Another challenge on our message board. If you would like to participate, come to the board. I post a challenge every weekend and you'll find the link HERE. When you get there, click 'General Board' and the topics will appear.

I put a list of things, or items, that must appear in the poem. Each item must have its own stanza and the poem must have a theme. Participants must use at least 5 of the 7 words, or use all 7.

They don't see a picture until the page is published.

This is the list for this weekend (11-10-07)


cigar box






"salt of the earth"

The poems are very imaginative and quite different from each other. I thought the results were very good and if you like what you read, let the poet know. They love feedback.


He was the "salt of the earth", the old merchant marine.
He loved the sea more than life itself and found it to be both exciting and serene.

40% of the time he was not at home on the land,
But he loved the salt air and the sand.

His waiting significant other would look for him from a castle high on a cliff.
She could see all the ships, boats and riffs.

On her neck she wore a locket with his sepia picture old and worn.
She loved him, but him being never home had her heart torn.

The locket had a lackluster about it from age and distress.
She didn't care for the long waits and his mistress.

He had a cigar box next to his bed.
It held a few trinkets, her picture and a book that went unread.

On the wall in his stateroom was a picture of a very large bass,
He loved to fish when he was at home and seldom attended mass.

He was rough and ready this "salt of the earth".
All he wanted was a ship and a berth.

© By Phyllis Ann (


She found an old cigar box behind the shed.
She wondered who'd left it there.
Imagination swirled inside her head.
Remembering Pandora, Did she dare?

In it was a recipe for how to cook striped bass.
A bit too complex for her.
She set that one aside to pass.
But said; "Not for me, kind sir."

Many things in the box were very old.
She'd only read about 40%.
She noticed it was growing cold,
Where had the morning went?

There were some photos in a pile.
Lackluster and faded were they.
Some pieces of a broken tile,
Like nothing you'd see today.

One of a castle on a hill,
Surrounded by huge pine trees.
She didn't know why it gave her a chill.
And made her feel weak in the knees.

The picture was in sepia tone,
On the back something was written...
"Welcome to the Castle Of Bone,
Be careful you don't get bitten!"

They said her folks were the "Salt of the Earth"
Proud farmers who worked with their hands.
Now she's looking for the land of her birth,
Wandering on some foreign sands.

© By Swampetta (

On a Lackluster Day

On a lackluster day,
Chuck and Ted lie back on the grass,
One cracked, bet the fish are bitin'
Wanna get a pole?

Good idea you have, my friend,
Does your dad have a stray cigar box,
And hey, I'll get a spade,
For some worms.

Oh, you know dad, he's the salt of the earth,
He'd even let us use one of his lures or two,
And you can ask your mom for biscuits,
And boiled eggs.

These fast little friends in sepia clothes,
Skipped off their separate ways to raise
And praise a mom and dad into
"Funding" their dream.

No castles have they, just stone
Houses of gray, and they live,
And they pray
Near a bubbling stream.

A stream full of bass that will bite
Under pearl gray skies, and healthily
Entertain little straw-hatted guys,
On a school holiday.

They tried about 40% lures and then
Dug some wiggling worms, and
Unafraid of germs, brought fish
For a big fry their way.

© By Norma (

The Salt of the Earth

From her window she watched the leaves come down,
Golden leaves, red leaves, sepia and brown.
Her desk was strewn with newspaper clippings, sketches, books,
This was her workplace, her private place, her nook.

Beside her computer was a vintage cigar box full of mementos,
Assorted trinkets from places she'd been, a scrap of lace, a rose.
The lace was a scrap from her mother's old wedding dress,
The rose from her deceased husband when she had said, "Yes."

Her life became quite dull after her husband passed away,
Depressed, she had dreaded every sunrise, every new day.
A lackluster life for many years, filled with sadness and tears,
Then one day she picked up a book, a children's book she'd had for years.

Castles, fairies, forests and star dust,
She couldn't read the pages fast enough.
When she finished, she went to a public library and checked the shelves,
She wasn't disappointed, there were dozens of books about fairies and elves.

Her imagination went wild; she would write!
She would write stories for children, she would write day and night.
But she would need an illustrator, someone who could draw,
Her next-door neighbor! He drew cartoons and practiced law.

A deep bass voice answered her call,
"Oh, I just fiddle-faddle, I'm not an artist at all."
"Nor am I a published author," she said. "Are you willing to try?"
"I don't know if I have time. I'm on an important case." (sigh)

"If I'm successful, I'll give you 40% percent."
He laughed. "And if you aren't? Think of the time spent."
With sinking heart, she thanked him and said she was sorry she had bothered him.
"Okay, I'll do it," he said. "I'll go out on a limb."

Now, three years later, she was the author of the popular children's book, 'Castles and Dreams.'
Her illustrator, as it turned out, had come up with the theme.
He had restored her world by helping her to see her self-worth.
He was her savior, the salt of the earth.

© By Marilyn (


An old King Edward cigar box,
Held the treasures of my dad.
But into it as I looked,
I thought of life and what we have.

I love to a bass hear sing,
Especially “Old Man River,”
And oh how I wished,
Me a bass voice had been given.

But 40% or much few yet,
Can reach that bottom step,
But the tools we are given,
We must endure and strive to achieve.

A lackluster and non sterling life
Most life as they just mope through life.
No fun, no laughs, just work and drudge,
Shaking their heads at the laughing one.

No castle I have, nor will I live,
Just a shack out in Bumfuzzle.
But a man’s home is his castle,
Some of ours, no parapets or spires do have.

A sepia toned picture of my grandpa,
And another of my grandma,
On the wall they do hang,
As I smile at from where I came.

The “Salt of the earth” a saying yes,
Could be positive or negative,
Just the common many,
Who smiles, sings and plods along.

© By Tom (


He was the salt of the earth
A kind hearted soul
His love of life was the worth
Twas that old man Noel

He lived in yonder castle
On cliffs near the sea
His hat had a green tassel
He had a bum knee

His vim was so lackluster
No work did he do
Near his side was dog Buster
Who hadn't a clue

And energy for those two
At forty percent
And it was ever so true
That time came and went

In a battered cigar box
Were some fishing things
In the castle were no clocks
Noel never liked flings

He often fished in the sea
Trying to catch bass
Watching as the time did flee
And the day to pass

© By Sharon (

Life's Seasons

Waters' Journey

The Old Wraparound

A Touch of Her Hand

Farm Stand ( 11 Authors )

Resort By The Sea ( 5 Authors )

The Unwrinkled Heart ( 7 Authors )

Early Morning Fishing

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