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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Raptor!
By Patricia Herchenroether


The sun rose above a green ocean
and dewdrops were burned from the stalk.
As the coastal world stirred into motion,
birds awakened upon Chimney Rock.

On a ledge high above sandy beaches,
peregrine chicks, downy white,
squinted through vast ocean reaches,
and blinked at the dazzling light.

The nestlings cried out in their hunger,
crops empty and shrunken by fast.
The older one stabbed at the younger,
her patience a blur of the past.

Urged on by the mewls from their aerie,
the parents, with efforts renewed,
soared higher to catch the unwary;
driven to feed their young brood.

Below them a pigeon homed, weary,
en route to a faraway cote.
Exhausted, her smoke eyes grew bleary,
of predators she took no note.

The tiercel snapped wings closed and dropped;
the pigeon did not have a chance.
The victor lived on, the other was stopped
in nature’s perpetual dance.

His mate spied a Canada goose
and stooping, she went for the dive.
The gander fought hard and tore loose,
borne up by his will to survive.

The peregrines labored all day,
as the sun swept its way to the west.
Successes and failures, as is the way,
but enough for the chicks in the nest.

Dusk draped its cloak over shoulders;
beneath it the sleeping chicks curled.
Shadows traced paths across boulders.
Night claimed the Chimney Rock world.

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This article has been read 630 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick04/09/09
I love the descriptions and how they cascade above and catch the reader's attention, like a bird of prey. Nice job!
Charla Diehl 04/09/09
I really liked the picture words throughout, very creative writing with easy flow and perfect rhythm. Great job on this poem. Wonder why you're in the beginner level.
Jan Ackerson 04/10/09
Wonderful poetry, great images, some superb rhymes (aerie/unwary is awesome!) Great job.
Linda Payne04/12/09
Enjoyed the beautiful descriptions. Excellent rhythm and rhyme patterns made the poem flow effortlessly. Well done.
Myrna Noyes04/14/09
Very well-written poem that helped me "see" the birds of Chimney Rock world in my own mind! Thank you for sharing this with us! :)
Lollie Hofer 04/16/09
Wonderful imagery. Congratulations on your win!
Deborah Porter 04/24/09
Hi Patricia. Just a quick note to congratulate you on your excellent win in the Up and Down Challenge. I'm running a bit late with my "well done" message, but wanted to let you know you not only placed 1st in Level 1, but you also ranked 27th overall. That really is outstanding for a Level 1 entry. Well done.

Congratulations again. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Deborah Porter 04/24/09
Sorry, I should have said you placed 2nd in Level 1 (of course). :-)
joanna reed04/25/09
Wow nice writing but another miss on the interrupation of the site "faithwriters". I missed again the mention of God and His power, authority, majesty. The core of this website has again been left behind. We have again reward an article which being no glory and honor to God.
I truly think a name change might be in order because even if it is not God you are writing about where is the faith?
Chely Roach05/01/09
I disagree with the previous comment; whenever we use our God given talent appropriately, we honor Him. This was beautifully written, and you should be very proud. Congratulations!