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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)

TITLE: Variations on a Breath
By Timothy Klingerman


When first a man did ever breathe,
Was that the first wind shook the leaves?
And as one breath chased after next,
Then did the wind grow more complex,
Till earth was wrapped in, altogether,
A worldwide web of windy weather?
This may explain each breeze that blows,
But only God the Father knows.

Then while exhaling, man did sputter,
Cleared his throat and dared to utter:
A syllable—first one, then two—
A noun, a verb, a sentence grew.
Hence meaning came amid the chatter,
And now we can discuss the matter.
This may have been how language rose,
If only God the Father chose.

As time went by and man misspoke,
His words, by chance, became a joke.
And those who heard could speak not after,
But on their breath exploded laughter.
Though this they found to be such fun,
Soon followed riddle, rhyme and pun.
This may be whence all humor grows,
Such secrets God the Father stows.

Now words began to mean so much;
The depths of human hearts they touched.
Through glorious heights of songs and chants,
From words now came breathless romance.
And no one’s voice could speak enough
The many, varied shades of love.
This may be love as first composed,
If God the Father so proposed.

Along with verse, there did arise
The turn of sayings sage and wise.
How grand they were, and greatly treasured;
Against these words all life was measured.
These proverbs soon became a school—
Protecting man from playing the fool.
This may be true, though I suppose,
To God the Father wisdom owes.

Though all could gain from such advice,
Yet man was prone to sin and vice.
He did mistreat, destroy and rob,
And breath was lost to life’s first sob.
First muffled whimpers grew to cries—
Then moaning, groaning, whines and sighs.
This may have led to endless woes,
Save God the Father’s mercy flows.

Then came a breath unlike the others;
God called him Son—He called us brothers.
He calmed the weather, pierced the chatter;
He liked to laugh, and taught, “Love matters.”
Wisdom’s maker, sorrow’s master;
He came to save us from disaster.
This would suffice, but you must show,
What God the Father wants to know…

The Breath of Life you have received;
It is a gift—don’t be deceived.
Will you return it to its sender?
Give voice to words? Confession render?
“This Jesus Christ is God’s own Son,
With Father and the Spirit one.”
Then Holy Spirit’s love will glow,
As God the Father life bestows.

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This article has been read 459 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/27/10
I really enjoyed this. I do often wonder about the first time someone laughed or what the first communications were like plus other things like what human decided that an egg was something to eat. And all of my answers even the silly ones are found in your beautiful poem, God knows the answers to all the questions I have, some he may choose to share and others maybe not. You did a beautiful job.
Karen Pourbabaee 08/27/10
I loved the flow of your poem and the sense of wonder it creates as well as your final stanzas on the Breath of Life Himself...this was simply a beautiful work of art!
Genia Gilbert08/30/10
This is a good poem with a wonderful message.
Charla Diehl 08/31/10
Oh, this poem was filled with words to feast on--I thoroughly, completely and truly enjoyed every verse in this insightful and thought provoking poem. Easy flow and unforced rhyme made this a pleasure to read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/02/10
Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of your level and in the top 40 overall.
Jan Ackerson 09/23/10
Timothy, this poem is wonderful, and I plan to feature it in the Front Page Showcase for the week of October 25. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!