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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Dead End (02/06/14)

TITLE: The Open Road
By Marlene Bonney


We search for IT everywhere
And find IT nowhere—
Peace that will blanket us,
Cover us gently against life’s trials.

We try to fill THE VACUUM,
But come back empty,
Unsatisfied and incomplete,
We are useless.

Love and acceptance
Always just beyond
Our grasp, we
Plead for answers.

We try Pleasing-Everyone Avenue;
But, love often conditional,
We fail and end up broken,
Good intentions not enough.

We try to fill THE VOID
Another way, so we pursue
Happiness Road, pounding it
into a Pleasure Palace.

We think we find IT then,
But the path turns out to be
Temporary, fleeting and subjective,
Like a mirage along the desert of our lives.

We give up our bodies
To Sex Boulevard and Drug Detour and Addiction Highway,
Hoping to find IT there,
But IT still escapes us.

We travel down one blind alley
After another,
Only to find them all
Empty and void.

Perhaps Education Lane is the answer,
We ponder,
The key to understanding
Where IT can be found.

But someone else is always smarter;
Intelligent, but devoid of wisdom
Or the discernment we seek
That will satisfy our hunger.

We turn to Wealth Toll Road
To appease our demons;
Collecting and hoarding—
Giving enjoyment that lasts but for a season.

We try Latest Gadgets Freeway
And fill up our time with
Ingenious technological
Wonders that only enslave us again.

Prestige Way, Acclaim Route, and Power Concourse
We then seek, which set us up
As Caesars on pedestals,
Destined to fall.

Independence Footpath strokes
Our egos, turning us into
Ambitious arrows shooting at
Any who would stop us.

We turn jealous and greedy
In our pursuit,
Wallowing in selfish behaviors
Which give us instant gratification.

Then, giving in to baser desires,
We wonder why we flounder,
Empty, whitewashed tombs,
We deceive ourselves in the process.

“What is the meaning of life?” we cry,
Turning another corner,
Going down another road as empty
As the ones before.

“Follow the Golden Rule,
Going down Give-Until-It-Hurts Thoroughfare;
Travel down Philanthropy Pavement,
Service Alley the highest achievement.”

But something still is missing,
We still are not complete;
For, in ourselves, we’re nothing:
Like dumb and wandering sheep.

Pride and Arrogance, Humility and Subjection,
We sample these opposite streets
Only to find them desolate,
Leading us to self-destruction.

We try self-completion through
Music Drive and The Arts Artery:
Enticing entertainment to
Soothe our desperate souls.

We finally come to the end of
Ourselves, daunted and afraid;
Giving in to despair, and seeking
We know not what.

We find the Path of Religion,
And think we have it made;
At church we bury ourselves in good works,
Cul-de-sacs of virtue.

Then we hear the Gospel message
Of Jesus and His Love;
We journey through Bible Beltway,
And give our lives to God.

We give our hearts and fears to Him, and
The unknown fears that have bound us
Into Satan’s captivity
Are no more.

This Eternal Life Avenue captivates our souls;
The VACUUM is finally filled with GOD;
And we walk together, He and I,
Along this open, never-ending road.

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This article has been read 177 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/16/14
Powerful and very clever poem...loved it.

God bless
LaCretia Peters02/18/14
Amazing poem!! Extremely thought-provoking! I love the accuracy given to naming the various avenues of life we travel to fill our empty voids. Great poem!!!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/20/14
Congratulations in ranking 18 overall!