The Musketeers Inspirational Challenge (Baton Change Notice)

a writing by Richard Gildea


(Please note this is not a VN sponsored event)

We wish to thank all who have contributed to the 49th Musketeers Inspirational Challenge; the title of which - “Traditions for my Christmas Soul” - was provided by our dear friend Karyn Henry USA.
Karyn had quite readily taken on the not inconsiderable task of carrying the ‘Baton’ over the Festive period and on into the New Year.
That she accomplished the task with all the aplomb befitting a member of the ‘Charles A Sides’ clan, should come as no surprise to our friends on VN.
We did so enjoy the wonderful takes on Karyn’s given title and her gracious and comprehensive responses to the submissions received.
We sincerely hope that dear Karyn, Edie and other members of ‘Charlie’s Dynasty’ will continue to grace the pages of VN for many years to come

Karyn’s name will now be added to the ever growing ‘Hall of Fame’ which lists all previous ‘Baton Holders’.


‘The Musketeers Inspirational Challenge’ (50th Anniversary)

We would like to take this opportunity in wishing you all a very ‘Happy and Prosperous New Year’ ahead.
Our thanks also for supporting the ‘Musketeers Challenge’ throughout its duration; we never dreamed it would still be going strong after so many ‘Titles’.
Perhaps because as always, “It is just for fun”

So let’s kick off this New Year with a metaphoric Bang!

“Hands across the Sea” is the title of a military march which was composed in 1899 by John Philip Sousa.
This meaningful title was adopted by many during the early years of the 20th Century as a greeting of friendship o’er the Seas (particularly during periods of conflict).

A series of beautiful postcards (some decorated with lace) were produced under this heading and became very popular.
We Musketeers feel it would be appropriate in the ‘spirit of friendship’ which the Challenge has engendered, to revisit this ‘Greeting’ on the occasion of our 50th Anniversary.

Below you will see a list of the previous 49 titles used. The ‘50th Challenge’ will be to send a greeting (in poetic form) incorporating one of the titles as a sort of “Hands across the Sea” to our friends on VN.
Each ‘Greeting’ received will be answered by one of the Musketeers (and all who wish to respond) by offering the ‘hand of friendship’ from their own country of origin.

We would also welcome poems outlining just what VN has meant to you (incorporating one of the previous titles if possible).

It would be advisable to limit submissions up to a maximum of 3 only.

Please use "Hands across the Sea" 50th Anniversary Challenge - as the heading for each submission.
A sub-title can be used above your submitted poem.

We look forward to reading and commenting on what we believe will be the best cross section of poetry submitted anywhere on the Web

"As ever, active participation comes in many forms either through submission of poetry, responding, or by simply reading the varied works throughout the one month duration of the run.
The next 'Run' will start on this very evening of the 6/7th January 2015.

We do hope this year of 2015 will continue to foster friendships and support on this wonderful site VN;
“Friendships” which embrace all creeds and recognises no borders between Nations.

Regards from the Musketeers,
Keith, William, Richard & Edwin (Porthos, Athos, Aramis & d’Artagnan)
“Men at Arms” to our Liege Lord, Sir Roy “AFOAOFA”

Note: - If any of our members have been away or should wish to participate for the first time, please feel welcome to do so.
If you wish to read without participation, you are also most welcome.
Should you wish to 'catch up' with your own unique take on previous "Titles" they are all listed below in Chronological order.

‘Poem Titles’ submitted so far:-

“You may borrow my pen but don't use my ink”
(1) By Keith Lumbard, UK
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“A Small Lump of Clay” with “A Transient Name"
(2) By Roy Kneale, UK
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“Whither the Wind blows, there Falls the Seed”
(3) By Jacinta Ramayah, Malaysia
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“You may lead my horse to water, but you can’t make him Drink”
(4) By Richard Gildea, UK
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“Though Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour of Splendour in the Grass, Of Beauty in the Flower”
(5) By Nancy Crossland, USA
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"All Cards are Marked and All Fates will Collide"
(6) By William Willis, Scotland
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"The Fragrance of the Virtue Rises to the Heavens"
(7) By Dr. Sudarsan Prasad, India
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"Fasten your Seatbelts, it's going to be a Bumpy Night"
(8) By Marcia Schechinger, USA
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"Two Hearts Beating As One"
(9) By Elizabeth Squires, Australia
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"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be"
(10) By John Trent, USA
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"The no mind not thinks, no thoughts about no things - The Buddha"
(11) By Pattra Shuwaswat, Netherlands
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“The Child is Father of the Man"
(12) By Dowell Oba, Nigeria
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"The Rise and Fall of Notes"
(13) By Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, Denmark
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"Just Give me a Cowboy/Cowgirl Poet"
(14) By MarVenea Rainwater, USA
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“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into”
(15) By Susan Mary Burns, Ireland
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“I may be lying in the gutter but I’m looking up at the stars”
(16) By Tony Grannell, China
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"Per Ardua Ad Astra"
(17) By Pauline Miller, UK
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“Heady bit of bungee jumping, this pride leaves you hanging alone at the end of it”
(18) By Rita Singh, India
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"Too Lightly On Life's Scales Compassion Weighs"
(19) By Roy Kneale, UK
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“How Can A Bird That's Born For Joy, Sit In A Cage And Sing”
(20) By Christine Shaw, UK
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"I Hesitantly Walked Through The Portal Not Knowing What Lay Ahead"
(21) By Maggie Pollock, Scotland
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Dreams aspire to reach the sky, "When Doves Fly"
(22) By Richard Gildea, UK
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"Let your life dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf....to the music of love, faith, trust and pixie dust.."
(23) By Nishu Mathur, India
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"A Tiny Seed Of Love Was Sown"
(24) by Linda Lee, Spain
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"That It Will Never Come Again, Is What Makes Life So Sweet"
(25) By Edwin Jepson, UK
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"Acrostic Challenge"
(26) By Denis Barter, Canada
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"The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of Life"
(27) By Dwayne Rankin, USA
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"Forty Two"
(28) By Andy Fardell, UK
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"Only When You Drink From The River Of Silence Shall You Indeed Sing"
(29) By Hina Firdose, India
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"No Man Is An Island"
(30) By Lynne Colgrave, UK
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"One Cannot Educate the Human Heart"
(31) By Marie Smith, UK
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"The Mountains of Conviction"
(32) By Dhal Bahadur Jirel "Ravi", Nepal
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"The Man In The Arena"
(33) By Charles Sides, USA
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"Zero Covers All"
(34) By Satheesan Rangorath, India
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"This Afternoon, All Clocks Went Wrong"
(35) By Michelle Klemm, Germany
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“Embrace the Uncertainty of Life”
(36) By Richard Gildea, UK
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"If Ever I Must Sing As Poets Have”
(37) By Matthew Bill, USA
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"If Adversity Gets the Better of You”
(38) By Milagros Gastanes, Philippines
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"The Charles A. Sides Memorial Challenge"
(39) By William Willis, Scotland
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“Everyone Has A Secret”
(40) By Jean charles Laws, UK
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"My Life, A Book Without Pages"
(41) By Taurai Mutoti Charumbria, Zimbabwe
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“When the Sun illuminates, upon the Sapphire Skies”
(42) By Gladys Padron, USA
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"D-Day"
(43) By Andy Fardell, UK
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"We build too many walls and not enough bridges"
(44) By Hsien Lou, South Africa
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"We're all on a journey"
(45) By Roy Kneale, UK
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"We live in times of Deep Regret"
(46) By Alan Brown, UK
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“Whom the Cap Fits, Let Him Wear It”
(47) By Samson Olajide Iyanda, Nigeria
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“Of Scars and Stories"
(48) By Anna Urviya Hasan, India
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"Traditions for my Christmas Soul"
(49) By Karyn Henry, USA


(Please note this is not a VN sponsored event)

Musketeers Inspirational Challenge (Baton Change Notice)
Inspirational Title Challenge 'Baton Changes'
The Musketeers Inspirational Challenge (Baton Change Notice)

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