When The Oak Tree Fell

Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #34

blackbird, tree, pantomime, whirled, whistling, barbaric,
bawds, pierced, moving, snowing, afternoon, rhythms

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #226

fall, mist, flesh, secret, holy, drift,
hidden, tide, abyss, pass, light, tames

Poets United: Poetry Pantry #279


When The Oak Tree Fell

It didn’t drift in tame movement, didn’t whirl
around in barbaric rhythms of secret holy pantomime
in damping mist of foreign tides. Didn’t stop or still
itself for piercing whistle of winging blackbird.

Just fell straight down, pushed by bawdy wind
on an afternoon that promised snow. Left column
of light where once it provided cooling shade. Broke
and destroyed nothing in its final dive into abyss of death.

Left behind only its flesh to be cut up in chunks for firewood
and a certain soft ache of sadness at its passing.

Elizabeth Crawford  11/22/15

Notes: Sister called two days ago to tell me that the biggest oak in their backyard fell over during the windy afternoon just passed. When I saw the word tree in the two word lists, my mind wouldn’t go any further. I could hear the bit of sadness in her voice, and felt an echo of it inside of me. Used all of the words.

Image is a hand drawn pen and ink zentangle done some time ago.

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Somewhere, On Any Given Weekend

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #225

silent, left, seven, freeze, scramble, nameless,
looks, brim, peck, scrape, dish, laugh

Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #33

tongue, fingernail, flare, friends, poor, window,
shack, round, smoke, war, overalls, grimy

Poets United: Poetry Pantry #278


Somewhere, On Any Given Weekend

Seven friends sit round smoky campfire
in grimy overalls, pecking and scraping
fish scales from pants with dirty fingernails.

In flickering flare, one points to smeared window
of shack they affectionately call The War Room,
rather than leaving it nameless. “You know,

some of us poor slobs are gonna have to scramble
up there and clean that brimming mess we left,
maybe even wash some of those dishes.”

After a moment of silence, another sticks out
tongue, looks at speaker, laughs and says, “Nah.
We’ll just do what we did last time. Play cards,

and the biggest loser wins that privilege.”

Elizabeth Crawford  11/15/15

Notes: Purely fictional, although my father was given to telling stories about the male gatherings at an uncle’s cabin. Of course, I was not allowed on those occasions. Used all but one of the words. Image is a photo I took last summer at a nearby park. One of my favorite places to spend leisure time.

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Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #32

despair, dreams, miracle, shining, happiness, greet,
sorrow, swagger, mysterious, bear, expulsion, wrists

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #224

dream, translucent, pictures, trip, spin, vapid,
stun, grid, trample, seem, dance, pan

Poets United: Poetry Pantry #277

cherries 2a


One could be vapid, dance with mysterious
translucent dreams of sorrow and despair.
Slit wrists and trample life before it ever
begins, erasing oneself from entire grid.

Expulsion would be better than to bear
such a pan-full of negativity.

Much better that dream that swaggers out to greet
the dawn with happiness for shining miracle of life.
Stuns its possessor until she trips and spins, seemingly
drunk on positive pictures of delightful persuasion.

Elizabeth Crawford 11/8/15

Notes: Been sick all week with Acute Bronchitis. Collected the words anyway, because I didn’t want to miss another week. Blaming my stuffed head, nose, even ears for the simplicity of my offering. Really hard to think.

Image is a coloring page done years ago.

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At End of The Day

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #222

full, ground, hour, buddy, sell, element,
ability, theory, demon, gear, lane, trees

Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #30

melon, whorehouse, oubliette, wearing, rattle, sleeping,
touching, vanilla, mania, bone, smite, spit wad

Poets United: Poetry Pantry #275

At End of The Day

No matter how vanilla flavored we would prefer
our lives to be, there comes that darkest hour
when the mind becomes an oubliette, a demon
wearing a rattle of past bones, no more than a wad
of spit ground into floor of a Texas whorehouse.

Where sleep is a manic theory sold only to highest
bidder, an untouchable element that staggers
ability to reason, and any sound is a concrete melon
crashing down to smite thinnest thread of hope
for release.

Yet, if we have done the work of making the soul
our buddy, now it will come with all of its finest gear
to transport us to a quiet country lane lined with dark
barked trees fully covered in crisp Autumn leaves that
whisper of drifting away on a scent of fragrant color.

Elizabeth Crawford  10/25/15

Image is a photo taken a few days ago, at a small horse farm not far from where I live.  Look me up on Facebook and see what happened when I put it through the kaleidoscope apps.

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Belated Reflection

For Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #29

daughter, rocking, words, wooden, needing, beneath,
halfway, slapping, glass, seams, breathing, crisp

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #221

weapons, energy, food, pick, transform, walk,
breathe, view, deep, practice, path, run

Poets United: Poetry Pantry #274

dscn1224-2aBelated Reflection

I am my mother’s daughter. Never thought I’d
say that. Her example has given me needed energy
to breathe life into this path through old age. Albeit,
I walk it and don’t run. She did the same.

Over halfway through life, she altered that wooden
role of housewife, chose to practice the one of artist.
Although her weapons were colors, mine are words,
we managed to transform seams of our existence.

Self-expression was soul food we picked to nurture
our beings, permitting a crisper, deeper view through
cracked glass of present moments, ultimately leading
to something beyond mere survival.

She slapped paint on canvas, while I rock words
on paper. Occasionally, have even borrowed some
of her hues, allowing us both to go on breathing
long beyond anyone else’s expectations.

Elizabeth Crawford  10/18/15

Notes: First glance at the words and the word daughter jumped up and bit me. Refused to let go. I have written several poems about my dad, very few about my mom. When I was young, our relationship was strained. Yet, as she (I?) got older, it was to me she’d turn when looking for answers to those hard questions. She didn’t start painting until her mid-sixties and eventually had two public shows of her work. She taught me the most important lesson of all: It is never too late to begin.

Image is a photo I took in my sister’s back yard.

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This Thing That I Do

For the Sunday Whirl: Wordle #220

milk, thrum, traffic, matter, risk, trip,
link, letters, chill, minute, urge, courage

Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #28

vicinity, pond, wind, shorebirds, water, thin, wonders,
bicycling, natural, dunes, distance, cabin

Poets United: Poetry Pantry #273


This Thing That I Do

Took a risk, taking life-long trip
through this traffic of words.
Swimming in waters of natural wonder,
linking them all together with letters
fished from milky pond of my life.

Some minutes matter more than others,
thrum with a chilling wind of awareness,
while others scurry away like shorebirds
racing over distant dunes, drawing attention
from thinly concealed nest and further detection.

Always the urge to be no more than cyclist
pedaling toward evening fire in cozy cabin,
well within reach of neighborhood vicinity.
Never really thought about courage it takes
to actually do this thing that I do.

Elizabeth Crawford  10/11/15

Notes: A very good week. Finally got the old hard drive transferred to this computer and have spent a lot of time exploring those files I haven’t seen for months. One file specifically, the three-quarters of a poetry manuscript I had been working on for almost a year. So good to have it back in my possession. It is, for the most part, biographical and I had a thought that that might be the theme I could use for this weeks word lists. Crossed my fingers until I got the lists. At first glance, I didn’t think it would work at all. So slept on it. On my second look, those first lines started humming, so I followed the words. Glad that I did. Used all of the words, a few with a great deal of poetic license.

The image is a retouched photo someone sent me on Facebook. I put it through my two new and very different kaleidoscope apps. For me, purple is the color of personal power. High five, I believe I am back in business.

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The Gap Between Belief and Experience

For Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #27

light, dark, gone, fragments, leaves, eye,
theft, erotic, dream, change, watch, clock

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #219

one, call, wind, share, nexus, left,
press, flush, threats, list, swear, tender

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #272

penandink on canvasThe Gap Between Belief and Experience

Clock of age threatens the nexus between
light and darkness. Watching it slowly
change share of time until just fragments
remain, a capricious wind at twilight.

Tender moments press hard against past,
take on dream-like flush and are gone,
leaving behind a list of maybes that call
to the heart while ears and eyes grow dim.

Once heard that aging could be somewhat
erotic, filled with adventure and mystery.
Would swear that kind of belief is left only
to one who learned it young, and never forgot it.

Elizabeth Crawford 10/4/15

Notes: For whatever reason, the two word lists made me think of the aging process. Had no idea how that would work until the first line started humming in my head. The rest was a matter of following the words, letting them show me where they belonged. Have often thought that whoever coined the phrase “golden years” was at best only middle-aged and had yet to encounter the “degeneration” and increasing fragility involved in growing old.

Image is a very small pen and ink drawing done on canvas.

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