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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: Sepia-Colored Dreams
By Stephanie Bullard


I took a step beyond the realm
Of time and mortal man,
While lying on the unforgiving ground.
With deathly fascination
Watched blood meld with the sand,
My life source – hot and crimson – flowed unbound.

From somewhere far above me,
Far beyond, or far below,
I heard the garbled laughter of the thieves.
The wealth and goods now in their hands,
In mine a space ago,
They left me beaten, bloodied; took their leave.

My consciousness began to waver,
Flitting all about,
While sharp pain caused my senses to unwind.
Sound faded in a muted haze,
My vision winking out,
And sepia-colored dreams o’er-took my mind.

It seemed my mind beheld things
Differently than they appeared
To one unhindered by encroaching death,
All knowledge that I’d known before
Was from my thoughts now seared,
And swept off by mortality’s cold breath.

All sounds were strangely amplified,
Yet at the same time faint,
Each echoed with unearthly hollow tones.
In words unrecognized
Spoke both of sinner and of saint
With muffled cries of joy and anguished groans.

Each sound became a story
Every sight a look within,
Though neither sight nor sound were plainly clear.
The brownish sights were blurry,
Every image strangely thin,
And I felt deep in my soul what I could hear.

The first sound that approached me
Was an oddly rhythmic clang,
That jangled like an old, discordant bell.
“The footsteps of a priest,” it
Whispered; to my heart hope sprang.
Perhaps he’d pull me from the gates of Hell.

But as I brought my eyes up
And my gaze fell on his frame
In tones of tan, and gray, and muted brown
I saw through flesh, into soul
And a revelation came:
This man would never stop, would not slow down.

I lay there for a while,
Hovering ‘twixt death and life.
While pain consumed my body like a fire.
When I heard more footsteps falling,
Their clouded echoes rife
With twanging like an inharmonious lyre.

“A Levite,” came the murmur
Harsh and grating on my ear,
“You’d think that he would stop and lend you aid,”
But I looked into his soul and saw
Compassion drowned by fear,
Eyes misted and I heard his footsteps fade.

How long I stayed, I do not know
Time ceased to play a part
I knew that I would die there on that road.
Reluctance shook my body
And confusion gripped my heart:
Why this indifference that the two men showed?

It started as a whisper
And I barely heard the tune,
But then it swelled to a melodious song.
A third man was approaching,
He would come upon me soon,
His footsteps spoke of love and righted wrong.

I could barely lift my feeble head
To cast my eyes about,
My sepia-colored gaze fell on his face.
A spark of color laced the haze,
My heart let go a shout,
His soul reflected mercy, peace and grace.

I don’t remember much,
I know he cleaned and dressed my sores,
And carefully he placed me on his beast.
My sepia-colored dreams fled,
Blackness crashed in with a roar,
All unearthly sounds and visions ceased.

Next morning as I woke
Ensconced within a healing bed,
I heard my savior leave the way he came.
A sepia-colored voice
Whispered once more within my head:
“This man did well, now go and do the same.”

**Based on the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37**

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Burkum07/28/06
Very deep, very thought-provoking. I liked the picture drawn with the sepia coloring - creative. Nicely done. :)
Joanne Sher 07/28/06
Beautiful piece - very strong imagery, and what a neat idea. Definitely gave me some new insight into this familiar parable!