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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: Pictures in the Heart
By Verna Cole Mitchell


Journeying from east to west in beautiful USA,
Our hearts capture pictures even more vivid
Than the photos we snap with the camera
To be artfully arranged in an album.

The trees that usher us on our way
Have on their brightest robes,
While the sky, decked out in Carolina blue,
Is entertaining visitors dressed in gray.
We know that these familiar sights will be at ease,
Comfortably resting in our hearts
To wait and welcome us home.

We view the images of a blurred countryside
Through rain that rivers down the windshield.
The oil wells that we see at first
Are not tall figures astraddle the earth
But are like the water pump of my childhood home,
Where several quick jerks and a steady rhythm
Provided water by the bucketful.
The prevalence of towns with Indian names
Reminds us of a people long forgotten.
The land we next observe is flat, flat, flat,
And we can see for miles in the distance.
Windmills lead the way to huge ranches,
Where horses laze behind painted fences.
A dry riverbed lies parched and thirsty in the hot sun
Next to irrigated verdant fields.

Ahead lie miles and miles of changing scenery.
People-less rolling light green land
Is thickly populated with dark scrubby trees.
Fields of sagebrush blow to rest against stiff cacti.

The same landscape, flashing by over and over,
Is just like that we watched in early westerns,
And we think there must be Indians in war paint
Behind the outcropping of rocks.

Giant gremlin power lines announce civilization
Before Stuckeys and KOA’s can introduce
Just-alike houses, resembling boxes
That are stacked in grocery store aisles
And are filled with items to be put away.

The sun setting on a mountain across the river
Awes us with the immeasurable powers of our Creator.
Mountains and deserts direct us to the Grand Canyon,
Where ageless wonders reveal unsurpassable beauty,
So magnificent that we feel we’re in God’s presence.
The rising sun gilds rock formations with a promise
Of the golden streets of heaven.

At last, we reach our destination,
And as we watch ocean’s giddy waves rushing past
To wash the feet of the mountains,
We anticipate that new and glorious paintings
Will be brush stroked onto our hearts,
Till we turn to return again
To that picture nestling close inside our hearts.

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This article has been read 962 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 01/16/09
Just beautiful - and what a tribute to the beauty of this country. I felt like I was in the car with you.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/18/09
The USA truly is diverse, in landscape and in its inhabitants.
Beth LaBuff 01/18/09
If this were put to music, it would rival "God Bless America"... Your imagery is beautiful.
Chely Roach01/20/09
Wonderful imagery in this...very nice!
Jan Ackerson 01/20/09
Wonderful--and I noted lots of poetry "tools"--imagery, repetition, alliteration. This was a bit of a stretch for you, wasn't it? Very well done!
Teresa Lee Rainey01/20/09
This truly is beautiful. The imagery of that trip comes through loud and clear - makes me want to take a car trip out west. :)
Karlene Jacobsen01/21/09
It's probably me, but I couldn't pick up on any rythm. Great imagery, though. I enjoyed reading your descriptions of the different areas of our USA.
Leah Nichols 01/22/09
I loved the descriptions in this piece, and your stretch into a different style of poetry. I'll have to read more closely to catch the rhythm (if there is one) but it definitely catches the attention as different than one might expect. Nicely done!
Benjamin Graber01/22/09
"Our hearts capture pictures even more vivid
Than the photos we snap with the camera"

Wonderful imagery! This is a beautiful poem with lots of wonderful "heart-pictures" captured on paper.
LauraLee Shaw01/22/09
This truly moved me, and I thought it flowed beautifully.