Standing In The Gap


Standing In The Gap

Canyon is a gap
between two earthen faces.
Would take a scientist
to explain how time’s
erosion and liquid life
flowing, separated common
ground once held
by two stone faces.

There is a gap
between god and a man,
between that man
and another, between
a woman and her friend,
a husband and mother,
wife and her lover,
brother and daughter,
sister and son.
This space between physical
faces could be said to be filled
with a word.

There’s an obvious gap
between truth and a lie,
theory and experience,
and between a thought
and a deed.
Not so clear, is the gap
between wish and desire,
knowledge and wisdom,
and that one between
want and a need.
These spaces between abstract
faces could be said to be filled
with a concept, an image.

Had I been a man,
might have been that one
who went around tilting
at windmills. Instead,
I’m a woman who stands
in the gap between a word
and an image. Daring with fingers
to free-form the feelings
which fill up pulsating spaces.

Elizabeth Crawford

*Originally published in small volume titled Here, But For Me, There Be Dragons, 1998.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
This entry was posted in Standing In The Gap and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Standing In The Gap

  1. Susan B. says:

    This piece is one of the truest expressions of your voice: the rythym, rhymes internal and external, theme (difference, Other, artist…). I keep replacing my favorites with new one, old one, some I remember, some I don’t.Keep writing, keep living Your life. Thank you. Susan


  2. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you. It is an old one, but has an incredible amount of significance for me personally. It speaks of a great many ways in which I see myself, that, until now and your comment, I thought were not that obvious. Each time I go back to it, I find layers of meaning that I was not aware of when I wrote it. I love it when one can keep giving oneself gifts that don’t get tired, but stand in the test of time gaps.



  3. Pingback: Percival? | Soul's Music

  4. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Prompt #4: Day 4 | 1sojournal

  5. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Prompt #5: Day 5 | 1sojournal

  6. Pamela says:

    I really love this, Elizabeth. Your third stanza says it all. Very nicely done.


    So glad you took the time to read it, Pamela. It is definitely one of my favorites. I remember writing it in the coffee shop, getting half way through and wondering where it was all going and why the hell I was writing it at all. So many of my poems seem to come from that pattern.



  7. Wow. An incredible poem. That space between people, like the gap in a canyon, is filled with the words, actions and history between them, which can either bridge the gap or widen it beyond repair. I love “I am a woman who stands in the gap between a word and an image.” Yes, you are.

    Thank you, Sherry. This is a really old poem, but one that pulls me back to my beginnings as a poet. Have always liked it, because it reminds me of how I felt the wonder of a child, that I could be that woman.



  8. Vivian Zems says:

    A truly philosophical write. I love how you define yourself as standing in the gap between word and image.

    Hello and thank you, Vivian. I was a student of, and taught adult Bible Study classes before going to college in my late thirties. The prophets of old were said to stand in the gap between the people and God, helping those people to understand God’s message. This poem was part of a semester’s work, in which we were to find a “creative” way to respond to the particular poets we had studied. The class itself was extraordinary, both well attended and lively in discussion. Many of us would retire to the coffee shop, after class, and continue discussing the material, sometimes joined by our Instructor. The poem holds a lot of those memories and is one of my favorites for that reason.


  9. I love the thought of that gap, and I do prefer bridges to walls

    So do I, Bjorn, so do I…



  10. sanaarizvi says:

    I absolutely love this especially; “I’m a woman who stands in the gap between a word and an image. Daring with fingers to free-form the feelings which fill up pulsating spaces.” Yes you are this and so much more, Elizabeth! ❤️

    Thank you very much, Sanaa. This is an old poem, written when I was still a bit astounded by the fact that I was already a mother of four and now writing poetry. No one was more surprised than I was by this particular turn of events. I didn’t go looking for this reality, it came to me and demanded to be heard. I think the poets of any generation share the same energy as the prophets of old, who didn’t so much speak their messages to the people, but acted them out in sense imagery. And you do the same.


  11. daa1915 says:

    This one caught me up and took me on a thought journey. Loved it

    Thank you, daa1915. Glad you enjoyed it.


  12. thotpurge says:

    I’m a woman who stands
    in the gap between a word
    and an image. …. oh I love that! What a fabulous thought!

    So glad you like the idea, Rajani. The more of life we know, experience, the better able we are to interpret it. As poets, our words should create images the reader can understand, and easily interpret. At least one can hope that is so.


  13. kim881 says:

    I enjoyed the philosophical tone of this poem, Elizabeth, and the political undertone, too. The definition of a canyon, with its earthen faces, is a good way to begin and I love the explanation of how the common ground was separated, as well as the shift from earth to humans and their thinking. My favourite lines are:

    ‘This space between physical
    faces could be said to be filled
    with a word’


    ‘Had I been a man,
    might have been that one
    who went around tilting
    at windmills. Instead,
    I’m a woman who stands
    in the gap between a word
    and an image’.

    Thank you, Kim. Glad to know that my words are understood and appreciated.


  14. Bodhirose says:

    I had to look up the meaning of “tilting at windmills” as I’ve never heard it before but I’m glad you are a woman who didn’t end up a man like that! I see that this was written some time ago but seems to have stood the test of time and is still very meaningful…to you and us. Thanks for sharing.
    Gayle ~

    Thank you very much Gayle, for taking the time to read, explore, and comment. I am an old woman, who didn’t start writing poetry until I was almost forty years old. But, had a Mentor who saw something in me that I had no idea even existed. Music was an integral part of my existence from little on because I could sing. But, where I grew up, poetry was something that made people’s eyes glass over at the mere mention of the word. Imagine my shock when one of the first poems I wrote won first place in a writing contest held on campus. Then after college, had one of my poems accepted as the anchor piece for an anthology that was later nominated for a Grammy Award in the Spoken Word category. And led to my being invited to teach at that same University. I was aware of Don Quixote, not so much through my studies but because of that original love of music and the song “Don Quixote” by Gordon Lightfoot, and, like you, my own exploration of that story. I love how poems come together.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. love this really very well done, all the gaps…what are they, how do we tilt, and who are we really…bkm

    Barbara, I love all the questing of which you speak. One may only hope that we are what we create.Thanks for the visit.


  16. Bodhirose says:

    Elizabeth, i’m so impressed by your story and how you came to begin writing, and apparently had quite a natural talent for it too! I love how poems come together also. Sometimes it’s almost like they write themselves when they just flow from our hearts or souls. I’m trying to regain the enthusiasm that I once had for writing…had taken a break…so I do hope that the juices will begin flowing again.
    Gayle ~

    Hi again, Gayle. Like you, I am also trying to come back from a rather lengthy pause. Spent the last year, trying to deal with some physical issues, and putting a manuscript together. The Poetry Pantry at Poets United, had me searching through much older pieces, found this one, and it is about my beginnings so went with it. It holds an incredible number of memories for me. Perhaps we could hold one another’s hand and encourage one another to proceed? It’s always encouraging to know that one is not alone.
    PS Thinking we could begin here:
    It’s a bit of mythopoesis, making myth from personal experience.
    What do you think?


  17. Bodhirose says:

    Hi Elizabeth, well I followed your link here to your poem and then tried to click on the link to the Big Tent Poetry but the link didn’t work. I wanted to see the prompt that had been given that inspired your writing. Do you remember the prompt so you could share that with me? I’ll take all the help that I can get!
    Gayle ~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s