Plant Talk

The Bond of Live Things Everywhere Youth Poetry Contest Winning Submissions

Posted in What's On at NYBG on November 4, 2022, by Helena LaPorte-Burns

Helena LaPorte-Burns is the Manager of Public Programming at The New York Botanical Garden.

In celebration of The Bond of Live Things Everywhere (September 17–November 6, 2022), an exhibition that invites you to encounter the planet we call home on new, and more liberating, terms, and in partnership with Poetry Society of America, The New York Botanical Garden presented a Poetry Contest for kids in elementary, middle, and high school who live or study in New York. This writing contest follows NYBG’s tradition of inviting a response to the art. Thirteen winning poems were selected by the Poetry Society of America.

On Sunday, November 6, 2022, the youth poets will present their work during the Closing Day Celebration.

By: Chengjun Li
Age: 6
School: The River School
City: Manhattan

A child's handwritten poem that reads "Botanical garden. Some tree in fall may fall their leaves and the leaves might look colorful."

Autumn Trees
By: Alejandro Cordova
Age: 8
School: JFK
City: Great Neck

Red leaves in the trees
Spinning in the breeze
Soon the pond will freeze
Nature sleeps with ease

Maple, beech, and oak
In the rain they soak
Full of foggy smoke
Leafy, dripping cloak

By: Leonor Vaucher
Age: 14
School: Lycée Français de New York
City: New York

parched violet in the shade
with petals spread out like hands beckoning, beckoning…

holding life in a coarse palm, choosing to crush or to quench, playing god for a sunlit instant,

i will stare back at you, silently. your purplish blush will wrap itself into the night. i will not be afraid. instead, as i flurry away, the

mist will grow to tempest behind me,
all pallid fury, rainfall, darkness, and, humbled, i will leave you to the flood,
to the dignity in drowning among the moss.

By: Eloise G.
Age: 8
City: New York

Trees are alive a tree is part of natcher
Nacher is part of the world
The world Is part of a gality

By: Collette Kournetas
Age: 8
School: The Brearley School
City: New York

A child's handwritten poem that reads, "Your life is a tree is grows, it is you. You are tall, short, small, and big. Your life is for love leaves and space. For you to grow! By Collette"

By: Hadley L.
Age: 7
School: Nightingale Bamford
City: New York

A child's handwritten poem that reads, "The garden is magical and cool. Come to the garden come on! Full of magical things! Come on east to west. Come when the sun is shiny! What to do in the garden? I observe all the things. It's so cool come on come on. By Hadley"

By: Keller D.
Age: 6
School: The Buckley School
City: New York

A child's handwritten poem, complete with a drawing of a tree, that reads, "The chtree was red and orange and yellow."

The woods are right for me.
By: Jayden S.
Age: 12
School: St. Brendan School
City: The Bronx

Raging river green trees the woods are right for me. Small birds singing and chirping their melody. Cardinals, Doves, and sparrows to. The woods are right for me. The scent of flowers are sweet yet sometimes musty. The honey bees buzz while cicadas hum. Felicity and peacefulness That comes my way shows why the woods are right for me.

By: Simon D.
Age: 8
School: The Buckley School
City: New York

A child's handwritten poem that reads, "trees, trees, the trees change colors / from orange to red to yellow to green / so, so many trees, oak, pine, to a / willow on a field with grass as soft as a pillow"

By: Genesis Herbert
Age: 15
School: High School of Computers and Technology
City: The Bronx

The smell of grass
The stone path
Open eyes taking in beauty
Such a nice view only in movies A feel of admiration and love Like pure doves
Taking in the sight of home
A feel of peace and serenity
like a remedy for a stressed mind hoping for a calm melody

By: Jazier P.
Age: 14
School: High School of Computers and Technology
City: The Bronx

All greens can be a dream look into it you will see a beautiful scene. You watch the green and it’s natural scene. The love of green may run in your genes. Fresh air and Breeze will let your mind rest at ease.

The Site I see
By: Analise Braddock
Age: 11
School: Rippowam Cisqua
City: Katonah

We encounter nature when it was fair,
spring, with delicate showers,
A pretty little fellow flew by,
Whose wings now lay, dead and dry.
The earth only seems to grow older by the days,
And people only seem to get younger, in many ways.
I stepped past the willow tree, which has always sheltered me.
The grass was mushy, and the ground was soft, it was
Warming up to me indeed. My feet shivered, bare to the bone.
The sun broke through their tree’s, staining their distinctive leaves.
What is that I hear? A flutter as soothing as melted butter,
The little fellow flies so lifelessly by,
In a coat of black and subtle yellow.
Is this life? It leaves me in a colorful daze,
As we, and them, go our separate ways,
My feet get a tingle, that spreads to my spine,
My hair stands in its edge
just for a second till it relaxes to rest.
I lift my fingertips so lightly up,
Careful not the startle what has emerged,
I watch my eyes in the puddle,
Seeing where they will lead me,
I see in the background a fallen tree,
To my realization how melancholy
This nature is now.
My foot sinks into your drenched grass,
Which now, at last has fought back.
From all who which to do it harm,
To cause a fall,
Or break a limb.
It’s all so different,
I can’t say now,
Or i might not be able to ever,
But what I have now, I know can’t last forever.
I leave a trail in the sinking dirt,
A tear on the tree stump.
As i trail away,
I have to know nature isn’t here to stay.

By: Abdoul D.
Age: 11
School: Bronx Community Charter
City: The Bronx


The environment is so peaceful that as soon as you step in you wonder


You hear birds chirping and branches cracking and all you wonder is


You can smell the wet soil after the rain and all you wonder is


You see squirrels chit chatting, Rabbits hip hoppin and all you think about is


You can feel the ridges of the tree bark and all you think about is


Seedlings blooming into beautiful flowers in the spring and all you wonder is


You see trees rustling together when a strong wind blows and all you wonder is


“LET NATURE BE YOUR TEACHER”- William Wordsworth

Follow @NYBG