By Ares Bandebo-Cambra
5th grade, Old Greenwich School, CT

With lines from "The Mining Industry’s Next Frontier is Deep, Deep Under the Sea" by Vince Beiser, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

Further frontiers open under the sea.
A frantic knocking, humans’ bequest;
Large nodules are answers to our plea.
Sightless humans mine for metals beneath. 
Electrical batteries, the sea’s gift:
A false choice for clean and green energy.
Lancing through darkness, steel treads biting silt.
The consequences bring controversy.
Exterminating species we don’t know.
Research, innovation, at any price,
Not caring for ecosystems below.
Are earth's blood and creatures the sacrifice?—
Today, we write injuries in water.
I do not think they fully understand:
Vast greed and mining will kill life’s mother.
Exploitation is but death on demand.

Ares Bandebo-Cambra is a 5th grade student at Old Greenwich School, in Connecticut. He started to write poetry as part of speech therapy and a way to communicate his feelings more effectively. His poems aim to offer solace for those who feel powerless and isolated. He has previously been a finalist for the Fighting Words Poetry Contest (2021). He has also been a finalist in numerous occasions for the Creative Communications Poetic Power awards. He has pieces published in Magic Dragon Magazine and US Hockey (he is an avid ice hockey player). He is extremely honored and grateful to the Pulitzer Center for recognizing his work.

Read more winning entries from the 2023 Fighting Words Poetry Contest.