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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Visitors on a Summer Evening
By Emily Gibson
04/02/09


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Fingers of twilight shadow
Begin to reach over the hill
Crawling down through the field
Up unto the bank of blackberries
Covering fences along the alder grove.

The horses chew their last
Leaves of clover before
Coming to the barn for night, eyelids heavy,
Relaxed and full, drowsy with summer evening
Peace at hand and hoof.

A sudden change in the air forces
Their heads up and ears forward;
They form a line, staring at the hilltop
Above them, riveted to the spot, alert
To the coming intruder, unfamiliar and foreign.

The roar is intermittent, like a warm wind
Rattling a barn roof, but inconstant;
Then peaking over the crest of the hill
A rounded top of technicolor glory:
The hot air balloon rises.

The horses silenced, baffled, fascinated;
No pastoral instinct prepares their response
To this wizard's act from Oz in their own backyard.
The basket riders wave and laugh at the equine audience below
In formation with golden noses in the air and white manes blowing in the breeze.

The balloon summits the hill, dipping low, almost touchable
Before moving back up to race the sunset,
And search out other pastures, other valleys and hills.
The horses released from the spell
Leap in response, snowy tails high, noses flared-

To race up the hill to catch the impending darkness,

Dream mares cavort, floating suspended
Until their air is let out, gently, in softening snorts,
To settle down in a shavings bed in the barn
Where night, blissful, becomes ordinary again.


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This article has been read 589 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/09/09
You took my breath away with your absolutely beautiful pictures here.
Loren T. Lowery04/09/09
This happens so often on our small farm. Hot air balloons float effortlessly overhead teasing the horses to wonder what monster might be descending. You captured the mood beautifully.
Linda Payne04/09/09
Your descriptions were exquisite. I felt like I was right there. Well done.
LauraLee Shaw04/09/09
Outstanding, in detail and on topic. Well done!
Kelly Jacobsen04/09/09
I loved the discription! I could see it as clear as day. Good job =)
Jim McWhinnie 04/10/09
Beautiful images, so gently phrased and paced, so peaceful and pastoral in tone.
Betty Castleberry04/12/09
You made the detail so clear that I could see it all very plainly.

This was a lovely piece.
Sonya Leigh04/12/09
Beautiful free verse, full of vivid images and deep ponderings. Great job.
Beth LaBuff 04/12/09
This is such a picturesque entry. Love the ordinariness of the horses day (in exquisite descriptions "Peace at hand and hoof"), then the balloons, followed by their evening in the barn. You are a wordsmith!
Mona Purvis04/13/09
How wonderful is your skill with words. You painted such a picture...I was there. Loved it.
Mona
Chely Roach04/13/09
Lovely imagery. You completely captured the atmosphere, and I was enthralled. Well done.
Myrna Noyes04/14/09
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! What vivid descriptions that allowed me to be a watcher with the horses! :)