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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Book Store/Library (06/03/10)

TITLE: I am but a breath in this cathedral of words
By Jim McWhinnie
06/07/10


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I am but a breath in this cathedral of words,
hushed by the imposition of a vow of silence,
a sacred quiet for the sake of ten thousand inward voices,
devouring thoughts with which they do agree,
dismissing others not so blessed,
dissecting and diverting all the others that might be.

I am but a mist in this abbey of literary prayers,
set and stacked,
in such an orderly way,
processed and placed,
in such an insitutional way,
row by row,
floor by
floor,
always more,
yes, always more and more.

An old man snoozes with an apron of newsprint upon his lap,
his half-rim glasses hold on to the tip of his nose,
he sometimes snores,
he sometimes sleeps,
sometimes he even reads
bits and pieces of history in their making,
but just a few,
just a few,
he needs no more.

A grey haired lady in her very practical shoes,
makes her appointed round in a quite military,
her heels clomping
in a very busy meter,
her lips shushing
in a very impatient tone,
“People,
people,
they keep coming through the door,
disturbing this hallowed hall,
this hallowed, hollow hall,
these people,
and their always moving this and that,
and never putting back.

The grey haired woman pushes her empty cart,
the old man slips off into his muttering dream,
the dusty lights seem to dim,
as does the sound of this aging night,
and I drift off into an eternal place,
where the ancient words find their present voice,
and mingle with the questions of my life,
page by page,
I read,
page by page,
of one small book
in all of this,
this memorial of books being written
and left unread,
upon the shelves
of the more and more.


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This article has been read 319 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Author Unknown06/10/10
Your first line grabbed me so hard I think I might have whiplash. This was beautiful. I life the soft tone of it, filled with beautiful turns of phrases, much like its object.

I'm sure you've seen it by now, but the one stanza has some "translation" issues (evil computer monkeys).

Overall, I really liked this! Well done. It's not often I stop to comment only moments after a topic's release, but this warranted one from me. (I'm usually doing a quick browse to see which ones I want to come back to when I have more time. Nice job distracting me.)
Benjamin Graber06/10/10
I love the tone of this, and the imagery... Beautiful poem!
Seema Bagai 06/10/10
Some beautiful images in this poem. Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/11/10
The words gave me chills. I think my brain is tired because I found myself rereading lines. The emotions were so intense.

I noticed a tiny editing error near the end you used their instead of they're, but that is easily fixed.

You did a great job with the details. I could actually hear the sounds you described.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 06/15/10
Captivating.
Lollie Hofer 06/17/10
I could hear the music in your poem. The soft sounds of violins and flutes and temponi (sp?). The music rises and swells and is filled with trombone and sax when the old lady shows up on the scene only to once again return to the softer sounds as it concludes. Beautiful words, lovely flow, visually effective and emotionally stimulating. It doesn't get any better than this.
Karen Pourbabaee 06/17/10
Congratulations on your 2nd place win! As always I love the rich images and music of your words.
Lyn Churchyard06/17/10
Thoroughly enjoyable. There was a sense of 'the old world' about this. For me it conjured up images of an ancient library with its smells and echoing silence. A place where a computer would be totally out of place. Tall ladders reaching to the tallest of shelves.

Congratulations on your 2nd place win, well done, Jim.
Mona Purvis06/17/10
Vintage Jim, done so very well. How deep you dive to pull those thoughts to the surface! Exquisite.

mona