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. 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. Wondering if I’d ever get home.

Here is an excerpt of the poetry that was born while impatiently sitting in traffic. 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.

Author's Bio: 

Playwright, author, poet, Trisha Sugarek has been writing for five decades. Until recently her writing focused on play writing that ranged from prison stories to children’s fables. She has expanded her body of work to include two books of poetry, and a group of children’s books.

She has recently completed her first contemporary novel “Women Outside the Walls” and a second book of Haiku poetry. Her original brush and ink artwork will illustrate the book. All of her work can be found on her web site www.writeratplay.com ordered at Samuel French.
A new series, “ShortN’Small” offers individual short one act plays, small casts, no set, and no costumes.

Trisha has enjoyed a thirty year career in theatre as actor, director and writer. For three years she had her own theatre/performing arts company in Texas. Originally from Seattle, she has worked in theatres from coast to coast. Her plays have been produced across the country and Samuel French has published four of her plays to date. A text book is being written in Argentina to teach English using Trisha’s body of work. Trisha lives in Savannah, Georgia with her three golden retrievers.