Back in October we opened submissions for our latest round of bus poems. The contest was open to students in grades 6 – 12, and here’s what we asked for:

Tell us what matters to you. Inspire us. Educate us. Wax poetic about your cat – everyone loves cats. Just write! Write us a poem and maybe it will end up on Edmonton Transit for eight weeks! Submissions are judged blind. We look for strong writing whether lyrical, experimental, or form poetry. Send us your best. The only catch – you must be a student in grades 6 through 12.

We received a lot of great submissions, and we are pleased to announce the winning authors and their poems. Congratulations to all our winners, and special thanks to all who submitted their poems to this round.

Here are the poems by our winners:

Twelve Little Kings
by Tiana Ranta – Grade 10

Twelve little kings on their little thrones
Watching the soldiers march their way home
Tick-Tock Tick-Tock
Gears power the quiet rifles
Little hands running round
Endless march, only stopping when the tired mechanics
Give in to their own demise
Long war now over, silence and stillness
Twelve little kings on their little thrones
Watching tired soldiers march their way home

• Tiana is a 15 year old student who has been writing poetry since the age of seven, and now co-writes slam poetry with her friends. This is her first year participating in the poetry route and she is very excited.


Misconceptions and Explorations
Madura Shruti Katta – Grade 12

Jackets. Mittens. Boots. Gloves.
Coat every surface of exposed skin
I hate the vengeful cold; something about the unforgiving
air, sharp – But as I walk out today
leaving footprints on uncharted sidewalks
I can’t help but marvel the deathly silence
wispy smoke curling near my nose
electric trains chugging into oblivion.
My boots make solitary noise as they meander
filled with warmth in what was once an icy journey

• Madura has been a poet since the age of seven. She has been published five times in various anthologies, hosted an Open Mic as part of an initiative for youth and is part of “Stroll-of-Poets” community in Edmonton. Now at seventeen, she likes to stroll around with pencils in case she“s inspired.


Michelle Yang – Grade 10

Are you going to leave me on a cliffhanger like this?
With words unfinished, and ink running still?
Are you going to leave me on a bridge broken like this?
With the sides undone, and ends all dead?

Maybe I should have written the next page for myself,
But I gave it to you.
Maybe I should have run for the train as it left,
But I gave it up.

I left myself on a cliffhanger like this,
And now I’ve nowhere to go.

• Michelle’s life consists of school, writing, music, and books. She spends a lot of time scribbling away on spare scraps of paper lying around the house. Recently, writing has become a form of release, a way to express herself.


pAUsE . PLaY . rEpEAT
Joanna Chan – Grade 12

People appear at 7 and return at 4
Holding bus passes, tickets, change
life begins to become a cycle.
I wish for you to STOP and just

pAUsE, to look at your surroundings
PLay, as to have no more regrets
rEpEAT, to remember these moments.

• Joanna is a grade 12 student who says this contest has given her the opportunity to share her poetry, which are poems centered around different emotions felt while on public transit.