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The Victor, a Free Verse Poem; My Response to the Challenge by Annart

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.

Author's Note

This free verse poem is my response to a challenge by Ann Carr, annart on HubPages. Here is the challenge in Ann's words:

Your challenge is to come up with a brilliant description of one of the three photos at the beginning of this hub. Weave that description into a story or poem of some sort. Off you go!

Don’t forget to let me know if you respond to this challenge! Please provide a link so that I can add it to this hub.

The Victor

Craggy cliffs rise up from dark submergence

Into the light of day

To declare as myth

That the sea is boundless.

Waves crash in violent force against the ancient pillars,

Megaliths of the gods.

Yet the rock repels the angry assault,

And the water runs harmlessly down its faceted face.

Sunlight clings to the rock here

And there is repelled by dark crevices of gloom and doom,

That dare the vessels of men to come near,

Too near to escape her hidden perils,

Clawed fingers hidden beneath the breakers.

The cliffs appear to stand forever

Victorious over the elements,

Laughing at the sea,




Whose roots go deeper than the ocean itself.

But appearance is a mask,

A veil over what is real.

In its own time,

The sea comes forth

To issue the challenge.

Truth is declared.

An ageless rumor is dispelled

That the mountains and the cliffs are safe.

The sea is angry.

The ocean is jealous.

Like bile from the depths

Its wrath erupts

And assaults the stone until a single crack forms.

The water exploits the fissure.

A fragment gives way

And falls into the greedy depths

To the ever growing scree field

Where the bones of the once mighty seaside cliffs

Are pummeled and ground into sand.

Everything falls before the mighty deep.


Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on July 29, 2018:


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 30, 2018:

manatita, you are not remotely capable of having fun at someone else's expense. I love your good humor.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 30, 2018:

Rinita, The only thing about me that is amazing is my late wife and two sons. Amazing does not even begin to describe who they are, what they have done and are doing.

manatita44 from london on June 30, 2018:

Chuckle ... chuckle. I was having fun. With you though, not at your expense. Love you Bro!

Rinita Sen on June 30, 2018:

Thank you for sharing your story, Chris. It is good to know where amazing writers like you source their inspirations from.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 30, 2018:

manatita, I like words that cause a reader to stop and consider what is being said. Of course, I also run the risk of losing them to Google and the online dictionaries. Thank you for your comment.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 29, 2018:

Shauna, thank you for reading my poem. One of the great books describes the Earth in the beginning as being formless and void with darkness over the face of the deep. Even from the beginning, water rules.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 29, 2018:

Rinita, My late wife was a science teacher. Her favorite science subject was geology. I remember many times in different situations her saying that the most powerful force on Earth is the water cycle. That was what came to my mind when I looked at Ann's photo.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 29, 2018:

Chris, you excelled yourself here. The descriptiveness of this poem in regard to the interaction between the sea and rocks is amazing. I'm not sure if I will do this challenge or not, but probably. I just finished one for The Creative Exiles putting our own words to Don McLean's song Vincent (Starry Starry Night) ...that was challenging but fun.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on June 29, 2018:

Your a nice man, Chris.

manatita44 from london on June 29, 2018:

Lovely poetry!

You used a 'big' word at the beginning. Perhaps it's 'cool' in that sense. Fits well with Ann's take on words.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 29, 2018:

Awesome interpretation of the photo, Chris! I love the symbolism of water versus rock, with rock haughtily assuming it's indestructible.

Great response to Ann's challenge. I'm sure you took her breath away.

Rinita Sen on June 29, 2018:

This description is beyond perfect for Ann's challenge. Loved the flow, and more so the end!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 28, 2018:

Gilbert, you have helped me a great deal with my stories. I am happy to be able to return the favor even in such a small way. I do want to add a little to my original response. Free form, to me, is poetic in its content. I hope that makes sense. After that I try to organize it into an appealing flow.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 28, 2018:

Venkatachari M, Thank you for that sincere comment. I especially appreciate that you mentioned how the poem made you feel. That is an important part of poetry.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on June 28, 2018:

Chris, I love your response. Some writers don't answer questions well as you do. I honestly feel I have a better sense of how you approached the assignment.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on June 28, 2018:

An excellent response to Ann's challenge! I couldn't believe that it could be so much awesome. Chris, you have created the whole story of the oceans and the mountains from that simple image. I appreciate your creativity with words. Very much inspiring and beautiful presentation.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Gilbert, I have not done a lot of poetry. More lately than ever though. My method is not to begin with any form at all. I write purely for content, what I want to say. Then I begin to separate the thoughts into lines, amending, adding, shortening. Sometimes I go for meter and rhyme, but here I obviously went purely free form. I have no real approach regarding length of lines other than I like to swing sharply sometimes between the two. I think several lines of short followed by a long line creates movement that is pleasing to the reader. Lines of single words is also something I like.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on June 27, 2018:

Great imaginative imagery from the photo, Chris. Your ocean and craggy cliffs told a story. I have a free verse poem I'm working on. I started from reading tips about it online. What approach did you apply in writing your free verse poem in regards to words per lines and stanza? Did you feel you had to stay within specific guidelines or is the style really that free?

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Ruby, It is nice to see you today. I'm glad you liked the poem.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Larry, Thank you much.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Ann, Thank you for this challenge and for your kind words. You presented us with some great photo prompt and a wide variety.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Eric, and your visit is welcome, as usual. Thanks.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Delilah, Thanks. I'm glad you liked the poem.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 27, 2018:

Shyron, I'm glad you finally got your comment to stick. I appreciate the thoughts very much. I have to go over to Ann's hub to see who has submitted a response to the challenge. If yours isn't there now, I look forward to seeing when it is ready.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 27, 2018:

Your free verse poetry depicted the inner feelings/ thoughts of the cliffs and the sea beautifully, a pleasure to read..

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 27, 2018:

Beautifully written!

Ann Carr from SW England on June 27, 2018:

Wow! Chris, this is fantastic. Such a wonderful response to my challenge. Thank you for taking part.

You've excelled yourself in many ways here, as the descriptions of sea and rock are mind-blowing. I can feel the strength of each as they vie with each other.

I particularly like: 'Clawed fingers hidden beneath the breakers.' and 'Whose roots go deeper than the ocean itself.' and 'Like bile from the depths Its wrath erupts'. I could go on but then I'd repeat the whole poem!

Thanks for stepping up to the mark, Chris. You've even created the ebb and flow of the tide.


Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 27, 2018:

Fantastic. I still do not know how it made me feel. Your wording is just really good as usual.

Delilah from Kentucky on June 27, 2018:

I loved your poem Chris, your descriptions are great, made the poem come alive for me

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 27, 2018:

Chris, beautiful, deep dark work of art, this will be hard to match, but I will try.

Blessings my friend

This is my third time to try to leave a comment, I hope this one sticks.

4th time

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