99th Musketeers Challenge

a writing by John Starks

To The VN FAMILY, Firstly, I apologize for delaying this process. I faced a few challenges in posting the challenge so as it turns out third time is not the charm, but I challenged myself, hence I am a challenger with a modicum of experience. I trust that it serves me well in this endeavor... And to our outgoing Baton Holder Conrad van den Bergh, The Musketeers, The Poets and Poetesses and to those providing this platform which affords us the opportunity to create and share poetic expression characterized by beauty and such acumen that has the power to move the poets, the readers (even the world) to a better and more universal modality of functionality.

Indeed, I count it a privilege and an honor to serve this aggregate of poets as a 'curator and assayer' of poetry on this august and celebrated occasion and on this site: a site dedicated to and showcasing poets from many places on our shared planet, namely: Mother Earth. Our interplay and joyous camaraderie has resulted in the preservation and conservation of (in my estimation) the noblest or all art forms, namely: POETRY: a form of art made of language (our most precious tool); which excels oil and canvas by allowing a more refined 'picturing' of life, experience, sentiment and spirituality. What could prove sweeter than the voice of a loved one? What could prove more endearing than the words of a skilled poet who captures the ineffable in terms of beauty that brings one to the doorway of reality and exquisite beauty so that joy may flood the human soul? Is not poetry the greatest delight? Is not the poetry of the Psalms and Isaiah amongst the noblest flights of spiritual expression?

Ah, in this poetic endeavor, we shall employ both talent and skills to provide the caliber of poetry for which VN is both noted and famous.

Before challenging you, I happily must thank Mr. Conrad van den Bergh for his leadership (I am predicating this, as I have not been present during much of this month, on my historical knowledge of his character, poetic acumen, and his noted intellectual capacity, and congenial temperament) in the challenge preceding this one. Also, I greatly thank him for the kind words with which he characterized this poet as he provided a transition to this present opportunity for this community to again make manifest what is waiting to manifest in festive beauty.

I must thank William Willis, my dear friend, great poet, and indefatigable leader who does so much behind the scenes. He helped me greatly in this matter and I really appreciate him.

In keeping with our Tradition: The 99th Musketeer Challenge is (and I give three options)

1) Diversity and 'Common Law'

2) Diversity

3) 'Common Law'

May the Muse be with you, or may you be with the Muse! Let the poetry flow. The best to you. John

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