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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)

TITLE: Tombstones and tap shoes
By Helen Paynter
01/30/07


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‘You have read…’

Yes,
etched in cold stone
chiselled in hard lines,
I have read.

‘Do not murder’.
Granite words
indelible,
I have read.

‘Do not commit adultery’.
Glowering words
scored,
I have read.

‘Do not break your oath’.
Rigid words
inscribed,
I have read.

‘An eye for an eye’.
Dogmatic words
engraved,
I have read.

‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’.
Frowning words
carved,
I have read.

But through the tombstones of cold death you danced. Around the monuments to the casualties of law you wove with ancient mirth. Boogying behind were the free, the emancipated in the conga line of liberation.

And into the written words you breathed life.

‘Pack your hearts with love, not hatred. See how good it feels? Delight in forgiveness. Smite bitterness from your hearts. Be free of it! Woo your neighbours with the songs of the Kingdom. Kick up your heels and invite them to join in. Breathe deeply – do you smell it? That’s the clean air of married love. Shun the vapours of its sorry imitations. Let honest words dwell on your tongues, so you don’t need to invoke God’s name. Isn’t that better? Be children of your Father. Imitate him. Do the peacemakers’ jive. Love those who hate you. Wouldn’t that surprise them? Don’t puff yourselves up - what lies will you tell to sustain the image? Set righteousness high in your hearts. There’s a better way to live! Do you hear that beat? Get your tap shoes on - it’s the rhythm of God’s heart, beating with love for you and the world.

C’mon, dance!’




Inspired by Matthew 5


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This article has been read 1098 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/01/07
Love it!!! I got such a kick out of this--the juxtaposition of the rigid first half, with the later exhortation to boogey and do the peacemakers' jive. How utterly delightful!
Kristie Derksen02/02/07
Wow! That whole last paragraph in italics, was just amamzing. Very well thought out. Loved it!
Joanne Sher 02/03/07
Love the juxtaposition of the two completely opposite moods. Extremely effective. I love your language in both. Wonderful.
Phyllis Inniss 02/05/07
I love the way you danced your way through this poem/article. It was very clever and the message of course was very sound.
Donna Emery02/06/07
Great contrast between the two halves and I loved it! The form(s) perfectly convey your message. Thanks for sharing it
Pat Guy 02/06/07
This is awesome ...
Sally Hanan02/06/07
Great contrast here, as others have said. I think I'd spread out the italics so as to make it less wearing on the eyes, and more impactful in the process, but other than that, great work!