The hawk and I were hunters this morning

For We Write Poems prompt: Not Poetry

The hawk and I were hunters this morning.
(Writing Tips From Odd Thomas)

Lots of people rewrite their past,
rather than face up to it.

Recognizing the structure
of your psychology doesn’t mean
that you can easily rebuild it.

Give the narrative a lighter tone
than you think it deserves, lighter
than you think you can bear to give it…
because you won’t find the truth
of life in morbidity,
only in hope.

Writing isn’t a source of pain.
It’s psychic chemotherapy. It reduces
your psychological tumors
and relieves your pain.

And so it begins,

I’m not writing this for money. I am
writing it to save my sanity
and to discover if I can convince myself
that my life has purpose and meaning
enough to justify continued existence.

Elizabeth Crawford (with a whole lot of help from Dean Koontz)  1/4/11

Process Notes: We were to take full sentences from works that were not poetry and somehow shape them into a poem. I found this clearly defined subplot in the fiction novel Odd Thomas, written by Dean Koontz. His words are italicized, and as you can see, I had very little to do with this one, other than placement and focus. We find truth in some of the oddest places.

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:
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13 Responses to The hawk and I were hunters this morning

  1. WOW!!!!!! I am obviously missing something by never having read him. The quotes are amazing. I especially like “writing is psychic chemotherapy”, and writing “to discover if I can convince myself ……. to justify continued existence.” This is an amazing and rivetting poem, Elizabeth. The exercise sounds pretty cool.

    Sherry, I was reading Odd Thomas when I looked at the prompt. I was aware of all the underlining I was finding, as well as doing and it simply made sense. This is the reason I continue to read his books, there is so much more to find there than an entertaining story. I feel that he has been a teacher, unmet, never seen, but one of the very necessary ones. thanks for your comments and all of your encouraging words,



  2. Mary says:

    I haven’t ever read Dean Koontz, but really the quotes you chose were amazing. Writing definitely is psychic chemotherapy! Bravo to you for achieving a meaningful poem from what I considered a fairly difficult challenge!

    Mary, I thought it was pretty daunting, to be honest. But then, looked down at what was in my hands and thought of all the things I had underlined in those pages. How they spoke directly to me, the person and writer that I am, and began to hope I could do the man justice, and actually find a poem in all of those words. Just began skimming through the pages and taking notes. And it all started coming together. I owe this man a great deal. That story is on the sidebar page of my 1sojournal site and is titled A Yellow Brick Road to Synchronicity. I’m glad you liked the quotes and the poem. I feel good about this one, deep down good. Thanks for your comments, and more for the phone call.

    Hugs, my friend,Elizabeth


  3. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I understand the feeling about feeling deep down good about a poem written. And I can understand why you would feel that way about this one!

    And I thought and felt the same about yours, Mary. It sort of summed up what has actually been going on, but in that lighter tone that Koontz suggests is necessary. You made a certain distance with it. And yes, I do have a good feeling about this one. I think, without actually knowing, I’ve wanted to do this for years. Isn’t it wonderful how the prompts, like the words themselves, often take us to those places we don’t even know exist?



  4. We work in the dark, we do what we can, our passion is our doubt, and our doubt is our task. All the rest is the madness of art. –Henry James

    You soar strong and beautifully! Perfect metaphor!

    Wonderful quote, Annell, thank you. And actually I thought of myself on the ground, and Dean Koontz as the hawk, lol. Thank you for that as well,



  5. RJ says:

    Elizabeth – your use of language to convey your meaning in this ‘unpoetry’ is nothing short of sheer poetry. I’ve read Dean Koontz, but not Odd Thomas. I must take a look at it now.

    Recognizing the structure
    of your psychology doesn’t mean
    that you can easily rebuild it.


    This was brilliant.

    OOps, there’s that word again. I always stumble a bit mentally at that one. But, I’m learning, may hesitate, but then keep moving, after saying “Thank you.” Although, I at first thought the prompt was difficult, it turned out to be something else altogether. I love it when that happens,



  6. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, you have managed to make a difficult prompt look so easy. This is a very moving piece of work. I love it.

    Pamela, I did think it would be a tough one, but so often when I read what this man has to say, I find myself nodding in agreement, finding pieces of my own truth. Once I had the sentences separated from the text, it was actually simple and easy to put them in an order that made sense to me. Whether Mr. Koontz knows it or not, we are good friends, and as I’ve said before, he is an exceptional companion. Glad you enjoyed it,



  7. Peggy Goetz says:

    Wonderful Elizabeth. I love that you found these in Dean Kootz. I often find inspiring sentences and phrases in unexpected places. Very nice.

    Peggy, when I find them, I have a tendency to either underline them or put them in a notebook. I have a notebook that is almost totally quotes from his work alone. Perhaps I should make a book of Dean Koontz poetry? Now that might be very interesting, lol. Thanks for the comments and glad you liked it,



  8. vivinfrance says:

    As you know, from previous posts, I have not read Dean Kootz. But you’re edging me towards him again if it’s all as good as the words you have put together in this poem.

    Lol, Viv, there is a thriller type story there as well. Full of very unique and interesting characters often doing unexpected things. I do, however, find that I often sit back when reading his books and say, “Damn, I wish I had said that.” Probably why I found the prompt a bit easier on the end of it. And again, if you do read him, Odd Thomas is a good place to begin.
    Thanks for visiting and for your supportive words,



  9. Wow. I am nothing short of blown away by how you used Dean Koontz’s lines and constructed this. I think the results of this exercise prove a point — that poetry can be found almost anywhere. Amazing.


    And we have you and the prompt to thank for that discovery. When I was teaching, I would often have my students begin a piece with a quote and then either agree or disagree with the thought within the quote. It never once occurred to me to have them construct the piece out of several quotes. This was a very clever and educational prompt, Nicole, and I, for one, am so glad you encouraged us in this direction. Thanks so much,



  10. Irene says:

    A great compilation of why we write, Elizabeth. We write therefore we are?

    Ahh, Irene, you spoiled my secret, lol. Writing is creativity. To create is to breathe life into. We breathe in and are inspired. Breathing out, we express what was inspired. All of that is meant to create a life we can live with, and a self we can own. Yes, we write, therefore we are. Thanks Irene,



  11. Creativity is what we see everywhere and place them in the order we perceive. You have done that here.

    I have never read Koontz. (I read voraciously). Never felt the need to read his work thinking what he writes is not for me. But reading your found poetry, I am going to check out at least one of his works.

    Here is mine:

    musical whirlwind

    Gautami, if you have to pick one, try Odd Thomas, it kept me laughing, even at the worst points in the narrative. I find so much sense in Koontz’s views about just being human, and I love his humor, it tickles me. I figured the writing tips were perfect for this group of readers, including myself, of course. Thank you for stopping by, it is always good to see you here,



  12. Sherry Marr says:

    Wow, writing as psychic chemotherapy is deep!!!!!! Great way to heal the tumors. Fantastic, Elizabeth.


  13. Pingback: Rebirth 7 | 1sojournal

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