Big Tent Poetry is closing down the site to further weekly prompts. Big Tent is where I began my journey on the poetry prompt circuit. It is hard to see them go, but they need to be free to move on according to their own needs and leanings. This final prompt was to cull our most recent poems and choose one or two lines and deposit them on the BTP site. Then choose one or two lines from that deposit and use them to write a poem. The poem you are about to read is made up of all the lines that were deposited until 10:00 pm, last evening. There were 27 contributors at that time. Some left one line, while others left two. And one poet left an entire poem of lines to choose from. I couldn’t choose, so used all, choosing two from the above mentioned poem. Big Tent has allowed me to find the very much alive poet within me. So, I gathered all those words and tried to make something coherent for our lovely and fearless leaders. Hats off to you ladies, you have brought a great deal of light and life to many of us. Thank you.
The Difficulty of Squeezing an Elephant Through The Eye of a Needle
There’s a clover patch outside infinity. Sequined
thoughts no longer shine from unclear memory.
My dreams are the color of turquoise, as you spread
a quilt over the leaves and pull me down beside you.
The only word left is compassion, so make a picture
of our passion, as if I’m a medical illustrator. We feel
compelled to talk about it, like birds on a wire. Dishonest,
against our better judgment, until roots burst forth,
contained no longer by a shell, not so silently.
Every boy is small with so much inside. Bound in these
imperfect forms, we downed them just to be polite. Bracing
him. Bracing me. Walked him step by step in shoes without
laces when he said, “Fold me up and leave me to collect dust,”
then crawled through a hole and disappeared.
Little respite, poured enough courage in my cup to get
me through. An image as broken as the mirror, I can’t recall
the contents of those days. From the valley, a blue updraft
of dust and seeds and wings. Living is not herding sheep,
and I am clay, malleable by happenstance.
This morning the sun said yes to the fog, small miracles
of light bathed fields in gold, reflecting temperamental silk
soaring scarves of clouds moving over field’s of red
and yellow flowers and a windmill twirling, as we marveled
at the miracle of the ordinary. Even so, midnight catches
us by surprise, when I tell you:
“The warehouse of your anxiety should be torn down. Rejection
carries through veins like blood, and I won’t tell you that I want
you, no more waiting for you to want me. No longer, when you
call my name, will I come to the sound of my own soul singing.”
Every corner’s been scrubbed, the laundry is done. I glide out
the door, my energy’s high, as I secretly promise from my heart,
to pray that God is watching you read this poem.
Elizabeth Crawford 5/13/11
Notes: The title of the poem is one of the lines from those deposited. When I finished the poem, I realized that it was essentially about the invisible elephant we often find in our living space and spend a lot of time and energy bending ourselves around to avoid. Some of those elephants are not bad or dark things. For several years I bent myself around my desire to write poetry, avoiding the fact that it is was an essential part of my life force. Big Tent, and all of the wonderful poets and writers, I have met there, reawakened that reality for me and I can’t thank any of you enough.
I attempted my best to keep the lines as they were written, but did have to tweak a bit to keep some sense of tense and meaning. Very few of my own words are here, other than the two lines I had contributed. Again, my thanks to all of you. You can find that deposit of lines here: http://bigtentpoetry.org/2011/05/monday-prompt-may-9/