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The Lone Sentinel (Guardian of the Past)

Updated on December 2, 2020
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John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.

The Lone Sentinel
The Lone Sentinel | Source

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'sl homestead
The settler'sl homestead | Source

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
The Lone Sentinel | Source
The original homestead in its heyday.
The original homestead in its heyday. | Source

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

Long gone

Ashes to ashes,

Dust to dust.

Dreams shattered. Ashes to ashes.
Dreams shattered. Ashes to ashes. | Source
All that remains.
All that remains. | Source

A year of sweat and love

Once created a home

A haven

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

Grieving passes

Though memories linger.

Nature encroaches
Nature encroaches | Source

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 basic wreath
A basic wreath | Source

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?

See results

© 2015 John Hansen


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