(Artwork by Anya Thakur)
Liberty High School

Poem: Laguna Beach Longing

“Laguna Beach Longing” is a poem written by teen activist, artist, and journalist Anya Thakur on embracing yourself fully, celebrating art, abundance and artists, taking pride in your memories and heritage, and a reflection upon nostalgic longing for the California coast and beaches of Orange County, a place of natural beauty, diversity and inspiration.

Laguna Beach longing

Laguna Beach, I’m longing for

highways that fade to sandy sidewalks

and sunlight pouring down like golden rain

in metallic hues of bronze and copper

on skin softened by seabreeze and saltwater

waves edged with lace-fine foam

and artists who capture it all

hanging above time-worn leather or galleries with auras of glass prisms and silver chrome

vignettes of gas stations and traffic and crowded oceanside scenes

suspended in time

a sugar cone heaped with lemony gelato made salty sweet with Johnny Rocket’s fries

a girl’s chlorine-bleached butternut macadamia hair dripping in coconut oils and pure light

saturated pastel skies raked with spiderwebbing branches and stormed through with eucalyptus leaves

she’s artlessly hanging of trees and becomes breathless smiles and bruised knees

and one of those artists is brushing gold on plexiglass

and she stands, coral pink flecked palms and sea salt caramel swells and chocolate-coated fleshy masses

I’m longing for


ultraviolet in her eyes, prickling light in her words, laguna beach whirls

an empath, a cotton candy coma, and a heart attack

and i’m chasing her through the waves, knee-deep in tangled strands of seaweed and cold water

as she smiles, and pauses to look back

laguna beach, I am her

what I’ve been longing for