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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

By Margaret Kearley


In early evening’s wintry light
The tiny shop, half hidden from sight,
Sat quietly on the cobbled street
To wait the sound of infant feet.

The old, old man lay down his tool,
The children burst from gates of school,
And down the street they skipped and hopped
Into the dear clockmaker’s shop:

Cupboards, drawers and shelves revealing
Clocks of all sorts, floor to ceiling,
Old time-pieces, some brand new,
Grandfathers, carriage and cuckoo.
Chiming, ticking, striking, ringing,
Clanging, pealing, music-bringing,
Friendly clocks with joyful face:
It was the children’s favourite place.

The clocks struck four, the time had come,
The old man welcomed everyone.
He waited till he heard them say
‘What story will you tell today?’

Then quietly, fingering a dial
He said, ‘Sometimes, in just a while,
All things can change - my little ones,
Trust God for each day as it comes.’

With loving care he reached and took
The heavy, gold-edged precious book,
And opening up the sacred page
Began a tale from distant age:

There was a city, oh so sad,
Where things were really really bad,
An army round the city wall
Waited to pounce and destroy all
Who lived within, all who drew breath,
There slowly, people starved to death.
Fathers despaired, and mothers cried,
And held their babies by their side.
What could they do? Their hope was dim,
Had God really forsaken them?
No no. A message strong and clear
God’s prophet spoke to all who’d hear:
‘You’ll have food in abundancy
This time tomorrow. Wait and see:’

Empty tummies, crying children,
Troubled minds at news bewild’ring,
Some could only scoff and sneer
And not believe that God was near.
Others felt their hope was stirred,
They trusted in Elisha’s word:
Tomorrow – you could hear them say,
Tomorrow - just one day away.

Now sitting by the city gate
Were just four men – kept separate
From everyone, t’was plain to see
They had contagious leprosy.
So weak and hungry without meat,
With not a crumb that they could eat.
They knew their only chance could be
To yield unto the enemy.
So slowly, weakly, the four men
Crawled into their opposers’ den.
And to their utter shock they found
An empty camp, no-one around.
For God had caused the enemy
In hasty fear to run and flee,
Leaving behind for all to share
Delicious and abundant fare.

‘You see’, the old man smiled, ‘Its true
And wonderful what God can do.
All things can change, my little ones,
Trust Him, each day, whatever comes.’

‘And now it’s time, be on your way,
Remember what you’ve learned today.’
‘See you tomorrow’ called one child
But the old man just waved and smiled.

Next day in early evening’s light
The tiny shop, half hidden from sight,
Sat quietly with a tight locked door,
While inside lonely clocks struck four.

The tiny scampering skipping feet
Stood still and clustered in the street
And many tears were shed that day
For goodbyes are so hard to say.

(2 Kings 6:24 - 7:20)

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This article has been read 779 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Elizabeth Baize02/06/11
I loved the onomatopoeia that you incorporated to describe the clocks. I have to admit that the ending was sad even though it fit nicely with the clockmaker's lesson for the children.
Beth LaBuff 02/08/11
I love your title, your message and how this just flows. Beautiful, exquisite work.
Colin Swann02/09/11
Wow! I absolutely loved this wonderful story and children teaching in rhyme. Lovely!
Loren T. Lowery02/09/11
Inspired writing. This is simply amazing. That it flowed so easily is surly a testament of the talent of its author.
Rachel Phelps02/10/11
Still lovely! Congrats on your EC!!!
Loren T. Lowery02/10/11
Hooray! So glad to see this beautiful work recognized. Congratulations. Loren
Lollie Hofer02/10/11
Incredible story-telling. Not only was there a wonderful story in this poem but your rhythm and rhyme were brilliant.
Michael Throne02/11/11
All that in 750 words? How is that possible?
Beautiful story within a story within a poem. Your phrasings were fun, the lesson superb. Congratulations on your EC!
Bonnie Bowden 02/15/11
Beautiful and well done story and poem. I really liked the atmosphere you created. A well deserved award.