John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.
Bill Holland's Challenge
In Bill Holland's (billybuc's) final Mailbag: Installment #400 he issued all his colleagues one final challenge.
"I’m going to semi-leave all of you with one more challenge. I want each of you, if you have the time, of course, to write one more poem, or one more short story, and post it here on HP using the words “Bill’s Challenge” along with the actual title of your poem/short story.
I have only one requirement for this challenge: I want it to be your best work you are capable of at the time of the writing. Take some time with it. Put some serious effort into it. I want to see how much you have grown as a writer in the time I have known you."
Well, this poem The Labyrinth may not be the best work I have ever done but that was not Bill's requirement. It is, however, the best work I was capable of at the time of the writing. Thank you for the challenge, Bill, I hope you and my other readers enjoy this piece.
The Labyrinth has many paths,
I’m lost within the maze.
I cannot find the true way out,
I’ve been trapped in here for days.
Dead ends make me turn around,
False trails lead me astray.
The outside world screams my name,
But it seems I’m here to stay.
There’s no food, save some berries
That grow wild upon a vine.
In fact, I’d be delusional
If I said, “I feel fine.”
My mind’s hallucinating,
Telling me which way to go.
But it matters not which path I choose,
They’ll all be wrong I know.
I’ve yelled, “Please someone help me
Or I’ll die in here I fear!”
But my pleading goes unnoticed,
It just falls upon deaf ears.
What tempted me to enter
This dark maze all alone?
Was it an act of bravery
And the call of things unknown?
Folly brings us all undone
And so does foolish pride.
We like to call it courage,
But it’s carelessness disguised.
If I somehow escape alive,
And find my way back to the start,
I’ll tell you the hidden secrets
That I’ve locked within my heart.
For my heart is like a labyrinth,
It invites love to explore.
But once you lose yourself in it
You’ll be trapped forevermore.
So be careful with your vows of love,
Don’t say what you don’t mean,
For if you enter my heart’s maze
You will be my captive Queen.
The point of a maze is to find its centre. The point of a labyrinth is to find your centre.
© 2022 John Hansen