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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

TITLE: Message in a bottle
By Margaret Kearley


The roaring tempest howled and whirled
And whipped the waves in frenzied curl,
Black undercurrents raced and swirled
In terrifying force.
The untamed gale relentlessly
Played havoc with the rolling sea
Whilst one ship battled fruitlessly
Against its dying course.

Masts cracked and splintered, smashed and fell
Beneath a foaming churning hell
And sailors heard a silent knell
And knew the end was nigh.
‘Midst fear and pain and toil, and fear
Each wonderfully found God near
And knew salvation, peace and cheer,
And Heaven close, nearby.

The Godly Captain, calm and still,
Was quiet in His Father’s Will,
And whilst the gale wailed loud and shrill
He sought alone a place,
And prayed for those they would not see
Again, until Eternity,
And asked God if, in kindness, He
Would s’rround each with His Grace.

The end was near, one final need -
To write a note with thoughtful speed
And pray that one would someday read
The letter it disclosed,
Sealed in a bottle and consigned
To stormy sea, it bobbed, resigned
To float till maybe man would find
The message thus enclosed.

A miracle occurred - else we
Would not have known the history
Of God at work on ‘The Glory
Of Hartlepool’ – the ship.
But two days from her sad demise,
Beneath clearer October skies,
The bottle to the coast did rise
And to the shore did slip.

Sometimes, in loving kindness He
Draws back the veil of mystery
Reveals the path we would not see
Unless He chose it so.
The note, the message clear indeed -
God saves all those who call in need -
Was found, so all may see and read
And come, this truth, to know.

For extra information on this true story .....

Copy of a letter found in a bottle on the Jutland coast, two days after it was written.
At sea October 19th 1862
My dear wife,
Before you get these few lines I shall be in Heaven. Our ship ‘The Glory of Hartlepool’ is just about floundering, the pumps both choked and John Hunter had his leg fractured with a sea breaking; we have had nothing but gales of wind and we are almost a wreck. But thank God we are all resigned to our Heavenly Father’s will. My men are all made happy in the Saviour’s love. They were all crying for mercy and they all found peace: the lad John Hunter’s was one of the brightest conversions I ever saw.
My dear wife, I have left you in the hands of the Lord: I know He will provide for you and the dear children, and I hope you will all meet me in Heaven. May He grant it for Christ’s sake.
In Heaven I remain, your loving husband,
John Loynes

(A friend, the Great x4 Granddaughter of John Loynes, displays a copy of this wonderful letter in her home where it has blessed, encouraged and challenged many.)

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This article has been read 846 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 02/15/13
Your have captured the essence of the actual note in a beautiful way. This was delightful to read.
Laura Hawbaker02/17/13
Very interesting history. Good job writing a story in poetic form.
Alicia Renkema02/17/13
This is a beauty of a poem. It was one that just cried to read aloud because of all of the rich poetic language and words that just caught one up in the fierceness of the storm that was going on. And so I did and as I did I cried and my prayer became one with the captain's. How lovely that as they were dying, they thought of the eternal souls of those they were leaving behind. I loved the stanza comparing the shrillness of the storm to the quiet place that the captain sought to pray. You wrote a lovely tribute for your friend. Now she has an elegant poem to accompany her treasure of a letter. Thank you so much for sharing this jewel of such a caring captain and crew. What a wonderful God we have, reminds me of all of the miracle stories of some of the folks that were saved during 911. Blessings of Joy to you!
Judith Gayle Smith02/17/13
Passion and power! I love this. Thank you.
Ellen Carr 02/18/13
You have done a great job at telling this wonderful story in verse. Well done!
Cheryl Harrison02/18/13
You are a artist. Your descriptions jumped off the page like paint on an artist's canvas. Great job!
Terry R A Eissfeldt 02/18/13
I could taste the salty air! What an amazing story.
Danielle King 02/18/13
Outstanding poetry. Your vivid description brought the story to life and how amazing to know that it's true. Unique entry for the topic too. A winner for sure.
Beth LaBuff 02/19/13
Your poetry talent with meter, skillful word choices, and beautiful message always amaze me. You painted such a bleak and tangible picture that the ship and sailors battled. Thank you for sharing their inspiring story with me. Love this!
Bea Edwards 02/19/13
oooh this was such a pleasure to linger over. The way you wove history into poetry captivated me. Superb masterpiece!
Alicia Renkema02/21/13
I just knew this had to be a winning entry! I love your poetry, as Bea says, the way you weave history (whether it be Biblical or as in this case a letter of a friend within a significant historical event) into your poetry with such beauty of language while keeping it authentic is truly remarkable. Congratulations Margaret, on your 6th place over all win. Have an especially blessed rest of your day in Him.
Danielle King 02/21/13
Congratulations Margaret. Your gift for poetry shines through everything you write and this one is no exception.
Beth LaBuff 02/21/13
Congrats, Margaret. I'm very pleased to see this on the EC list! :)
Ellen Carr 02/22/13
Congratulations on your EC placing Margaret! Well-deserved!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/22/13
Congratulations on your EC for this beautifully crafted poem!
Loren T. Lowery02/22/13
So, well done. You've a gift for chronicling history in poetic form - and in the language of that day to match. Wonderful writing and a big congratulations on your EC!
Noel Mitaxa 02/22/13
You have packed so much energy, pain and hope into this entry, and I love how you have confirmed the truth of the greater story behind the stanzas. Congratulations on your EC.
Bea Edwards 02/24/13
Yay congratulations!