Mythopoesis 30 – Darien’s Poem

For NaPoWriMo  Day 30

burning bush finalDarien’s Poem

This poem is a myth
in the making, a story
unfolding, seeking
a place of its own,
singular space it might
call home.

This poem has traveled
for days, one at a time,
searching for ways
that its words might
be heard, might find
an ear that will listen.

This poem is a song
singing itself from here
to there, breath of fresh
air hoping to inspire,
becoming spark that ignites
burning fire of creation.

This poem is no more
than a whisper, on lips
of would-be poet, who only
knows that which grows
in his heart is a seed
in need of nurture.

This poem is a gift given,
that must be received
before it can truly live.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/30/15

Notes: Today is the final day of NaPoWriMo 2015. Came here this morning and simply sat, thinking and daydreaming of how to finish this closing segment of my myth-making experiment. Lots of thoughts but no desire to write them down. That went on for an hour or so, until I saw the character Darien (from the Counsel of Bards) reading a poem he had written. A few segments ago, Darien admitted that he’d been blocked, unable to write. However, in the last post, he instructs the students within the classroom, to go home and write about all the things a poem might, or could, be. Being a teacher after my own heart, he couldn’t ask them to do what he himself was unwilling to do. As soon as I recognized that reality, the poem started forming and was one of the easiest writes I’ve experienced this entire month. Just so you know, it was never my intent to give the man from Interlude a name. He was to remain “the man from Interlude.” That was until he came to me, in a fragment of a dream, and  told me his name was Darien. The name is originally from the Greek and means gift.

The image is one of my digital paintings.

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Mythopoesis 29 – A Ribbon of Words

For NaPoWriMo  Day 29

3-17-2015 9_15_41 PMxA Ribbon of Words

Earlier, I said that words
are a ribbon that may
become a skein of poetry.

Have you ever seen someone
pick up the end of a thread
of yarn and begin to wind it
over, under, and around itself,
creating a skein of yarn that
might become a sweater, a
shawl, or a blanket that keeps
you warm in the cold of winter?

Poets do a similar thing. They
collect words, like bits of yarn,
wind them together, then knit
them into a poem. With enough
words they might create a skein
of poetry that can change the way
we see our world: how it works,
and our own place and purpose
within that world.

A man* once said that words
are magic, and that they retain
that magic even to this day. Think
how a kind word, spoken in one
moment, might keep an inner glow
of warmth for years after. Might
change the course of a life headed
toward self-destruction, might become
a hand of support in a time of need.

Another man**, a poet, showed us how
taking the time to mend fences, can
make two who might have been enemies,
open the door to potential friendship. Yet
another poet, this time a woman***, helped
us to understand that by celebrating that
person we are always becoming, we
thwart that which has the power
to maim, kill, or destroy us.

Magicians allow us to see a different
perspective. They awaken that sense
of wonder that dwells deep within
our own being. Redefine our world
by raising our conscious awareness
that things, and people, are not always
what they seem to be. Poets, when they
unwind that thread, that ribbon of words,
do the same.

I will be back tomorrow. I want you to go
home and think of Maliah’s poem that
was a kitten, bouncing and pouncing
because it wanted to know, to learn,
and to grow. Then write about all
the things a poem might be.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/29/15

Notes: *Sigmund Freud
**Robert Frost
***Lucille Clifton

Tomorrow is the last day of NaPoWriMo. This myth-making experiment has been an uncanny experience for me. One I have enjoyed and learned from. I have been without my own computer throughout the month, and have been dependent on my daughter’s willingness to share her puter with me. I do have news about that. It looks like I might have a brand new computer within the next few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed? I am only hoping soon.

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Mythopoesis 28 – The Mentor Speaks

For NaPoWriMo  Day 28

fire kaliThe Mentor Speaks

Once upon a time, in a time
long, long ago, poets were believed
to be magicians. Believed to hold
and wield a certain power. And
on some level, to a certain degree,
they were and they did.

But, as often happens in human
affairs, those who actually held
power became jealous of anyone
who might, other than themselves,
have or hold even the smallest
ounce of that particular substance.

It has been said, and truly so,
“Beware of the lesser god, for he
will do whatever he needs to gain
the power he seeks with single
minded obsession.”

And so there came a darkness
across the land, at first slowly
in shades and shadows. Unsatisfied,
these lesser gods came to discern
that poets shared a similar energy
with anyone who created anything.

At first, it was only poets who were
punished, but soon it was also
anyone who read poetry or dared
to own it. In no time at all, that same
mindset was turned against painters,
sculptors, carvers and so on.

Laws were enacted, narrow guidelines
of what could or could not be created.
And darkness covered the land that
once flourished, but now withered,
locked into a life of utter subsistence.

The darkness went on for several
centuries, until those lesser gods
found Nature herself to be unclean.
Mostly, it was poets who were blamed
for they often spoke and wrote about
the beauty and wisdom to be found
in the natural world.

Finally, the people of the land, began
to rebel. Having been slowly forced
to only menial labor, a subsistent life
of digging in the dirt day after day,
they were aware that even that little
would soon be taken away as well.

And so a dawn of enlightenment came
to struggle against the darkness. Slowly,
in small increments of time, creativity
was once again allowed to flourish. But,
there are always consequences for such
an imbalance, when allowed to occur.

Poets were never completely trusted
again. Most often seen as day dreamers,
foolish in their ways of foolish thinking,
unwilling to labor honestly, most often
spouting meaningless words that seldom
sprouted anything more than empty
promises of useless platitudes.

And so it was that the Counsel of Bards
was created. Always numbering twelve,
each year, those twelve set out on a
journey, each looking to find one young person,
to guide and teach in the way of words
and the magic they can and do wield.

I am one of those twelve Bards, but I have
failed to take the journey for many years.
Blocked, unable to write, I felt I had little
or nothing to offer. Yet, this year, propelled
by music, dreams, and a myth, I find myself
here, listening to Maliah read her Boomerang
poem, perhaps unaware of the true magic
in which she has invested.

Enough for now, I’ll return you to your
teacher. This afternoon, I’ll speak to you
of the ribbon of words that becomes
a skein of poetry.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/28/15

Notes: This is a myth created from my study of History. We have a period of time called The Dark Ages in our past. It was a time of subsistence living, where little or no art was created because the people were living day to day, merely surviving. I have taken the liberty of honing in on poets and the making of poetry. No one can actually pin-point the cause of The Dark Ages, but there is a possibility that my conjecture might not be far from the reality. If you doubt that, read Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. In it, he speaks of another Dark Age in which poets are limited to writing within a certain canon of rules, dictated by a mindset that refuses to allow anything new, or different to darken its self-created definition of what might be considered Art. He also speaks of a lesser god, named Moloch, who accepts child sacrifice in the form of burnt offerings.

The image is a photo of a bonfire put through a kaleidoscope app.

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Mythopoesis 27 – A Mentor’s Magic

For NaPoWriMo  Day 27

3-18-2015 12_16_28 AMA Mentor’s Magic

Mama! Mama! What
a wonderful day it has
been. I read my poem.
A man came out of the
forest, a traveler. He
sat to listen and really
liked my poem. Clapped
and whistled after it
was finished.

Oh, child, that sounds
very exciting.

It was, Mama. He got
up after I read it and told
us it was a Boomerang poem.
Did you know that, Mama,
that is was a Boomerang poem?

Yes, I did. Because of the
repeated lines, that kind
of poem has a tendency
to lodge itself deep inside a listener,
and often comes back
long after one hears it.

My teacher knew the man,
said his name is Darien
and that he belonged
to The Counsel of …
I can’t remember the word
she used, but she asked him
to stay and teach us about

Do you mean The Counsel of Bards?

Yes, that’s the word. Do
you know what it is?

The Counsel of Bards is made
up of the twelve most well-known
poets in the land. And the one called Darien
might be the most well-known
of all of them. Did he stay
and teach you?

Yes, he did and at first
I got scared because he
asked Joey what he thought
of my poem. But, Joey said
he sort of liked it, even though
he didn’t understand how
a kitten could be a poem.

I can understand why that would
be scary for you, and confusing
for Joey if he’s not heard much

Well, Mr. Darien asked Joey
some questions and then told
us about what metaphors are.
He used my poem to do that, Mama.
He found stuff in my poem, I didn’t
know was even there. It was sort
of like magic.

I have always thought that good
poetry has some essence
of magic about it.

But then, Mr. Darien started
a different poem about Joey
being the poem. I don’t think
Julie is hurt or angry anymore,
and Mr. Darien said he’d come
back and teach us more tomorrow.
I can’t wait. Isn’t that exciting?

Yes, it is and Mr. Darien sounds
like a very good teacher. I think
I might come with you tomorrow.
I’d like to meet this Bard.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/27/15

Notes: Although I still don’t have my own computer, I find myself somewhat fascinated by this story/myth I am weaving. There has been a great deal of synchronicity within the process and that always feels good. There have been moments when I deeply wished I hadn’t begun at all. But, again, the story has pulled me in and demands a telling. Explanation for The Boomerang Poem Form may be found here:

The image is a pen and ink zen doodle.

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Mythopoesis 26 – Unraveling The Poem

For NaPoWriMo Day 26

And For The Sunday Whirligig: Whirligig #4

mottled, velour, purse, ink, dissonant, shade, stain, lace, diaphanous, clip, iridescent, weather

ex2a3 (2)abUnraveling The Poem

But, Darien sir, I still don’t
understand how a poem
can be a kitten?

Well, Joey, I said that a poem
is about a moment, or an experience.
But , that is only the beginning.
A poem can be anything. It is
whatever the poet wants it to be.
Maliah used metaphor in her poem.
That is a direct comparison between
two dissimilar things. By telling and showing
us the kitten, she was telling and showing
us about the poem.

Joey turns a confused
look on the man

First, Maliah told us the kitten
was white with a black heart spot
in the middle of his forehead.
We already know that black and white
are opposites, and there is a great
deal of distance between those two things.
The head is concerned with thoughts, ideas,
logic, while the heart is about feelings.
This may often cause a certain dissonance
within the individual, a conflict, or disagreement.
You said you could see the kitten playing
but it didn’t make sense that a poem
could be a kitten. A poem,
this poem, was as playful as that kitten,
but also pointed out a very real experience.
We all have moments when our heads
and hearts are telling us two different things.
I could just as easily say that this poem
is a Joey with mottled ink stains
on each of his five fingers.
That might be because Joey only owns
one ink pen. It’s old and leaky.
But Joey is like that kitten that wants
to grow, to learn, to know. So Joey,
like that kitten, and this poem, just keeps using
what he has, keeps reaching for what he wants.

Joey looks down at his hand, smiles
a sad smile, then slowly
raises the hand
to show his classmates
different shades
of ink stains
on his fingers. Some
of the children smile,
but Julie reaches
into her book bag/purse
and offers him
two extra pens
from the many she owns.

And the man from Interlude, aware
of bright glare in Joey’s eyes,
points to the sky and says, “It looks
like the weather might become disagreeable.
Perhaps we should stop for now
and continue tomorrow.

Elizabeth Crawford  4/26/15

Notes: Again, this is a continuation of my experiment with mythopoesis (making-myth). The poem, being discussed within the post, may be found here: Trying to use the word list was difficult, but I did manage to use 8 of the 12. The image is a kaleidoscope made from a pen and ink zen doodle.

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Mythopoesis 25 – What Is A Poem

For NaPoWriMo  Day 25

10-30-11 Zentangle 8What Is A Poem?

Embarrassed by his open display
of exuberance, the man from Interlude
bowed his head after telling the child
that her mother was a wise teacher.
She smilingly nodded.

The children’s teacher stepped
forward saying, You are Darien,
of the Counsel of Bards, are you

Nodding, “Yes, I am, but how
would you know that? It has been
a long while since I have spoken
to the Counsel.”

When I was still in school, I went
to the city to hear you read. Aside
from your beard, you look much
the same and your voice still holds
a certain timber that is hard to forget.
Will you stay a while and speak to us
about poetry, the making of poems,
Maliah’s poem, and why you
clapped after hearing it?

Looking around at all those expectant
faces, nodding, he walked over to a boy,
who sat apart. Unaware of Maliah’s swift
fearful glance at her teacher, he squatted
in front of the child and asked, “Can you tell me
what you thought about the poem?”

I kinda liked it, but didn’t understand
how a poem could be a kitten. That
just doesn’t make sense.

“That’s very good. The poem made you
think. Can you tell me what you heard
when Maliah was reading her poem?”

I heard about a small kitten
exploring his world.

“And what did you see, inside of your head,
when you heard about that kitten?”

Grinning, I saw the kitten, small,
white, with a black heart spot
in the middle of his forehead. He
reaches with his paws, smells things,
and probably chews on a lot of them.

“What did you feel when you heard
and saw all of that?”

Sort of happy and light, like
that bouncing, pouncing kitten.
I wanted to be there, playing
with him. And a bit sad that I
couldn’t be there.

“Very good. What is your name?”


“Well, Joey, I asked you those questions
because the teacher has asked me
to talk about poems and making them.
There are three things a good poem should do.
It should use words to tell you about a moment,
or an experience. More important, it should use
those words to create a picture of that moment.
And most important of all, it should make you
feel like you are in that moment and maybe
help you see something about yourself.
Your answers to my questions tell me
that Maliah’s poem is a very good poem
because it did all of those things.”

Elizabeth Crawford 4/25/15

Notes: This post is a bit lengthy. However, I feel that it is at the crux of this myth-making experiment, so trust that it will all make sense, eventually. Because I am still without a computer, I’ve been reading a great deal, or doodling. Which means I’ve been revisiting Dean Koontz. In one of his books, I found a brief paragraph about what makes a poem, a good poem. Because I agree with what he wrote, I used his explanation, putting it into my own words and the context of this piece of the myth.
The image is a free-hand, pen and ink zendala I created several years ago.

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Mythopoesis 24 – The Learning Begins

For NaPoWriMo Day 24


The Learning Begins

The circle of children and teacher
sat in shade of a huge oak, refreshed
by a gentle breeze rustling softly
through overhanging leaves.

He sat, leaning back against
its trunk, surprised at the smile
and nod he received from
the teacher (as though she’d
been expecting him).

Gathering the children’s
attention, she told them
of a surprise treat she’d brought
for them, a poem written by
one of their own: Maliah.

The child slowly stood up,
clearing her throat, she began
to read her poem (that was a kitten)
in a light soprano voice that easily
reached the ears of all who listened.

Especially those of the man
who had traveled from Interlude.
By the time the child had finished,
he was grinning, eyes alight with
brightness of joy. Unable
to resist, he was on his feet,
clapping his hands and whistling.

Stopping abruptly, realizing that all
eyes had swiveled toward his person. Some
smiling, others not able to hide their
questioning curiosity.
In a rush to explain, opening his mouth
he began to speak.

That is a boomerang
poem, do you know that? Turning
to the child, he asked, Who taught
you about this kind of poem?

With a wide smile, she simply said,
My Mama.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/24/15

Notes: Very late today. Several things interfered, but I finally finished. Can only hope, I’ll do better tomorrow. Image is a kaleidoscope created from one of my zen doodles. The center image is a pen and ink drawing that I merged within the kaleidoscope.

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