Building My Totem Pole

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads, “Totems”  (posted by Brendan)

“Does your poetic other root in forest, sky or booming wave? Do your verses run with the wolves, ride a dolphin’s back, birth with the sun, batten on winds, limn dark cracks, take wing in moonlight? If so, who are these beasties which make your poems dance?

What tops your totem pole? How literal, how literate does that configuration of myth and poetry stand in your work—close, far? Evolving, inherent? Lost? Reclaimed?”

Building my totem pole
with care 
of where
the masks fall.  
On the bottom,
tiny seahorse 
that remains
ever small. Riding atop
seahorse, a golden

finch perches, free
to sing, free to flee
on a whim. A puzzle
-pieced giraffe is next,
gentle animal, graceful,
quiet and majestic, above
the hectic world. One
mask remains, saved
for the top of my totem
pole, an enchanting dolphin
to watch over me after
my ashes are scattered
in the sea.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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16 Responses to Building My Totem Pole

  1. MrsBednar says:

    Seriously, this too needs to be carved into wood. Nicely penned.


  2. What a beautiful totem this is. I love the creatures on it. Really beautiful.


  3. Delightful images and lovely flow. I really like your internal rhymes and half-rhymes too.


  4. kim881 says:

    A beautiful totem menagerie, Sara!


  5. Kerry says:

    This totem pole gives insight into a playful and generous person.


  6. Brendan says:

    Couldn’t ask for a more beautiful and meaningful totem. Well done.


  7. Vivian Zems says:

    An enchanting totem pole. You drew my eyes from the bottom to the breathtaking top.


  8. Jim says:

    Beautiful totem you build there, Sara. I like the idea of topping it off with the dolphin, appropriate for the setting of ashes sprinkled on the waters. This is a fun positive way of looking at your burial. My only desire is to have people actually toss clods of dirt onto my ashes urn.


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