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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: The Hour Before Midnight
By william price


Fire logs crack calmly
 In an ancient stone hearth.
Their flame fills the room
 With a tranquil warm mirth.
An old pale pastor
 Holds a picture and weeps;
Of a grave gone cold
 Where his helpmate now sleeps.
His mind mulls over
 The night Mary took leave;
‘Twas the hour before midnight
 On Christmas Eve.

The days drag slowly
 When the season comes near.
Its smell stings his chest
 Like a steely cold spear.
Not one cooked cookie
 Or a turkey in foil;
The spruce in the yard
 Remains planted in soil.
His home stays pristine
 So the pastor can grieve--
At the hour before midnight
 On Christmas Eve.

Her voice still solos
 In his empty sore heart.
She sings All The Night
 And he relives each part.
He hears bright angels
 With a carol outside:
Their song seems so real
 He must open his eyes.
Out past his porch light
 Are his elders on knees;
At the hour before midnight
 On Christmas Eve

They left loved families
 At home nestled in bed.
They hold hands and pray
 For their shepherd instead.
The old pale pastor
 Feels the presence of Hope.
Pure peace heals his pain
 With the power to cope.
Out on the front lawn
 Bow Sam, Adam and Steve;
‘Twas the hour before midnight
 On Christmas Eve.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laurie Glass12/08/06
This is a wonderful poem. I like the flow, the repetition, the emotion and the imagery. Great job.
Joanne Sher 12/09/06
Beautiful, poignant imagery that tugs at the heartstrings. Just lovely (and I like your change to the "Mary" line) :)
Donna Haug12/11/06
I loved the message of your poem. It was very touching and a different take on 'pastor'. To be honest, I felt the poem lacked in the rhythm department, yet the flow of your story was great. I could 'hear' and 'smell', and I felt badly that he didn't have any cookies or turkey! So glad the elders came to pray!
Betty Castleberry12/11/06
Aww, poor lonely old fellow.
This evoked some sadness in me, which is a good thing. I do agree that the rhythm could flow a little better, but all in all, I like this. Good job!
Cheri Hardaway 12/11/06
The rythym was a bit difficult for me as well, but the story line more than makes up for it! I could feel the old pastor's pain; and when the elder's showed up to pray, I could feel God's grace and love flow. Nice work. Blessings, Cheri
Cheri Hardaway 12/11/06
Had to chuckle at myself when I re-read my comment to your entry. Not only can I not write poetry myself, but I cannot spell rhythm. Oops! Blessings, Cheri
terri tiffany12/11/06
I got choked up at the ending! terrific story - don't know anything about poetry but loved the tale beneath.:)
Helen Paynter12/12/06
I agree with most of the comments above. The meter was a little off from time to time, but the phrases and imagery were very good. Well done.
Catrina Bradley 12/12/06
A very touching story that was well written in verse. Great job!
Debbie Sickler12/13/06
I hesitated to read your entry when you mentioned that it was a poem, but was pleasantly surprised once I read it and now I'm glad that I did. This was an excellent poem and I really enjoyed it from start to finish, something rare for me with poetry. hehe