The End of The World

For Big Tent Poetry Prompt: Monday August 31 Poems Hang Out Where Life Is…
http://bigtentpoetry.org

This week’s prompt was to listen in on the rest of the world and make notes about what you heard, then make a poem from some of them. I failed miserably. I started immediately, got a couple of things down, then life sort of exploded around me and suddenly it was Thursday night and I had a pretty much empty notebook. But, I had mentioned, on another site, that I would like to use someone else’s poem to do a wordle. And last night, found a comment from Gautami ( http://firmlyrooted.blogspot.com/ ) on this site, saying that I could use any of her poems to make one or two of my own. I spent about an hour immersing myself, pen in hand, browsing through her poetry. Although this is not strictly to prompt, it sort of cuddles up to the idea a bit. And one big thank you to Gautami, for being such an incredible sport, as well as a fine poet. Her words and phrases are underlined.

The End of The World

In the night, like a thief
I stole a few scattered words
from an unknown friend
who offered henna-tinted
poems.

Uncurled my mind, told myself
the wounds don’t show
on the surface
, as I gathered
crumbs left behind by blue/green
hummingbirds, that never still,
never lay down with lies
I buried in red sand colored
by blood of other thieves,
caught and punished
with complete silence
through centuries.

Must make amends
because I wrote your
story on my palm, then
lost it when I pitched
forward
, holding out hands
to break the fall, when
I arose the tale had disappeared
into folds and creases,
leaving only bits, pieces,
smudged lines no longer
able to be read or understood.

And they were all so beautiful.

Elizabeth Crawford via Gautami Tripathy  9/3/10

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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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31 Responses to The End of The World

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Elizabeth, this is masterly. I loved the original henna poem from Gutami, and yours is equally evocative but in a different way, personal to you. I’ve just been proof-reading a very academic essay from an old OU friend about how reading is a creative activity. Your poem proves the theory perfectly.

    Viv, umm “masterly”? That’s a new one, and I kinda like it, a lot. Kudo box, I think I might have to make you a new companion. Hand-painted and lacquered with a key for unlocking. Just for those special secrets, okay?

    Thank you Viv. That means a lot.
    Elizabeth

    Like

  2. I really love what you did with this. You made those words your own and that is what is creativity is all about. I in a way found new meanings to my own poem.

    pavement musings

    Gautami, I was hoping you would like it. You saved my butt and I am deeply grateful. I know that words can be sacred for some ( like me ), and that yours are hard to come by, with only one finger to peck them out with, so, instead of going off on a flight of fancy, I thought it best to fess up and be honest and hopefully give you a gift in return. Your words above, tell me it worked. Thank you so much,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  3. tillybud says:

    This is so clever. I love

    henna-tinted
    poems.

    Tillybud, those are my favorite as well. Gautami wrote of a practice I didn’t understand and had never heard of before, but certainly felt the reverence in which she held it. I thought of her using the henna to paint her story, her images, and then of her making poems with those same hands and that’s when I thought of henna-tinted poems. Poetry is sacred ground for me, and I think it might be similar for Gautami as well. I love the energy represented by those few words.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  4. Mary says:

    Elzabath, I enjoyed the actions in this poem. Stealing words, scattering crumbs, pitched forward, and many more. Your words put me right into the action and to the surprising (for me) ending.

    Mary, a person doesn’t steal something that doesn’t have some intrinsic value to his/her own person. When I read Gautami’s words, I sense her own respect for them, and often find beauty in the way she weilds them. And that, more than anything, was what I was attempting to show when using them for my own selfish purposes, lol.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  5. Diane T says:

    Elizabeth, what a wonderful story poem you wrote here with your ‘stolen’ words!

    Like

  6. 1sojournal says:

    Diane, thank you. It is a true story as well, in a very real sense, even though the words were graciously offered, but for a different purpose. I didn’t even attempt to put them into a wordle. I much more wanted to capture both her gesture and my own feelings.

    Elizabeth

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  7. pamela says:

    Elizabeth this is a beautifully laid out poem.
    I remember Gautami`s poem about henna (lovely. I am
    right now working with some gentlemen from India
    and they explained the process to me. Quite fascinating really.
    Pamela

    Like

  8. What a terrific idea! I think it turned out perfectly…

    Cynthia, thank you so much for your comments. They are always so encouraging and supportive. We all need that. And I’m really glad you liked it. I certainly enjoyed finding the story in the notes I took while simply browsing through Gautami’s poetry. It reminded me very much of the responses I used to do when learning about other poets, while I was in college. Yet, a little different somehow, but a difference I certainly like.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  9. 1sojournal says:

    Pamela, thanks, but will you share that info with me? I’ve been so curious since reading her poem.And since last week’s prompt about what we do with our hands and how that informs all the other things we do, added to Gautami’s poem and the images it created for me, I’m even more curious, if that’s possible. Especially that link between painting, coloring, and other creative activities that somehow synergize our hands when making poems. I just wrote a post on my http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ site about how the Right/Left Brain hemesperes must work together, and can now see that connected with all this other info and having significance to all of it. I love that connecting process.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  10. systematicweasel says:

    Wonderfully written and flowing piece! Awesome post! =)

    -Weasel

    Like

  11. 1sojournal says:

    Weasel, thank you, but I certainly can’t take all the credit. At least half, if not more must go to Gautami with her generous offer. It was certainly fun to do. And I really do like the Awesome, lol. A lot!

    Elizabeth

    Like

  12. b_y says:

    your pitching forward and smearing the words makes me think of those fine poems I write in my sleep. even when something is salvageable, it’s smudgy in the daylight

    Like

  13. 1sojournal says:

    Barb, I so agree. They excite me in my dreams, and I even tell myself to remember this when I wake up, but even when I awake, I can’t figure out why it made such wonderful important sense while I was sleeping, lol. Good connection and that all sounds a bit like a poem as well.
    Thanks for the visit, I always enjoy the way you think.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  14. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you much pwf. I took a quick peek and it is far more complicated than I first thought. I’ll have to go back when I’ve got some more time. It is fascinating, however, and thank you so much for taking the time to find this for me,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  15. Linda says:

    Loved these lines:
    Must make amends
    because I wrote your
    story on my palm,

    Creative interpretation of the prompt.

    Like

  16. 1sojournal says:

    Linda, thank you. I had something a bit different in mind, but I like your take on it. One of the things about poetry that I love is that each individual sees through their own personal filter, so interpretation is up for grabs. And I like it when people come back and tell me what they find here in my words. It’s like getting a fresh look, a new perspective, and a wider view. Thanks again,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  17. Rallentanda says:

    I liked the ending, the smudging of the story. It reflects the transience of all beautiful things just captured fleetingly but remembered.

    Rallentanda, it’s funny you should put it that way. This morning, when I woke up, the poem started running through my mind and I realized that I could remember the first stanza and the last line, but nothing between those two things. Transcience is exactly the right word. Of course, there is the matter of age and a very busy life, lol, but still…this is definitely one that I would wish to hang on to.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  18. Well done! I liked it very much!

    Like

  19. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you, Annell, I liked it as well. It was a delightful process browsing through someone else’s words, making notes, and then putting the pieces of the puzzle together and trying to make sense of them. But, Gautami made it sort of easy, the hardest part was choosing which of her jewels I would carry off with me, that was not easy.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  20. twitches says:

    Wow, this is really beautiful!

    Like

  21. 1sojournal says:

    twitches, each time I come here to respond to a comment, I read the poem again. And each time, I find something inside of it that makes me stop for a moment, and see some bit of thought, even wisdom, or knowing that I had missed before. These are personal things that mean nothing to anyone but me. I’m not attempting to blow my own horn, but there is something in this sharing of words, especially across distance and cultures, that has deepened my understanding of how the world works, or could work. Something, as you said, that is beautiful. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  22. Tumblewords says:

    Wonderful! I read Gautami’s poem and so enjoyed the words she chose, the imagery presented. To read yours is a double wonder. A superb job of capture, spin and re-capture. Lovely!

    Like

  23. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Tumblewords. Double wonder is a good way to put it. I always enjoy Gautami’s poetry, always find some point in each poem where I feel that ‘quickening’, that oh moment. I was so grateful that she made the offer, to do this. And I like the capture, spin, recapture line. Sounds like another poem, doesn’t it?

    Elizabeth

    Like

  24. Irene says:

    Hi lovely Elizabeth, I like “henna-tinted poems” as well as “folds and creases” and the elusive meaning of “smudged lines”.

    Like

  25. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Irene. Have you ever written something down in eagerness, lest you forget the thought, then immediately folded the paper precisely and tucked it away in a pocket or purse, and not found it until later, an hour, or a month? Then carefully unfolded those now permanent creases to find a few smudged lines that are kattywampus on that once clean piece of paper? I have, do it a lot. When the prompt asked us to take notes of what we overheard during the week, that’s one of the first thoughts that went through my head. And although, if I sit quietly, clear my mind (which in itself is difficult at times), I can usely go back and regrasp some of the essentials. So, it’s not just the folding and creasing, but the smudging of time, from one moment to the next, that makes it all so hard to recapture. What really upsets me is the question of whether or not I actually got all of it on my foray. Ah, the life and times of a writer, right?

    Thanks for stopping and commenting,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  26. Deb says:

    I like the hands held out to catch a fall, the smudges, too. Lovely.

    Like

  27. 1sojournal says:

    Deb, thanks for visiting and commenting. I continue to love these prompts and what they inspire and encourage in all of us.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  28. Mr. Walker says:

    A beautiful poem about the process of writing – and honoring another in making “amends” – and just the beauty of words, even without understanding.

    Mr. Walker, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. And I find that many of my poems are about the writing process, whether they specifically name that or not. It’s the one thing I know and is a really good learning tool for so much else that we define as life. I used to argue with a friend that my life is not writing. I’d have to find another argument now, or concede defeat in the present. Neither of which would bother me at all, lol.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  29. This is so beautiful. Tales are always slippery, change contours with the narrator.

    Like

  30. 1sojournal says:

    Uma, and I think that change of contour is of utmost importance. It allows life to be a fluid, everchanging moment, always adding to and evolving itself. And that makes for a good discussion topic, I think. Truth can evolve and doesn’t have to be carved in stone. Yes, some truth might remain absolute, but if we are to grow as a species, then our story must have that ability to expand with us. Thank you Uma, for stopping and commenting,

    Elizabeth

    Like

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