Chance Encounter


For Carry On Tuesday prompt #69  I know I Stand In Line*

Chance Encounter With Unknown Poet

I know I stand in line
behind a wall of penguins
chasing after butterfly,
tuxedoed thoughts
dressed, yet pressed
with nowhere to go,
nothing to show
for arm of time
winding down its cyclic
circle of black slashes
and dashes between
words never spoken
to anyone but me.

Stalled to silence
in awe of meeting
someone else who stands
in line behind lattice work
of pink and purple
pelicans trolling stream
in a mushroom dream
shelter always open
to inclement weather,
looking for a place
to sleep, untethered
aching eye balls red
from too much seeking.

Both of us reaching
for same magazine
on drug store rack
in back aisle where
good stuff is kept,
or neglected by clients
wanting happy pills
instead of reality
thrills that spill over
into lives unfilled
with what they’re sure
they rightly deserve.

I know.
She knows.
We both see deep
into eyes averted
quickly from knowing
in similar stance
as we revert to original
dance, each behind
our separate walls.

Elizabeth Crawford  8/29/10

*first line in Frank and Nancy Sinatra song  Something Stupid.

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 Chance Encounter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Chance Encounter

  1. short poems says:

    This is a lovely piece of work. I enjoyed it!

    Thank you, Short Poems. It is a flight of fantasy that occured after I viewed a short video concerning penguins. It flowed out easily and I liked what happened.



  2. claudia says:

    ..wanting happy pills instead of reality..and ….each behind our separate walls….wow – fantastic writing!

    mine is here


  3. 1sojournal says:

    Claudia, thanks and glad you enjoyed. I liked your wild night train ride as well.



  4. Pingback: Tortoise Shell Thoughts | Intuitive Paths

  5. systematicweasel says:

    I too took notice to the wanting of happy pills line. It’s too often the world reverts back to them. Wonderfully written work! I also noticed you recently joined Poets United, welcome to the club! =)



  6. 1sojournal says:

    Weasel, doesn’t it make you wonder how many people think we are a bit ‘strange’ because instead of taking happy pills we write poems, create stories, speak our truths? These things are our happy pills and they are so much better, so much more natural, and we can go back to them again and again, and catch that echo of fulfillment no pill on earth can give us. And I am so glad to have found Poets United. It sounds like a really thriving place for those of us who need our own kind of happy pill, yes? Thanks much for the comments,



  7. vivinfrance says:

    What a well-crafted poem! Setting aside the meaning, with which I empathised, my admiration
    is also due for the clever use of slant rhyme. And my inner clock skipped a beat when I read
    “arm of time
    winding down its cyclic
    circle of black slashes
    and dashes”



  8. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Viv, you are one of the unknown poets referred to in the title. I took a bit of liberty with how I have come in contact with so many fantastic and good writers, compressing it to one incident and one individual. And it is just that recogniton and cognition evident in your comments that allows me to step out from behind the wall I created to make distance between myself and those around me who think my writing poetry is no more than a hobby for an old woman with too much time on her hands, and a need to ‘get out more often’ into the ‘real’ world.

    The slant rhyme always happens when I just relax and follow the sounds, rather than trying to control or force my idea into some pre-ordained pattern or structure. It’s more of that stream of conscious type writing that seems to be happening a lot lately due to all of this contact with all of you ‘unreal’ people, lol. What I found most amazing was that as soon as I posted this piece, another one started whispering, a further or deeper dip into that same story. It can be found by following the pingback titled Tortoise Shell Thoughts. And again that slant rhyme stepped in and made it’s presence known.

    I’m glad you related to the poem, and even more, I appreciate that you took the time to come, read, and tell me what you found in it, thank you, my French connection. Oh, did I ever tell you that my anscestors came from France and my grandmother used to slip in and out of French when she couldn’t find the right words she wanted to use?



  9. Lynette says:

    I thought your response to Weasel’s comment was spot on, Elizabeth! How lucky we are to have a creative outlet for our thoughts. Needing pills to numb the edges of life seems so sad, when it’s all of a piece, and is all we have…



  10. 1sojournal says:

    Lynette, what I think is even sadder is that people who take them, may actually be taking the edge off the built in healing element we call creativity. They might be able to function okay in a numb sort of way, but they also risk that healing agent only found in a creative response to life and living it fully.

    I know that few understand this drive in me that needs to find its expression in writing. They simply can’t see that I am really enjoying my life, growing and thriving within its limitations, and giving myself opportunities to soar above many of the disasters that life can throw at any of us, while also supplying me with a means of resolving and solving some of those bumpy details.

    Thanks for stopping and commenting,



  11. Cynthia says:

    hi elizabeth, your poem makes me imagine – standing in the waiting room of life
    and find another there waiting also – both afraid to go first, not realizing
    life desires to begin now. excellent provocativ poem.


  12. 1sojournal says:

    Cynthia, very much what I had in mind, except there is that single moment of recognition, those eyes that see deep and know this is another one like me, a poet, an artist, a writer, a sculptor, whatever, but then being me, I would jump back and hope like hell that other one would step forward and begin a conversation I don’t know how to start. So, I jump back behind my wall of penguins with their formal thoughts, and she jumps back behind her pink and purple pelicans and we both move a bit further up in line, almost together.

    That has been a bit of how I feel coming into this world of good writers and poets. It’s been too long without that conversation for me. I respect and admire so many of you out there in the blogosphere, but…that old, child-like shyness sometimes gets in the way.



  13. vivinfrance says:

    Thank you for including me in your title! Perhaps one day I won’t be unknown any more (vain hope, I fear) These prompt sites are so inspiring – and compelling.

    Ahh, but Viv, you nailed it in your comment. These prompt sites are both inspiring and compelling because they give us, our work, our creative endeavors, those fleeting moments of recognition and accomplishment, we might not otherwise receive. I have published both poetry and prose, and was somewhat ‘known’ in the place I came from. But, the present place I live in, could care less. If I speak of my love of language, and especially my poetry, here, eyes glaze over and the subject gets changed within a heartbeat. But, then I come home, sit down at my puter, and come here to find my friends, like yourself, saying, “I understand this, relate to it, can feel what you are feeling, and know this place you speak of, because I have been there too.” At the risk of repeating myself, we write from a deep need to be heard, and it is here, with these prompts, that we find just that.



  14. neil reid says:

    (artist please talk with me)(surely it isn’t all like this)
    I met a woman artist once in my store. whatever did we first talk about that led to this?
    She once set her bed on fire! Her bed on fire! No, not crazy (I think) but as a statement of art! That’s what she said, or at least implied. I believed.
    Now what sort of person (artist) sets their bed on fire? I’m fabulously curious!
    Just imagine! Here’s your safest safest place in all the world.
    This is more than symbolic. Where will you sleep tonight?
    What a thing to burn your bed! For all that says and doesn’t say. Burnt bed says the rest.
    A sort of chance encounter with the unexpected. Yet too brief as time would only allow just so much, till she walked away. Some artists don’t like to talk too much.
    Guess that’s why I write instead. I like to talk (mostly) and even if sometimes it’s too much.

    Pardon my odd little memory and writing here Elizabeth, but it just seemed the response that wanted to come out to play. Sometimes we don’t say, and I don’t think it’s merely being shy.

    Maybe we just comfortable with our usual self, but that’s mostly just paint, most of it.

    And it is more than something so slight as bravery to step outside of that. Perhaps to dare to speak truth that isn’t even ours, like not in our usual pocket, but just in the wind itself.

    As usual, you have a way to seed the unexpected. Ah, a blind gardener! Brilliant. And my abiding thanks. ~Neil


  15. 1sojournal says:

    Neil, blind gardener indeed!

    Let me just run through the thoughts that raced through my mind as I read your response:
    1. The movie, “The Burning Bed.”
    2. Night terrors that allow no sleep, when sleep becomes a torture and can never be found.
    3. Knew someone who had night terrors. And believe she would have burned the bed, but she had an even greater fear than that of sleep. She’d been tortured, as a child, with fire on flesh.
    4. What an amazing encounter, and what in you did this woman see, recognize, that she felt safe enough to tell you of her insane act?
    5. All of these things tell me that I could let them find homes in several poems.
    6. Art is never practical.
    7. That’s why so many artists are discouraged from following this path. “You’ll never make a living writing poems. You best get a day job.”
    8. Artists are dreamers and where would the doers of this world be without us, and our need to build fires out of thin air?
    9. Blind gardener brailing his way through rich moist soil of imagination.
    10. Look, look what you have done!

    Lol, Elizabeth


  16. Robert Lloyd says:

    I loved the flow of the poem and the way it read. I must say though I really enjoyed the visual the opening verse gave me.

    I know I stand in line
    behind a wall of penguins
    chasing after butterfly,
    tuxedoed thoughts
    dressed, yet pressed
    with nowhere to go,

    The thought of people like penguins and then the thought of the wobbling penguin heads started me off with a smile. Poetry is truly my happy pill and the best thing of all is its all free!! Thank you for sharing.


  17. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Robert, but the line and how it came about is even funnier. I had just watched a short clip video taken with someone’s cell phone of a penguin enclosure at a zoo. And a large white butterfly had flitted into the enclosure and the penguins were chasing it, climbing out of the water to do so and the image was there of penguins-tuxedoed thoughts, chasing after butterflies. Meaning, of course, my own thought patterns that go from logic to subjective imaginings with the speed of light and can be just as funny as what you thought of.

    And you are so correct, those kinds of happy pills can’t be found elsewhere and for free!

    Thanks for stopping and commenting, and thanks again for the write up. I really appreciate it,



  18. Whitesnake says:

    A work of art………..


  19. 1sojournal says:

    Whitesnake, Whew! A work of art? That’s a new one. And I promise I will handle it with all care and deep respect as I carefully carry it away to my new Kudo box. The other one got filled up and so I had to make a new one. You poets and writers have a way of saying the most supportive and encouraging things. Try to keep them around me because this is the one place I can come and speak in my own language and be heard and understood. That’s so important.Thank you for reading and commenting,



  20. I did enjoy reading this. I loved “stalled to silence” and so much more. Thank you.


  21. 1sojournal says:

    Annell, glad you enjoyed. I certainly had fun writing it, as it came fast and sort of wrote itself, while I tried hard to catch up, lol. Does you mind go blank at the most inopportune moments? Mine does, it seems to stall for these long moments, and then I go home and find at least five things I could have said, instead of standing there with my mouth open and nothing falling out. I’m not always good at social interactions, lol. What an understatement that was, thanks for your words,



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