feel as if you could play dios to the world below

The clouds still sprawl out above you
The volcan behind you still looms high
But in this little empty plot of land
You feel as if you've learned to fly

Above roads winding like serpientes below

Above problems that the world seeks to ignore

In your own little heaven's alcove
Just how vast is this world?

Eyes locked ahead
Here, one could waste away
The sun beats down harsh
Humidity its partner in crime

The wind shields you as best as it can
Whispers sweet nothings into your ears
Brushes off all that pain
And then, amidst the silence of the grillos
It gently presents the weight of all doubts humans dread

How long will this last?
This beauty, so vast
Has it only endured because man has turned its attention to other land?
What's been ravaged, what's been torn
How long ‘till the trees fall?
How long ‘till the skies gray?
How long ‘till the sun dims?
How long ‘till the humidity becomes rough and coarse
And the wind helplessly drags chemicals across the land?

A river once brimming with water, rolling down to the coast
Perhaps polluted, but back then...
That mattered to none
Now it lays empty
Nothing save a dry dirt bed
A daunting end from which no one can look away

And it won't stop
That's a verdad that's absolute
Not if humanity keeps flying above their problems
Problems that won't go away
Not if humanity says "Mas tarde, tomorrow's another day"
Because tomorrow is never today

So stand
Because now we have something worth fighting for

And we won't turn away
Because the world beyond heaven's little alcove is not safe

Tomorrow is never today
And if no one takes action, corruption will reach heaven's gate

We have a world to defender
Solo un mundo que querer
The kingdom of the torogoz
A sea of esmeraldas
Mountains veiled in zacate

Beauty to protect
A duty to our Earth

Our ground
One last time
Because what hadn't mattered back then?
Now could be a final bitter end.

Second Place Winner, Age 13-17 Category. San José Public Library | Spring into Poetry Contest 2023

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