PROMPT #330 – I CHALLENGE YOU

Sometimes writing is a challenge. But as I’ve always prescribed… inspiration is found wherever we look. So we’re going to find our inspiration in the mundane… with a twist. We will write a “challenge” poem. At the end of our poem we will choose one of our poets and give them a topic upon which to muse. Any form, any style, any subject within reason are game. Watch for the gauntlet to be thrown in your direction and write your poem(s).

MARIE’S CHALLENGE:

EASIER SAID THAN MUM

She spewed out a detailed confession.
Her friend made a robust suggestion:
Don’t let your mouth gush –
You must learn to hush
when asked a rhetorical question.


© Marie Elena Good, 2021

I challenge Damon Dean to write a tight-lipped poem.  😀 

WALT’S CHALLENGE:

CHALLENGE EVERYTHING

Do you take everything for granted?
And does your truth live within you?
Are questions that are never asked ever answered?
Is it right to set your own standards?
Or should you demand to know how to go?
Is the road less traveled always a good choice?
Does your voice ever come unraveled?
Do you allow no to be a solution?
Can roadblocks bring you to some conclusion?

© Walter J Wojtanik - 2021

My challenge goes out to Sara McNulty to write a "Horizon" poem.

375 thoughts on “PROMPT #330 – I CHALLENGE YOU

  1. BRUSHING TEETH IS LIKE PULLING TEETH

    Teeth.
    That bony projection with hardened enamel that challenges me to a duel every night.

    At that point in the day when fatigue is at its height, I’d rather suffer defeat, prop up the feet and sleep, rather than expend two minutes brushing these tiny bony brawlers.

    In the thick of it, it’s fight or flight; when life is boiled down to its most basic, Neanderthal, survival instincts.

    Surrendering and rendering service, daily, to the needs of little choppy combatant overlords without ceasing.

    That’s me, always the reluctant scrapper. Hardly dapper, but never the first to bleed, or throw the first punch is my motto.

    Canines, incisors, molars, premolars—without wisdom, always insisting the royal treatment; rinse, brush, rinse, brush, floss, repeat.

    Teeth.
    That bony projection with hardened enamel that challenges me to a duel every night.

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Daniel Paicopulos to write a service poem.

  2. Take it and Run

    Through the walls a song
    Cardinal red and morning crisp

    Yesterday at well-pecked suet
    a black-bibbed Flicker hammering

    What will it be today which gift
    to tuck inside both mind and heart

    Let it vegetate as the Irish say
    until it swells like rising bread

    To bubble over the edge of the crock
    and stick to your kneading fingers.

    My Challenge goes out to DEBI: Write a “Dangerous” poem!

  3. SWAPPING ENDS

    Didja’ ever wonder what it’d be like
    if west was east and east was west?
    Did the question ever arise in your head
    and never allow you a bit of rest?

    Supposin’ that your cherished notions
    were seen through the other end of the scope;
    is it possible that your suppositions
    would be found in need of another trope?

    Is it possible that your city scenes
    are dissimilar to those in another town,
    and that the smiles you see on familiar faces
    are, on strangers, aught but a frown?

    It seems that there is only one way
    to halt the tendency to harp and squawk:
    you have to put on some others’ shoes
    and walk their walk, not talk your talk.

    I challenge Walt to write a “Toledo” poem, and Marie to write a “Buffalo” poem.

    Marie, your limerick is a good example of wisdom wearing a suit of humor, and Walt, your piece was actually te seed for mine. Thanks to yo both.

  4. Challenge Acrostics

    C hallenges are an inspiration and a
    H elp to keep things going. Some panic
    A t the thought of a challenge. They may fear
    L etting someone down, like the initial domino
    L eaning over causing negative effects.
    E ffects that will make it difficult to start
    N ew projects. Challenges are great. I
    G et excited about a challenge. They can be fantastic,
    E nergizing creatives to reach up toward the stars.

    I challenge Earl to write a double acrostic (where both beginning and ending letters spell words).

  5. Service

    Through years of anger,
    guilt, regret, he’d yearned
    for peace, forgiveness,
    seemingly forever mired,
    in memories forever burned.
    Those who did not know him
    thanked him for his service,
    with no idea how it felt to hear,
    living with the pain still near,
    how separate from his now,
    from his life’s new purpose,
    his desire to grow, to know.
    He’d tried to forgive himself
    a thousand times, at least,
    would do so again,
    on each new day,
    through joy or remorse,
    come what may,
    but held by the memory,
    a determined beast,
    those well-intended thanks
    reminders of a distant East,
    hoping time enough remained
    for blessed service and more,
    to banish pain and guilt,
    master new lessons before
    life’s final peace
    brings an end to his war.

    My challenge to erinnkay is to write about “thanks”

  6. Thanks for the challenge Pat Anthony

    Use Your Dangerous Voice

    “Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.” —Robert Frost

    Some poems are a stalking tiger
    burning, burning bright
    waiting, watching, ready to pounce
    with a clincher that takes your breath

    Some poems are a blue hydrangea
    dainty, bursts of acidic observations
    with cyanide in small amounts
    arranged prettily in a Bell Jar

    Some poems are a Molotov cocktail
    that poets toss to ignite the crowds
    to blast injustice and political wrongs
    Justice be not a blind goddess

    Langston Hughes, William Blake, Sylvia Plath

  7. Okay, Bill, here’s a quick Buffalo poem!

    WHAT DO I KNOW OF BUFFALO?

    Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, Bills
    Rich’s toppings, General Mills

    Fifteen sister cities? Wow!
    McKinley shot there?? Holy cow!

    The partner that I’ve never met.
    (Dare I to end this with a “yet?”) 😉

    © Marie Elena Good, 2021

    I challenge CANDACE to write a restful poem (with a “challenge” twist!).

  8. Facing the Sun

    sunlight’s first call
    a whisper to stand
    twelve hours or more
    to watch and stop traffic
    at one end
    of the construction zone
    a co-worker
    to do the same
    motorists
    passing conversations
    passing faces
    and winds
    contours of the land
    tell truths in bits
    truths to bear
    passage of time
    eyes strain
    a familiar refrain
    to capture and hold
    brilliance of the sun
    a familiar refrain
    feet hurt
    I wait and I wait
    for the end of the work day
    to open lanes
    when traffic runs free
    passages
    as the world turns
    its back to the sun
    when darkness stirs
    dreams

    Mike Bayles

  9. Maybe

    He cleaned up the old garden bench
    making sure all the nuts and bolts were tight
    Wiped all the winter dust from it’s seat and back
    Put a coat of weather-proofing over it’s
    weather-beaten white paint, then
    put it outside where I can watch the birds
    and butterflies and feel the warm sun,
    sit with my camera, ready to capture
    the hidden glories of nature, get lost in
    a book, or write some poems.
    He then set forth a gentle challenge –
    “Maybe you will spend more time outside
    this year.”


    I challenge William to write an Ocean poem

  10. Maybe Peace

    He cleaned up the weather-beaten
    garden bench
    Tightened up the nuts and bolts, then placed it in the
    warm sun
    And I went out, camera ready, to capture Nature, a
    challenge
    I have set for myself, a way for
    me to
    hold on to the wonders that surround me, remember how to
    find peace

    #waltmarie


    Marie – I’ve completed your challenge in a waltmarie form, too 😉

  11. Tight Lipped
     
    “Uhmggmmmm…”
    I hesitate to say
    “I will.” I stall,
    unpromising, my sighs,
    no “maybe” leaves my lips.
     
    I always wait, delay
    until I fall
    awake. A compromise,
    a ‘hmmph’ surrendered, slips.
     
    Wordless, the lights of day
    on window’s sill do call,
    I hesitate to rise,
    my ‘sleep-in’ resolution dips.
     
    I hesitate. I stay,
    grow still. A drawl
    escapes tight lips, my eyes
    give up. Intention flips.
    “Zzzzzzzz…..”
     
    © Damon Dean, 2021

  12. Conflicting Thanks

    Finding space to say thank you
    For the cerebral growth that came after
    The blight and unrest of childhood
    Is perhaps the hardest thing
    I will ever do in this life.
    I suppose I should say thanks for
    The dark and winding pathways,
    The way you broke me down and
    Dragged me through the mud of your
    Humiliation, a rebirth of sorts-
    I feel I left behind an exoskeleton
    That was becoming too small,
    Too narrow minded, crimped and
    Pinching all of my vital organs-
    There is room to breathe now,
    Room to expand my lungs and
    Ferociously scream if I want to.
    And I suppose I should say thanks
    For the conditional affection that
    Pushed me out of the nest on
    Barely developed wings, blew my
    Tired soul directly to her doorstep-
    Unfortunately for you, fortunately for me,
    The process of rebirth brought peace
    Along with pain, a freedom from
    The abuse of your frightening love, so
    Thank you-
    I am happy.

    – Erin Kay

    I challenge Pat to write an “out the window” poem.

  13. Thanks for the challenge, Debi. Here’s your maidenhair fern poem.

    Not Everyone’s a Gardener.

    When she dropped her dying fern,
    that maidenhair five-finger in the bin,
    I took it in my hand, and walked –
    down the footpath, then
    over the wooden bridge, beyond
    Mrs Kane’s camellias setting buds and
    the white crocuses withering in silence, 
    and the patches of wild garlic pushing
    through a beetle infantry in the rotting
    leaf mould, then down the hill where
    the wind scrapes its fingernails, making
    beech trees sing, and I stopped where
    the soil filters and seeps into the source
    of the River Mole, where my trowel
    hollowed the warming earth, and I
    planted her maidenhair fern deep into
    the soft heart of its own shade.

    🌿

    And I’d like to challenge Barbara Yates Young to write a poem about a Mad March Hare.

  14. Facing the toughest challenge
    of her young life wrought
    a profound change in this
    teen. A spoiled, beautiful,
    and popular girl–part of
    a circle of vacuous, vicious
    friends who lived on looks
    and gossip-gave up her past.

    She struggled to move
    forward after the tumor
    on her leg spread. Bouts
    of chemo did not prove
    enough. It became necessary
    to amputate. She fought,
    sought any way out
    of ever trying to walk again.
    But she did. Working with
    a dedicated physical therapist,
    she made it. Through new
    friends and support, she
    overcame her challenge,
    and headed for a meaningful
    life for herself and others.

    (I challenge Marie to write a poem about a clock.)

  15. Horizon (Walt’s challenge to me)

    A cowboy with a vast horizon
    was content to study the sky.
    A city girl, she had eyes on
    a cowboy with a vast horizon.
    Could she learn to cook with cast iron,
    she wondered with a wistful sigh.
    A cowboy with a vast horizon
    was content to study the sky.

  16. Thanks, Misk. I didn’t intend this thing to get out of hand, but it did, and I haven’t even looked at it to fix it, but here goes:

    The March Hare’s Tale

    Once the Earth was a sapphire,
    round, perfectly round as an egg.
    It used to hang from a three-plait
    of nothing around the neck of God.

    Now, one day God decided:
    I think I’ll go for a swim.
    And that thought brought into existence
    sun, sand, sand dunes, wild oats,
    wind, surf, crabs, sea gulls, shells;
    a red umbrella, a white beach towel,
    and the smell of Coppertone (just
    the smell, mind. Why would God
    worry about sunburn, Silly?)
    An afterthought brought bologna
    sandwiches with Velveta slices,
    potato chips, pickles, a big slab
    of chocolate cake with two scoops,
    a family-sized thermos of sweet tea,
    and a hamper to carry it all.

    God put everything in the back
    of his ‘57 Studebaker wagon,
    tossed in a sea serpent and
    a box of cigars, drove two blocks,
    and unpacked under a palm
    with three coconuts and a monkey.

    God hummed music into existence
    while he planted his umbrella
    at just the right angle, unrolled
    the white, white beach towel
    onto the gold beach (half perfect
    cubes of sand, half bendy little
    dandruff flakes of mellow gold),
    set his hamper in the shade and
    beside it a drugstore paperback
    mystery, his glasses, his flip-flops,
    and finally the round sapphire Earth.
    Then he called his sea serpent:
    Calvin!
    and they raced into the surf.

    And there the Earth lay, the first
    blue thing in existence. (Sky,
    as you know, only appears to be
    blue.) Under a red umbrella,
    on a perfectly white towel,
    on a gold, gold beach, right
    at the point where the gold
    begins to dry and turn silver,
    just before it grows so fine and light
    it blows up off the dunes
    in a spiral of gnats that grow
    into humming birds, egrets,
    ospreys, lightning bolts, and clouds.

    Earth was such a pretty bauble
    Coyote, cruising past on his three-
    wheel Schwinn sprayed sand
    halfway to where the first rainbow
    was going to be, he stopped so hard.
    And what Coyote saw, he had to have.
    He slipped around behind the red umbrella,
    licked the sapphire Earth up
    with his long red tongue, raced
    back to the Schwinn and pedal-coasted
    off fast as grilled cheese turns to charcoal.

    Of course, long before that thieving
    trouble maker had gotten off the sand
    God’s glasses had reported what they saw,
    and God, floating, belly in the air looking
    much like an early version of Australia,
    smoke rising from his cigar like steam
    and cinder from a hundred mile high volcano
    said:
    Let be.
    Everything turns out all right in the end.
    There will be some amazing times,
    without any time to be amazing.
    There will be trying times, without
    anyone to be tried. Things will be
    wacky, and solemn, and wordless.
    I’ll make, and wonder what I was thinking,
    and know, and tear my hair. Then
    I’ll make people, and the whole cycle
    will start again, with someone to watch
    and laugh and cry, and someone to tear
    their hair along with me. It will all
    go on for so long you would think
    the warranty had run out and there was nothing
    to be done. But it all works out.
    Watch and see if it doesn’t.

    Now it’s practically tomorrow and I have no idea who is still playing, so I challenge Walt to write a McKinley poem, or 1901.

  17. Asked and Answered
    (a through the window challenge from Erin)

    She’d thought about it a lot
    counted off things in her way
    the white desk the piles of paper

    the distance she had to cross
    refused to count the rest the others

    so she climbs up now and lifts
    the sash pushes out the screen
    lets it fold down against the gray

    siding already a leg over the sill
    her back slipping down until

    she toes the river rock hears
    its low crunch beneath her weight
    tiptoes across to gain the weedy grass

    wet and hot cold so she really
    doesn’t feel the burn ducking

    beneath the low ash tree until
    she gains a corner of the barn
    skirts blackberries’ clawing fingers

    glances back now at the yawning
    square so much left within darkness
    even though her own dawn breaks now

    steps through what her gentle granma
    called the resurrection lilies pondering

    their sturdy green message as
    she heads toward the west trail
    wondering how long it will be

    before anyone misses her shifts
    her thoughts to what she really means

    how long before they know she’s gone
    already knows the answer to the
    first question hiding behind her.

  18. MUD CITY

    Mud City,
    City of Glass,
    gleaming pretty,
    glowing with class.
    Across the Lake, Eerily,
    The rocket’s blue glare.
    Two with the works from Packo’s
    Max Klinger’s favorite fare.
    Hail to the Mud Hens,
    Toledo’s baseball club.
    “Home” to a never-met best friend,
    only a partner could lub!

    © Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

    ***

    Earl Parsons is challenged to write of his favorite Disney character

  19. THE BURDEN OF THE DAY

    Sometimes the day weighs heavily upon me;
    like that nagging monkey on my back,
    laughing hysterically—with an evil grin,
    challenging me to get out of bed again.

    It’s more like a full-grown male silverback gorilla,
    matured at an unrelenting 400 pounds,
    without a sound, but instigating misery,
    daring me to live my life, brokenly.

    Every day, the full brunt of his weight sits upon me,
    his heft, crushing the length of my spine;
    creaky knees, barely moving, yet mockingly,
    their urgent desire is to buckle, surrender to the girth.

    No matter what the extravagant Effie Trinket says,
    the ever-increasing odds are never in my favor,
    bearing the burden of a middle aged man,
    and the soul crushing dead-weight of persistent misery.

    We’re forever intertwined like an invasive, noxious weed,
    that drastically overtakes the mansion’s needs;
    like kudzu, the voracious, mile-a-minute-vine,
    that creeping, climbing perennial running amuck.

    Its hungry tendrils snaking into the clefts of the mind,
    indiscriminately slithering about, so craftily;
    silently aiming to maime, kill what it can find,
    winding around a broken heart—constricting its prey.

    We’re more than acquainted, that old monkey and I;
    enduring his massive frame is the burden of the day,
    his knuckles scraping the ground, as I swivel and sway,
    but sometimes, there’s hidden a strength for that old monkey and I.

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Misky to write a love poem about fruit.

  20. PAN-AMERICAN UNDOING

    The turn of the century brought about change.
    In a sprawling Buffalo, an exposition came.
    Many great pavilions brought to the fore,
    lit by electric light, sparkling and more.

    1901 was the time of such fare,
    just a single building is left standing there.
    Touting the countries in the Western Hemisphere,
    From Canada to Chile, you’ll find them all there.

    And states of the nation each had a location,
    (the best were the ones near the trolley car station)
    They each built their own display
    using the newest technology of the day.

    President William McKinley came forth
    later than planned, but he made it, of course.
    Pressing the flesh, hand shaking and greeting,
    proud of the expo, but pride would be fleeting.

    Met with an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz by name,
    Shot McKinley, sealing his fame.
    A promising offering, once shining and gleaming,
    now sullied and tarnished, lost innocence dreaming.

    © Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

    **

    I challenge Marie Elena to write a “DAYDREAM” poem.

  21. Okay, Sara, here’s my little clock piece, wink wink!

    WATCH OUT

    My face has hands and time, sans sands.
    In 60 minutes, I will strike
    but, like,
    don’t be alarmed at all this stuff:
    I’m alarmed enough
    for both of us.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2021

    I challenge BENJAMIN to write a “sweet” poem.

  22. Benjamin Thomas, this is for you.

    A Tongue-Twisting Love Poem To A Peach for Benjamin

    My peach’s  in pieces, and I’m
    sipping drippings down my arm.
    Yellow or white, my sublime delight.
    But my mother’s voice lingers,
    “Girl, stop licking your fingers!”
    Ah, but Mum I just love
    these peaches to pieces.

  23. SWEETEST OF THE SWEET
    (Response to Marie’s challenge)

    What is sweeter than the sweetest of the sweet?
    When bride and bridegroom meet.

    The bride, the wife of the lamb,
    and the redeeming God in Christ

    basking together in an eternal love;
    man and God, God and man,

    like a hand and glove,
    firmly fitted, and no longer separate.

    One hails from the heavens above,
    the other, the dust of the earth

    becoming one and the same,
    through a marvelous redemption,
    and a glorious re-birth.

    Their love burns brilliant,
    flowing to and fro, going
    to and fro

    as an unquenchable flame,
    ever bright like Crystal.

    There will be no more pain,
    death, agony, or tears

    for throughout the years,
    they abide in eternal joy.

    Benjamin Thomas

  24. Walt: The girls haven’t arrived yet, so I decided to write my little daydream poem. In 17 sylllables, 5-7-5, of course. 😉

    DAYDREAMS

    sporadic splinters
    of poem possibilities
    that refuse to fuse

    © Marie Elena Good, 2021

  25. ZELDA, if you are out here, I don’t want you to miss Earl’s challenge to you: “I challenge Zelda Rene to write a Haiku string on the 5 senses. And even a 6th sense if the urge arises.”

    Though there is absolutely zero pressure or obligation, I just didn’t want you to miss it. And if you are up for it, I would like to challenge you also to write a “something in common” poem!

  26. THE HEART OF POETS
    (Response to Marie’s Challenge – Sweet poem #2)

    Nothing is sweeter than
    than the heart of a poet
    atween the heart of a poet
    sharing the art of words
    so that all may see
    and all may know it.

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Damon Dean to write a poems about worms.

  27. THE CRIME OF BROWNIES
    (Response to Marie’s challenge – Sweet poem #3)

    So the story goes…
    Woe betide! Whether gorging
    on brown-oak walnut,
    fudge brownies steeped in sugar,
    and conscience be branded.

    Benjamin Thomas

  28. POETRY CHALLENGE

    Poetry,
    is the art of process,
    the process of art;
    an exchange of brain,
    intellectual steaks,
    and emotive trains.

    Poetry,
    is the martial arts,
    the tug of war,
    ‘tween reader and writer
    that never bores.

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Connie L. Peters to write a poem about sharks.

  29. I combined it with Poetic Asides prompt, “Let’s blank.”

    Let’s Not Get Eaten by a Shark

    The gentle ripples of the bay,
    Propel our kayaks on their way.
    I always say as we embark,
    Let’s not get eaten by a shark.

    The sun is high and so’s our mood.
    It’s not the time to sulk or brood.
    The views are great in this lush park.
    Let’s not get eaten by a shark.

    We forward stroke a long way out.
    We watch for fin or flat, smooth snout.
    Those teeth would surely leave a mark.
    Let’s not get eaten by a shark.

    The whales amaze, the seals amuse.
    Though this wild life I gladly choose,
    when we go in, it’s almost dark.
    Let’s not get eaten by a shark.

  30. I must confess, I hate the spork
    contrived by some satanic dork;
    I can’t slurp soup, I can’t stab pork,
    every bite is too much work.
    Its’ useful not as spoon nor fork!
    With cheeks a-bleed and tongue a-torque
    I hate it so, I hate the spork.

  31. POETRY CHALLENGE #2

    SAUTÉED POETRY

    I inhale deeply
    a clean intake of air,
    inviting inspiration everywhere.

    Allow it to fill my lungs
    afresh, to the max—
    unto total lung capacity.

    Let it circulate,
    gush, course through—
    and permeate the main arteries.

    Allow it flow
    freely, through organs and veins,
    until a remnant of words remain.

    Exhale deeply,
    a clean volume of air—
    sautéed poetry, fetch the silverware.

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Sarah, aka purplepeninportland to write a poem about boats.

  32. VERTICALLY UNCHALLENGED

    Let’s just say
    That I’m vertically unchallenged

    Not suffering in height
    By and means

    Just a man on stilts
    In skinny blue jeans

    Nor the brightest
    Bulb in the box

    Depending on
    How many bulbs

    There are
    In said box

    But that’s neither
    Here nor there

    Or anywhere
    For that matter

    Just sayin’
    That I’m vertically unchallenged

    A man on stilts
    In skinny blue jeans

    Not suffering in height
    By any means

    Benjamin Thomas

  33. THE APRIL PAD APPROACHES

    The April PAD poem-a-day
    Challenge quickly approaches
    All the would-be poets
    Align accordingly
    Tensed, taking their stance
    Pens wet, at the ready
    Get set—Go!

    April 1st
    Never a fool’s day
    All the hearts burst
    When the ink flows
    Pining to word-play
    In different directions
    Form or free verse
    Poets near and far
    And globally diverse

    Never a sprint
    A creative marathon
    Stakes and shakes
    Burgers and bonbons
    All shapes and sizes
    Styles and voices
    All manner of ways
    Plays and word choices

    It’s the April PAD
    Poem-a-day challenge

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Walt to write a wild-wild west poem.

  34. YOUR WORDS YOUR LIPS

    It’s a challenge
    not to kiss your words
    have them close to me
    speaking you to me

    It’s a challenge
    not to find your lips
    quietly kiss the tips
    speaking wordlessly

    It’s a challenge
    not to know your mind
    caress your thoughts
    kissing mentally

    It’s a challenge
    not to see your face
    let my fingers trace
    loving physically

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge Mike Bayles to write a poem about birds in springtime. 😁

  35. MY DARK FANTASY

    This
    the ultimate
    challenge

    It doesn’t
    matter which letters
    or words I use

    from A to Z

    You
    are my dark
    fantasy

    If I close my eyes
    in the absence
    of light

    You are there

    If hidden
    away from your
    embrace

    Pluck my eyes
    remove my sight

    You are there

    At a loss
    for words

    I must admit

    this heart’s
    bankruptcy

    But whatever
    I do

    I must
    simply commit
    to

    You
    my dark
    fantasy

    Benjamin Thomas

    I challenge William to write a poem about wild apple trees. 🍎 🌳

  36. SUNSETS AND SOUNDCHECKS

    A cowboy rode into the sunset,
    a rustler of wit and words.
    Those who had heard this rambler
    knew no better riverboat gambler
    than he. A free spirit who rode
    the airwaves in the days
    of a young man’s naivete.
    A poet in his own write,
    this old coyote ruled the night.
    Deep and dulcet, his tones
    kept you engaged. A leather fringed sage;
    and Stetson toting cowboy
    emoting, devoting his wisdom
    to the masses who would hear him.
    Steer him toward the endless horizon
    from where the Bison roamed.
    The cowboy has gone home
    into the sunset. You can bet he smiled
    all the while we lamented his name.
    Shane, come back Shane!
    But, he has gone to a better plain!

    © Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

    **

    My Wild, Wild West tribute to Shane Gibson who had left us recently.

    https://wojisme.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/shane-into-the-sunset/

  37. Wonderful tribute! Grinning big with this one. Even the title had me smiling. “A cowboy rode into the sunset,
a rustler of wit and words.” And “ A free spirit who rode
the airwaves in the days
of a young man’s naivete.
A poet in his own write,
this old coyote ruled the night.” Excellent lines and imagery. I love the concept of a cowboy-wrangler-free-spirit-poet. It also reminds me of my mother (passed December last year) who loved to watch old western movies and reminisce. Such as the likes of John Wayne, and a bunch of people I can’t remember. Good one! 👌

  38. LIVING IN THE WILD, WILD WEST

    Hollywood loves to lie
    or at least, glamorize the truth.
    “Cowboys” were a dirty lot,
    They worked hard but were dumb as rocks.
    Even the name was a shame.
    Cows were cattle; Boys were men,
    they were cattlemen in the end.
    They wore their clothes from the inside out
    and when they became rags, they were done.
    No time to bathe or brush their teeth,
    they assembled from around the world.
    They were more savage than the Natives
    they pestered for they were not killers,
    but mostly peace loving and friendly
    And cleaner than the settlers.
    The Wild, Wild West was rambunctious at best,
    And the rest, they say, is history!

    © Walter J Wojtanik – 2012

    A true Wild, Wild West poem.

  39. Here is my response to Benjamin’s challenge to write a poem about ‘boats’.

    I had red boat
    that I liked to float
    in the current of a stream.

    It was made of wood
    and I wished that I could
    race it as part of a team

    They said, it’s too small
    hardly can crawl
    so I floated it just for me.

  40. THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS
    (In response to Marie’s challenge)

    There’s a majestic mountain
    rising high in elevation, hailing from 29,000 feet.
    The beast of Mount Everest stands tall like a pillar,
    extending 5 miles upward, towards an open sky.

    Ambitious men stubbornly seek its glory,
    aiming to tame its height, attempting—
    to conquer the might of nature’s most
    marvelous wonders.

    They say, go big, or go home.
    But I say, don’t despise the day of small things.
    For our lives are composed of the small summary moments,
    emulous—of a life well lived.

    Some like to revel in the extraordinary things,
    the high attainments of the human life,
    and neglect taking pleasure in the small.

    Some would rather be the mighty Mount Everest,
    looking down haughtily, upon the copious trees of the field,
    transcending far above land and sea.

    Seeking a hyper-inflated sense of ego,
    to obtain a sense of well-being or importance,
    but for the sake of the smallness, I’d like to make a strong plea.

    I’d rather revel solely in the realm of insignificance;
    born of the earth, in the inconsequentiality of a small potato,
    accustomed to lowliness and meekness of dirt.

    Oh, to be a simplistic pebble on the beach!
    Just trampled under feet, having nothing and being nothing—
    resting in simplicity, lacking in noticeability.

    Perhaps, a sly earthworm crumpled under leaf;
    concealed delightfully within its shadow, unbefitting—
    and hidden, from the death rays of the sun.

    They say, go big, or go home.
    But I say, don’t despise the day of small things.
    For our lives are composed of the small summary moments,
    emulous—of a life well lived.

    Some like to revel in the extraordinary things,
    the high attainments of the human life,
    and neglect taking pleasure in the small.

    That tell-tale moment when children are born,
    expectant eyes meeting for the first time,
    when they nestle helplessly within a mother’s bosom.

    That moment when they learn to walk for the first time,
    bearing weight through their tiny extremities,
    learning balance and to respect gravity.

    That moment you experience electricity with a kiss,
    excitement on the first date, holding hands,
    and taking your first driver’s test.

    The last time you look your own mother in the eye,
    behold her even, shallow breaths—
    the bittersweetness of her last.

    That lingering look on your father’s face,
    when he was facing cancer, and it’s
    the last thing you remember—regret.

    Memories are held in the small summary moments,
    precious moments, accumulating over time.
    Never despise the day of small things.

    Benjamin Thomas

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