The Call

for Big Tent Poetry weekly Monday Prompt
http://bigtentpoetry.org/2010/06/monday-promptjune-21/

This is my first attempt to use a Big Tent Poetry prompt. The prompt was an exercise in writing a stream of consciousness list about something you wanted to write about, but didn’t really know how to do that. Then you were supposed to find something in the list and use it to build a metaphor, in poem form. I did that, but when it was finished, something completely different popped into my head, so I wrote it down and it made me laugh. The next morning I got a second part to that first section (didn’t know it was a Part I thingie), and the third section came the morning after that. Am fairly certain that was not the intent of the prompter, but we all work in our own peculiar ways. Mine just happened to be in layers. It is what I can only call a Mythic piece. Thank you Carolee, Deb, and Jill.

The Call

       I

God handed a pen
to the prophet,
said, “Thou shalt write
until you come
to the end of words.”

The prophet, a would
be, dreamy-eyed poet,
cried, “But, what if
there is no end?”

God smiled, said,
“That would be
good.”

      II

So, the prophet
who would be a poet, wrote
through long dark night
into day, and the next,
’til the pen ran out
of ink.

Brought it to God
said, “This pen
has run dry,
but the words
have found no end.”

And God said,
“Wring the darkness
from within,
let it drop into a bowl,
mix it with tears
from your very soul,
and then write, until
you come…”

“to the end of words,”
whispered
the prophet/poet

And God said,
“Amen.”

      III

So, the prophet
who would be a poet,
became a hermit.
Made her way
through dank caves
of her inmost being,
found old wounds
that made her cry,
pried them loose
and used these truths
to find still more
words.

God came to visit,
asked, “Have you found
it yet?”

And the prophet
who would be a poet,
but was now a hermit
said, “No, but I have found
many other things.”

“Ahhh,” said God,
“what have you found?”

The hermit showed God
her aloneness.
The prophet showed God
her personal truths,
and the poet showed God
a feather from a small
speckled hen, and a pebble
from the beach, that had found
its way into her sandal.

God told the hermit
of spending an eternity,
alone in a dark black void,
before Creation.

God told the prophet
that truths are guides
meant only to point toward,
perhaps eventually reveal
a final destination.

Then God took up
the feather, touched it
lightly to the pebble,
and the pebble cracked
in half. God gave the halves
of the pebble to the prophet
and the hermit, then touched
the feather to the poet’s lips,
before giving her that object.

God said, “These are sacred
treasures. Keep them always,
and be mindful.”

And the poet joyfully whispered,
“Amen”

Elizabeth Crawford 6/25/10

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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: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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48 Responses to The Call

  1. Wow, what a poem! Well done!

    Like

  2. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Diane, it’s a lot more than my usual, lol.

    Like

  3. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, this is unique and wonderful. I think you have the voice of God down pat! And it would be a good poem to perform!

    http://inthecornerofmyeye.blogspot.com/2010/06/front-page-news.html

    Like

  4. systematicweasel says:

    Writing something in a stream of consciousness is always fun! Nicely done! Thanks for sharing!

    -Weasel

    Hi Weasel, it was more than fun, it was eye-opening.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  5. Ron. says:

    Rippin good tale, this. I generally tend to lose interest after a dozen lines or so (mostly because most poets tend to lose their focus, I think) but not here. Congratulations!

    Like

  6. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Mary,
    thanks for the comments and compliments. This was a fun write and I enjoyed it immensely, but I have always thought that God’s voice must sound a bit like James Earl Jones, lol. Don’t think mine would do.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  7. pamela says:

    Elizabeth this is a well written poem!
    Nice to see you at the big tent!
    Pamela

    Like

  8. 1sojournal says:

    Ron, glad it held your interest, it certainly did mine for several days.

    pamela, thanks and glad to be part of the circus.

    Like

  9. Carolee says:

    the intent of the prompter is just that you attempt a poem. 🙂
    yay! thanks for joining our circus!

    Carolee, thanks for the warm welcome.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  10. Tumblewords says:

    A magical read! Love it…

    Like

  11. 1sojournal says:

    Tumblewords, thank you, it felt magical even as I wrote it. It still does.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  12. mark says:

    Unbelievable…this is so…well…divine. I really like what you have done here.

    Mark, is it okay to say, I feel the same way? lol,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  13. brenda w says:

    This is beautiful, it reads like oral tradition. I would love to hear you read it out loud. feathers and pebbles… Well constructed piece, Elizabeth. Glad to see you under the Big Tent! ~Brenda

    Brenda, glad to be here, finally.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  14. Elizabeth-

    That first section has me grinning, and is the kind of beautiful simplicity one might expect from divinity. I appreciate your note on “Seen the Missing” by the way. It’s not often that we find ourselves writing someone else’s experiences, and it was gratifying to hear.

    -Nathan

    Like

  15. 1sojournal says:

    Nathan,

    this whole experience had me grinning and wondering if maybe I should pinch myself awake, lol. Really glad I didn’t do that. And it took me several minutes to realize just what I was seeing when I read your piece. It was a bit of a shock. That, thank goodness, is not a very common experience. You made me see it from an entirely new perspective and I thank you for that.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  16. cocoknight1 says:

    Wow! Great job… I think inspiration found your pen each of those days! Not only is it well written, but could be itself a parable/proverb from a sacred text… who knows, perhaps one day it shall be! 🙂

    Like

  17. 1sojournal says:

    Thanks Elron,

    I’d settle for a small paperback book about making myth from ones own story.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  18. Elizabeth, so beautiful and divine. Welcome under the tent.

    Like

  19. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Uma,

    Thank you for coming, reading, and commenting. And thank you for such a warm welcome.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  20. Rallentanda says:

    A hermit, prophet and poet …a treasured combination .

    Like

  21. 1sojournal says:

    And a trinity of being.

    Thank you for commenting, Rallentanda.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  22. I’m a sucker for myths and fables, and this one is very well crafted. It feels timeless and mystical.

    Like

  23. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Francis,

    I’m a sucker for those things myself. Always wanted to write a mythic sort of piece, but never thought I could. Guess its been storing itself up for a long time.

    Thanks for stopping and reading.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  24. vivinfrance says:

    I could have sworn I’d commented on this, but it seems to have disappeared. I read it for a second time linked from your prose piece on soulsmusic, and the combination is mind blowing. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve printed both for a talented writer friend who is going through a bad patch healthwise, and hasn’t written for months. I thought it might gee her up into writing again. Inspirational.
    ViV

    Like

  25. This is just so imaginative, and such a wonderful story…left me with a great feeling!

    Like

  26. 1sojournal says:

    Viv,

    very glad you came back to take a second look. And yes, it’s fine that you passed it to your friend. Hope it helps in some wee fashion. But, mind blowing and inspirational? Whew. It was certainly those things for me in so many ways, but it’s beyond wonderful to know that someone else felt the same. And I hope you don’t mind, but I intend to tuck this comment under my arm, and carefully preserve it in my secret box of kudos that I keep in the closet. They are so good for those rainy days when words get turned away on a descending sigh.

    Thank you much,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  27. 1sojournal says:

    Hello Cynthia,

    thank you for stopping and reading and for your wonderful comments. Like most created characters, the prophet, hermit, and the poet, have all let me know there is more to this story. And I am over the top glad to know that.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  28. Stan Ski says:

    Consistently well written from start to finish.

    Like

  29. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Stan, that’s a hell of a compliment,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  30. vivinfrance says:

    I must report to you Elizabeth, and all the other tenters, that my reading of The Call to a group of published poets last night was greeted with a sigh of contentment and tremendous appreciation. The poem really pays for performing, and I hope I did it justice.

    Like

  31. 1sojournal says:

    Viv,

    thank you so much for the report. And I’m sure you did it more than justice. Your own feelings probably carried it to a new level. I am so pleased that it was well received and only wish I could have been there. Many many years ago, before I’d ever read anything I’d written aloud, I wrote a poem while at a retreat, about something the main speaker had talked about, something I wanted to remember. I showed it to a friend, who was there with me, and she told the speaker about it. The speaker came and asked me if she could read it aloud. When she did, I was shocked and embarrassed to find tears in my eyes. And of course, immediately thought I’d never be able to read my things aloud because I’d never get passed that blubber reaction. Eventually I did, but it happened again when one of my pieces was recorded by the actor, Ed Asner. So, maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t there, lol, or I’d have probably started crying. Thank you again, for honoring my work, for giving it voice, and allowing it that moment to sing in the sunlight.

    ELizabeth

    Like

  32. Mory Keita says:

    “The prophet, a would
    be, dreamy-eyed poet,
    cried, “But, what if
    there is no end?” ‘

    wow this is by far the best poem i have read in long time. very entertaining and quirky and extremely creative.

    Keep on writing!

    Mory

    Like

  33. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Mory,

    thank you for visiting and for the enthusiasm in your comment. But, I had to start laughing at the Keep on Writing! line. I’m 64, you are 16. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? I should be telling you those kinds of things. And I definitely am doing that right now! Sometime, when I was about 16, I was told that I seemed to have some talent in the writing arena. I brushed that aside and did other things, and not necessarily things I am proud of. I didn’t come back to the writing until I was almost 40. But, I did come back and ended up teaching others about the ins and outs of the process of following the words. The thing I said, most often to those who chose to enter my classroom was “Keep on Writing!” I love it when words come back and make a statement of reality. Thank you Mory, you made a really good day, even better.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  34. shewriting says:

    I am with Mory. This is the best poem I have read in a long time. God bless you and thank you for touching my soul with this.

    Like

  35. 1sojournal says:

    And thank you for taking the time to tell me that. Touching a soul is perhaps, the highest compliment a poet might receive. I love this poem, but it is so gratifying to know that others find value and treasure within it. Say hi to Mory for me. He’s quite the writer himself.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  36. Rashmi says:

    What should I tell?I feel blessed as I read the poem.As if I myself infront of the Divine..Oh!dear great work.Yes you are a blessed person…And also thanks to Mary Kling .Because of her I found out this one..

    Like

  37. 1sojournal says:

    Rashmi, I too owe Mary a great deal.

    And I felt blessed while writing it. I think it had been there, building itself for years and years. And somehow, by clearing away what was holding it down, by doing the stream of consciousness writing (called for in the original prompt), it somehow found the energy and courage to reveal itself. And, for the most part, I felt a lot like I was just along for the ride, sitting in the passenger’s seat and taking notes on the scenery flashing past my window. Since writing this, I have found the next ‘chapter’ in the story. And know there is even more. I will be patient and wait.

    Thank you very much for your encouragement and support. It makes the waiting much easier,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  38. Yes, it is very beautiful! I loved each word! A truth resounded!

    Annell, thanks for taking the time to come and read. This is my favorite of all the poems I have written to prompts, and I find that startling because it was my first response to anything on the poetry prompt circuit.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  39. leelotchka44 says:

    This made me cry for joy and recognition. Thanks for writing this and saving me a zillion incarnations

    Like

  40. Elizabeth, this is not only gorgeous but like cracking a window through human skin to see through to the heart and mind…like Leonard Cohen said, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets through”. Of course, this thing has two sides to it: one to let the light in, and the other to let the light inside us pour out.

    -Nicole

    Like

  41. Susan says:

    What led me here today? I no longer remember. I LOVE this story of a poet/prophet in the making. When I think of a lonely God with a history, my heart opens. When I read it in a brilliant poem, so does my mind.

    Like

  42. rosross says:

    Well done. And of course the first poets were the bards, the prophets, seers, shamans, shape-shifters and light-bringers for humanity.

    Like

  43. Andrew Geary says:

    I think this is pretty good and the first part is great, but there are some cliches pertaining to artists like “dark caves of innermost being” and “old wounds” but there’s also the good stanza beginning with “The hermit showed God..” interesting stuff here.

    Like

  44. How cool that Viv read this!! Wow…I wish I could have been there too…sigh.

    This poem is deeply profound…touches on so many truths and I just love the turning point when God tells her to,

    “Wring the darkness
    from within,
    let it drop into a bowl,
    mix it with tears
    from your very soul,
    and then write, until
    you come…”

    “to the end of words,”
    whispered
    the prophet/poet

    And God said,
    “Amen.”

    I love that portion…

    The progression of the entirety is magic…flawless.

    Thank you for sharing this again for WWP…I really shouldn’t have read this first though now I can’t think of anything! Ha-ha!! 🙂

    Like

  45. Pingback: To the End of Words | Vivinfrance's Blog

  46. Kev says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. 🙂

    Like

  47. Sherry Marr says:

    Very cool, the feather cracking the pebble in half. This is a mythic tale indeed. I loved it.

    Like

  48. annell4 says:

    I love this very much….just beautiful!

    Like

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