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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)

TITLE: Ode to a Grecian Vase
By Beth LaBuff


The attic of a cottage home—
Converted writing-space,
Contained a manual typewriter,
A Grecian marble vase,
Disheveled shelves of lit’rature,
With steel desk amidst—
A slapdash-decorating-style-

The occupant of attic’s room
Was Aristotle Tate,
His spouse of twenty-some odd years,
A fashionista — Kate.
She scrutinized the clothing trends,
Consumed with what-to-wear,
And often she would gaze upstairs,
But rarely ventured there.

She stockpiled multitudes of shoes
To compliment her clothes,
Her nail polish color was
A frosted-lacquered rose.
In contrast, Aristotle wore
Clothes from his high school days
While writing underneath the eaves
In attic’s hideaway.

Occasion’ly for research
He went fishing near a glen,
Then later wrote of Vikings
And of valiant naval men.
Once with a meal, as heart-burn flared
The novel he began
‘Twas ‘bout a poisoned monarch,
Sayonara In Japan.

When writer’s block assaulted him
He’d take the marble vase,
And in the veining, pictures saw—
An ancient emperor’s face,
Or headless torsos, gruesome gnomes,
A pirate’s mizzenmast,
Or profiles of aristocrats,
State leaders from the past.

And every time his marble vase
Came to the writer’s aid.
It conjured visions in his mind,
It quelled writer’s blockade.
Between his research and his vase,
They fed imagination,
His writings were prolific,
Brimmed with edge and inspiration.

While he was out she ventured where
She’d seldom been before,
Bravely the stairs ascended,
Then through the attic door,
She stared at all the mishmash
Within his office space,
Her blood pressure soared skyward
When she eyed that ancient vase?

Now why did Aristotle own
A plain outmoded vase?

In keeping with her character,
To purge things from their place,
Without remorse or second thought,
Rose-colored lacquered nails
Pilfered the Grecian marble vase
To auction at a sale.

On his return from research
And ascension to his room,
The absence of his marble vase
Made Aristotle fume.
Unmindful, Kate was searching through
Some ads from Très Chic Store,
So Aristotle worked on his
New novel—Third World War.

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This article has been read 1599 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/20/10
Oh, I loved this, still chuckling at her "frosted lacquered rose" nail polish. Could I borrow your muse for this week. You have plenty of inspiration and creativity to share!
Virgil Youngblood 05/21/10
On topic for sure, and fun to read.
Ivy Strader05/24/10
Ha ha! Wonderful. You have a beautiful way with words.
Marita Thelander 05/24/10
I'm reading along and my ADD mind is thinking, There's not enough lines left to bring this to a finish. But I hit that last line...and smiled. Mad skills.
Rachel Phelps05/24/10
Amazing! Your poems always make me smile or think. Wonderfully crafted.
Susan Montaperto05/24/10
Very entertaining and thought provoking. I also enjoyed the frosted rose nail polish. I loved all the details. Keep writing.
Amanda Brogan05/25/10
HaHa! That spoiled wife of his is in for some trouble! :D

I love all the different ways he gains inspiration for his writing. And although I was sad that he lost his favorite vase (I was screaming at the wife in my mind, "Don't do it!"), I think the last sentence sums it up perfectly. :)

Thumbs up! (From some currently un-nail-polished hands. ;) )
Chely Roach05/25/10
The only thing predictable about your poetry is that it's consistently stellar. I love seeing your wit and wisdom shine through in every stanza. Another masterpiece!
Noel Mitaxa 05/25/10
Absolutely Marble-ous Beth! Though I'd have liked to know the price Kate got for the vase - to solve a long-shrouded mystery. Or "How much does a Grecian urn?"
I loved it. You should place well again.
Kate Oliver Webb 05/26/10
Well, this Kate would never behave that way--but your Kate is a law unto herself. Your details are exquisitely drawn, the entire piece so artful, the ending just as it should be, although I doubt I could have thought of it. It is beautifully crafted, through and through. How do you do it?? Marvelous work!
Ann Grover05/26/10
I am in awe.
Charla Diehl 05/26/10
I applaud you again and again. You never disappoint your readers because you always produce A+ material. Another fun and whimsical poem which was enjoyed by this reader.
Timothy Klingerman05/26/10
Maybe now that he's lost his vase, Aristotle could find inspriation in the crackled paint on the steel desk. I'd like to see Kate try and get that down from the attic in the sequel. Great work!
AnneRene' Capp05/26/10
This writing was PROLIFIC!
Edmond Ng 05/26/10
A marble vase for inspiration! This could be a good piece for the next topic on inspiration/block! Amazing ... you always have a way of putting story into poem.
Lyn Churchyard05/27/10
This had me chuckling all the way through. I especially loved ‘Twas ‘bout a poisoned monarch,
Sayonara In Japan.
and Unmindful, Kate was searching through
Some ads from Très Chic Store,
So Aristotle worked on his
New novel—Third World War.

Such a fun poem. I love it, well done Beffy.
Carol Penhorwood 05/27/10
Another winner to delight the heart, in my humble opinion. Your gift constantly amazes me. I stand in awe.
Dianne Janak05/27/10
You must put these in a book.. the chorus of HOORAY Beth again gets louder each week! HOORAY BETH!!
Mona Purvis05/27/10
Creme de la Creme...says it all.
I'm always in awe of Beth's work.

Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/27/10
As I read and chuckled, I wondered what you were looking at while you were writing!! Just enchanting...congrats!
Patricia Turner05/27/10
I must add one more HOORAY BETH! You truly inspire! Congratulations!
Joan Campbell05/28/10
Congratulations on your EC Beth. Another fun, witty entry crafted with incredible talent!

I love his name and the contrast between the couple. They remind me of my parents - my mother daren't set foot in my dad's dusty study. He knows if she moves just one book!
Diana Dart 05/28/10
Well, I have no idea if this comment will be superlative (nor do I have any idea what that even means...!), but I LOVE this entry. Sigh, I've missed reading your poems Beth - such characters, such stories, all wrapped up with incredible form and rhythm. Inspiring... and hilarious to boot.
K.D. Manes05/28/10
Do you mind telling me where Kate auctioned off his vase? :) You nailed rhythm and rhyme in such an entertaining way! I enjoyed your word choices also. Congratulations on a job well done!