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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

TITLE: The Gallery (i)
By Kenn Allan


I am a wanderer by choice—
A life in which I oft rejoice;
I pay no heed to any voice
Except my very own.
Through villages and glades I roam
With no desire to claim a home
Or share my name by tongue or tome
Lest sins I must atone.

I walk this life alone ...

Upon this day uniquely blessed,
When men of faith aspire to rest,
I set upon an anxious quest
To flee a vengeful storm;
But as I stagger up the street,
Damp cobblestones beneath my feet,
I find doors bolted in defeat
To thwart my freezing form.

I shiver to get warm ...

But what is this to catch my eye
Between the earth and angry sky—
A door ajar which dares defy
The fury of the gale?
Persuaded by a lightning flash,
Across the sodden street I splash
And o'er the threshold boldly crash
In effort to prevail.

Death waits if I should fail ...

A silver bell above the door
Rings with a voice I've heard before
While I stand dripping on the floor
Inside the tiny room;
No living soul is glimpsed at all
Or harkens my expectant call;
I have no hint what might befall
Or lurk beyond the gloom.

Dead silence, like a tomb ...

As I squint, perceptions shifting,
Watching shrouds of darkness lifting,
My attention keeps on drifting
Towards a shadowed nook—
On six easels, neatly covered,
Six large paintings gently hovered;
Works of art yet undiscovered
Or, perhaps, forsook.

I must go have a look ...

Unveiled, the first is rather trite—
A study sketched in black and white
Which shows how dark defines the light
Like night contrasts the day;
As observation lingers on
My first impressions are foregone;
I sense my passions strangely drawn
To interim shades of gray.

I shrug and turn away ...

The next is hard to ascertain—
It's not unlike a water stain
As if once used to capture rain
Or trap the morning dew.
I risk a touch; the pigment smears
And trickles down like human tears,
Drips to the floor, then disappears
Beyond my narrow view.

I search my heart anew ...

The third work I can understand—
A painting filled with sea and land,
Created by a skillful hand
And brushed with classic style.
Within a maple's spreading lace
I almost see the artist’s face
While every leaf he dabs in place
With a delighted smile.

I marvel for awhile ...

The forth in line is quite bizarre—
The sun, the moon, one blazing star
Perform a concert from afar
Against a velvet sky;
In perfect harmony they sing
While eons form an endless ring
And autumn dances with the spring
Before their time is nigh.

I take a breath, and sigh ...

A touch of whimsy marks the fifth,
Which tells a most amusing myth,
Where fishes ferry birds forthwith
Between two distant shores;
On finny friends, the birds recline
As if intended by design,
Propelled across the surging brine
By love instead of oars.

My yearn for friendship soars ...

Still pondering five paintings past,
I stand before the sixth and last
And pray the artist had surpassed
The rest by some degree;
But as I pull the velvet drape,
I stagger back, my mouth agape—
The face portrayed can not escape
Familiarity ...

The portrait is of me!

But unlike those I viewed before,
This painting needs of something more—
The lack of detail and decor
Leaps from the gilded frame;
Even so, it looms commanding,
Incompleteness notwithstanding;
I am lost, my brain demanding
Cause for such acclaim.

What IS this artist's name?

I scan the canvas for a clue
To whom my gratitude is due
So I might ask him why he drew
My sketch in such a rush;
There in one corner, something odd
Tucked just above the gilt facade—
The artist signed my portrait ~GOD~
And left behind His brush.

I cannot help but blush ...

Daylight comes, the storm abated,
Adding warmth to art created;
I can see, although belated,
Through eyes which understand;
Now I'll wander roads uncharted
With the paintbrush He imparted
Adding to the work He started
Just the way He planned ...

I'll trace the Artist's hand.

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This article has been read 1417 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr01/26/07
I love this format. I thought your piece dragged a little in the middle, but it is still a great work. And your ending is excellent!
Joanne Sher 01/27/07
This is just beautiful. I love the structure of it, and the beautiful language. I especially love the last stanza and last line!
Donna Powers 01/28/07
Your gift of poetry is amazing, as always. This definitely struck a mood and captured my attention. It is thoughtfully but very well written. Thanks for sharing it.
Betty Castleberry01/28/07
Well...ummm... I just don't have words. Wait, maybe...masterful. If you aren't a true poet, then they just don't exist.
Chuck Livermore01/28/07
Beautiful! The biggest problem is you've set the bar too high. I wouldn't dare try to write poetry on here now lest I get laughed . Great job as always.
Jan Ackerson 01/29/07
One of the best poems I have ever read. This is simply stunning. Bravo, bravo, bravo!
Shari Armstrong 01/29/07
Masterfull - there's so much here it can't be read just once! WOW!
Lesley-Anne Evans01/30/07
I always look through the master's level until, suddenly, there you are! And then I read, and at the end of the reading, I sigh. You inspire me every time! You touch my heart, and make me smile.

Thank you for sharing your awesome gift with us.

I loved this poem... it reminded me of the cremation of sam magee a little bit in it's form... it pulled me along like a song and told a wonderful story in the process!

Bless you!

Catrina Bradley 01/30/07
What journey inside this man, of how God opened his eyes, and of his salvation! Mmmmm. Your poem made me warm inside. :) Masterfully written, as always. Love the form.
Jacqueline Zerres01/30/07
What a beautiful picture you painted in words. Inspiring!
Linda Watson Owen02/01/07
Oh, Kenn! This is truly beautiful indeed!! Congratulations, and thank you for your continued generosity in delighting us all with your work! I love the Poe-like structure and melody you've used here. I know he's smiling and giving you a wink!
Sally Hanan02/01/07
Wonderful work Kenn, and thanks for a new visual for my life - tracing the Master's hand.