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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)

TITLE: EMPTY
By Linda Goergen
02/23/12


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I stare at my reflection
and don’t recognize
the person staring back at me,
the brushing of teeth
doesn’t feel clean,
it feels going through motions.

I see the can of salted nuts,
it seems a more fitting breakfast
to offer my dormant taste-buds,
than the beat-up egg whites
I dutifully shove in my mouth.

I seem stripped. Empty.
I don’t even feel the words
of poems that are usually
doing cartwheels in my brain,
or dangling from trapeze cells,
vying for my attention.

It is then I decide to gather
my depleted self,
step out into the morning
and experiment with life,
with my senses,
with myself,
with my aliveness.

I decide to first
experiment with smells.
Smells
make you feel more alive,
on the days you feel alive.
I push a pine branch to my nose.
I would prefer lilacs,
but spring hasn’t yet arrived
and the evergreen pine
simply reminds me of how short
a time the lilacs bloom.
It seems unfair. Life is—

Decisions...
I choose a sound.
I go sit by the pond.
I hear the wind
softly rocking the water
against the small pebbles
at water’s edge—It reminds me
of what I am missing—
huge great lake waves
beating against ancient rock cliffs
or the sound of the ocean
impressing me with its greatness.

I dread my next experiment—
with sight.
It seems doomed before I start,
for all I can see
is the dreariness surrounding me.
Gray overcast skies, that seem cold,
naked, without color.
Everything seems barren
Until—
I see the redbird
appreciating the pine branch.
Until I see the deer
go to the pond’s edge—and sip
the gently moving water.

I bow my head and pray,
asking God’s forgiveness,
and then I feel
His love surrounding me.

“Oh, God, what an experiment I am.
You use even my depression
to make me see
what I take for granted.
You hollow sounds of self
from me,
so that I might hear.
Oh, Savior of my soul,
You refill me—
Your well never runs dry
as mine does.
Oh, please—help me remember
each and every day
to drink deeply.”


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This article has been read 464 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 02/23/12
The final verse is a prayer that we could all echo. Well written poem - I could feel the frustration of the MC and see in my mind's eye and respond to all his efforts to engage with the world.
Camille (C D) Swanson 02/23/12
Beautifully written...excellent take of the topic. The poem flowed smoothly and brought with it, descriptive scenes, and powerful emotions.

I loved it. Well written and orginal entry. Great job.

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/29/12
I feel like somehow you have been spying on me, my actions, thoughts, and secrets then wrote them with such a vivid sense of honesty. I am humbled.
Nancy Bucca03/01/12
I love the part about poems doing cartwheels and dangling from trapeze cells. Beautiful job on this. Congratulations.
Loren T. Lowery03/01/12
Recalls the phrase -Carpe Diem - seize the day - each moment precious and once considered certain to lift one's spirits. Very nice job of presenting this. Congratulations on your EC placement.
Amanda Brogan03/02/12
Definitely a well-deserved Editor's Choice! The words and story of this lovely poem just drew me in and caused me to see and hear and feel everything with you, even the reassuring love of God that surrounds us in those times of depression.

Absolutely love this!
Francy Judge 03/02/12
Congratulations on placing 8th with this beautiful poem!
I love your idea for this life-changing experiment. Great job.
Yvonne Blake 03/02/12
Great poem! Congratulations on winning an EC.

I love the humor mixed with the inspirational message.
Charla Diehl 03/06/12
The imagery throughout this creative piece played like a slide-show in my mind. Emotionally charged and brimming with a message we all need to hear--over and over again. So glad this one found a place on the EC list--congrats.