Shadows of Grey - One of the Pack

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A Poetry Challenge

Fellow hubber Genna East has issued a poetry challenge based on two wonderful videos that offer different takes on the popular man vs wolf scenario.

Genna provided the following guidelines:

"Write a poem about elements within both videos that capture your imagination. You may use any style of poetry -- Haiku, rhyme, free verse or prose -- whatever you wish. This is a blank canvass with which you can create words and imagery from wherever this visual journey takes you. The only caveat is that the poem cannot exceed eighty words in length."

Here is one of the videos. Read Genna's hub to watch the other video "The Grey" as well.

T shirt print: Wolves howling at the moon
T shirt print: Wolves howling at the moon | Source

Shadows of Grey (One of the Pack)

by John Hansen © 2015


Howling cries in the night

Cut through wilderness of white.

One man lost and alone,

Thinking of his wife at home.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Icy air invades each breath,

Nature's law is life or death.

Fleeting shadows come and go

As he battles through the snow.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

A scene from The Grey
A scene from The Grey | Source
Source

Aware of many wolfish eyes,

Stalking stealthily their prize.

Waiting for his strength to wane,

Soon they'll ease their hunger pain.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Often man's a blinded fool,

Nature isn't always cruel.

Many shades of grey in fact,

You're really just one of the pack.

A wolf pack
A wolf pack | Source

Note to Genna

Genna, thank you for setting this interesting challenge. I loved your own poem which you used as an example, and feel it will be difficult for anyone to better. I really enjoyed the videos and writing my interpretation through this poem.

My only complaint is that you set a maximum word limit of 80 and try as I might I was unable to reduce my poem to less than 86. It originally came in at 92 words and I managed to trim six off that in the end. That being said, I was quite pleased with the final poem and I hope you feel it is a worthy response.

© 2015 John Hansen

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Comments 72 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John. You certainly have stepped up to the plate with this challenge. (Do you have baseball cliques in Australia? Probably not.)

Both your works here embrace the shrouding cold of the videos.

Just between you and me, once I published my comment to Genna, I thought the most difficult part of the challenge was to have the work compared to the inimitable talent of Genna.

Those were two cool videos.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Mike, thank you for being the first to read and comment. Yes, we do have baseball cliques here...the game just isn't quite as popular yet as in USA. I agree it was hard to write anything to compare to Genna's own poem..it was excellent. I do appreciate you kind words though, and your own response to the challenge was great too.


annart profile image

annart 12 months ago from SW England

Cool response, John. He did sort of become one of the pack, didn't he? I love your poem, it covers everything and gives us the atmosphere of man versus beast and man versus nature.

I'm getting my response ready as a hub too. Hope to get it out tonight.

Ann


swalia profile image

swalia 12 months ago

beautiful lines!


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 12 months ago from Lincolnshire, England

A handsome reply and a pertinent response to Genna's challenge here John covering the whole journey of this particular vid with great pics as well.

It seems that shaving the write to sneak it under the wire of eighty words has proved a challenge within itself for some yet all of the poems read so far are great.

All the best to you and your family; have an exciting weekend.

R.Q.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 12 months ago from California

Great response to the challenge John!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 12 months ago from london

Well, I have not seen the other video, but your poem is excellent and stands well on its own. However, I also appreciate Genna's inspiration. Love, Bro.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

John...

I loved how you used the metaphor of the wolves from The Gray. That last fight...into the fray, and how nature figures so prominently in this. We can almost tell in the video that the wolf he faces isn't real and represents his fight with nature, his mortality, with himself. Bravo, John! Beautiful job. Thank you.

I"m sorry about the word length, but I had to come up with at least 0ne rule to make it a bit more challenging. And you aced this challenge. :-)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

This is one challenge I won't even consider doing. Why would I embarrass myself in poetry when there are so many, like you, who advance poetry rather than set it back light years like I would? Wonderful work, John!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ann, this was a very enjoyable challenge for me. I had been looking for inspiration to write a new poem and my muse was failing me .. until I read Genna's hub and saw it was a poetry challenge. Thanks for the kind comment and I look forward to reading your response.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading Swalia. Your comment is much appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you R.Q. Yes, squeezing it into 80 words was the greatest challenge for me. I already sliced a few words off my original draft and then wasn't entirely happy with it so changed things up a bit but still couldn't come under the 80 limit..oh well, I went close. Hope you and yours have a great weekend also.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Audrey, thank you for reading and for the kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Greetings Manatita. Thanks for reading and commenting. Genna's inspiration resulted in a wonderful subject for this challenge. I hope you consider a response. You'll have to check her hub to watch "The Grey" video.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Genna, I applaud you for this challenge. I really needed the inspiration to write another poetry hub and this provided that. So glad you like my response. There have been some great ones so far, and hope to read many more because it's a excellent subject to write about. I don't blame you for setting an 80 word limit. I mistakenly thought it would be easy to keep under.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Bill, I enjoyed this one.


Prof Liway profile image

Prof Liway 12 months ago from Bulacan, Philippines

Once again you gave us vivid pictures of your creative expressions. Thank you Sir John...


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

This is brilliant, John! I knew you would jump on this particular challenge. I watched both videos on Genna's hub and your poem truly lends itself to the "Shadows of Grey" theme perfectly and then some. I love your "One of the Pack" as he truly was in the end!

Sharing everywhere

Blessings


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Faith, I always appreciate you reading my hubs and look forward to your comments. This was certainly my kind of challenge and it came around just wen I needed the inspiration. Thank you for sharing


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Prof Liway, thank you for reading another of my hubs. Your support is much appreciated.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago

Oh John this is beautiful, so sad and lonely. I am sure you made Genna proud.

Sharing


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

Jodah.. Poet is you and you are Poet.. so I knew you'd bang this one out just perfect...:)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Shyron, I can handle "beautiful, sad and lonely". Thanks for your kind comment and for sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Frank, the title "poet" sits well with me. Thank you for that. This was a challenge right up my alley :)


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 12 months ago

a poet indeed Jo


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Sujaya.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 12 months ago from sunny Florida

'just one of the pack...' yes we are.

A metaphor for life? Our journey is circuitous and fraught with danger...but often we find our way....

I am always in awe of poetry that expresses so well an idea or feeling.. creating poems is not a talent of mine.

You, on the other hand, are splendiferous at it...(I imagine an editbot will change this word!!!)

Angels are on the way to you even before sunrise....ps

shared pinned g+ tweeted


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

ps, what can I say after such a wonderful comment. I guess poetry just comes naturally to me. I just need a theme and start to write without any real planning and somehow I manage to convey a message and it just seems to fall into place. I envy other writers such as novelists who can keep a readers interest over 100s of pages. Something I could never do. thanks for the angels, and I hope editbot leaves "splendiferous" well alone.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 12 months ago from North Carolina

Between your response and Genna's, it makes it tough to feel like one can take on this challenge. Still, I want to try...Great Job my friend.

Kim


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Kim, thanks for ranking my response on a level with Genna's great poem. It isn't really a competition though just a way of inspiring us..so go ahead and write yours and I know it will be fantastic and probably lift the bar even higher.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I just sit here in awe. Thank you


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 12 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

Enjoyed what I've seen so far. It inspired me or sure.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Eric, so do I :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Diana, I find these challenges great inspiration if you are ever suffering a case of writer's block or your muse has gone on vacation ;)


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Wonderful response with beautiful poetry.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much Venkatachari.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 12 months ago from Oklahoma

Beautifully done.


drbj profile image

drbj 12 months ago from south Florida

That was more than a merely worthy response, Jodah. It was pefect!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 12 months ago from Central Florida

John, as always, you produced an excellent response to Genna's challenge.

I love reading various authors' interpretations and inspiration to prompts, challenges, etc.

You always step up to the plate and never disappoint!


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 12 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Jodah, what can I say. As always you rise up to any challenge. Good work my friend.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 12 months ago from The Caribbean

No surprise, Jodah , that you were able to create a handsome response to the challenge. Even in a short poem, you manage a great conclusion.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Larry, much appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow! drbj...I can handle "perfect" as a comment any day. Thanks.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Shauna for your support. I think I read that you have published a response to this challenge. I need to go check it out. Blessings.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Dana, thanks for that kind comment. I try :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you MsDora. I am glad you enjoyed this poem. I feel the conclusion is the most important part of a poem and if I can nail that, I am happy.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 12 months ago from Southern Illinois

This is beautiful John. You captured the scene perfectly. Bravo..


Genna East profile image

Genna East 12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

John...

I want to thank everyone for participating and for encouraging others. When reading the poetry written in response to this challenge, we find inspiration, and see something new with each, individual perspective and dimension that is so beautifully expressed! I am proud to be a member of this uniquely talented community.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Ruby, I always appreciate your comments. Cheers.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Genna, I totally agree. These challenges on HP really seem to bring the community of creative writers together and result in such diverse and inspirational writing. It's my favourite part of Hub Pages.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 12 months ago

Excellent work! I could see myself facing those wolves in the brutal cold. We are sometimes similar to wolves in nature.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Diana, I think humans have an awful lot in common with wolves, although wolves usually work together for the benefit of the pack. People often fight and argue within a society and cause its downfall.


Marion Drury profile image

Marion Drury 12 months ago from Sydney, Australia

Great poem once again John. I love the vivid images you conveyed with your words.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for the kind words Marion, glad you enjoyed this.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 12 months ago from Canada

Hi Jodah, I like what you've done with Genna's awesome challenge. Your poem reflects and resonates the theme in both films, and your last line hits home on so many different levels. Excellent photos you found to support the piece. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Snakeslane. I did try to incorporate aspects of both films though my poem probably leaned a little more heavily towards the "shadows" one. Thanks for the compliments on the last line which I feel needs to be good to leave an impression on the reader.Glad you like the photos too. Cheers.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 12 months ago from The Beautiful South

Wow this is a winner and the whole composition you put together shows talent! I loved it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Jackie, always good to see a comment from you. Glad you loved this, thank you so heaps.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 12 months ago from Dubai

Beautifully penned. Could see and feel every word, great write and a great challenge.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Vellur, I appreciate your generous comment. It was a great challenge by Genna.


B Brian Hill profile image

B Brian Hill 12 months ago from Long Island, New York

Very vivid language! All we are is dust in the wind, or as you so eloquently stated, "one of the pack." a meaningful thought too often overlooked. I enjoyed your language and emotion in this poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Brian, thanks for reading this, your kind comment, and follow. Yes, man often thinks he is superior and that he is just really part of the animal world, especially if trapped in the wild where life and death are just part of surviving. Sometimes it's good just to be "one of the pack".


lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 12 months ago from Washington KS

I'm not up for a poetry challenge but loved your poem and enjoyed the thoughts behind Genna's challenge. The photos really added great emphasis to your word pictures. Well done!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi lollyj, poetry challenges aren't for everyone but I love them. Glad you enjoyed this poem though and that my choice of photos added to it.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I believe you did an outstanding job with this poem. The finale was perfect, which really sets you apart from so many other poets.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Aw Deb, thank you for such a generous comment. Much appreciated.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 12 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

John

I loved the poem

Lawrence


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Lawrence. Much appreciated.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 11 months ago from USA

A beautiful, vivid poem, and that lead image is gorgeous.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Flourish, yes I couldn't resist that image when I saw it.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 11 months ago from New York

I am in awe of your talent. This is a magnificent poem with so much leading to thought and interpretation. It is beautiful and a more than worthy answer to Genna's Challenge.

While I am usually up for a challenge, poetry is not my thing, and after reading this beautiful poem I know I would be way out of my league!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You are too kind Mary. Comments like this humble me. I am glad you found this poem to be worthy of praise. Have a great week.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)686 Followers
    267 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.



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