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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Nap, Interrupted
By Kenn Allan


On a warm summer day, near an old cedar fence
At the back of the yard where the catnip grows dense,
Shiloh finished his mid-morning grooming, then yawned,
Quite prepared to repose by the yellowfish pond.

Of the hundreds of pastimes the garden conferred,
Watching yellowfish swim was the one most preferred―
He loved leaving his cares on the warm summer breeze
And catnapping to lullabies hummed by the bees.

But no sooner had Shiloh arrived to relax,
When he spots a trespasser, a stray cat named Maxx
Who'd been king of garden 'til Shiloh arrived
And whose anger still smoldered o'er being deprived.

As four feline eyes froze to one baleful stare,
A feathered commotion swooped by in the air
As sixteen passing blackbirds caught sight of the fight
And returned in a flurry of synchronized flight.

Since blackbirds hate cats for one reason or other,
Like stalking a sister or munching a brother,
They dropped one by one on the old cedar fence
And screeched out every insult their beaks could dispense.

In the past, if those tomcats would happen to meet
They would spit for a bit and then stage a retreat,
But the longer they listened to those birds deride,
The more the fight swelled to a matter of pride.

So the rivals erupted in bloodcurdling wails
As they crouched on their bellies and thrashed angry tails
With their golden eyes blazing and ears flattened back,
Each one choosing the moment to launch an attack.

The cats lunged at each other and began to brawl,
Tumbling head over tail in a tight fuzzy ball
And unsheathing their claws for the first vicious slash―
When the ground disappeared with a mighty ker-SPLASH!

For a moment or two Shiloh feared he was dead
Until three passing yellowfish circled his head
And he felt his paws sinking in wet squishy sand―
So he pushed towards the surface and paddled for land.

When the blackbirds saw Shiloh in wet disarray
And the bedraggled Maxx, who was slinking away,
The entire flock chirruped in raucous delight
To see two soggy cats who were too drenched to fight.

Shiloh never forgot (I don't know about Maxx)
This important life lesson when evil attacks:
When facing a challenge or quelling a threat,
Those who give in to pride often end up all wet.


Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

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This article has been read 662 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 04/12/13
I enjoyed your cat and bird poem (oh yes, fish too). It was good fun. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/12/13
Oh how I love this. I'm not a big poetry fan but this was simply delicious. I even think it would be a marvelous fit for a picture book. Outstanding!
lynn gipson 04/13/13
Bravo! Bravo! This is just exceptional. Loved the story so well told with perfect rhyme, flow and meter! As a cat owner of one whose personality fits Shiloh's, I was entranced. Great message also.

What a joy to read.
Lori Dixon04/13/13
I usually struggle with reading poetry and typically give up by the second stanza,(must have been dropped on my head as a child).
But, I actually finished and ENJOYED your piece! I agree with Shann that it would be a great picture book.
I feel so accomplished having read a full poem. Thanks for keeping this short attention span girl engaged!
Beth LaBuff 04/13/13
What a treat to read a new poem by the master! As usual, this did not disappoint, from the Shiloh/Maxx rival (is there a hidden story in this?) :) to all the wonderful images (favorites being: yellowfish pond, and three yellowfish circling Shiloh's head) and a rich tangible setting. I'll also ditto what the others said, about the perfect meter and wanting to see illustrations. Thanks!
Danielle King 04/14/13
Aw, this is adorable. I love every word of it but especially - 'they would spit for a bit and then stage a retreat.' That line tickled me pink, and I'm still laughing. Great poetry!
Danielle King 04/14/13
ps... Love the title too.
Sarah Elisabeth 04/14/13
Ah, so very nicely done. Loved this humorous proverb done as a masterful poem. Perfect ending!
Bea Edwards 04/14/13
Thrilled to see you back in action with this purrfect prose!
Christina Banks 04/14/13
Masterfully done! I enjoyed this poem from beginning to end. Superb!
Judith Gayle Smith04/14/13
Love the drama! Excellent.
Carolyn Ancell04/15/13
Ditto on the children's book suggestion. Kids would love this, and its conclusion is easy to grasp. After two readings, though, I still want the first verb in line 10 to be past tense. Maybe just me, though.
Kenn Allan04/15/13
You're absolutely correct, Carolyn - Thanks! Comments/corrections like yours are exactly what I'm lookin' for. I made the change on the final draft.
Myrna Noyes04/16/13
Okay...this is absolutely a masterpiece of poetry writing! The "atmosphere," story, rhyme, flow, humor, message-all are perfect in my opinion! I am very humbled to read such excellent work! Your descriptive words put me front and center as an interested observer of this thrilling scene! :) I especially liked: "The cats lunged at each other and began to brawl,
Tumbling head over tail in a tight fuzzy ball". Thank you for making me smile and making me think!!
C D Swanson 04/17/13
WOW-Genius at work, "do not disturb" working on the next masterpiece!!

This was fabulous. I LOVED it! This should do well with the judges for sure.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 12th in your level and 16 overall!