The Lone Sentinel (Guardian of the Past)
Bill Holland's (billybuc) Challenge
In his hub "A Writing Challenge: The Lone Sentinel" Bill said that his good buddy Mike (Mr Archer) wrote to him recently with an idea for a writing challenge as follows:
“Bill, ... I had a thought this weekend ... We were traveling the interstate between Joplin and Springfield and I spied a fireplace not far from the road. It is a sight I look for every trip and have seen it many times over the years. But his time I wondered: what is its story? Then I thought of you and your challenges and wondered if you could inspire others to create such a story............."
Bill then provided a suitable photo to act as a prompt. So there you have it.
I had to delete most of the background of the challenge as it flagged as duplicate.
"The Lone Sentinel (Guardian of the Past)" is the poem I have written in response to both Bill's and Mr Archer's challenge. However as a prelude to that I decided to include another piece of poetry I had already written but not yet published. I felt it was a little too short and basic for a hub of it's own, but it is along the same theme and I think works well as the first part of the story..."The Settler's Homestead."
The Settler's Homestead
The early settlers did it rough
Harsh conditions, times were tough.
Logs and flitches made a home,
The landscape rock and sandy loam.
Carting water from the stream,
To own some land the settler's dream.
Red dirt floor or termite mound,
Fence the boundary all around.
Herd the cattle, shear the sheep,
Work hard all day then get some sleep.
Up at dawn to milk the cows,
Plow the soil and feed the sows.
Build a dam to catch the rain
To water stock and grow the grain.
Six years' drought and then a flood,
A settler's life is sweat and blood.
Life is hard but brings reward,
If with nature you're in accord.
I guarantee you won't be bored
Especially when you trust the Lord.
The Lone Sentinel (Guardian of the Past)
The sentinel stands alone
Proud but silent
Once protected and revered
Now bared to the elements
Of Nature's wrath.
Time has taken its toll
The once majestic structure
Of which it was a part
Ashes to ashes,
Dust to dust.
A year of sweat and love
Once created a home
A place of birth and death
Of good times and bad
Feast and famine
Laughter and tears
All gone in an instant
A puff of smoke.
The fires that burned within
The reason for its existence
Just one stray spark
The cause of its demise.
A precious life was lost
Though memories linger.
Still the sentinel stands
Its rock column still proud
Though nature encroaches
Day by day
Year by year
To reclaim its own.
Memories are held here
Within each weathered stone
If perchance a passer by
May take the time to pause
Etched in a stone
Above the hearth
The simple words are clear:
"R.I.P. Sweet Emma Jane
Be with the Lord my dear."
A wreath was placed
By the fireplace door
Each year upon this day,
But now it seems that kindly soul
Has also passed on by.
The chimney spire alone stands strong
Like a guardian of the past
A reminder of times gone by
And all who've come and gone.
Lest we forget.
What type of hub challenges do you enjoy most?
Some Other Responses to Bill's Challenge
- The Lone Sentinel Challenge
“There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,' my mother explained shortly before she left me. 'If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” ― Isabel Allende, Eva Luna
- Heaven is not really that far away
On Sunday May 22, 2011, late in the afternoon a catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. An elderly grandfather returns to the site where he and his family once lived.
- Forever is in the Ashes - A Response to Bill Holland's Writing Challenge.
"How may you contain a lifetime of mirth in the girth of a garland…? My devotion to you abides by no constraints." Her words airily resounded, as her hazel eyes opened from the deep languor of his soul, to lovingly gaze a
- Missouri Homestead: my response to billybuc's writers' challenge, The Lone Sentinel
A young man and an elderly woman visit an old homestead in rural Missouri. She tells her story, and time takes on new meaning for both of them.
- A Mark Upon the Heart: A Eesponse to Billybuc's Challenge
Thank you Bill--check out BillyBuc's challenge and other's responses
© 2015 John Hansen