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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: A Poet Rests in the 131st Psalm
By Jan Ackerson
~1st Place



But I
am a leaf
slightly quivering…

But I have
been a ripple
that tickles silver sands…

But I have stilled
the thump of my heart with
the syllables of Your holy name…

But I have stilled and quieted my soul…


Like a
breath, a
whispered breeze…

Like a weaned
kitten who purrs with
throaty and contented rumbles…

Like a weaned child
no more blind and panicked
rooting, no more grasps from dimpled fingers…

Like a weaned child with its mother…


Like a
whisper, a
sweetly spoken caress…

Like a weaned child
ready to stand, to stretch,
to step, I grasp your hand, and trust…


Is my
hushed, hushed,
soothed and rested self…

Is my soul
when You quiet me
when You cover me, when You surround me…

Is my soul within
my soul without, my soul
yesterday and tomorrow, my soul there and here…

Is my soul within me
when You lead me to the place
where all is still—is still—is still…

Like a weaned child is my soul within me...

Psalm 131:2 (NIV)

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Grover09/20/07
This exudes peace, serenity, tranquility, stillness... how many other synonyms for calm? Beautiful... prayerful...
Leigh MacKelvey09/20/07
A lovely poem with with such meaning and beautiful phrases that tell of the peace, calm we recieve when we trust. Good technique!
Sheri Gordon09/20/07
Wow, this is so different, so creative ... yes, I think I like it. It's soothing like a bubbling brook. Very nice.
Dee Yoder 09/20/07
Wonderful, wonderful! The rhythm builds and ebbs, and builds again, just like a stream. I love the gentle, trusting feeling I have when I read this! It makes me smile.
Dianne Janak09/22/07
This poem made my day! in the frantic pace of life a breath of fresh air that speaks truth to a tired and aching soul~
Joanne Sher 09/22/07
This is absolutely lovely - and feels anointed. It calmed my soul. Just beautiful and spiritual in every way.
Frank Creed09/23/07
It didn't even rhyme! Sorry--When God said "poetry" I thought He said "grow a tree" and I was in the backyard. 131 was calm and I liked it. Big help. 8(
Jan Ross09/24/07
This is beautiful and really ministers to me this morning. I'm no "queen" of poetry by any means, but I might have constructed it a little differently. (I'm struggling to offer my critique to such an incredible writer!) Feel free to inbox me for my thoughts. I love it -- I love the way it builds. I love expressing the Psalmist's heart--he's such a poet himself! Your last stanza is, well, WOW! Wonderful! :)
Sharlyn Guthrie09/24/07
This poem breathes "calm" all the way through. Personally, I find the repetition of the word "but" in the first stanza a bit of an intrusion. I think it might work better to simply start each line with I. That's just my opinion. Everything else is absolutely lovely.
Joy Faire Stewart09/24/07
My favorite in the poem, "Like a weaned kitten who purrs with throaty and contented rumbles." The poem is beautiful and right on topic.
Betty Castleberry09/24/07
"But I have stilled
the thump of my heart with
the syllables of Your holy name…"
Yes! I have done this.
This is very soothing. Nicely done.
Loren T. Lowery09/24/07
This poem is hauntingly beautiful. It is a voice, whispering back answers to a troubled soul.
Catrina Bradley 09/24/07
Beautiful personal reflection on the Words from the Psalm. Loved the rhythm of your original free verse. Altogether soothing. :) Cat
Sherrie Jackson09/26/07
Jan, I think you did a great job on this. I've never seen a poem constructed quite in this way, and I really enjoyed reading over it. Don't fret - be brave! Or, rather, calm. ;-)
Kristen Hester09/26/07
Beautiful poem. So you're a poet, also? You got lots of talent, lady. Good job.
Linda Watson Owen09/26/07
What wonderfully effective imagery! Such a creative choice of that particular Bible verse! It's such a delight to see you enjoying writing in the free verse style, and it's definitely a delight to read it. Beatiful!
Deborah Porter 09/27/07
Congratulations dear friend. I know this was something quite different for you, but it is simply stunning; totally out of the box. Well done. Love, Deb
Sheri Gordon09/27/07
Congratulations, Jan. You're on quite a roll. :) And this is absolutely beautiful. You are a gifted writer in any style you choose.
Loren T. Lowery09/27/07
So glad to see this; and after reading the story behind the work, I see God's hand in it all. Congratulations and continued blessings on your writings! Loren
Pat Guy 09/27/07
I finally got to your Free Verse that was sooooo bad it placed first.

It-is-awesome Jan ... and I'm glad I sought it out.

It's beautiful - exquisite.

If mine were only as bad. ;-)
Therese Witkus09/28/07
A novice read a master for guidance, and found inspiring beauty. My gratitude for your sharing of your gift is beyond telling.
Therese Witkus09/28/07
Still within the bemused state of awe, I meant to offer congratulations on the Editors Choice, as well. All the best in your writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/28/07
This poem awed me and ministered to me and stood out as mastery of thought and expression in words. Congratulations
April Bailey09/29/07
Hi, Jan. Congratulations on your placement. Also, I appreciate you using my story (Fish ...) on the FW Home Page. Thanks, alb
Coleene VanTilburg 10/02/07
Congratulations Jan on yet another beautiful, moving piece. You are an amazing writer, able to stir the emotions and communicate God and all His attributes in such a superlative way. I look forward to reading your work each week. Thank you for your vision. Coleene VanTilburg
Coleene VanTilburg 10/02/07
As I read this over more, I could not help but think of someone close to me who suffers from anxiety and dependence on pain meds...What a great prayer...mantra if you will...to call out to God or to thank Him for physical retoration. I guess it could apply to any physical or emotional malady that keeps us wound up and away from God's calming peace.
Coleene VanTilburg
Alisa Wagner10/26/07
I've never read a poem from a contemporary writer that put fear in me, like I was reading something that could not possibly be written by any human. I'm so in awe of the whole that I couldn't even try to pick it apart for why I love it so much!
Seema Bagai 06/27/08
Congrats on being a double BoB winner!
Chely Roach06/27/08
This is absolutely beautiful, Jan. Congratulations...again.
Dee Yoder 06/28/08
Again, very deserving win for this beautiful poem! Congratulations, Jan!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/28/08
And another congratulation for your recognition for this awesomely beautiful, inspiring poem.
Beth LaBuff 06/28/08
Jan -- I'm so pleased to see this placing in the Best of the Best. Congrats!
Pat Guy 06/29/08
Jan, I didn't remember you had written this, and I think it was an experiment wasn't it? ;) Congratulations once again - it's awesome. Love,
Catrina Bradley 06/29/08
I remember loving this when you first entered it, and I'm glad to read it and be soothed again. Double congrats, Miss Jan. :)
Suzanne R07/03/08
Another beautiful piece from one of my favourite authors....
Jeanette Oestermyer07/03/08
I like the way you kept the spirit of the 131st Psalm throughout the poem. A most inspirational and uplifting piece.
Marijo Phelps08/27/08
Incrediblly creative! A real grabber.
Anne Linington10/02/08
I am glad to have my attention drawn to this beautiful poem.
Warmest congratulations, and a speedy recovery. Anne.
Mary Hauser11/21/08
How encouraging: the Lord led me to Psm. 131 as I awoke this morning. About an hour later, I joined FaithWriters and read and re-read your poem. Yes 'be still and know' He is God. Thank you for your work! Mary Hauser
Cherry Bieber 12/02/08
What an incredibly excellent piece of work and how wonderfully the Lord has allowed you to capture for us a glimpse of His Presence!
Juliana Gonzalez02/17/09
This is one of my favorite scriptures. Thank you for pulling out the meaning for all to enjoy!
Thomas Kappel03/30/09
Beautifully said!
Well Done!
has Blessed
you and
your writing.
joanna reed04/23/09
Wonderful and well written. Thank you.
Ifeoma Dennis10/03/10
I loved this years ago..and still do..