poem and poem II

Do you ever read a poem or a story that inspires you to write your own poem/story in response?

Recently I ran across Bill Stafford’s poem “Report to Crazy Horse.” (I was looking for poems with the word crazy in them.)  I was really struck by the power of Stafford’s poem.  Here is an excerpt (do click on the full poem; it includes an audio link, too):

Report to Crazy Horse
William Stafford
. . . Crazy Horse, it is not fair
to hide a new vision from you.
In our schools we are learning
to take aim when we talk, and we have
found out our enemies. They shift when
words do; they even change and hide
in every person. A teacher here says
hurt or scorned people are places
where real enemies hide. He says
we should not hurt or scorn anyone,
but help them. And I will tell you
in a brave way, the way Crazy Horse
talked: that teacher is right. . . .



In response to a recent flash fiction challenge, I wrote a very short piece, which is an homage piece to Bill Stafford’s poem. In this flash fiction challenge we were given the first line Oh, everyone just thought you were crazy, to start our story.  (A thank-you shout-out to fellow bloggers Ronel the Mythmaker and Anne J. for inspiration!)

If you read Bill’s poem first, then read my piece, I think you may see the connections I hoped for.


I have seen it – Ode to Crazy Horse

Theresa Barker

Creative Commons License

Crazy Horse Monument Closeup by Matthew Paulson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Oh, everyone just thought you were crazy.

But that was because your name was Crazy Horse.

We did not think you were crazy.  The white people – they fear craziness.  They use it, against themselves and against each other.  The white people think craziness is a thing that kills and maims.  They think this because being sane is their way of controlling the world.  Control is a thing they must have.  Control of the land. Control of the people.  Control of the thoughts.

Everyone here just thought you were crazy.  But there is the craziness that they do not recognize.  There is truth in craziness, a truth that hurts the eyes and the minds of those who lie.  Who is more crazy than the dispossessed, the beaten, the savaged.  Who is more crazy than the vanquished.

Vanquished – but not defeated.

I tell you there is always a new way to humiliate those who have been beaten-down.  But craziness is an old way that honors, that dignifies, that unites the hearts of those who have become invisible and unseen.

Oh, everyone just thought you were crazy.


Have you written something that calls to another writer’s work?  Photographers, do you try a photo after seeing another photographer’s image?  How does it make you feel?

10 thoughts on “poem and poem II

  1. Inspiration is everywhere… 🙂

    “But there is the craziness that they do not recognize. There is truth in craziness, a truth that hurts the eyes and the minds of those who lie. Who is more crazy than the dispossessed, the beaten, the savaged. Who is more crazy than the vanquished.”

    I love that. A colleague of mine and I were chatting once and we said that they crazy are those who see what’s out there in the world and refuses to simply accept and conform. The sane conforms. The sane follows. The crazy ones asks questions. The crazy challenges. The crazy wants better. Not all but I think if we really look, the crazy has the open eyes. If you watch Kate & Leopold (Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman), old romantic movie, Meg Ryan’s ex boyfriend played by the same actor who played brother to Hugh Jackman in Wolverine – What’s his name? He has his own show at the moment, I think – he said something about the crazy when he was held at a mental institution. It makes sense. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The crazy ones ask question. The crazy ones challenge. I LOVE this. I love this! Thank youy, Anne! (I’ll have to look for the movie – I didn’t realize Hugh Jackman was in it! But I remember when it came out years ago.). 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, it’s one of my all-time favorite romantic movies. You have got to watch it! I still watch it every now and then. Hugh is just perfect for the role of a Duke from ages back.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah! I will check it out! (I love Meg Ryan, I think she is/was underrated. My most favorite movie of hers was actually “Joe Vs. the Volcano” where she played 3 different parts – no, 4 – all different, and all wonderfully believable!). HUGS my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, you must! 🙂 I don’t remember the movie but I know. I should watch it. Cough is finally subsiding. Gosh! I can smile again. Hehe. I endeavor to be healthy from here on. 🙂 Much love and hugs. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

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