In One Word

For Big Tent Poetry Prompt : rewrite personal history
http://bigtentpoetry.org/2010/09/come-one-come-all-september-10/#comments

No

That’s what I said
and meant it,
as you bowed
your head, slid
eyes aside, took
deep breath
as if getting ready
to speak a piece
of mind intended
to over ride, change
mine.

No

What? You want me
to add a please, cut it
off at the knees, bend
it to a maybe, and then
maybe to the yes
you expected because
you won’t accept
anything less?

No

No fancy banners
of exclamation
or explanation. No
openings, just one
closing, and that
without a period

No

It’s beautiful
in simplicity, needs
no complicity
while standing there
alone not prone
to other
interpretations.

No

I’m liking this.
Might be late
in coming, but
now its humming,
demanding its freedom
at last. The past is gone
behind us now and you
should know
I’m neither friend
nor foe,
just me, finally free
to say,

No

Elizabeth Crawford  9/10/10

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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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26 Responses to In One Word

  1. christopher says:

    In Alanon they say, “No is a complete sentence.” Very often something like that is what we should have said.

    Christopher, I like that quote, only wish I’d heard it long ago. I’ve been far too busy couching my words reaching for something unattainable.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  2. vivinfrance says:

    Elizabeth, I just love this poem. This is you putting your foot down with a vengeance! Good on you, and keep doing it with you know who.

    Like

  3. 1sojournal says:

    Viv, I think that’s why I had to sort of walk all the way around the word, stopping at every angle to see if it was still standing, lol. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  4. derrick2 says:

    Pity it is late in coming but now you’ll always be able to be you! Really enjoyed how you wrote this Elizabeth.

    Like

  5. 1sojournal says:

    Derrick, we good little Catholic girls are trained to bend ourselves until we break. If only we could all break into a No. Glad you enjoyed,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  6. gospelwriter says:

    I like that this (how it reads, words, rhythm) feels heavy and yet light at the same time – obviously not one of those writings where writer is still in the process of trying to convince self. Bravo! And I don’t know, it almost goes without saying now, I suppose, that you write for me too… 😉

    Like

  7. 1sojournal says:

    Ruth, thank you again, for understanding. I did write out some process, which turned into a process poem and was going to put it up to clarify this one. Then decided this one must of itself, stand alone. And I write for anyone who has not yet found the freedome to speak for themselves, just as you do my friend. I refuse to forget what that feels like, and hope I never will.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  8. eskenosen says:

    Yes! The downbeat of those important “no’s” is so great here–they help the poem build to its end, such good rhythms.

    Thank you, eskenosen. The number is important as well, but only to me. Glad you enjoyed it,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  9. Carolee says:

    free to say no! great response to the prompt!

    Like

  10. 1sojournal says:

    Thanks Carolee, I almost skipped this one altogether. I do have a tendency to go still and quiet when its personally important not to do so. This is an excellent prompt, but then they have all been.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  11. systematicweasel says:

    No, it’s so easy to say, yet so hard to escape our mouths sometimes. Excellent work! =)

    -Weasel

    Like

  12. 1sojournal says:

    Weasel, I loved your spiral meaning and find it here in my own No, and all the feelings you expressed as well. This prompt certainly got down below the skin of things, didn’t it?

    Elizabeth

    Like

  13. pamela says:

    Elizabeth
    Now I love this! The hardest thing for me to say sometimes is `No`
    Pamela

    And the longer the relationship, the harder it gets, sometimes. This may very well be my Declaration of Independence. I am so tired of the cardboard cutouts some people wish to place in front of me and then are disappointed when I won’t stay put. I’ve had these moments before, and need to remember each and evey one of them, now. Thanks Pamela, glad you like it. I do too, lol.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  14. Tumblewords says:

    Wonderful and doubly so! Good for you!

    Thank you, Tumblewords. I am actually feeling that freedom, with each poem I read today and each comment I find here. It’s a very good day. To the prompts!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Elizabeth

    Like

  15. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, this is a strong poem. NO NO NO. Nothing more. You had reached your limits, needed to put your foot down. NO …unashamedly no.

    Like

  16. 1sojournal says:

    Oh Mary, you bring up a good point. Why is there a sense of shame and guilt in saying no. In admitting that one has reached ones limits. We all have that right, but don’t practice it or use it until pushed to it, it seems. Thank you for hearing this one.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  17. This is one tough poem, showing how you refuse retaliation. You go, Eliabeth, go, go, go! You are an asset to all of us!

    Diane, thank you. As long as you realize that I ususally go pretty slow, and sometimes need a cane to get there, lol. But, an asset now, I kinda like that one. Kudo box here we come. Thank you much,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  18. nan says:

    Yes! I enjoyed it. Yes, I did. There is a lot of power in saying no, and I love what you did with the prompt.

    Thanks Nan. I’m glad you enjoyed and I certainly must agree about the power in saying no. And I struggled with the prompt for most of the week, but after reading so many other’s responses, it felt good that I was far from alone in doing that. These prompts are getting more and more impressive.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  19. There’s a syncopation in this poem—and I love how the narrator of the poem becomes strongr as the poem progresses. No is defiantly no.

    Hi Linda, and yes it certainly is. It seemed like the words wanted to march all around it and expect it closely for any flaws. Certainly am glad they didn’t find them, lol. And you are right about the narrator’s progress, I could feel it growing as it worked its way to that conclusion. Thanks for reading and commenting,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  20. Saying no is so liberating…

    crooked window

    Like

  21. 1sojournal says:

    Yes and that liberation can be far more than communicative in nature. It is freeing to the mind and the heart, and even to the soul. I don’t think we even begin to realize how much we bind ourselves in knots when we try to avoid what may be inevitable by saying that word. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we must cut ourselves off from anyone or anything, but perhaps free ourselves to be better who we are by doing so. Thanks gautami, I’m always glad to see you here,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  22. tillybud says:

    It takes guts to say no and mean it.

    Thanks Tillybud, and I agree, but also think it takes other things as well. Like a change in what we have been programmed to believe is right and good. Just as many women have been taught that anger is not appropriate, many have been taught that saying no is selfish and wrong. And because anger is often the first impulse to say no, it is doubly hard to do so.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  23. Deb says:

    Like the tempo of this, how your “no” on the page supports the other ideas. Terrific idea well executed. Yes to no!

    Like

  24. 1sojournal says:

    Deb, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I wasn’t exactly sure how this was going to fall out on the page, just knew it was going to begin with the word NO and end with it, as well. Once I started it all fell into place rather easily. And thank you for showing your appreciation.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  25. EKSwitaj says:

    This is powerful. Something I can identify with in more ways than I’m ready to say.

    Like

  26. 1sojournal says:

    EK, thank you for your honest response. I think there are many who can identify on some level. the socialization process is meant to make us into good citizens who don’t break the rules. A no, is often seen as a breaking of the rules, whether that’s between two individuals or groups. And that might be a good thing in some senses. Maybe it should be difficult to come by the no’s in our existence. They certainly have deep consequences.

    Elizabeth

    Like

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