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Poem: "Sometimes a Cigar" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "Sometimes a Cigar"

This poem came out of the June 4, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette.  It also fills the #14 Antediluvian slot in the Rainbowfic Moonlight list.


Sometimes a Cigar


Sigmund Freud presented the idea of dreams
as symbols which could be interpreted for psychoanalysis. 
He proposed a set of guidelines for divining the meaning
of objects and events appearing in dreams,
antediluvian ideas dragging themselves
slowly up the sandman's shore.

This is a thing that shamans have done
in cultures around the world,
and however universal
some people may think dreams are,
they aren't.

The images may remain the same
but the symbolism can vary;
or images may appear often in some cultures
but rarely if ever in others.

Sometimes a cigar is a penis.
Sometimes a cigar is a holy object.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes a snake is a devil and temptation.
Sometimes a snake is a goddess and transformation.
Sometimes a snake is just a reptile.

These are the things that are learned
not by a master scholar
but by a student of dreams,
for it is their nature to whisper secrets
into the listening ear of the mind by night.

There is no ivory tower where dreams cannot go,
no book whose answers they cannot question,
no credentials they are unable to sprinkle with doubt.

Old men clutch their cigars and their wire-framed glasses,
scribble important notes onto sheets of paper,
and insist that they know what they're doing.

In the mists between waking and sleeping,
Rainbow Serpent sheds her skin
and hisses a laugh.

* * *

Notes:

Antediluvian means ancient.

Sigmund Freud was a famous founder of dream theory, based on his ideas about the psyche.

Cross-cultural dream interpretation is more revealing.  Culture influences many aspects of dreams.  Anthropology also offers thoughts on dreams and their meanings.  In essence, dreams are subconscious or mythic symbols -- and each culture has its own "dictionary" of what these symbols mean.

Tobacco is a sacred herb in many Native American cultures.  Some of the Voodoo lwa  also like cigars as offerings.

The Rainbow Serpent appears in Australian and African lore.

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Comments
From: technoshaman Date: June 15th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. There's a reason that feels so... *comfortable*...

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