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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Blessed (10/11/12)

TITLE: Oh Foolish Man
By Nancy Bucca


I see a mighty lightning bolt
illumine darkened skies,
swept clean of every sympathy,
no love inside the eyes
of this ferocious hurricane,
this surge of Nimbus smoke,
which presses on my feeble lungs,
all hope from them to choke.

I feel the wrath of warring clouds,
Baal's hammer pounds my head
"Oh foolish man to chart a course
toward this isle of dread!
You prodigal forever cursed,
you've wasted precious time
Adrift upon a wayward path,
no reason and no rhyme."

The vessel jerks, my limbs ablaze
seek out a stalwart pole
To shield my fragile ribcage
from this fearsome fishing hole.
A crunch, a creak, my torso twists,
I'm hewn just like a tree,
As blind as Samson, shorn of strength,
no mercy do I see.

A slapping wind berates my cheeks
and whips my battered back,
And then amid colliding shadows
I espy a crack -
A glimpse of shining amber like
a log purged from my eye,
What splintered piece of wreckage
to succor my fractured cry!

Teeth set on edge, I wrap my arms
around this broken board,
Caressing my gruff treasure as
a pirate hugs his hoard
"Oh foolish man, too weak art thou
to rage against the tide,
Without the comfort of this makeshift mast
on which to ride!"

A bang, a crash, I fall, I smack,
cold brine assails my chest,
lungs burning as I gasp for air,
No place my head to rest,
I-told-you-so's like dead men's bones
knock sense into my skull,
Numbed nerves are shocked awake
By every liquid push and pull.

"Oh foolish man, to gulp you whole
The jaws of hell do think,
Their acrid flames are yawning
as you teeter on the brink.
A horrible eternity
resides in that abyss.
How do you hope its scourge to flee,
Its punishment to miss?"

I feel the quandary rake my scalp,
An urgent reprimand,
Just as this churning cauldron
spews me out onto dry land.
What miracle, this brutal sea
Adventure I've survived!
I know I don't deserve it,
but thank God that I'm alive!

I cast a grateful glance toward
the man who gave the warning,
Whose pending death we were so certain
We would soon be mourning.
His punctured hand just cast a viper
straight into the fire,
The serpent didn't injure him.
Whatever did transpire?

He eyes the beam and nail I still
Hold cradled in my arms.
"The message carved into those grains
brings safety from all harms."
I run a salty thumb against the
pointed iron tie
And in it see the face of Him
Who in my place did die.

"He gave His life to save your soul
And turn away God's wrath,"
says Paul, "oh foolish man who strayed
From off the narrow path."
And now I see there's hope for me
who once felt so distressed.
By clinging to this piece of shipwreck
I've been truly blessed.

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This article has been read 540 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/19/12
This is an awesome piece. You do a brilliant job of painting a picture for me that I could so relate to. It also made Jonah's story much more relevant to my life today. I could so totally relate to your MC and think you did an amazing job of writing on topic while bringing all kinds of thoughts and emotions from me.
Genia Gilbert10/21/12
That struggle against the ways of God is well described, and foolish indeed it is. God has great mercy and patience, doesn't He? You used wonderful words and put them together beautifully.
Francy Judge 10/21/12
Beautiful. I love your word choice and descriptions. Great ending verse too.
Michael Throne10/25/12
Wonderful. This poem has such good phrasing. I love how we have no clue what you're writing about until near the end, and we're forced to reread it because it's so well written. This piece is excellent. Congratulations!
Bea Edwards 10/26/12
Beautiful interpretation by one of the apostle Paul's shipwreck companions of the ordeal. I absolutely loved it!!
Truly ingenious and a well deserved win.
Beth LaBuff 11/08/12
Nancy, This is such an artistically and masterfully crafted telling of the Bible story. Simply amazing. I love what you've created here!