ivor or ivor.e hogg
Initiate - Poem by ivor or ivor.e hogg
The time has come for me to seek
the advice of my ancestors.
To take to heart the words they speak
which will reveal my future course.
I have my knife I have my bow
and that is all I am allowed
The time is now I have to go
Until my totem is endowed.
I have to learn to recognise
my totem by his qualities.
Though he conceals them from mens eyes..
True understanding is the prize.
A lot depends on what he sees.
The part of him that dwells in me.
Subjects me to deep scrutinies
Which I must face I cannot flee..
I walk the wilderness alone
I catch and kill the food I need
and for each life I must atone.
As I was taught this is my creed.
I do not fear the solitude
Although I miss my family
I have the correct attitude
I know enough to wait and see.
The first night passes quietly
I rise at dawn salute the sun.
I watch and wait respectfully
but wonder in my heart which one.
Which creature will decide to be
the totem that I’m here to find.
The spirit creatures are quite free
to read the thoughts I have in mind.
The second night I cannot sleep
I pass the dark hours listening
to the night predators who creep
about my shelter foraging.
Again I rise up with the sun.
Then suddenly I see a bear
I have no doubt he is the one
whos taken me into his care.
I look at him he looks at me
He seems to be well satisfied
and off he trundles clumsily.
A totem I accept with pride.
The bear has freely chosen me.
I had no say it was his choice
I return home triumphantly
and with my family rejoice.
I must give up my boyhood name.
Now that I have become a man.
The Shaman plays his sacred game
The spirits tell him that he can.
Leave the choice of name to me.
The elders of the tribe confer
But they accept eventually.
I choose the name of Little Bear.
I am a full fledged warrior now.
No longer just a little boy
I freely let the teardrops flow
an outward sign of my great joy.
I am a man and take my place
amongst the older wiser men.
I passed the test without disgrace
A test I need not take again.
In due course I will earn respect
But I must act respectfully.
Towards my elders who expect
that I will listen carefully.
As I am taught the tribal lore
they have stored in their memory.
The things they could not teach before
my totem bear had chosen me..
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