Shelley Hansen - Lady of Lines

The Quest

Equal 1st Prize - 2013 Adelaide Plains Open Poetry Competition on the theme "The Elements"

Life is full of challenges and sometimes disappointments. Often the biggest challenge of all is how to deal with them - run, hide, or meet them head on. This poem is my anthem to life, and represents my own personal philosophy.

The Quest
(c) Shelley Hansen 2013

When the plans I had made did not prosper,
when the seeds I had sown did not shoot,
when my garden of hope did not blossom,
and no tree that I planted bore fruit -

Then the winds of regret blurred my vision,
disappointment lay parched in my throat;
and I watched, with a mouth full of ashes
as the ship of my dreams failed to float.

For a moment, I lost my direction,
for an instant, my steps turned away;
and I struggled to find motivation
to pursue the goal, day after day.

This is not the first time I have wondered
what compels me to reach for the sky
when so many folk sit back, contented -
Neither caring, nor daring, to fly.

It's so easy to rest on your laurels,
spend your days in a soft easy chair –
never putting yourself under pressure,
never stepping outside of the square.

But relentless, the quest drives me onward
as new challenges rise from the old –
and I must create something to strive for,
to achieve, as the seasons unfold.

Though the storms of self-doubt may assail me,
though I waver and stall in the chase –
life's a long-distance course to be conquered,
and the runner must stay in the race.

As the fledgling is certain to falter,
and the sailor to battle the sea –
so the person who never knows failure
never knows all the things he could be.

And success isn't all in the winning,
but in having the courage to try.
And the lessons we learn by endeavour
shape the wisdom we need to get by.

So I must turn again to the sunlight,
draw my strength from the lines I have rhymed -
and, with stones over which I have stumbled,
build a staircase that begs to be climbed!

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