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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: The Watch



The beautifully manicured hand slowly unfurled, exposing a watch;
‘Describe it, using your senses,’ she instructed us;
I look at it, thinking what can I see, taste, smell feel and hear?
My mind went into flashback mode,
Stirring up all thoughts of past experiences;

I stare at the watch, my senses reeling,
Each absorbing the object, now on the table;
Reminding me of things long gone,
Invading my very soul, my life, and my memories;

What does it tell me? I seek, and search,
So many features to rouse my senses;
In that old, dilapidated piece, out of place on the shiny smoked glass surface:
It was clearly an object d’art, for its young owner:
But, why would anyone of such tender years want to own it?
Old, battered, not in the least bit modern,
And yet as I yearned for the answer to that I dare not ask,

Again, I question myself, what does it tell me?
It tells me of the here and now,
Silent, yet speaking loudly of where in life I am;

Going forward, takes me to a place and time yet unknown:
Going back unearths a mixture of memories,
For so long buried deep in the very bowels of my mind,

I am back to thoughts of my late grandmother,
She owned one very like this,
I wonder what happened to it?
Perhaps it could have told me more about her, things I long to know;
Most of our time together was not in conventional circumstances,

I loved my gran, always busy; listening, patting my head, knitting;
The smell of the freshly dyed wool, often not quite dry;
Clickety click as steel met steel, intertwined with various colours of yarn,
Growing by the minute, usually into a pair of gloves for a birthday or Christmas present;

She sat night after night; not in a comfortable armchair,
But on an upturned box; squashed in the corner:
The flickering flame of the single candle,
Scarcely casting enough of a glow for her to see her hands, let alone her knitting,
But she was content, for she knew that whatever happened,
The Kingdom of God awaited her, with an eternity of comfort

The days, dark and grey, were long; the nights, black, brown;
The sound of aircraft droning overhead, intent on their mission,
To obliterate yet more factories, homes, and innocent men women and children;
The ack ack noise of ground guns, as they attempted to shoot down the enemy’s planes,
Before they reached their target;

The thud, immediately followed by an explosion,
The shouts of ‘Oh my God,’ and the screams as injured and frightened people
Ran aimlessly for safety, will live with me until I die.
Oblivious of the fact that they were once more putting their very lives in danger,
As the fire and ambulance services headed to their rescue;

Whilst we, mum, dad, grandparents’ and my siblings,
Praying we were safe in our concrete bunker,
Could smell only acrid smoke, unwashed bodies, and damp mouldy earth;

For me, my face covered with the rubber mask, which could save my life;
The disgusting odour- so pungent, that I will hate that smell forever:
My granddad, home on leave, standing tall, not smiling,
Holds out his hand, but I do not take it;
For if I do, he will draw me close to him;
And the coarse feel of his uniform, makes me feel sad,
Because he has to wear such uncomfortable and drab clothes:

The memory of his shiny leather belt now merges into a watchstrap;
The strap, I want to chew, as it reminds me of liquorice;
Those brown sticks that looked like wood;

I stir from my reverie, almost exhausted, inwardly drained;
No, no, what am I doing? It was all a long time ago;
So many memories from one small, old, silent watch;
And yet it has brought me joy, because I am here, alive, today,
And I pray, have earned for myself a place
In the Kingdom of God, alongside my grandma and Jesus.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rick Higginson 03/19/09
Interesting perspective, and the format of poetic prose works well for it. The imagery evokes WWII London, but the indefinite dating leaves room for the reader to imagine numerous conflicts, or even one that hasn't happened yet. Nicely done.