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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)

TITLE: Kaleidoscope
By Holly Westefeld



A very patient Santa let me feel his furry hat,
And then his long and flowing beard, as soft as any cat.
With sheep and chicks, the petting zoo, a new experience
Of fluffy feathers, thickest wool, to hone my tactile sense.

The little cali kitten, rescued from a busy street,
Had all of us quite smitten with her temperament so sweet.
In bed, at night, I loved to stroke her long and silky fur,
Though swiftly drifted off to sleep to rhythmic, rumbly purrr.

I learned with wooden blocks about relationships in space,
And how to build with balance so the blocks would stay in place.
In Galveston warm grains of gritty sand squished through my toes,
And if I judged a wave amiss, salt water stung my nose.

The velvet Monarch caterpillars crawled across my hand,
Then in a vented jar wove chrysalises strand by strand.
Once hatched, they clung to fingers with their tiny, tickly feet,
And pumped their tissue paper wings, to dry them beat by beat.

Though magnets taught me patterns made of straight and curving lines,
My literacy came from learning braille dot designs.
Touch typing was another tool to demonstrate my skill,
And earn the education that would make dreams possible.

In time I met a loving man, with whom my life to share;
Tall and strong, with bristly beard and mustache, curly hair.
No vision was required as he reached to hold my hand,
And placed upon my finger an exquisite golden band.

And way before a soul could stroke our baby's satin cheek,
(While only One who wove within my womb had had a peak,)
First flutters through my fingers were detected joyously,
Exploring every contour long before the world could see.

The clutch of tiny fingers' trusting touch that says "I know
That Mommy's listening carefully to the cars before we go."
Each boo-boo's lifted for the healing touch of mommy's kiss,
And wishes whispered in the hope that Mom their mess would miss.

"Please do not touch," the signs proclaimed again in each museum,
Until we found a special room of one Smithsonian.
Each label was in braille for the skins and fossils there;
The coat and claws were awesome of the nine-foot polar bear.

I wouldn't bother to return and feed giraffes again,
With long and slobbery tongues, but I will always treasure when
The trainer guided hands to feel the blowhole's puffs of air,
To stroke the dolphin's glassy skin, and feed her with great care.

A rich array of textures, God has rendered in His world,
Complex as any rainbow in the heavens He's unfurled.
Some people think that without sight I've missed out on so much,
But they have disregarded the kaleidoscope of touch.

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This article has been read 632 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Brown08/12/10
I really liked this. I was remembering the feelings along with them. Blessings, Ruth
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/13/10
Oh this is so wonderful. the descriptions so perfect not only could I see them but I could feel them.
Charla Diehl 08/16/10
Your words brought a mirade of feelings to life in this beautifully written poem. I'm applauding--can you hear?
Mona Purvis08/19/10
Holly, I just had the opportunity to read this when I saw it won an EC. Wow! Just wonderful! What a dramatic take on the topic and done so very well. Very deserving!

AnneRene' Capp08/19/10
Congratulations on a very deserved EC! Also, absolutely love your phrase: kaleidoscope touch.
Edy T Johnson 08/19/10
This is so well crafted, I hardly know where to begin. You've taken a word that brings an image for seeing and transformed it to another dimension. This poetry is worth relishing again and again. Congratulations on your most well-deserved win.
Catrina Bradley 08/30/10
I thought I commented on this last week! I'm glad to see it so high on the list - the topic is felt (literally) in each stanza. When realization hit that she was blind, it was a turning point that made your exquisitely executed verses even more delightful. The last line is a winner! Many congrats. :-)