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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: On the Telephone (11/18/10)

TITLE: The Coo of a Dove
By Henry Clemmons
11/24/10


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                                   I

If I were mute and sounds from lips were crumpled wrecks,
My love would swim oceans cruel, swirling currents deep,
I’d float your words like rafts above Atlantis depth.

Your sunset voice colors dawn’s dreary mountain peaks,
I send kisses to the moon that tuck you in with love,
I thank you for warmth that soars with sun’s first soft reach.

War’s details I don’t share, only mention above,
The death and its smell and its starved roar for fresh meat,
I simply say … to pray … for the coo … of a dove.

Rather we talk of summer across our old street,
When four young eyes twice winked, it was love at first sight,
Even though it was a week … before we’d dare speak.

I lost your words in static over the phone last night,
Something about late … and me to be safe … in fight.

                                  II

The stream would be cool if not for the warmth of blood,
The clouds in the sky hide both the moon and sun,
Eyelids grow weary while I sleep alone in mud.

I hear a phone ring beneath the pop of a gun,
I keep saying hello, your voice is … far away,
I contend with sound about prayers … from a son.

I can hear you now … though there’s no phone where I stay?
Since the last we spoke … my son’s been rolling in fright?
You say your womb’s been … stirring each night and each day?

My eyes open to blurs of a chopper in flight,
I want you so … my sides hemorrhage … with each cry,
An angel with white wings holds my hand through the night.

The morning illuminates the fact I might die,
I beg for a phone … and strength … to utter … goodbye.

                                  III

You say our son was born … with the coo … of a dove,
I can’t wait to hold him … and hold him … without space,
When I neared death I could feel prayers of his love.

Soon we can hang up these phones and speak face to face,
They are flying me home in a week … I can’t wait,
I can only imagine the sweet … my lips … will taste.

Your voice was the medicine that lessened my pain,
Your voice kept me strong, alive, and warm like a glove,
Your voice was hope that kept me out of my cold grave.

I have to thank our Lord … who lives in us with love,
And really thank Jesus for you, wife … he blessed me,
And thank Him for a son … with the coo … of a dove.

The morning illuminates the fact I will see,
My wife and baby … who from the womb … prayed for me.


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This article has been read 545 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 11/25/10
Very intense. A lot of depth to this. Nicely done.
Joanne Sher 11/29/10
Just beautiful and deep. Thank you.
Caitlyn Meissner11/30/10
What a great message. Well done!
Carol Penhorwood 12/01/10
I'm speechless. All I can say is "Wow!"
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/10
Wow this is so intense. It brought tears to my eyes. Wow again!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/02/10
Congratulations on EC for your beautiful poem.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/02/10
Congratulations on your EC!
Theresa Santy 12/02/10
Stunning, beautiful, and moving. Congratulations on your placing!
Lollie Hofer 12/02/10
Congratulations on your third place EC. I don't know how you "crank" these beautiful poems out week after week, just know that I'm a big fan. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 12/03/10
You have beautiful and haunting images, masterfully written. Congrats on your EC! (again) :)