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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Neologism?
By Charla Diehl


Think, focus and be alert--
All my brain cells I’ll exert.
This is it--I’ll do my best
To win this year’s WORDS contest.

Lots of us in competition
Must excel in definitions,
Spell a word, give its meaning--
Mr. Webster does the screening.

Knowing words comes fairly easy
But competing makes me queasy.
Maybe if I close my eyes
Distractions won’t be my demise.

Thirty minutes into the game
Just Albert and I still remain.
Neologism*--it’s my turn,
Will I remember all I learned?

I close my eyes and concentrate
In hopes that soon I’ll celebrate,
But in the room I hear a buzz,
My eyes pop open, just because.

The host says the word once more,
The bumble bee I must ignore.
I spell it out, he gives a nod--
That bumble bee looks rather odd.

I contemplate, the word, I mean
But then I realize, she’s the queen!
The host begins to clear his throat,
“Time’s running out,” (that’s a quote).

The queen spies my red carnation
Her workers think pollination,
Can’t he hear the deafening roar?
I threw my flower to the floor.

“No need to display your anger.”
“I’m not mad,” I told the stranger.
“What’s the meaning--hurry please!”
Think, focus and then I sneezed.

The clanging bell said time was up,
Should Albert take my coveted cup?
I just needed one more chance
Then to the bees I shot a glance.

Exasperated from the stress,
I nervously dared to address
The host and the volunteers
Who put the contest on this year.

“You must excuse my interruption,
I need a weapon of destruction.
Am I the only one that sees
Those focus-robbing buzzing bees?”

Albert leaned o’er the table,
“I’m allergic and unable--
Swat them, stomp them, do it now!”
Beads of sweat dripped from his brow.

Now a can of Raid appeared
“No you don’t,” a lady sneered.
And then upon the contest stage
The advocate became enraged.

The bees now began to stir,
Sweetly scented, they flew at her.
Pointing towards the insect can,
She changed her mind now to their plan.

She screamed running to the exit
What she said, I wouldn’t text it.
But she was gone as were the bees--
“Can we resume this contest, please!”

All agreed these circumstances
Diminished all my winning chances.
Even Albert, though unenthused,
Expressed that I be excused.

Added seconds now ticked away--
If just the meaning I could say.
My mind went blank, what was the word?
Through those few seconds no one stirred.

“Time is up, Albert’s our winner!”
Begrudging thoughts--am I a sinner?
New words were swirling in my brain,
Their meanings I just can’t explain.

*neologism-- a new word or a new meaning for an established word (Webster’s New World Dictionary)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/02/08
I loved the humor in your narrative poem. So sad for the speller who ran out of time!
Mariane Holbrook08/07/08
This is such a cleverly written poem and done with such great attention to the details of rhyme and meter. It should have placed and placed high! It's that good.
Jan Ackerson 02/23/09
Charla, I love this poem, and I'm going to feature it on the Front Page Showcase for the week of March 2. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page, and congratulations!
Beth LaBuff 03/07/09
This is great! ...and extremely clever! Love it! Congrats on the being the FW FrontPage Showcase author!