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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: The span of Dan
By Margaret Kearley
10/30/12
~7th Place


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The span of Dan


We stepped from the heat of a blazing noon,
Surprised by refreshing cool shade,
Absorbing the rivuletís babbling tune
We wandered the green woodland glade.
Abundant rich flora and fauna,
A welcome to Israelís north corner.

Tall trees stretching skyward, their branches high raised,
A pleasing green canopy cover,
And small Cettiís warblers, white wagtails and jays
Trill sweet music out loud to each other.
Rushing and roaring, the streams in their haste
Tumble and fall with a fast, playful pace.

Beneath the eye of Ďthe mountain of snow,í
The age-d impressive Mount Hermon,
Relentlessly pours down a fast melting flow
Of streams that course into the Jordan.
But this fertile oasis, now Dan National Park,
Tells tales of years bygone, black, troubled and dark.

We step through the woodland, we strip back the years
Now hidden by timeís turning pages,
And recall the slaughter, the pain and the tears
Of this land through the century-ages.
Reminders from Scripture, the actions of man
Are uncovered, confirmed, by the stones of Tel Dan.

Here Laish was slaughtered, caught out unaware
By the mírauding intent of Tribe Dan,
Here fell a people, calm, gentle and fair
By an enemyís covetous plan.
Desiring this green land, Dan plundered the spoil -
The blood of the Laish-ites cries from the soil.

Here too, Jereboamís own wisdom combined
Idolatíry with Israelís True King
And lacking all trust in the promise divine
Led Godís ones to gross sickíning sin.
The site of his pagan calf altar of gold
Brings chill to the heart with a shiver of cold.

O beautiful Dan, the annals of time
Tell of conflict oíer centuries sore.
Your fertile abundancy rich and sublime
Has oft been a corridor of war.
With sombre reflection on historyís time-span,
I canít easily forget the Park that is Dan.



Two weeks ago we were able to visit the amazing Dan National Park where the Scriptures Ďliveí with uncovered archeological evidence of many centuries Ė an unforgettable experience.
Judges 18:27-29
1 Kings 12:26-28

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Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 11/02/12
Wow--lots of picture words to help the reader visualize this historical park with a troubling past. Very interesting entry.
Beth LaBuff 11/05/12
Your opening stanzas lavishly draws the reader to explore this park thatís rich in Biblical and Israeli history. You'd made an amazing contrast with the beautiful setting and events that transpired in this park. The poetic form worked very well with this account. I think your title is great!
Noel Mitaxa 11/05/12
A graphic sense of contrast, between the beauty of the scenery and its ugly history; yet related in such simple language that amplifies the extremes. Excellent work.
lynn gipson 11/05/12
This is stunning...the words touched my heart and I could visualize the beauty. I am most impressed! Just beautiful.

God Bless
Loren T. Lowery11/06/12
Now this is truly inspired writing - it is like the "ghost" of that time were whispering in your ear/heart to tell their story. What a great job you did!
Myrna Noyes11/06/12
Very rich descriptions in this lovely poem! I enjoyed the history lesson, too, and think I might have to check this Dan Park out on the internet. I want to see some photos that will illustrate your piece! Nice job! :)
Bea Edwards 11/06/12
Spectacular tribute to your visit. The way you meshed the areas beauty with its tragic history was lovely.
Nancy Bucca 11/07/12
This is very interesting. Your descriptions are amazing; nice work on giving us the history of this place.
Leola Ogle 11/08/12
Good job, Margaret. Congrats!
Karen Pourbabaee 11/08/12
Congrats Margaret on your placing with this beautifully descriptive and historical tribute!
Loren T. Lowery11/08/12
I had a feeling this would place well. It's too inspired to go without due notice. Congratulations, Margaret. So pleased this did so well.
Myrna Noyes11/08/12
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS on your win with this excellent piece! WAY TO WRITE!! :)
Noel Mitaxa 11/08/12
Congratulations on your HC. Well-deserved.
Beth LaBuff 11/08/12
Margaret, I was so pleased and excited to see this receive an EC award, too! Love that! :)
Frankie Kemp 11/09/12
I sense here that your poem tells the story that the ground you walked on would, itself, tell. That's what a good writer does . . . they tell the story that begs to be told--the one that the writer feels must be poured out so that those who can't hear it can somehow have their ears opened to the story that exists under the surface layer. For me, that is what you have done here. Nice job.
Ellen Carr 11/09/12
I enjoyed your poem even though I've never been to that area. You've meshed the history, the Biblical significance and the beauty together really well. Congratulations on your EC placement and HC for this.