Melting Ice Caps
Iona Mandal, 12
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls
I once saw your loving, black eyes
melting in the ice; deep, white and thick
as I looked down from where it once stood.
It was there we once laid our footprints
shared tears, bared our teeth
rubbing noses together
where we all stood once as a tribe.
I watch you stand today
from when we first stood, there
you will grow more I know
as we all have
surrounded by a mass of water, ice deprived
the winds howling above your fur
spreading across the expanse of emptiness
climbing the zenith, swooping down the abyss.
Rubble lies around
where you stand today
above the gravestones of ships.
If you squint, maybe you will see
paint peeling off the roundel
for your eyes are still closed
your paws still curled into small fists
like ours was, when we stood there once.
Dear, cub of mine
where you stand now, be cautious
for the ice beneath your feet is melting back
melting black at you, shallow and thin
shrinking mercilessly to warmth
not one of love, but impending danger
as icecaps melt into islands
scattered on the sea, sequestering you and me.
So, dear child of mine, tread softly
keep those eyes open wide
do not lose your grip and foothold.
As you travel knots, towards your destiny
while striving for welfare, for us bearkind
perhaps, one last time, do not cease to stare
for I hear your deep sigh,
as my nose brushes yours
but let this not be your last.
This poem was inspired by this picture from a news article (link copied below) which bears testimony to the impending threat of melting Arctic ice caps on the survival of polar bears.
Get to know Iona Mandal
“Named after the island in the Hebrides, my name is synonymous with a violet flower in Greek. Born in India and raised in England since two, I study in King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham in Year 8. I am member of the British Mensa High IQ Society and contribute as a member in the editorial board of the Junior and Teen Special Interest Group magazine. Reading is one of my passions and some of my favourite authors include Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz, John Green and Neil Gaiman.
I have been writing poetry since I was six and feel humbled by some of accolades received till date, which include among others the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF), Global Canvas Poetry Award (2014), the Elmet Trust Ted Hughes Young Poet Award (2016), the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s (CND) Peace Education’s Creative Writing Award (2014 & 2015), the Wicked Young Writer Awards (2017), Evesham Festival of Words (2017 & 2018), The Forward Arts Foundation National Poetry Day – The Lost Words Competition Award (2018), etc.
I am very keen on speech and pursue Speech Festivals with a lot of enthusiasm by competing in the prose, verse and prepared speech classes. Although, this has been only a recent, newly discovered love, I have been lucky to win and never return empty handed from several local festivals – Northfield (Birmingham), Coventry, Leicester, Shropshire and Wootton Bassett, among others.”
Mohanji’s message to Iona
Congratulations. Your passionate words touched my heart. It is time we transcended from mankind to kind men. It is time we became humans, expressing the highest human potential such as kindness, selflessness, compassion, unconditional love, purity and sincerity as well as sharing and caring for all living beings of the world. Youth with passion like yourself are inspiration to mother earth and its generations of various species.
Write on. Wish you much more success. May your powerful expressions melt the hearts of rulers and not the ice caps of the world.