Submitted Artworks

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.–polar-bear-cub-drift-shrinking-ice-12-miles-land-expert-says-survived.html

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

Dearest 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.

With Love. 


Iona Mandal, 13


It seems we have shoved
a cigarette
into the raw lungs of
a baby.
Choking and spluttering like
a broken engine,
even its tears
reek of acid.
They are black
and misted
like the smudged plastic
of a businessman’s eyes.
Irises, fake as a doll’s
glow white-hot.
Laughing with a match,
lit between their fingers.
Does it make you proud,
the stinking flesh?
the crackling and cries?
the bonfire night skies?
Burn not the effigy of
a long-forgotten traitor,
but the traitor to earth.
Never fight fire with fire,
Mother Nature cackles now.
A drop of rain is spat,
drying the last black tear.

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