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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: If Only They'd Not Left
By Verna Cole Mitchell


The church on Sixty Second Street
Was dearly loved by God.
Yet people who were members left.
Now doesn’t that seem odd?

Miss Betty Sue Bartholomew
Told others it was wrong
To cause her to be late for lunch
When preacher preached too long.

John Gentry had a tenor voice
He hoped all would admire.
He left because he was not asked
To solo with the choir.

Will Whitley served upon the board
Till disagreements came.
He took his letter with a huff.
Now isn’t that a shame?

Christina Cross got feelings hurt
Because of her new hat.
When someone laughed at how it looked,
She said, “I won’t take that.”

Miss Penny Prim did not approve
The new praise music style.
She said, “I’ll sing my hymns at home,
For this next little while.”

Juanita Watts of Women’s Group
Had made a dazzling cake.
When someone said it was too sweet,
She said, “Then you can bake.”

Then Jennie Justaflyer left
For reasons no one knew.
She said that she was going home;
With church life she was through.

How sad that all these folk alike
Of blessings were bereft.
They missed the ones meant just for them--
If only they’d not left.

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This article has been read 1335 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt02/21/08
I really like this one - fragile egos miss blessings big time. Very creative - nice job.
Lynda Schultz 02/21/08
Kudos—well done and a perfect illustration of the theme.
Seema Bagai 02/22/08
Loved the names in this poem. Creative and unique.
Patty Wysong02/22/08
Cute, but sadly true and they miss out on so much! The names were great. =)
Betty Castleberry02/22/08
People come and go at churches for the silliest reasons at times. This poem captures that very well. I really love the last stanza.
Beth LaBuff 02/23/08
I think I know some of these people. :) Very creative work on this...and your message comes through loud and clear. You're perfectly on topic!
Lyn Churchyard02/23/08
I'm not usually a "poetry person", but this was so well written and the rhythm allowed it to roll off your tongue. How sad that people's egos damage so easily. Well done, well done!
Sally Hanan02/24/08
Nice work; it would make a great little skit if you added a tune to it.
Jan Ackerson 02/25/08
Wonderful all the way through, but your last two lines are fantastic!
Sharlyn Guthrie02/25/08
Each character name is fun to ponder. This is a good subject for the topic, and well done.
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
You wrote this beautifully and taught us all such a wonderful lesson. This was really good my friend and I loved the voice of it.
Joy Faire Stewart02/26/08
I read this aloud and enjoyed the flow along with the great message. Excellent on topic!
Holly Westefeld02/27/08
Both topical and poetic excellence!
LauraLee Shaw02/27/08
This is brilliant, in content and in message. Well done.
Shirley McClay 02/27/08
I'm also not a poem person but I hung on every word of this one! Excellent! I love the names and you sure hit some common issues that cause bad feelings but with such a lighthearted touch. No wonder you are in masters :-)
Laury Hubrich 02/27/08
What a great job intertwining the story of each person in this poem! Impressive, as always, Sweet Verna!
Sara Harricharan 02/27/08
Oh you did just fine with the meter on this one! ^_^ I liked how you described each of the characters and why they'd left. Some great imagery, I could see the hat, the cake and the choir. Nice job! ^_^
Karen Wilber02/27/08
Oooo, a non-fiction entry. ;-)
"Miss Betty Sue Bartholomew
Told others it was wrong
To cause her to be late for lunch
When preacher preached too long."
I'm laughing, but I think I know her....
This is so sweet, but packs a mean punch underneath. Great job!
Loren T. Lowery02/27/08
What you just said - isn't that the truth! And too, because they all left we are somewhat bereft at well! I always like what you write and this is no exception.
Dee Yoder 02/27/08
Oh so true! Love the rhythm of this and the characters you portrayed. I think we all know some of these people-and ARE them sometimes, too!
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/27/08
Coming from a person who just doesn't always "get" poetry, this was both a fun read and so sadly true to life. I think there were a few of your characters have been in my church. Great job, Verna. I really enjoyed this.
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC! :)
Sara Harricharan 02/28/08
***Congrats, Verna!***
Sheri Gordon02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC, Verna. You are a masterful poet. :)
Edy T Johnson 02/28/08
Congratulations, dear Verna! You deserve to have this one in the book. Your message is clear and done so delightfully via poetry. I love it.
Catrina Bradley 02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC, Verna. I love your poem!
Mariane Holbrook 02/29/08
I think you covered the dissenters pretty well, dear Verna. I imagine these types in ten years wouldn't even remember why they left,just that they did. For those who are looking for the perfect church,they'll never find one because there isn't one, just as there isn't a perfect marriage nor a perfect family. Very good job! Loved it!
Leigh MacKelvey02/29/08
oh Verna, so sorry I didn't say Congrats to you on my reply for the Winning entries. I was thrilled when I saw your name on the EC list! I just forgot when I was replying. Forgiveth me!

Your poems have such a wit , but also a Truth ... like everytime!
Go girl, with that poetry! No one understands us poetry people, but I love, love love when readers do "get us." And they certainly " get you!"
Debbie Wistrom03/01/08
How pointed, petty and pompous we can be, this has much emotion and so many lessons. THANKS and CONGRATS.