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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Both Blessing and Curse
By Betsy Markman


Both Blessing and Curse
(An Acrostic Poem)

Pandora's box of history, with no lid to close it,
Every snapshot in it builds "The Self" as each one knows it.
Rituals, traditions, times stored up by Memory~
Strong sentinel of selfhood, guarding all that's known as "Me."~
Opinions, facts, ideas, formed in days both near and far,
Network of the yesterdays that made us who we are.

Bones in the closet rattle, they won't stay there in the tomb,
Ill winds blow scents of failures past, which spell tomorrow's doom.
Terror of all that might be now, because of what was then,
Tyrants named "Could Have," "Should Have" rub salt into wounds again.
Endless parade of mockers pointing out what's lost, not won,
Regrets which can't be silenced, mourning what can't be undone.

All things are new to infant eyes, all must be stored away,
Saved 'til enough accumulates to shed light on the way.
Tests coming up! Better cram in grammar, math, and spelling,
Until the mind is brimming and the memory is swelling.
Then from the storehouse, knowledge flows! New insights, theories bold,
Each spark of genius lit by new flints striking against old.

Forgotten anniversaries, birthday cards belated,
Appointments missed by someone, while others sat and waited.
Upset searchers hunt for things they laid down "who knows where?"
Lost drivers can't remember how to get from here to there.
Truth is twisted 'round in court when details blur and fade,
Yesterday misremembered leads to innocence betrayed.

Gilding ordinary things, making the everyday glow,
Evincing childish laughter from kids grown up long ago.
Nicely sanding edges smooth, mercifully padding landings,
Taming harsh realities and old misunderstandings.
Layers of nostalgia round off history's sharp corners,
Echoes of lost loved ones bring a smile to grieving mourners.

Hellish scenes of war invade what should be peaceful dreaming,
Agonies with no relief change sleeping into screaming.
Unrelenting torment when the past invades the present,
Nightmares rob the waking hours of all that's good and pleasant.
Time runs backwards, life is stolen by temporal thieving
Sentencing forever to a life of endless grieving.

Empty eyes in aged face, the Sentinel is sleeping,
Neglectful of the history entrusted to its keeping.
Instead of Self, a stranger stares back from the looking-glass

God leaves it now to loved ones to recall what came to pass.
Memory betrays, and yet still proves itself a friend,
As kept by others, it preserves dignity in the end.

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This article has been read 1079 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sunny Loomis 07/19/08
Very good rhythm in this piece. I love all the pictures and thoughts running through this. Excellent job.
Ellen Dodson07/21/08
This is so descriptive and thoughtfully patterned.
Glynis Becker07/23/08
Fascinating and very well done. I loved the flow and the word choices were spot on.
Mariane Holbrook 07/23/08
You did a GREAT job with this! I am so impressed with your acrostic style, too. Well done, friend!!!
Dianne Janak07/24/08
So happy this one placed.. what a clever creative idea, that worked well. Congrats on your placement.. well deserved..
Debbie OConnor07/24/08
Congratulations. I thought this was very creative and well executed. Great job!
Ellen Dodson07/24/08
Congratulations, Betsy! You put in much talent, thought, and effort into this beautiful poem. Well-deserved win!!
Beth LaBuff 07/24/08
Betsy -- Beautiful work on this AND super congrats on your EC!!!
Chely Roach07/24/08
The talent you have demostrated with this amazing poem is mind boggling. This was beyond excellent. Congratulations!
Tim Pickl07/26/08
This one reads like a song!
You have a God-given gift!
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