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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)

TITLE: My Lifeguard
By Sue Dent


My Lifeguard

Towering thunderheads, blinding white
against a summer blue sky. The spray of
salt water no longer comforts or soothes
but stings parched dry skin.

Gulls dart, then dive and occasionally shriek,
their call quickly fading into the
endless empty blue.

Sandpipers step lightly around
battered sandcastles, battered folly.
They scurry away as warm water approaches
And then back when it recedes
for what was left behind
or uncovered.

The sea beneath me begins to swell and then dip.
I am lifted up and then lowered.

Once comforting sounds now mock.
I no longer find good in any of this.
Eloquent words are drowned out by my own disobedience.

Fond memories of a moonlit tide, dark waters
lapping at the shore, are distant ones.
I now fear the dark as well as what I cannot see.

I squint at a seashell littered shore as I drift.
Yet I no longer see the
beauty in it . . . though I long to.

I swim, searching but have grown weary
I’m pulled down by the current and cannot fight it.
Salty gusts have numbed nearly all my senses.
I cannot feel you.

Oh, to enjoy all of this once more!
To appreciate those footprints in the sand
that do not belong to me.
The ones that follow beside me.
The ones that lead me.
Carry me.

Water collides with water.
The roar is deafening.
I cannot hear You.
Yet, I know You’re speaking.

A final swell lifts me up higher.
I wait to fall but You are there.

My lifeguard.

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This article has been read 843 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter11/16/06
Really lovely, really evocative. I love the way you've spun this. My favourtie line: battered seacastles, battered folly One of my favourites of yours.
Monique Fox11/16/06
Please post more of your poems at Poetry and Poets of God: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/poetryandpoetsofgod/
Stephen Paynter11/21/06
Oh Sue ... this is FANTASTIC! I absolutely loved this ... In my opinion this is some of your very best writing. I found it so poignant (sp?), so very haunting. Fabulous. Fabulous. Fabulous. I loved the non-happy-ending/happy-ending. That alone lifts this entry above so many others. The other images and word choices do so too, of course! I hope this places for you ... it deserves too.
Sue Dent11/21/06
Hmmmm . . . guess Sue won't need to throw a brick this week. My goodness! Stephen certainly was excited about this one. He forgot we're not supposed to put names before the all clear. But I for one forgive him. LOL

Oh to affect someone so much that they forget the rules!!

God is good.
Allison Egley 11/21/06
Oh, I loved this. I especially loved the reference to the "footprints" poem in the one stanza. Great job. And don't worry, Sue. You didn't "make" anyone break the rules. He did it on his own. ;)
Marty Wellington 11/22/06
Extraordinary poem. Like Stephen, I loved, loved, loved it. The movement of the water you truly captured in the lyrical voice of your words. Very visual and evocative. Congratulations on a wonderful piece.
Joanne Sher 11/22/06
Such WONDERFUL imagery, Sue! You paint a wonderful picture here, my dear!
Jan Ackerson 11/22/06
I wait to fall but you are there... Gorgeous line. I agree with all previous commenters--this is simply outstanding.

I'll add that I enjoyed your use of alliteration--it added to the ocean-like atmosphere of this wonderful poem.
Sara Harricharan 11/22/06
Quill's off to you, Sue! (Rhyming not intentional-lol)I absolutely loved this! So beautiful to read, very vivid, like I was right there. Awesome job! :)
Jen Davis11/22/06
Very, very nicely done. A favorite line of mine: “Sandpipers step lightly around battered sandcastles…” Congratulations on this beautifully written piece.
Donna Powers 11/22/06
Excellent poem. Your description brought me right inside the ocean with you. Very moving. Thanks for sharing it.
dub W11/22/06
Good poetic form, nice poetic descriptions. A good job throughout. Thanks for sharing.
Sandra Petersen 11/23/06
Beautiful, Sue! I normally don't write or read much poetry, but this took my breath away. Your descriptive language carried me through your poem and left me awestruck at the other side. Excellent!
Sue Dent11/23/06
Whew!!! *wiping sweat from forehead* for a minute there I thought this might place. Good Grief!
Sue Dent11/23/06
And for the record, I'm not asking for critiques. I do thank all for the wonderful comments though!
Helen Paynter11/23/06
Can't believe this didn't place, Sue. I reckon it deserved a place in EC. I wasn't judging, but you win in my book.
Sue Dent11/23/06
Thank you Helen. If you only knew how much that means to me right now! I really thought this entry MIGHT be in the top 15 or at least the 40! I just don't get it sometimes. But hey, if it blessed someone then it was worth it, right?