Song In My Soul

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #200

umbrella, river, hopeless, petals, post, uncut,
yearning, delicate, tiny, perched, blue, until

And for Poets United: Poetry Pantry #240

8-14-09  Blooming Blue

Song In My Soul

Live beneath an umbrella
of hope, though never really
possessed one. Purchased
a few, perched in closet,
forgotten until I was caught,
cold and blue, in deluge
of driving rain.

My hope is an uncut yearning,
constantly moving river of tiny
delicate petals posted upon ever
reaching branches of my soul.
Always and forever telling me,

“There is more, there is more,
there is sooo much more.”

Elizabeth Crawford  2/22/15

Notes: This one gave me a problem even though the first line was there before I finished reading the list. And the rest of the first stanza fell into place quite quickly. I think it was the word perched that did me in because I found myself writing about songbirds singing in my soul and I am certainly not Emily Dickinson, even though I admire what she did so well. When I switched the perched for posted, it felt a bit more mine, but I’ll thank Emily anyway.

Image is a pen and ink drawing put through the kaleidoscope app and then colored with fine art pens in India Ink.

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Stone Weight

For The Sunday Whirl writing prompt: Wordle #199

empty, held, memory, saintly, crack, track,
wrestle, pebbles, cue, act, science, angel

2-18-2012  Nesting

Stone Weight

It’s not science, you know.
I wasn’t saintly, not even close
to being an angel.

There’s a wide crack; graveled
path in my memory track,
jam-packed with boulders
of all sizes held in place
by ever smaller pebbles.

Times when I wrestled
with anger and hate
choosing not to act
on the violence those feelings
lusted after.

Suppose I could have dumped
a truck-load of cement over all
of it, smoothed it over
with trowels of forgetfulness.

Instead, they have become a cue,
reminding me of a way in which
I never wish to go, and what I would
never want to be, or to become.

Elizabeth Crawford  2/14/15

Notes: This one started whispering when I read the words the first time. Love it when that happens. I used all of the words, but changed empty to dump simply because it sounded better. Struggled a bit with the final stanza because the word cue didn’t seem to keep the tone I had started with. Just because it was easier than most, doesn’t mean I don’t fight with the words in my own fashion, lol.

Image is a kaleidoscope made from a much smaller pen and ink doodle and was then colored with coloring pencils, then switched back to the softer color of stone. One of my favorites because it showed me a great many things I could do with just a click of my mouse.

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The Art of Active Meditation

For the Sunday Whirl writing prompt: Wordle #198

instill, fill, burst, tumble, glass, sound,
clown, fleece, another, wound, emit, seal

And for Poets United: Poetry Pantry #238


Art of Active Meditation

Forgot how the colors can instill
a burst of soft, fleece-like meditation.

How just their names: Muted Turquoise,
Teal Blue, Shell, Light Aqua, and Burnt Ochre
can emit a tumble of emotions
that carry me swiftly through map
of years from grievous childhood
wound to sounds of clumsy clown
laughter spilled over a glass of wine.

As fingers, wrapped round pen, rhythmically
fill white spaces between lines with differing
hues which swiftly become key that breaks
the seal on a poem waiting to be written,
or another world that was thought to be forgotten.

Elizabeth Crawford  2/7/15

Notes: Been a while since I did any coloring. Downloaded the wordlist and let it sit for a while. It’s been a hectic and stressful few weeks and my mind was running around in circles until I remembered how soothing coloring can be. Hunted up my pens and printed out this template made from yet another template put through the kaleidoscope app. It’s more intricate then others I’ve done, but I wanted something that would demand my attention and concentration. It will be a while before I finish it, but I had truly forgotten how swiftly this form of active meditation can move in to center ones mind and even the emotions. When I took a break and finally pulled up the word list, the poem sort of wrote itself, almost as a continuation of that meditative state of being.

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Careless Risking

For The Sunday Whirl writing prompt: Wordle #197

rescue, patron, day, measure, spread, race,
state, host, spend, ticking, cloud, humility

Mandala Blue Satin -cp- nebulae ring

Careless Risking

Hard not to laugh
when others measure
in words like heroic
or humble. She was patron
of neither.

Spent her days racing
after ticking clock, too
often host to a state of cloudy
fear and foreboding.

Spread through her being:
the knowledge that she rescued
no one but herself from periodic
nightmares of being abandoned,
helplessly lost,
utterly alone.

Elizabeth Crawford  2/1/15

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From The Forest of Memory

Gunville Family-Back row Joe,Ray, Louise, Peggy, Helen, Lillian Front row  Olive , Virginia, Dena, Fred, Betty Jane

Joe, Ray, Louise, Peggy, Helen (Mom), Lillian
Olive, Virginia, Grandma Dena, Grandpa Fred, Betty

From The Forest of Memory

They were the trees
in the forest
of my childhood.

Sturdy farm folk
called away to far flung cities
in which to plant seeds,
grow their own families.

We would gather
at Grandma Dena’s little house
in Iron Mountain, such a happy
ruckus we made to ring
through those seemingly
paper thin walls.

And somewhere during the sunlit
afternoon, Auntie B would call
me apart from the other racing
chasing kids because I knew all
the words to the old songs and clearly
carried the melody.

We would sing of Red Sails in The Sunset,
the loss in dancing to The Tennessee Waltz,
how each of us might be the You in another’s
Sunshine. The Amazing Grace I felt

standing at center of this small copse
of flourishing timbers as they raised
voices from bass to soprano in smooth
belling harmony that called to surrounding
neighbors, who stepped out in their own
backyards just to listen.

Only six or seven, I knew myself to be
sheltered in their midst, safe from whirlwind
of outside world, yet a necessary, needed part
at heart of their impromptu chorus.

Elizabeth Crawford 1/27/15

This was inspired by Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Her poem about her Aunty Ev brought back a flood of memories from childhood and this particular one that remains clear and vividly detailed. The photograph is a family portrait, taken many, many years ago. Grandma and Grandpa had nine children, 56 grandchildren, and well over a hundred great-grandchildren. Periodically, my mother and her sisters would call for a gathering and at least once during those times, I would be called upon to start and lead this beautiful family choir. Grandma Dena had a lovely soprano voice and Grandpa would accompany us on his harmonica. Thank you, Rosemary, for bringing it all back to me.

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In Response To Humbird’s Question


burning bush final


In Response to Humbird’s Question

Yes, I firmly believe
that silence
can, and if kept too long,
will scorch the spirit.

Have known many
(mostly women)
that have forced themselves,
body and soul,
to live in a stupor of silence
caged in barbed wire
by another’s misdirected rage.
Jaws locked shut for sake
of foolish pride, hiding behind
a polite wall of prevarication.
Recklessly blind to what
they are wordlessly teaching their
sons and daughters.

Their defense no more
than a thin drifting drizzle
against that constantly banked
but regularly fed inferno.
Like the beautiful young woman
with huge sunglasses fixed across
most of her face at 3:30 in the morning,
while her right hand
softly massaged the purpling bruise
on her shoulder, who whispered
in a plaintive chord,
“You must understand,
I know, deep down,
I know,
he never really means
to hurt me.”

Elizabeth Crawford 1/26/15

Notes: It was not my intent to post anything today. I came here to make sure I had responded to all the comments left yesterday. Found a new one from Humbird, so clicked on her name, only to find that she had responded to a different wordle this morning. The words were interesting, but I was looking for yesterday’s response. That poem was about silence and ended with a question. “Can silence scorch the spirit?” I immediately felt a response forming on my lips. Then remembered that other list of words from today’s wordle and was off and running. My response comes directly from my own experience, and a distinct memory of a young woman who faced me across the in-take desk of the Women’s Shelter where I worked years ago. Thank you Humbird, for your comment and this swift but rather exhilarating experience.

Here are the words to this new wordle:

Prevaricate (to speak falsely, to give the wrong impression)

I used all but one. And the link where they may be found:

Humbird’s blog may be found here:

Image is yet another digital painting.

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The Poet’s Dream

For The Sunday Whirl writing prompt: Wordle #196

maybe, miles, words, scorch, chime, trite,
spell, land, spirit, aim, mind, sign

And for Poets United poetry prompt: Poetry Pantry#235


The Poet’s Dream

Some sort of spell in both
mind and spirit
has me searching out words
seemingly from a great distance.

Miles of scorched, blackened trees
that strangely appear like letters
of a foreign language, litter
this ashy-white landscape.

May even be deliberately
unreadable signposts, aimed at
causing confusion, or worse,
a deeply harrowing triteness.

Finally notice bleached bones tied
to dark limbs of this haunted forest.
Wind begins whirling, setting skeletal bits
to click-clacking against one another.

Unearthly chimes of music that send
blood rushing to farthest extremities,
igniting mind and spirit to imminent
arrival of long awaited poem.

Elizabeth Crawford 1/25/15

Notes: Almost gave up on that arrival. Had the first three verses, but didn’t know where to go from there. Spoke to my daughter (who has been released from the Nursing Home and is staying here until we can find her a first floor apartment), and she suggested the image of the bones blowing in the wind. Typed it in and the last verse fell into place. Thank you, Sara.

Image is actually two different pen and ink line drawings. The outer rings were created from a line weave drawing put through the kaleidoscope app. The center image is another pen and ink drawing merged with the first one.

If you have time, click on the post prior to this one. Time to celebrate. I have sold one of my digital paintings to be used as cover art for another author, and am in the process of doing the same with a second one.

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