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8Beatrice Boyle
10Enforced Bliss

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There’s a feeling in the air,
so real I actually breathe it in.
I close my eyes
and inhale it.

Time approaches quickly and
deep inside lurks
the subtle suspicion that
there’s someone, somewhere
playing with our clock.

No longer a child,
I’m not easily fooled
but these feelings take me back,
rewinding to moments of
laughter and excitement.

I begin a search for
the hidden treasure,
a box that is worn and ragged too.
With shaking hands I remove the cover and
release the magic suppressed inside.

Peeking out before me,
I see a handful of crocheted snowflakes.
I’m sure grandma had sore fingers
while perfecting each and every one.

There’s wooden figured trains
and toy soldiers,hand painted
by my brother and I,
and the tattered ornament of our
first Christmas,dated 1985.

There are snowmen and decorations
made by our children so long ago.
A lifetime has passed since they were small,
only remnants remain of them,
for there are young men standing
in their places now.

Tears form in my eyes making all
these things a blur.
I am sure they are of no value
to others but they’re worth a fortune
in memories and love.

Store bought ornaments seem
the least impressive, not crystal,
gold nor porcelain replace
these family jewels.
Each year we place them
one by one upon our tree,
and as they recount the story
of our life we know
this is truly our Christmas treasure.

I am on a journey. Looking for Me. Everyday I get a little closer. The more time goes by the more I realize I'm always changing. This journey could take forever... Renae L. Soler

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The following comments are for "Our Christmas Treasure"
by nae411

the X-tears
In this work, Nae's conversational style serves to build empathy. The work is light and is not overburdened by narration. There is some seemingly unwarranted sentimentalities, but they squeak by on the merit of the creative intros to each stanza, this feature, common to Nae's seductive poetry, intrigued me:

"No longer a child,
I’m not easily fooled
I begin a search for
the hidden treasure,
a box that is worn and ragged too..."

This is mildly grownup, as if contemplating an event in the life of the adults:
"There are snowmen and decorations
made by our children so long ago...

Tears form in my eyes making all
these things a blur.
I am sure they are of no value
to others but they’re worth a fortune
in memories and love..."

As if sober adulthood is wrapped in the event of the children's microcosm.


( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Your piece brought with it more of the senses, visual, touch and smell. This felt more like the Christmas I remember and liked the very easy flow throughout.

I liked it.

Alex xx

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Dear Nae:

The feelings you express are truly universal and that's good, but because they have been said so often, it's hard to say them in a way that gets through; sadly, i'm not feeling this anew. That said,I admire your taking the challenge and doing your best with it. It is difficult. Best of luck.


( Posted by: owen [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Nae's Treasure
Nae this is easy to read, flows with a warmth I know not of. Your history you share here is in sharp contrast to my upbringing as well as others.
I enjoyed this very much...and mostly as I did with Sadi's ornaments is the idea of how your priceless memories were to use to decorate your trees and homes.

Wonderful job Nae.

Have a wonderful Season Nae.


( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

I very much enjoyed your write. It served to bring back many memories of my children and their decorations. Memories too of Christmas' past. It was rich in family and how time changes us all. And it flowed nicely.

( Posted by: CJHerlihy [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Write Off - Nae
A nice poem about an experience many of us have when unboxing the Christmas decorations from year to year. However, I felt the sentimentality was a bit too thick to give you the nod.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Christmas treasure
Very nicely done, yes christmas does indeed have a way of bring back the joys of childhood and all the wonderful things that comes with it I enjoyed read very much

( Posted by: lynlin [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Content vs Style
As so often with the write off, both pieces have much to offer, but have approached the subject from entirely different angles.

I really enjoyed the stories you gave us glimpses of through this poem; there were some very touching moments.

But it also felt less finished than the other poem in this contest. There were several places where I found myself rewording sections of it in my head to make them more concise; they just didn't feel as well polished as they could be.

So although I loved what you were saying, I'm afraid I'm going to have to award my vote to sadijane.

Thanks for sharing it with us, though. :-)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Okay, I am not going to make this wait till tomorrow! In fact I am just having a problem with my rating system but I am rating this one higher. I agree with what Penelope said above. This is what Christmas is all about: Family History. rummaging through the drawers for old, memorable ornaments is what hit me here. I was even thinking at first that you were talking about 'the children of your entire family (grandparents', grand-aunts/uncles, all down to the very firsts in your clan) then I remembered you have boys who are grown. Whatever which way it's wonderful. This poem makes me appreciate more what my younger is doing every Christmas, he always has something which he hand-made to hang in our trees, in mine and my parents' house, he even builds Christmas trees. Maybe someday that's what we'll remember about him.

I am proud of you girl!

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

that's 'what my younger brother is doing'...

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Nae's Christmas
I liked your poem, but not as much as Sadi's. This seemed more a narrative of collected memories than a well thought out piece. It does flow well and is constructed well, but it seems lacking in some way that I can't put my finger on.


( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

trees and trees
This is okay, but it strikes me as rather conventionally sentimental in a lot of ways. Christmas and Christmas trees are already loaded with that kind standardized emotion, and words like 'magic' and 'memories' and 'treasure' and 'toy soldiers' only tend to reinforce the sense of having read it before. What I liked best about Sadijane's poem is that it pokes fun at the inherent hokeyness of the subject ('a real Charlie Brown tree') while managing to take it into a less trodden direction. Cheers!

( Posted by: wowlboy [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

Nae's Treasure
I liked the conversational aspect, and I thought your emotion was real and appropriate (if a little overwrought in a couple of spots). There's a nice little narrative in here that could use some tightening (as Spudley indicated?), but not too much.

In all, a good poem. It's so hard to decide which one I prefer! Yours is less self-conscious than Sadi's, but isn't as tightly constructed.


( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: December 15, 2004 )

Crafting a Box of Christmas, Past and Future
I do feel, Nae, that you went the easy route with your topic, here, and as Spud, Viper and a number of your other commenters have mentioned, that you could have tightened up your form. This is by no means, however, a bad poem, I simply feel the promise inherant in it is greater than the current work, as it's written.

My biggest quibble is with your opening -- I didn't feel your sensory impressions (a feeling so strong you can almost taste it, time passes quickly -- is someone playing with your clock?) were as strongly written or as deliberately connected to the overall poem as they might have been. I would have liked to see more of a description of the box, itself, as it's introduction struck me as rather abrupt (what box? Where did it come from?). It took me a minute to figure out what you were talking about.

Your description of it's contents is the strongest portion of this piece -- I liked how each one adds something on both a personal and a universal level and how you built this into your final realization -- that it is the ability of our possesions to recount, in fragments, the story of our lives which gives them their real value.

A bit heavy handed and in need of just a bit more polish, this is nevertheless a moving and endearing read. Good work, Nae.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: December 15, 2004 )

not so much
this did not resonate for me at all. "feeling in the air, so real I could breath it in" -- gosh that seems cliche, and a bit high schooly. the piece as whole reminded me most of an ammalgamation of Hallmark card sentiments. What I like most about "little tree" is most lacking here -- no sense of you, no sense of perspective, just a generalized oft repeated sentiment. nice but hardly original.

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: December 15, 2004 )

Sorry...rating mistake!
Nae...I must have inadvertantly it the wrong button on the rating scoring...It should have read 8 certainly not 1! I tried to fix it but couldn't. Maybe Chris can alter it for me.


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

Congrats Nae
Well deserved!

May you never thirst


( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

Write off - thank you's
Thank you everybody for participating. Whether I got the nod from you or not was totally irrelevant. I had a great time participating and reading all of your comments. Will I do this again? Don't know, lol. Love you guys! Lit is the Best!!!!!


( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

Hi Nae, and thanks for a being such a worthy player. overall, this was an interesting and enjoyable experience and i think you were able to give the crowd what they were looking for - the warmth and joy of christmas and i took a totally different approach. I think we both gave it our best and the votes are in and it falls to your side for bringing back those precious memories. Mine was such a different poem that i would not ever dare compare the two, as it's apples and oranges. i've been reading your other work too - and really enjoying it.

Thanks for being involved with this - and big congratulations and happy, happy holidays.

Be well, and all best to you and yours,


( Posted by: sadijane [Member] On: December 16, 2004 )

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