Totem truisms


Stand next
to this totem pole
and trace its smooth
cedar-inscribed characters
with a steady eye,
graze your hand over
feel the pulse
of ancient ancestry,
smell the wafts of
sweet grain
in the light of day,
its sacred spirits
evoking your soul,
no longer shrouded in
modern society,
for you are part
of the whole,
this diverse
of one pathos.

About tyler4turtles

I am an avid photographer, poet, ecologist, bookworm, blogger, art enthusiast and runner who calls Montana home but lives in Oregon.
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17 Responses to Totem truisms

  1. words4jp says:

    This totem is lovely. Where is it located?

    • Thank you, Kim! It was taken in the brand new tribal building on the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. It’s carved out of Port Orford cedar wood and stands about 20-25 feet tall. Simply breathtaking craftsmanship and vibrant character!
      Tyler 🙂

  2. what a great poem. I really felt like I was being pulled into the totem’s force.

    • Thank you, Karen! I appreciate your kind words. The totem is a spiritual being and dynamic force. So many stories swirled in its curves of earthly characters, such that we are propelled to experience each tier on its own terms, while concurrently, capturing the continuity of the whole. These linkages in life are so critical to our ecosystems, yet urbanization and “progress” has divorced, to some extent, our bond with the world around us, compartmentalizing societies into fragmented shells of their former selves. As humans, we need to share a cultural heritage and bloodline with the wilds of this planet just as we share with our friends and family. I’m sure you probably feel the same way, since we seem to be kindred spirits.
      Tyler 🙂

  3. Gallivanta says:

    It is wondrous that it is so.

  4. Reblogged this on The ancient eavesdropper and commented:

    I wanted to revisit this post to give you more information about the artist that skillfully carved the very soul into this 800-year old fallen cedar tree, transformed now into a transcendent totem pole. It stands at the new Oregon State University Longhouse located in Corvallis, Oregon. The artist’s name is Clarence Mills of Vancouver, B.C. Click on the link below to read more about the life and times of this truly amazing totem and its creators…

  5. Wonderful poem and terrific totem…the perfect compliment to any living room (just kidding). Very nicely done.. 🙂

    • Thank you, Dom! I appreciate your kind words. Both artwork and nature inspire my pen, no bound to our mutual creation. Hope you are having a good day, my friend!
      Tyler 🙂

  6. gorgeous piece of work and a lovely tribute to it. it must be spectacular to actually see something like this up close and personal!

    • Thank you! It was truly an amazing sight to behold. All of my senses are working overtime – the nose whiffing sweet cedar incense, hands touching smooth curves of ancient grains, eyes opening wide to engulf every sacred wild soul, ears hearing a knock on the wood as fingers stumble across knots, mouth tasting the infused aroma of oils now acting as preserving bark. Just as my poem described, we are all connected as one sentient being born for everything and nothing. Hope you are having a good day!
      Tyler 🙂

  7. Pingback: A different knowhow | The ancient eavesdropper

  8. I love totem poles. I am in Colorado on vacation and took some pictures today of one near Vallecito Lake.

    • Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts on totems! I agree. Totem poles look so wise and ancient, almost as if they were a fossil sculpted by pressure in the earth. Those that live by the earth are very familiar with its truisms, which are not evident to those who simply live off its resources without respecting their origins. Hope you are having a relaxing weekend, my friend!
      Tyler 🙂

  9. Fantastic poem Tyler. The totem is truly amazing.

    • Thank you! Your kind words are much appreciated! Yes, the totem’s beauty should speak for itself, but I was inspired to write a few words about it. Glad you enjoyed it, my friend!
      Tyler 🙂

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