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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: here, in the wild country
By Jim McWhinnie
05/23/11


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here in the wild country,
the wolves sing their mournful lullaby
to the young ones snuggled in the lofts,
‘neath ceilings of hewn old timbers
on beds of soft, soft wool, unspun, raw from the sheep that range the meadows
in the slow, slow summertime.

here in the Outlands
at the far, far reaches of the prairie
a few miles beyond where the frontier used to be,
the sturdy souls with their weathered faces doggedly build their rugged peace,
row by row, day by day,
this hard-earned harmony forged between an unforgiving land and an undefeated few.

they live the old and ancient way of life out of which new worlds are brought forth,
begrudgingly yet always eventually,
these men in their dusty dungarees and their chambray shirts,
these women in their hand-sewn dresses of sky blue calico and ginger brown.
they rise early, they must
to kick the Eden dew off the newborn dawn
to outwork the sun and make him give his honest wage,
to kiss the moon good-night,
then to pray and fall asleep,
only to do it all once more again,
to do it all once more again,

yes, in the wild country,
here where the sky goes on and on forever
and where the stars therein fall down as angel rain
to fill these Outlandish hearts with holy light of a holy vision,
with the fragrance that wafts in from Eden’s distant woods,
a piney scent of what was meant to be
when life was but land and God and me and thee,
when life was but land and God and me and thee.


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This article has been read 416 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden05/27/11
Very well written poem.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/28/11
This is an awesome poem,one I could read again and again for all the beautiful phrases. You have truly found your groove.
Helen Curtis05/28/11
Beautiful and poignant. Truly wonderful.
Beth LaBuff 05/28/11
Yes, you did it again! I absolutely LOVE this, "to kick the Eden dew off the newborn dawn -- to outwork the sun and make him give his honest wage," There's so much is here, and with each reread, more is gleaned! Amazing!
Noel Mitaxa 05/30/11
You've drawn us out into the wide open spaces with you so well we can almost smell the sweetness of the atmosphere.
Well done.
Michael Throne05/30/11
Aw, gosh, this is too good. Your descriptions, your phrases, your rhythm, your repetition. What’s not to like? This piece comes from a revered book of wonderful verse from an internationally acclaimed master; at least it will soon enough. Beautiful.
Charla Diehl 06/01/11
Your beautiful words drew me in and made me want to linger over each line, savoring the content of this masterful piece. Great--surely a winner!
Bonnie Bowden06/02/11
You are such a master of poetry. Congratulations on your well deserved 2nd place EC award.
Lillian Rhoades 06/02/11
Jim,
No getting around it. Your literary genius raises the bar for us all.
Congratulations!
Beth LaBuff 06/02/11
Congrats (again), Jim... I knew I'd be adding this when I read your poem! :)