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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the POETRY genre (05/17/07)

TITLE: Visiting Elvis
By Helen Murray


I decided to visit Elvis, one searing, burning day.
He’d found, after all, a scorched, wooden heart he’d collected along the way.
“I turned my heart away from the Lord”, with eyes full of tears he stated.
“I lost at least forty years of my life. Having fame is so much over-rated.”

“Why, Elvis, I thought you had everything great! The world, indeed, was your oyster.
You sang the gospel, you made some great films, you were loved the whole world over.”
“The pressure was steep to be someone else. It’s not what I was made for.
Their commercial makeover straight-jacketed me. I let myself go under.

They needed an image, a sexual one, that would make the girls scream wildly,
And let all the fellas their shortcomings fear, and their jealousy tease them mildly.
So I gave them the thrusting, gyrating pelvis to focus their lustful attention,
And fed them on fashionable pride of life with the blue suede shoes invention.

They gobbled it up and then screamed for more of the fantasised, sexy illusion.
My spirit annoyed, but my contract in place, a divided soul in seclusion.
My beautiful home was becoming an altar to the Hollywood institution.
Instead of a palace of peace and joy for a family constitution.

I’m neither in this camp nor am I in that, yet in both I maintain a foothold.
But the chasm between was widening fast, so I was forced to choose a stronghold.
The material pathway was clearly outlined so I could follow it easily.
You’d think as I sang my way down that wide road that “the King” could do it breezily.

But more and more was I feeling the pinch and more was the sandpaper rubbing.
To keep on going I‘d to toughen my heart to ignore the pounding drubbing.
And yet, the pain in my heart overtook my ability to overlook it.
So I took some mild drugs. The pain went away and I bent my body and shook it.

Well, the girls screamed more wildly than ever before and the film reviews were amazing.
The beat heated up, the dance floors went mad, my agent indulgently gazing.
The spirit kept calling but I had changed camps, although He was tenderly beckoning.
Popularity festooned my life and impeded my regular reckoning.

Oh, gentle heart. you’re a pain to me now. You stop me enjoying my rating.
I’ve got to do something. I’ll build you a case of the hardwood of degeneration.
I’ll put you away where I don’t have to watch, and witness you slowly dying,
While I’m singing out there, and to cover despair I’ll do drugs. They won’t know that I’m lying.

So I lied to myself and I lied to the world that the view that we shared was all rosy.
They thought we had fun but in secret I found only drugs turned my world into cosy.
Oh, the money machine is so large and it grinds all its fodder, like me, to a mincemeat.
I’m locked in this thing and there is no way out, so retreat is my favourite post-beat.

And the drugs stop me thinking. They keep my mind dazed so I can go on fulfilling my contract.
And nobody knows what I do in my mansion at morning, for nobody’s intact.
So mind you young people. You’ve only one life, and I don’t think you should do it my way.
Honour the teachers of your youth. Live long by living ‘Thy Way’”.

For the second half of my life is a total nonentity.
I opted out! (I didn’t really mean to!)
I just messed up and I wouldn’t want you to do the same!
Every choice you make counts! What really works is “Thy way!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark05/26/07
An interesting view of Elvis's life. Good job.
Kenn Allan05/26/07
Although Elvis was used as the focus of this piece, there is an underlying lesson for many seeking "fame" in today's world; Jesus' opinion is the only one that really matters.
Donna Powers 05/28/07
A very interesting view of Elvis' life. It sounded a lot like something he might have said. It's too bad that he let his faith "go under". It's a lesson for anyone who seeks fame
Jennifer Wetter05/29/07