A Bit Of Word Play

For 1sojournal NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt #18: Day 18

incapable, harmony, prefer, ragged, write
damaged, sacred, allow, women, path


A Bit Of Word Play

Are we incapable of creating
a path where women are allowed
to be sacred? Sacred as it was
originally meant: separated, set apart
for God’s purpose, not man’s.

Are we all so damaged that we prefer
this ragged-edged reality to even
a modicum of harmony? Harmony
as it was originally meant: a fitting
together (into God’s plan, not man’s).

Perhaps it is time to speak of one original
meaning for the word write: to tear
(ourselves away from man’s interpretation,
not God‘s original meanings).

Elizabeth Crawford  4/18/14

Notes: I do love to play with words, their meanings, and the history of how they evolved, often finding inspiration in doing so. After writing the first verse, I was stumped as to where to take this piece, almost leaving the first verse as the whole of it. Then looked up the meaning of harmony and the rest, as they say, is History, or Herstory, whichever you prefer. The image is one of my original pen and ink line weave drawings and has always reminded me of the music and harmony that may be found in relationship. The background for the image was digitally manipulated.



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On Being A Woman Who Writes

For 1sojournal NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt #17: Day 17

incapable, harmony, prefer, ragged, write
damaged, sacred, allow, women, path

Self Portrait

On Being A Woman Who Writes

Although ritual and tradition
create an illusion of safety and security,
they seem incapable of allowing
past to become a path to present,
or to grow any kind of future. Perhaps
even damaging the possibility of either
or both.

Would much prefer to write
about harmony found in life lived
as ongoing, ever growing, sacred choice.
But reality continues to rush in, making
that thread ragged. Unraveling its thinness
to the point of almost broken.

As a woman, I have been silenced
by ritual and tradition. Taught my ‘place’
by ancient dictates created out of fear
and lack of love, or any true knowing.
Hemmed together only by desperate
need to prove superiority, making me
what they fear most: a woman breaking
those bonds of silence.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/17/14

Notes: It was Freud who said that words are magic, carrying a peculiar power, and although not a particular fan of the man (being far more Jungian, if I must have a label), I have long believed the same. Words are used to define, but can also realign one’s trajectory or focus. I should have realized that this particular list of words could bring me to this place. They were taken from a poem, I wrote, which may be found here: http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/a-list-poem-about-why/
It is a poem listing the reasons why I write and begins with the same premise as this current piece. I write to break the silence that has bound all women for far too long. My defining moment (if one needs such a thing) came in 1979. I was married, had three children, and was expecting a fourth, but was also deeply engrossed in reading novels by Chaim Potok. When I found out that he had published a new book: Wanderings: Chaim Potok’s History of the Jews , I immediately set my sights on purchasing and reading said volume. It was hard covered (something I didn’t usually purchase), huge, covering four thousand years of History. And between its covers I found a deep abiding rage. There are only two female names mentioned in that History, and they are jammed together into one very short paragraph which amounts to a lip-service apology that Jewish History is after all, the History of Patriarchy. I slammed the book shut and threw it across the room, deciding that I needed to work off the lava now running through my veins. I would go out to the garden and weed. On my way outside, I passed my husband and his father working on a remodeling project. On hearing my reply to the question of where I was going, my then father-in-law, avoiding any eye contact with me, seriously asked my spouse, “Do you trust her to know the difference between weeds and the vegetable plants?” It goes, without saying, that I came very close to utterly destroying our oversized tomato patch that day, only restraining myself with the knowledge that the tomatoes had done nothing except be exactly what they were supposed to be. And perhaps, seeing the first fleeting glimpse that maybe it was time for me to do and be the same. When I went looking for an image to go with the poem, I came upon one of the first images I colored with fine art pens. It is a self-portrait and the back story concerning it’s creation may be found here:



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This Ageless Thing Called War

For 1sojournal Poetry Prompt #16: Day 16

incapable, harmony, prefer, ragged, write
damaged, sacred, allow, women, path

Suddenly Red

This Ageless Thing Called War

Live in a world
seemingly incapable
of knowing harmony.
Where most men
see women as less sacred
than themselves.

Prefer to see her as damaged,
even punishable,
for being born
to a female form.

Will only allow her
the ragged, jagged path
they have created
through written
and spoken words
they choose to define
as God’s Will,

but never just their own.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/16/14

Notes: These particular words refused any other path I might have chosen. Yesterday, I read an interview done with former President, Jimmy Carter, about his latest book:  A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. The interviewer seemed uncomfortable, maybe even embarrassed when asking Carter if the book, and its subject matter, might define him as a “feminist”. The former president seemed quite comfortable with that definition. On the other hand, in the past week, I have also read two other news clips about a very different political view. One stated that women who use birth control are simply not taking responsibility for their own actions and choices, while the other felt that if women should have the right to birth control, then a man should have the “equal” right to use his superior strength to overwhelm her objections. I believe that means “she must be asking for it.” In college, my first degree was in History, where I learned that the conquering group, in order to subjugate those who were conquered, first set out to demonize the gods of the former ruling class. Before there was a Patriarchy, there was a Matriarchal ruling class, where the feminine was worshiped for her source of creative energies. It was the Patriarchy that first established boundary lines by creating defensible, fortified holdings that proved their ability to maintain and control whatever they considered themselves to own. Perhaps including a God who seemingly believes that half of His creation is nothing more than property, at best considered only second class, deserving abuse and punishment for being inferior?



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“If reincarnation is a fact, hope I come back as…”

For 1sojournal NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt #15: Day 15

age, anything, flannel, rare, devoid,
jelly, reincarnation, defend, ripple, weeds


If reincarnation is a fact, hope I come back as…

A hawk wing waltzing with windy currents
while delivering rare messages between
God and the People.

A tree deeply rooted, but always reaching.
Each year adding a ring
to my knowing.

Rippling waters of rapidly running river,
constantly moving, nurturing
whatever lives within.

Rich dark soil of spring
holding seeds of beginnings,
defending their right to become.

A mountain meadow filled with wildflowers
and weeds, devoid of any purpose
other than being.

Traveler of any age, wearing
flannel shirt, color of home made
dark concord jelly, seeking peace
in that mountain meadow.

Perhaps, more than any of these,
I would wish to be words of a poet,
whispering, dancing, changing, evolving,
always breathing inspiration,
bringing life to a single sheet
of white paper.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/15/14

Notes: The title of this piece is a line from the poem from which the wordle words were taken. It remains a particular favorite of mine and may be found here:


The image is one of my early Mandalas, designed by Marc Bove. His site is located here:
http://www.mandalarbre.com/  And again is one of my favorites.


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Re-Visioning Consequences

For 1sojournal NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt #14: Day 14

age, anything, flannel, rare, devoid,
jelly, reincarnation, defend, ripple, weeds



Re-Visioning Consequences

Reincarnation creates a ripple of thought.
Age rewound, redone, remade, reformed.
Soft flannel warmth in winter of life.

Getting old may sound like dried
weeds rattling in Autumn wind.
Reincarnation creates a ripple of thought.

Rare opportunity to begin again,
start over in new guise, second chance.
Age rewound, redone, remade, reformed.

Anything that heightens hope should
be defended, pulled close to heart,
soft flannel warmth in winter of life.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/14/14

Notes: This one came in pieces. Started last night. Finished this morning, but couldn’t come up with a title. Took a short nap and the title came while I was awakening. I may be hitting those midway doldrums. The poetic form is the Cascade Poem. It’s length is decided by the number of lines in the first stanza, as they become the final lines in subsequent stanzas.  The first image was taken last fall. The second one is the same image put through the kaleidoscope app.


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No Age Limitations

For 1sojournal Poetry Prompt #13: Day 13

age, anything, flannel, rare, devoid,
jelly, reincarnation, defend, ripple, weeds

And for The Sunday Whirl poetry prompt: Wordle # 156 http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/

swear, turns, chant, porcelain, limbo, wrists,
tumble, papers, gaudy, briefly, deeply, moonlit


No Age Limitations

Will swear age doesn’t mean anything.
A rippling limbo, devoid of porcelain
clarity, only used to defend deeply
held insight or lack thereof. Gaudy,
graceless chant whispered over dried
weeds rustling through moonlit shadows.

Turns in seasons, days, months, years
become layered papers, pages pressed
together, like peanut butter and jelly
sandwich, too soon forgotten. Tumbling,
moving moments briefly glimpsed, hold
emotions unaware of numbers.

Scent of wood smoke from last night’s
bonfire, reincarnated when flannel sleeve
at wrist brushes face, has nothing to do
with time measurements. Everything
becomes lived-in, accumulated experience,
that occurs during all ages.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/13/14

Notes: This one may have come because I celebrated yet another birthday during the past week. That and the fact that as soon as I combined the two word lists, the first line of this piece jumped out at me. Image is a photo I took of a bonfire, then manipulated with the kaleidoscope app. Hope everyone is still enjoying NaPoWriMo.


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Comfortably Un-Numbed

For 1sojournal NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt #12: Day 12

centered, depression, eyes, blood, silence,
hear, smudged, asked, forced, bricks

cherries 2a2

cherries 2a

Comfortably Un-Numbed

Setting aside bricks
of depression,
forces herself
into slow movement.

Would have to admit
she had somewhat enjoyed
her centered down

where she began to hear
her own inner workings,
see with own eyes
questions that should
have been asked
long ago.

Understood now,
smudged and blurred
edges of knowing,
and bloody mess
one might easily make
from existence.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/12/14


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