Words From A Wisdom Keeper


For We Write Poems poetry prompt: Make Your Own Wordle

We were to choose about twenty words from the lyrics of the Gordon Lightfoot song, Don Quixote, then write a poem from the words we had chosen. The song is rich with images and words. To listen to the original version click here:


I looked at the lyrics for several days and just couldn’t make up my mind where to go with all of them, one of my solid gold favorites. However, I had an encounter with a hawk yesterday, while driving to my sister’s house. I was slowing down to stop for a traffic light that had turned yellow, when a flurry of wings moved diagonally across my windshield, no more than four or five feet from the front bumper of my vehicle. The hawk landed in the gravel, just off the road and became instantly still, completely consumed with searching for whatever had caught her eye in the median ditch between the four lanes of traffic. She remained there, as I watched from my side view mirror until the light turned green and I had to continue. I was so busy watching her that I forgot that my camera was inside my purse on the seat next to me. When I got home later, I decided I needed to write this poem about her. These are the words I chose to use.

one          survive          bold          brave          strong          gentle          hawk          riding          air          valley          woodland
searching          feed          children          wake          sleep          dare          wise          sacred          guardian          battered
life          wing          free          wild          key          locks          shout          hear          reach

Words From A Wisdom Keeper

Listen, little one, if you wish
to survive, to be bold, to be brave,
you must be strong. To be strong
you must also be gentle.

You must learn to live as the hawk,
who rides air currents high above
valley and woodland, searching
for that which will feed her children
when they wake from sleep
to find her gone.

Dare to be wise, learn her truth
as though it were sacred pledge
to which you alone are guardian.

Even when battered by whatever
life brings, keep wings free
to embrace that which is wild
within you.

Her message is all that matters. Key
which unlocks all things. She might
whisper, or shout, have no doubt
you will hear when she speaks,
leans in to tell you:

To always reach within yourself,
to find, and remember to be
who you really are.

Elizabeth Crawford  3/9/11

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: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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12 Responses to Words From A Wisdom Keeper

  1. Well done. As I knew you would.

    Thank you Annell. Your suggestion was a good one, but somehow the Universe always shows me a different path. This one I count as a blessing,



  2. Usually hawks are the bad guys, chasing helpless litle chickens! But you give us the wisdom of the hawk & how it, like all of us need to survive together on earth. Good job!

    Marian, when hawks chase chickens, they are being hawks. When we write poems, we are being who we really are. Thanks so much for stopping in to read and comment,



  3. Kim Nelson says:

    This little piece is packed with wisdom, and interestingly, artistically so.

    Kim, that is one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. Thank you,



  4. b says:

    Thanks for the notes with this. That encounter verges on being a poem in itself.

    b, I’ve had many encounters with hawks, but this one was truly up close and personal. I agree, I think it was rather poetic myself,



  5. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, I love poem and the subject matter. I know your feelings on the hawk.
    I, also, love how you arrived at this piece from the encounter.
    I wrote to this prompt over the weekend and a line in my poem is hawk-winged prophet.
    I have no idea where that came from when I wrote it. It just seemed to fit.


    Pamela, I love it, it certainly rings true for me and has for many years. I would say we are on a very similar wavelength and I like that as well. Thank you, my friend,



  6. Elizabeth, This might be one of my favorites of yours. So wonderful an encounter and the wisdom you impart comes from your deepest truth and knowing. Wow. Powerful message and rich with life wisdom. “Embrace that which is wild within you” and “be who you really are.” It says it all.

    Sherry, glad to see you today. I’m fairly certain this may become one of my own favorites because it will always remind me of that encounter. I love it when that happens,



  7. To say well-done would be an understatement! You made such a nice poem with all those words. And it runs so smooth and neat! What I like the most in it, is that it actually says something – straightforward and steady from beginning to the end. And I like this part very much:
    “keep wings free
    to embrace that which is wild
    within you.”
    Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you very much Mariya. I’m glad you liked the poem, and I especially like those same lines as well. Hawks have long been a fascination for me, and I’ve had many encounters with them. And each one is new and unique.



  8. Yousei Hime says:

    I had an image in mind as I read this, of an elder tribesman imparting truth to a young one coming of age. Enjoyable.

    The first time someone called me that, I was in my early thirties and yet it sounded absolutely correct given the situation and the person who spoke them. When I decided on the title of the poem, I wasn’t sure who it was spoken to: the hawk, an elder, or even my own person (I am a grandmother). I still don’t know and sort of like that. Thanks for your comments Yousei,



  9. It touched me as usual. Beautifully written…

    walk the world

    Thank you Gautami, I’m really slow at responding to these comments. Been a rather busy time. But so good to see you here,



  10. Brenda says:

    Beautiful piece. Strong and gentle….

    Hi Brenda, it’s been a while. Thank you for your comments. I’ve been wanting to write those words for a long time, and this piece seemed perfect for them.



  11. I loved this one so much I came back for another read and it is even more wonderful today. I love the title “words from a wisdom keeper”, that really hooked me……love the image of the hawk……..love that you are addressing someone young and, most especially, love the last few lines. Wow.

    Thanks Sherry for coming back for seconds. And glad you like it, I do too.



  12. Ellen says:

    It was a wonderful experiment; I loved it~ So powerful, love the imagery you provided!

    Glad you liked it and thanks for visiting and reading,



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