Tortoise Shell Thoughts

 

For Poets United Thursday Think Tank #12    Water
http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2010/08/thursday-think-tank-prompt-12.html

Chance Encounter II

Tortoise Shell Thoughts

Immersed in waters of life,
only triangulated shadow
showing above surface.
Trying to give birth
to an already endangered
species, knowing pieces
of uniqueness mark it
for even quicker
extinction.

Poets are not fish, feathered,
or four-legged, yet sometimes
wear furred coat of words
that sheds out of seasons,
for innumerable reasons,
yet leaves a path-like track
through even the thickest
carpet.

And turtles sometimes leave
water to cross two-lane highways,
making slow progress when speed
is of the essence. Hard shell
is protection ’til it lands
on its back and only hope
is a sensitive poet with knapsack
of words thrown over one shoulder
and a need to right what has been
turned topsy-turvy.

Elizabeth Crawford  8/29/10

If you are interested in reading Chance Encounter I go to:
http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/chance-encounter/

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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/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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26 Responses to Tortoise Shell Thoughts

  1. systematicweasel says:

    Glad I came by to read the second part. Wonderfully written! =)

    -Weasel

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Weasel. This is based in a memory of a real incident I had one day with a huge turtle trying to cross a two-lane highway. I couldn’t just leave him there unprotected, so I parked my car in the middle of the lane hoping to slow travelers down. Then a man stopped in a truck, went in the back and got a shovel, picked it gently up and moved it down into the ditch where water was running. Then turned to me and said, “Thank you.”

      Later, that same night, the turtle came back and slowly wedged his nose into a dream. Told me his name was Simon, which means “he who listens justly, or with fairness.” And he does. When I saw the prompt for United Poets I started hearing the poem. After posting it, I went to read all the wonderful responses and knew this poem was meant to be. Poets have a special voice in the scheme of things. And they often spend their energies righting things that have been turned topsy-turvy.

      Thanks for stopping and reading,

      Elizabeth

  2. Ellen says:

    I love turtles and I love your take on their poetic existence~

  3. Oh so lovely! Turtles are very special and I love that you love them. Thanks for your piece.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hi Annell. Turtles are very special creatures. They are symbols for the ability to live and survive in two different worlds. That of the life of thought with its fluid constantly moving and changing parameters, as well as the physical realm and all that that entails and the grounding it expresses. We need both and the turtle expresses the balance to be found in that awareness. It is far too easy to get stuck in one or the other and thus ignore or miss the wholeness to be had by embracing both.

      Personally, I have a tendency to get up inside my head and stay there. I need that which tethers me to solid ground, forces me to come out and interact with so much more than my own thoughts and perceptions. You know, that hermit thingie I do so well? Lol. Part of that tether is these comments. In order to respond to them, I have to come out and listen. It’s amazing what one can actually hear when one does that (I’m laughing at myself for that one).

      Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Elizabeth
      PS Have you taken a look at Poets United? It’s a really wonderful site with an awful lot to offer. I’d like to trade Poet cards with you.

  4. The name of your piece is so visually beautiful. I love it!

    • 1sojournal says:

      You should Annell, you were a big part of the inspiration process. See your comment on Sadness and The Angel of Hope poem, lol. Love it when that happens,

      Elizabeth

  5. Lynette says:

    Your blog is beautiful, and this poem really moved me. I particularly like the story behind righting the turtle…I would have done the same. I too, live in my head a lot of the time…finding balance is always a challenge…:)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my page, and leaving a lovely message. I’m off to read Part I now…

    Lynette

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you for doing the same, Lynette. I’m glad you like the site and related to the poem. I think the ‘living inside the head’ is probably a problem for most writers. Sort of the cost for observing and making note of the details and feelings. Always on the look out for the next word, phrase, image, and how they all connect with the rest of it.

      It was important for me to find the turtle again at this time. I have been doing an awful lot of writing and staying in, in order to do just that. Really have to push myself beyond the door more often. Balance is never easy and sometimes it isn’t even fun,

      Elizabeth

  6. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, this is my favorite part of your poem:

    Hard shell
    is protection ’til it lands
    on its back and only hope
    is a sensitive poet with knapsack
    of words thrown over one shoulder
    and a need to right what has been
    turned topsy-turvy.

    True, I think, of poets. Well written poem!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Mary,

      when I looked at the prompt, the words started whispering almost immediately. I hadn’t gone to any other sites before I posted the poem. And when I did go, a great many of the pieces were about conserving our water before we spoil our world irrevocably. And all I could think of was how right this poem, especially that last verse is.

      Thankds again for everthing,
      Elizabeth

  7. neil reid says:

    Ahh… this makes me smile. It is a wonderful second part companion, light as a breeze even if in the guise of a turtle here.

    I love this poem’s resolution, that quarter tone topsy-turvy! A wonderful analog of perhaps what poems do, or at least hint. (The real poem I think is existence itself. Can we really even imagine how divine a thought? But because we mostly toss and turn, disturbed unwakefulness, then yes, topsy-turvy maybe is right side up.)

    Bread and butter and poems, it’s all about the same. Tasty stuff.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Neil, you did it again,

      Turtles have long been a favorite of mine. We are each of us a turtle, carrying our only possession around on our backs (“Grapes of Wrath” by Stienbeck), through each of our moments. More importantly however, our hard heads, skulls that encase that mysterious, sometimes magical and ephemeral thing we call a brain, our minds, is an even better example of what I was aiming at in the poem.

      For whatever reason, something in your comment made me realize that I had written that original story of the turtle somewhere, and your comment jogged the memory. I used to publish a small writing zine and the story is there within its pages. I went back and found it and I think it might be my next post. I did remember the incident quite well, except for one major gaffe. I got the turtle’s name wrong. That’s so easy to do and just one more reason I am grateful that I write so much and keep most of it, lol.

      And an emphatic yes! that the real poem is existence itself. We are making poems in each moment and that is truly a divine thought.

      Elizabeth

  8. vivinfrance says:

    Wowee, that took me back to my diving days. Wonderful things turtles. I loved the lines
    ‘ a sensitive poet with knapsack
    of words thrown over one shoulder’

    • 1sojournal says:

      Viv,

      Whenever I see the first card in the Tarot deck, The Fool, I think of a poet, whistling along, eyes on the clouds, instead of the path, and a knapsack of words spilling out behind him. And it is just such a one who stops to right what is wrong, and to flip what he/she finds has been turned topsy-turvy. Glad you like the poem,

      Elizabeth

  9. “Poets are not fish, feathered,
    or four-legged, yet sometimes
    wear furred coat of words
    that sheds out of seasons,
    for innumerable reasons,
    yet leaves a path-like track
    through even the thickest
    carpet.”

    -Holy cow…..the wordplay an imagery in that stanza…was just mind blowing, and so calming….lovely.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Oil Underneath,

      I thought I was the only one around who said, “Holy cow!” I was tempted to say it on someone’s site today, and then backed off, lol. Thanks for that one alone. But, thank you for the wonderful and enthusiastic response. It makes me grin, a lot.

      Elizabeth

  10. Alaurilee says:

    I loved this Elizabeth!

    My fav…

    Poets are not fish, feathered,
    or four-legged, yet sometimes
    wear furred coat of words
    that sheds out of seasons,
    for innumerable reasons,
    yet leaves a path-like track
    through even the thickest
    carpet.

    Awesome….and so very true…well said….

    Lauri

    • 1sojournal says:

      Lauri,

      I do see poets in that manner. Wrapped in words, collars pulled against the face, and shedding words wherever they might find themselves. But, then I see poets all around me, in nature, on the street, in the grocery store, and in books and on television. I might be somewhat of a turtle in nature, but we slow movers often catch details that others miss. Thank you for the wonderful compliments. I do like awesome, a bit, lol.

      Elizabeth

  11. Elizabeth,
    A truly delighful read, with a beautiful subject in the turtle. A wonderful link to the Thursday Poets United prompt and the association of the life of a poet, with that of the turtle. Hard knocks and thick skin!!!
    Best wishes, Eileen

    • 1sojournal says:

      Eileen, thank you for that, but I gotta admit my skin isn’t always that thick. That’s why I qualified the poet by making him/her a sensitive creature, one who does their best but sometimes doesn’t know how to flip what’s gone topsy-turvy, other than to write about it and that may be exactly what that particular poet needs to do. May be all that can be done, or needs to be accomplished. We can’t ever really know.

      All we can do is put that sensitive energy out there and hope it attracts more of its kind, yes?

      Elizabeth

  12. Cynthia says:

    Hello Elizabeth, what a lovely poem, and I adore the analogy of the turtle and
    the poet. And yes many of us poets are a sensitive lot, just looking for the
    sensitive energy and other poets out there with the same sensitivity.

    Thank You!

    Not sure if this is the poem for Eatlovepray, couldn’t find that link, however
    a link to your blog is up at poemflesh2.

  13. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you for reading Cynthia. This isn’t the poem and I did leave a note in your comment section concerning the mix-up.

    Elizabeth

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