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

TITLE: Diversions
By Kenn Allan


I dread the autumn of my years when summer dreams subside,
And balmy breezes haunt my room by pushing drapes aside
To whisper nightmares in my ear with warm and sultry breath—
Then drift away in light of day
Like harbingers of death.

It was upon a night like this not very long ago;
I stood in contemplation of the courtyard far below,
My restless mind could not ignore the passing of the breeze,
While dry leaves swirled, decayed and curled
Amongst the dying trees.

I cast a prayer against the sky beseeching peaceful sleep,
It echoed back to reassure my soul the LORD would keep;
And so I paced the weathered floor of my nocturnal plight—
The creaks and groans of age bemoans
The passing of the night.

"Enough!" I cried in fearful rage. "Before all reason fades,
I must escape this wretched trap from which sweet sleep evades."
So from my nightstand I retrieved a heavy iron key
Kept in the drawer which fits a door
Few others ever see.

The mechanism of the lock protested my intrusions,
Then fell aside with rusty shrieks, removing all preclusions;
Holding high my bedside lamp, I climbed the spiral stairs—
Though nearly blind, I vowed to find
Diversion from my cares.

The narrow steps abruptly end outside a rounded room
Where ideas flicker in delight and wisdom cuts the gloom;
On sturdy shelves around the walls, my cherished books were spread,
Crammed with notes and lifted quotes,
But mostly still unread.

My senses started spinning from the churn of twisted plots,
The lure of musty leather, and the tang of virgin thoughts;
I scanned the volumes carefully, deciding which to keep—
What might I find to fill my mind
And coax my soul to sleep?

I saw within my lofty reach a abstruse book of verse,
Espousing deep philosophies in which I could immerse;
As I reflect upon the mire, my face is seldom shown—
These words impart the poet's heart
But speak not of my own.

Undaunted by my failed attempt, I searched the shelves again
And found upon a gritty shelf the crude affairs of men,
Where justice flew on angry fists and sins repaid in kind—
A darker place, devoid of grace ...
A world best left behind.

Perhaps a romance could entice my passions to be stilled,
But found amongst the pages expectations unfulfilled;
Stories steeped in pleasure and served up like hemlock tea—
My heart denies those lustful lies
Of love which cannot be.

I settled in to search all night when something caught my eye—
A glint of gold beneath the dust of something shelved too high;
It was the Bible I once loved, neglected since my youth—
I dared to peek and thereby seek
God's everlasting truth.

I found His gentle wisdom no mere human could contrive,
His righteous sense of justice in which virtue can survive,
The love and peace the LORD bestows on aging fools like me ...
I searched no more, secured the door,
And threw away the key.

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This article has been read 1306 times
Member Comments
Member Date
cindy yarger02/01/07
Your word usage is so very well done. A good first reading that beckons one to go back and savor each line just for the words! Good job!
Phyllis Inniss02/03/07
Poetic brilliance! This poem falls in line with some of the best poems I've read and needs to be published.
Joanne Sher 02/04/07
Love the use of the key. This is such a wonderful piece - wonderful imagery and unforgettable lines abound!
Mariane Holbrook 02/04/07
There was so much strength and purpose in this poem, not to mention the meter.
I hope you will publish it.
Sally Hanan02/04/07
This was a great one. You'll need to go over it again before submiting it somewhere and get it all into one tense as you swung from past to present a few times. I was laughing to myself while reading, as I knew you were going to get to the Bible, but all along you were talking about finding a book to help you fall asleep :) I must confess, it is a good one to fall asleep to :0
Jan Ackerson 02/05/07
Wonderful word usage, imagery, and rhyme scheme. Another winner, Kenn!
Sandra Petersen 02/05/07
Your poetry always seems to have such natural rhythm, Kenn! This one is no exception. It almost demands to be read aloud and savored.
Kenn Allan02/05/07
Kathleen Morris02/05/07
Very good! I enjoyed this poem very much!
Sharlyn Guthrie02/05/07
I enjoyed this very much, expecially the imagery. The easy rhythm seemed to say, "sleep, sleep, sleep."
william price02/05/07
Beyond the excellence of the technical skill is the message that put a smile on my face and a warmth in my spirit. An anointed combination. God bless.
Allison Egley 02/05/07
Oh, this is great, Kenn. The only "problem" I've found with your poems is that they flow so well with the rhythm that I read them too quickly and don't always pick up on the message on the first read. :D
Lauren Culley02/05/07
Beautiful poem, Kenn! Excellent word choice and imagery.
Pat Guy 02/05/07
How in the world do you think of so many angles in rhythm. Wow!
Linda Watson Owen02/06/07
Every syllable is a beautiful delight, Kenn! Great message packaged perfectly!
Donna Powers 02/06/07
An amazing poem! So well crafted and the ending was just perfect. I could see the scene clearly. Thanks for sharing this!
Venice Kichura02/06/07
Truly written by a master!
This ministers to me to put God's Word ahead of all other literature. I believe this is indeed a winner.
Shari Armstrong 02/06/07
Well done as usual. I could see every inch of that library!
Birdie Courtright02/08/07
Would you please publish a book so I can buy it? This was perfect! So full of little things--just two or three little words here and there, that made me stop and think--that was awesome.
Congrats on your win, Kenn!