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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A Future?

For Sunday Whirl: Wordle #218

trump, bust, level, kick, dressed, mess,
exists, music, spin, visit, system, sighs

For Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle#26

horses, poems, dancing, balcony, railing, sing,
luxury, apartments, windows, dirty, shining, brick

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #271

Zentangle Mandala #10 8-12-09 2A Future?

Prancing horses seen from balcony railing
of luxury apartment are like poems dressed up,
dancing to a music only they might sing.

While a trump goes bust in a mess of slung
bricks, putting spin on a system seen only
through dirty windows of once shining soul.

Level ground not found, as sighs of disbelief
are kicked to a curb where no one visits
and only a multitude of homeless exist.

Elizabeth Crawford 9/27/15

Notes: My apologies. Once again, I am not being allowed to leave comments. Will continue to attempt to fix the problem.

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The Life Waiting

For Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #25

birthday, pared, dazzling, weapons, sparks, move,
eroding, rot, stumps, resentments, choking, gate

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #217

evict, nick, trick, valley, threat, scent,
dash, deny, try, subside, flee, free

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #270

dscn4045a5The Life Waiting

We must be willing to get rid
of the life we planned, so as to have
the life that is waiting for us.

___Joseph Campbell

The single birthday I remember clearly,
was my fortieth. Most of the others are lost.
Some deep valley of denial? Trick of mind?
Closing gates of memory, eroding every scent
or sight of a spark in personal experience?

A few, no more than nicked stumps, choked growth
lacking movement, or dashing moments, which
would allow them to exist even in pared down
fashion. Pulled forward, they swiftly subside,
as if to flee any threat from further exposure.

Neither evicted, nor seen as rotted by a sense
of resentment, they simply hold no flame
to compare with that one dazzling evening.
When, with new found weapons of freedom,
I let go of the life someone else had planned

and truly embraced the one that was waiting.

Elizabeth Crawford  9/20/15

Notes: Purely biographical. When I got the two word lists, the only word that jumped out at me was birthday. So, I put them away and let them sit. But, that word had me thinking about the fact that in a few months I’ll turn 70 (whew!) Then trying to remember others and realizing I don’t remember them. Only a few, because I’ve written birthday poems for some. Except for my fortieth. Newly divorced, I had recently rented a small house for myself and youngest children. I was a junior in college, so on the spur of the moment, wanting to celebrate, I invited some of my friends from school to a very casual Bring Your Own Bottle party. The numbers grew and one of those friends invited my adviser and mentor. He accepted and brought his wife and a bottle of wine. I had warned everyone that the house was small and that most would be sitting on the floor. We watched two Monty Python movies: The Meaning of Life, and The Life of Brian. There was lots of laughter as we sang along with the music, and afterward had a wonderful conversation about poetry and Walt Whitman. After most of them had departed, I overheard a conversation between two of my women friends, who were standing in the kitchen, while I sat in the over-stuffed rocker in the living room, finishing off a small bottle of Zinfandel, one of them had gifted to me. “Should we be worried about Elizabeth? She’s gone very quiet, but is smiling.” There was a brief silence. “She’s fine, just dreaming about her new Elizabeth life.” For months afterward, when any of us would meet in the coffee shop or cafeteria, we’d start singing, Always Look On The Bright Side of Life…

Image is a bonfire photograph put through the kaleidoscope app.

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Invitation To The Dance

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #216

far, birth, heart, shore, drizzle, sprout,
down, silhouette, face, ripe, lines, itself

For Sunday’s Whirligig: Wordle #24

rolling, furrow, moves, dust, timeless, floating,
name, powerless, stars, rub, pulsing, moonless

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #269

5-2-2014-colored-pencil5aInvitation To The Dance

An idea sprouts, giving birth
to itself. We may name it, think
we even know its face, but it is
only a silhouette, a shadow
floating through a moonless night.

Might pulsate with heart beat, but
tracking it down to its beginnings
would be like finding single rain drop
in a timeless drizzle. Or star dust
rolling through sand at far shore line.

Always moving at its own pace, through furrows
of mind and imagination. Ripe with meaning,
rubbing up against all of life’s experiences. Yet,
we are not powerless. We forever retain the right
to choose to dance, or sit this one out.

Elizabeth Crawford  9/13/15

Process Notes: I looked at the words, even had an idea where to take them, but decided to sit on it for a while. Have been trying to reconstruct some of the files lost when I lost my old computer. Amazing how many pieces of hard copy I’ve found, and made over the years. Have been scanning doodles and templates for the past four days and it struck me how much of all of it is connected over these almost seven decades of my life. I had pretty much decided to sit this one out, wasn’t really keen about what had been there since looking at the two lists. Took one last look at the word lists and started hearing this piece, instead of the original one. The original one was about a tiny seed that gives birth to a sprout etc. Realized that tiny seed was only an idea, one that worked, and definitely asked me to the dance. I accepted.

Image is one of my own templates, colored with colored pencils, then enhanced with a digital background.

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When Movement Takes Energy

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #215

Friends, pond, bridge, money, poor, teeth,
Skirt, cell, organs, DNA, tower, signal

For Sunday’s Whirligig: #23

play, pretend, scarlet, flying, verses, scars, holding,
inscriptions, silence, shoes, demanding, stench

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #268


When Movement Takes Energy

Apathy holds a stench, smelled only
by its possessor. Clenched teeth bring
on headaches that can be felt throughout
cells, organs, might even be embedded
deep in individual DNA.

One might pretend to play, but the soul
remains silent, giving poorest of signals.
Verses become no more than unscripted
scars hidden beneath a seemingly scarlet
skirt holding nothing more than empty hope.

Friends fly away or are pushed off tower
of graying isolation. No amount of money
will bridge this decaying pond of despondency.
New shoes demand movement but moving
takes caring, takes energy.

Elizabeth Crawford  9/6/15

Notes: This is not my reality. Have been here but that was long ago. The words led me back to that memory, it holds a distinct and precise place inside, one I don’t wish to relive any time soon. Image is a photo taken some time ago.

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Me? I’m No Good at Keeping ‘Em

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #214

worm, stop, here, speak, amber, chirping,
deal, easy, rot, foster, me, secret

For Sunday’s Whirligig: #22

hears, dread, smothers, cane, hobbles, swart,
wanting, disguise, poem, vowels, imagines, uncanny

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #267


Me? I’m No Good at Keeping ‘Em.

Here’s the deal: a secret fosters
an uncanny urge to speak it.
Disguising itself as an amber worm,
crawling through imagination, hobbling
any vowel of truth it encounters.
Smothering it’s keeper with dread
should any chirp of its rotten wanting
raise its head to be heard.

Never easy to stop leaning on swarthy
cane of deception, once that path has
been chosen. Even harder, if one is a writer
of poems. For the words themselves
have an eerie tendency to weave a fabric
that resembles the white light of reality‘s

Elizabeth Crawford  8/30/15

Notes: I’m simply enjoying the two word list task. Pic is a digital image created on another Photoshop App. Cross your fingers. With some amount of trial and error, I think I have found and fixed the problem of not being able to respond to comments.

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In Search of A Winner

For The Sunday Whirl: Wordle #213

lucid, wine, stain, puzzle, foreign, superior,
feckless, dumb, chiseled, hollow, luminous, winner

For Sunday’s Whiligigs: #21

reach, farming, sprout, dung, enters, corn,
comes, mole, rise, seed, flows, vine

For Poets United: Poetry Pantry #


In Search of A Winner

There were always those times
when words became a foreign puzzle,
and she, a feckless farmer digging
in dung heap of littered letters. Dumb mole
timidly scampering through rows of corn
forever beyond her reach.

Yet sometimes, words entered her dreams,
like seeds eager to sprout, rising lucid,
luminous flow of superior erudition.
Chiseled wisdom hanging plump
on fruitful vines, simply awaiting proper
time for distillation.

But for now, they are no more than widening
stain, red wine spilled on white cotton,
hollow, lacking all meaning.

Elizabeth Crawford  8/23/15

Notes: I used to hold a grudge against wordles, thinking they were a sort of cheat for those lacking words and imagination. Now, here I am, seeking out two word lists because I actually enjoy the challenge and work of putting them all together. They prove that even an old woman can learn new tricks. The image is a pen and red ink line weave drawing done some time ago. Added note: My apologies. I’m not having much luck trying to post return comments today. Know that my spirit is with you, but my puter doesn’t seem to want to cooperate.

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