I was sitting, in my car, on a freeway, (some might say a parking lot), stuck in traffic, not moving. To while away the time I was reading the bumper stickers and signs in the back windows of other automobiles. Wondering if I’d ever get home, it suddenly struck me; the parallel between totems, talismans, and these stickers, magnets, paste-ons that modern man posts on his steel steed to declare his beliefs.
Here is an excerpt of the poetry that was born while impatiently sitting in traffic. Grabbing scraps of paper from the floorboards, writing on a restaurant napkin, old receipt, the back of a grocery list… lest I forget my words~~~~
Totem and Talisman ©
Totem. Storyteller of the tribe’s history and lore,
felled and carved in reverence, from the tree centuries old sculpted in living wood;
a face, a fish, a spirit, a bear, the sun, the moon
Totems live on as statuary in the garden; a wooden rooster tops the mail box.
A mural brushed upon a barn wall; the flag of a beloved country, the star of a lone state.
The Nations painted their sturdy, brave little horses before battle…
a circle of paint about the eye for truer vision, hand prints on shoulder
and flank to ward off the spear
Today’s tribes paint their vehicles with bumper stickers, magnetic ribbons,
and window decals. All proclaiming some truth, totems to tell other tribes what they believe.
Support this, hate that, down with this, up with that. Proud to be a redneck,
a woman, a boater, a christian, a Viet Nam vet, proud to be a farmer,
a republican, a parent, a fisherman. Prouder still to be a soldier,
a grandpa, a boy scout, a sailor, a golfer, an Irishman, a lover of guns.’ ©
Keep yourself open to inspiration…eyes, ears, brain and heart. You will be inspired by strange and wonderful things and you will write strange and wonderful things. You will leave totems for following generations to read.
To read more of my poetry……..click here
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