Friday, April 13, 2012

National Poetry Month and This Year Also 100th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking

Here's my cryptic story mixing my Christian faith with the historical events of the Titanic disaster. A magazine had a picture of Captain E.J. Smith handing a life jacket to a small girl. The girl was looking up at him with trusting eyes and an expression of pain. I wrote my story from looking at the painting.

Titanic Sinks April 14, 2012: Kills a Whole Generation

     The wrinkled face of the ship’s Captain stared painfully into the wide eyes of the curly headed child, her nose red from the frigid air. “If only we had turned away from the ice berg faster, if only we had hit the tower of hard coldness head on, if only we had seen its desolate form a few minutes sooner, if only we had the binoculars in the crows nest….” the elderly man’s mind was drowning in “if only’s” and no solutions were surfacing. The words were not even audible. How do you explain the reasons for such dire circumstances to a baby girl?
     With all the reverence and authority the Captain’s uniform represented, the only hope he could offer the precious young soul by his side was a chunky, ragged life preserver: survival, really, not hope nor opportunity, but raw survival. Robed in a life vest, the ethereal form of the child was lifted into a tipsy lifeboat. “Lower away!” cried the Captain…
     …Surrounded by the screams of hundreds more souls unsaved by this peril writhing in the frozen waves that swallowed their floating palace, the lifeboat’s inhabitants lulled themselves into numbness. No more muffled cries or sobbing reached the stars, bright spots in the darkness, as the tangible gasps of fear from those in the water were silenced by death’s chilly fingers. Captain E.J. Smith’s eyes adjusted to the inky blackness of sea and sky and noted the flimsy speck of a boat where he placed the child before he succumbed to the pull of the ocean to resurface no more. The rosy cheeked cherub of a girl that he placed in a lifeboat was now white with pain and coldness…
     …As her stiff legs moved slowly across the deck of the rescue ship only one word was in her mind: why? If the grownups were supposed to know more, supposed to protect the young and helpless, why? If she was supposed to go on, become a grown up, and let her children know about hope, why?
     The good of one generation can build a grand structure for humanity to live in and as it floats along the ocean of life, pride and greed and other wrong doings will rear their ugly heads. If the crew on board is prepared and loving, lives will be spared the harshness of reality. Many times the authority around us is preoccupied and full of pride because of position. Bad decisions are made and the innocent die for the guilty. Such was the tide of times when Jesus Christ came on board and offered Himself for all guilty mankind that we might obtain Heaven.
     Life can be so cruel because of sin, and not just your own personal sin but the sin of all mankind. When men make bad decisions, the innocent are often the object of their bad mistakes. Getting caught in someone else’s sin destroys hope and love and faith. Just because an innocent is caught in another’s wrong doing does not give excuse for them to continue the trend of hurting those in their path. This will only cause the cycle again: the innocent become the guilty and the guilty hurt the innocent. Live right and do right and love and hope and faith will be passed on to the next boat load of humanity.

And here's my soon to be published poem in honor of national poetry:
Open the cedar chest
Memories inside
The book my grandma read to me
The rock I found by the seaside
Pictures of my childhood house,
That tire swing beneath the tree
The bonnets and pinafores I used to wear
A drawing done by me
Elementary and high school awards and pins
Letters and poems written by friends
I just want to lock my whole being
In the cedar chest
And never want my memories to end… 

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