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The Silent Sentinel: An Answer to Bill Holland’s Challenge

Updated on October 17, 2016


I wrote this brief poem in answer to Bill Holland’s writing challenge ("The Lone Sentinel") and in honor of poetry month. Bill's challenge referenced the old, abandoned fireplace and hearth you see in the above photo. (My apologies, Bill, for being so late in participating in this wonderful writing exercise.)

Bill's (billybuc's) challenge can be read by following this link:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/A-Writing-Challenge-The-Lone-Sentinel


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Born of the earth

Now bound to soil, we rest,

Discarded remnants of the past.

Cheek to stone, you keep me.


Without fear of remembrance lost

The ember and ash scatter,

Creating footsteps on the wind.


We wait…

In this, my humble construct…

Where God’s tendrils inch closer, gently,

In reclamation of the soul.



Do we see the beauty and story within, and beyond, the remnant images we pass by each day?



Poetry written and copyrighted by Genna Eastman (Genna East) 2015. All rights reserved. The music in the above video was composed by Thomas Newman; video created by JuxTPosition of YouTube.


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    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 23 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Kim! It's such a pleasure to see you. I hope all is well. Your comments made by day...thank you. Yes, I think the poet's words are silent truths that cannot be expressed in any other way. Hugs, my friend.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 23 months ago from North Carolina

      My Dearest Genna,

      Yes. To answer your question. Some of us (and I think poets, especially) look to see what others may have ignored or forgotten. You are such an incredible writer, and I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to read your work, to share membership in the same community of writers.

      The music you selected for this poem, challenge was perfect--and so are you.

      Many Blessings Always,

      Kim

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 24 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you! I enjoyed your visit, and your poem. :-)

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 24 months ago from Bangalore

      Very beautiful,

      grows on like tendril,

      simple things are no more simple,

      you have given reasons to rejoice ample,

      with your poetic sample.

      :-)

      - Hari

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Dolores. That's an interesting story about the old fireplace. It is unfortunate the those who are careless create loss for others who are not. Good to see you. :-)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love the old remains of the past. The poem and picture are beautiful. We used to camp on an island up north. There was a huge old stone fireplace that we occasionally used. But the state hoped to deter fires and tore the whole thing down. It was a sad loss, but I feel the move will protect the island from idiots building big fires and burning the place down.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you. Yes, Bill Holland is Billybuc, and he does write his butt off. :-)

    • goego profile image

      goego 2 years ago from Loserland

      Dang that is awesome! Is bill Holland also billybuc? That guy writes his butt off!

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Nadine. :-)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      My compliments to this poem. Beautiful.

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Audrey...

      I've been so busy with work demands and finishing up two story projects, I've had to let poetry take a back seat for a bit. But I thank you for your encouragement, which means more than I can say as you are one of my favorite poets. Happy Sunday. :-)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Hi Genna, are you still writing poetry?? Would love to read yours again

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you for that beautiful comment. It made my day! :-) And they are headed your way as well.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Taking just the most carefully chosen words and turning them into a poem is a true talent ~~~clearly you have the talent, Genna.

      It is a gift to write so beautifully....

      " footsteps on the wind" and yes, in our minds and hearts as well.

      Voted up+++

      Angels are headed your way this evening ps

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Rajan...it's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks for that thoughtful comment.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Nadine. :-)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Lovely poem Genna. Well done!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Soul stirring and mesmerizing Genna.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you for that lovely comment, and vote. :-)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Brief but meaningful. I like the profundity of your thoughts and your sincere approach to poetry.

      Voting up and beautiful.

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Lawrence and Dim. My apologies or being late in responding but I've had computer problems, and am woefully behind. Have a wonderful week.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 2 years ago from Great Britain

      Absolutely beautiful. Wonderful phrasing. Like footsteps in the wind.....

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      A beautiful little poem

      Lawrence

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Nadine. I appreciate your visit, and encouragement.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Lovely I'm sure Billy was pleased. Well done.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Cam8510 Thank you. There is often a duality of meaning when I write poetry that resides just beneath the surface. Thank you for those kind words.

      @PegCole I love your metaphors...they are the poem, come to life. Thank you!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Even the structure of the poem is beautifully designed, with words that fire the imagination. I love to take photos of stone chimneys that remain long after the house is gone. Your photo and poem are stunning.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Genna East, I sense a depth of meaning here that is quite impressive. Beautifully written and presented. Up and shared.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      What a lovely comment, Robin. thank you.

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 2 years ago from New York

      Just beautiful. The imagery is imprinted in my mind.

      Robin

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Nell: Thank you. When I write poetry, I often hear music, so to speak, and this selection seemed to fit what I was trying to say.

      @Audrey: As always, I value your visit, and kind and encouraging comments. Your generous words are humbling.

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @The Examiner: Thank you. I used “God’s tendrils” as a metaphor for a couple of aspects in the poem…one is what we can see in the above photo…His gift of nature, as it inches closer in reclamation of this construct that was born of the earth.

      @Suhail and my dog: Thank you for your beautiful comment. I know you love nature -- as well as understand it -- and are a champion of the protection of the environment. We have also learned through your writing and community support in HP that you have a giving sense and understanding of human nature. If anyone can be comfortable with moving on and the transition in passing, it’s you. :-)

      @Word55: I appreciate your visit and kind comment.

      @AudreyHowitt: You are one of my very favorite poets, so I am deeply grateful for and humbled by your encouraging comments. Thank you, my talented friend. :-)

      @Jhamann and Gypsy Rose Lee: Thank you…it is good to see you both.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Sending this gorgeous piece around again!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hi genna, what an amazing poem! and the music was perfect too, nell

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Lovely poem. Nicely penned.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Perfect mix of language and rhythm. Thank you for this poem. Jamie

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Beautiful, beautiful write Genna--I wish you would post more poetry here

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Genna, this was poetry well done in response to billybuc's writing challenge.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Genna,

      Thank you so very much for a detailed acknowledgement of my comments. The truth is ever since I have started spending time with nature, I have discovered that whenever my time comes to move on to whatever is the next life, I will be very comfortable with the transition.

      And, btw, that video was awesome!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Interesting and beautiful Genna. It is so true of life from birth to death. The part about "God's tendrils" was original; I never thought of Him that way before. I voted up, shared and pinned it.

      Kevin

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Martie. Good to see you, and thank you for that perceptive and generous comment. I appreciate your visit!

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Suhail and my dog: I was deeply touched by your words. I only hope this poem didn’t cause an ominous cut through the heart . I’m humbled by your reference to “We Are Seven.” Part of my purpose in writing this poem was because the passersby may see ugliness and incongruity with this structure where I saw beauty in that it was born of the earth where it now rests; and the person or persons who built it…the story behind and within. If we live fulfilling and giving lives, there is no fear in our passing, as there is “no fear of remembrance lost.” I love nature and it often plays a role in my poetry, as well as spirituality. Thank you for your visit, and for that moving and thoughtful comment.

      @Billrrr: it’s funny you mention the “words” as they can sometimes crowd my mind when I write poetry, jostling for position and attention like unruly puppies. Music often helps to clear the fog. Thanks so much for that very nice comment.

      @drbj: Thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me, as I’m still a fledgling poet trying to find her way. :-)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Beautiful and touching poem, forcing the reader to ponder...

      "In this, my humble construct…"

      Indeed, how humble we are!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Genna - You certainly rose to Bill's challenge. Your poetry is meaningful and the video was a perfect choice. Thank you for this extraordinary treat.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 2 years ago from Cape Cod

      Sturdy and graphic are the images you conjure from a mere 26 letters Genna - or perhaps you have more? You must have extras, to be able to create works such as this. It seems odd to me that so few people can create great prose. We all have access to a sure-fire tool for writing, because every word we can possibly need is in the dictionary. All we have to do is pull them out and arrange them properly. It's that easy and it's that hard.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Awesome and Useful! Useful in the sense that the verses served us, or at least me, a reminder of who we are and where we are going to end.

      I have not read a poem, except William Wordsworth's 'We are Seven', that has cut through my heart like this one just did.

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Craftdrawer: I appreciate your visit, and comment. Thank you.

      @FrankAtanacio : Frank, you are very perceptive. One of the reasons I chose this music was to illustrate the pause in the movement of the words, and what “exists” within. Thanks for the thoughtful comment and votes.

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @VocalCoach: Hello Audrey. I am still such a novice with poetry. I often write poetry with music in my head, so to speak. There is a silent song that imparts a rhythm, a sense of what is behind the words. I appreciate your visit and kind thoughts. Thank you. :-)

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Marcojour: Dear Maria…thank you. Bill’s challenge was the inspiration. I wanted show the “story” behind what we see as something that is incongruous with its surroundings. Yet I see beauty in this structure that was also born of the earth. I only wish I could have put more thought in creating the link to Bill’s hub. My link function doesn't seem to work some reason, and I’m a little embarrassed at having to create the http version. Hugs.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      poetically charming Genna East.. wow.. so much movement in words with pause.. voted awesome..:)

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 2 years ago

      Beautiful poem. I enjoyed reading it!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      This is the most beautiful worded poem Genna! You have a great gift. I'm inspired by such phrases as "where Gods tendrils inch closer." You reach the very depths of one's being. Thank you!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "Creating footsteps on the wind"...

      What a profound word set with the video you selected, dear Genna. You put such thought into your work and it's always worth the wait.

      Voted UP and sharing. Have a peaceful evening. Love, Maria

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @FlourishAnyway: Hi there. I appreciate the visit and thoughtful comments. I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Annart: Thank you, Ann. I had hoped that the music would help to convey the mood. Good to see you.

      @Breakfastpop: Thank you! :-)

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Tillsontitan: Hi Mary. You do me honor with your generous words. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement of my writing. I am a work in progress, it seems, and sometimes that progress is challenged by life. But I’m still trying.

      @Billybuc: Many thanks to you, and Mr. Archer, for providing us with these wonderful opportunities and encouragement to express ourselves in so many different and rewarding ways. Hugs my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      "bound to soil" ... I love the imagery and the words you use to convey returning to the earth.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Mckbirdbks: HI Mike. It’s always such a delight to have you visit and see your comments. You have a true gift as well. You made my day. Thank you, my friend. :-)

      @FaithReaper: Hello Theresa. You are so sweet so say such lovely things. You always make one feel very special. Thank you for your encouragement and support. Hugs.

      @Diogenes: Hi Bob. It’s good to see you. “Pile of stone pushing upward.” I like that! :-) I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

      @Jodah: Thank you, John. You are one of my favorite poets on the hub, so your words are especially appreciated.

      @Bravewarrior: Thank you for that very generous comment. I don’t enter contests…I leave that to the more courageous poets. (Fear of rejection runs strong in my DNA. :-) ) Hugs.

      @AlwaysExploring: Hi Ruby. I could hug you as I thought the very same thing about the plastic. The wind is made visible – more fully defined -- by the bag…yet does not seem to know what to do with this “thing” that is not born from the earth. There is also the sense of being trapped by circumstances. I love the music that seemed to fit well with the poem. Thanks so much for the visit and thoughtful comment.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I love this.....

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Beautiful; the mood is perfect. Great response to Bill's challenge.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No apologies necessary. You are never late to my party, Genna. Beautiful work my friend. Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge. You are right on time.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I have to echo the comments before me dear Genna. You are amazing. No matter what you tackle to write it comes out on top!

      This is a beautiful poem so moving and so true. I'm glad you took the challenge to show us all the way.

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Genna, this is very beautiful. The video is a reminder that plastic never disintegrates and it kills life in the sea. Voted up and shared ..

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Genna, your poem is absolutely amazing. One of the best I've read! You should enter it in a contest.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a beautiful poem Genna, and great response to Bill and Mr Archer' challenge. Voted up.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

      "Pile of stone pushing skyward

      Embellished? By myword"

      Well done Genna lovely words and inner rhyhme.

      I missed the challenge...

      Bob

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Genna, you are special talent here on HubPages, for no matter the genre, you write well period! I truly love reading your short stories, poetry and all else.

      This is a wonderful response to Bill's challenge. It is worth the wait.

      Perfect music choice.

      Blessings and peace always

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Genna you have a true gift. Thank you for sharing that gift with us here on hubpages. As always the music is just right to add to the contribution.