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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

By dub W



Wood turned to charcoal
Grass turned to straw
Drip Drip

What once was hot is cold
What once was cold was hot
Drip Drip

The paper said a fire
Fire burned the paper
Drip Drip

Fire fighters fought the blaze
They finally gained control
Drip Drip

Yellow tape guards the door
The door has disappeared
Drip Drip

The windows have no glass
Empty eyes opened wide
Drip Drip

Somewhere a child is crying
A vacant sound of the night
Drip Drip

The dog who always barked there
Deadly silence now echoes
Drip Drip

The postman has no box
Deliveries never made
Drip Drip

Laughter filling hallways
Took vacation from the light
Drip Drip

Morning coffee always cooking
No pot in need of washing
Drip Drip

A kitchen with no ceiling
No table or a chair
Drip Drip

A morning devotion always heard
Seemed to disappear
Drip Drip

Prayers are lifted somewhere
Home meeting canceled today
Drip Drip

Perhaps God sent a message
Now start all over
Drip Drip


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This article has been read 1118 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 10/12/06
Unique. I never did get the "Drip"...or what it represented. And, although creative, never mentioned the Challenge topic...Fire Fighter. However, for free verse, (which is not my cup of tea) I got the message of devastation, fire, everything gone - loud and clear. Nice.
Dolores Stohler10/12/06
I have to say, along with Marilyn,why the drip? Aside from the leaky faucets, it was a very good poem, expressing without a doubt the tragedy of a fire.
Susan Johnstone10/13/06
Yes, this has painted a very good word-picture, but perhaps too much 'drip' which can interrupt the flow, when the reader isn't sure what the drip is. Broken water pipe after the fire?
Linda Watson Owen10/14/06
I think the drip is the drip of the fire fighter's hose after the battle with the blaze. Am I right? Having just gone through losing first church in Memphis, this poem is very relevant. They are literally having to start over from scratch after a devastating fire. Yet God has a purpose and can make all things turn into good. I think your ending is very effective!
Ann FitzHenry10/15/06
This poem brought many images to mind. I thought it was very well done. All the things that were missing because of the devastation of a fire.
dub W10/16/06
Just to help the readers a bit. "drip" is the only sound heard after the hoses have extinguished the fire. I chose the word "drip" because of several properties - both the "d" and the "p" are hard consonants, giving the poem a beat like a snare drum. Additionally, the "p" makes the sound of a drop of water falling on a hot ember. Finally, the poem is symbolic - representing the life of a Christian. Thanks for your comments - I hope I have answered your questions.
Pat Guy 10/16/06
I too, thought the 'drip, drip' was a subtle reference to the past activity of 'firefighters' and what was left after they were done ... and the life changing effects of fire.

I really enjoyed your choices of words and the format.

We don't get much of these from you, Dub! How about some more!
Ruth Neilson10/16/06
I'm not a big person for reading poetry but I enjoyed this one. Great job!
Donna Haug10/16/06
I like the fact that the pairs either contrasted or completed each other:

Fire fighters fought the blaze
They finally gained control
Drip Drip

Yellow tape guards the door
The door has disappeared
Drip Drip

Good work.
Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
This is awesome--why don't you write poetry more often? Wonderful images, wonderful irony, situational oxymorons--this is just great.
Joanne Sher 10/16/06
Wonderfully vivid imagery, Dub - thanks for the "explanation", by the way - it definitely helped this "non-poetry expert" gain more from reading this the second time around!
Jen Davis10/16/06
I like the drip in that it gives us the sense that this is a very recent fire. Perhaps inserting the repeated word several times throughout the piece instead of after every stanza(and keep in mind that this comment is coming from someone who knows very little about poetry:)

I thought it was excellent the way you contrasted what used to be there but no longer was. I very much enjoyed reading this. Great work!
Donna Powers 10/16/06
I definitely like the rhythm and it made it easy to read and understand for me. Thanks so much for sharing this. Well done!
Shari Armstrong 10/16/06
Very effective use of repetition of the Drip Drip.
Linda Watson Owen10/18/06
Another observation: Just the fact that the constant drip in this poem tends to be irritating to readers proves its effectiveness. After all, in real life experience there are few things that are as aggravating as a constant drip. Am I right again? LOL!
Valora Otis10/18/06
Dub, this is an emotional piece for anyone having lived through a fire. I knew immediately what the sound of dripping was. The stanza,
"The windows have no glass
Empty eyes opened wide
Drip Drip"
pulled me into the emptiness one feels when seeing their sanctuary obliterated. The devotion of a Christian family was written throughout this piece. I felt the aftermath of a fire and it was indeed on topic. Bless you dear Dub.
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
Beautiful. Simple, yet powerful. Good job! I like the second to last paragraph/stanza, the best.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/18/06
Excellent poem! I liked how you showed the emptiness by what used to be there.
Sandra Petersen 10/18/06
Dub, the house across the street from us was destroyed by fire a few years ago and I relate to the 'day-after' scenario. Sadly, in that fire a young child died, one that played in our yard with our girls.

Your poignant verse of what was left after the firefighters did their job was right on. The drip of the water after the fire was only one reminder. Even worse was the lingering smell of the devastation.

You have a way with poetry. Keep it up!