Thinking of Lucille

This is a challenge to all the Sunday Whirl Wordlers. Brenda is away and can’t create her usual word list. So, I went in search of Lucille Clifton. Specifically looking for her poem titled The Shapeshifter Poems. Read through it twice and then let the words float through my head. Wrote some down and created my own list. My challenge is simple: you do the same. Pick a favorite poet, poem, and create your own wordle list, or use some of the words in the list I created. And happy wordling. If you do the challenge, please return here and leave your URL, so we may come and see what you have created.

legend, moon, shapeshifter, father, daughter, no one, to hear,
poem, breathed, end, world,

Butterfly and Flowers2

Thinking of Lucille

 Her father was a shapeshifter,
a full moon legend unknown.

She was a window forbidden
to open, end of a breath
never allowed to fully escape.

There was no one to hear
as her world became small,
then smaller.

In the end, she made a poem.
Threw it like a rock
against that window.

Loved how when they fell,
shattering shards sounded
like a waterfall of tinkling

Felt sun on skin, and flutter
of butterfly wings newly spread,
seeking sweetness of nectar
she had never before tasted.

Elizabeth Crawford  1/17/15

Notes: I went to see and hear Lucille read in Chicago. At the end of the reading, she announced that she would finish by reading a set of four short poems that were really one poem in four parts. They were new and had never been read aloud before. I thought I loved the woman and her work before that night. She changed me and altered how I saw the world and my place in that world. I can’t thank her enough for helping me find the commitment that has carried me through the last thirty years of my life.

You can find The Shapeshifter Poems here:

The audio is not good, but the poem is printed below it.


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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9 Responses to Thinking of Lucille

  1. Cathy says:

    What!!! I’m first for a change . Anyway here is my poem, is not for the squeamish or the faint hearted, didn’t want to write a quiet poem today. Plus a bit of the news of the day got into it.


  2. oldegg says:

    I will join this sanctuary for desperate poets with thanks and the link below:


  3. jae rose says:

    Thank you so much for this Elizabeth – it made my Sunday!


  4. jae rose says:

    So much to take from your writing Elizabeth…poems make great stones…when thrown at the right windows…maybe the ones in ‘your’ head…as the other bastards never seem to need a conscience to fall..still even when you’re older..the world can become smaller and smaller but words are indeed light, air and breath…and butterflies if we are extremely lucky..thank you for this prompt and for your inspiration


  5. Pingback: Let Go! | Thoughts Have Wings

  6. Wow! Elizabeth, one of your best. Deep and empowering, when she throws the rock, and I love the shards sounding when they fall like a waterfall of tinkling laughter. I went and read Lucille’s shapeshifter poems and Oh! My! Goddess! THANK YOU for the introduction. I LOVE her! I think I must try to write a shapeshifter poem now. This was incredible.


  7. annell4 says:

    A lovely poem. Thanks for the words…I will get to them….they look interesting…I’ll return when I get it….


  8. My Story

    i live a legend a legend of my own making i have breathed putrid air

    have looked at a dying moon i am the shapeshifter of my story

    i guess you get the idea it’s all about me i am my father’s daughter

    i scream at the top of my lungs no one hears me it is not the end of the world

    if the story doesn’t come out right it is just a poem the story of my life

    January 20, 2015

    Note: Elizabeth’s words to replace the wordle this week.

    “To cope with mystery, we create a story. Having no idea who we are, where we came from, where we’re going, or what life means, we adapt by giving names to things and pretending that the names and the stories are real. That’s the root of our ignorance.” From “The Fiction of Being” –Mark Matousek


  9. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    Any chance that you could supply a list of words today (28 March)? Nothing has been posted on the Facebook site. Thanks for considering all of us “out here”! 😉


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