One Single Impression: Talisman

The distant fragrances
Of forgotten apples
Of cooling wild grapes
Of fallen leaves crumbling

Envelop me

In the early dark
of October and--

There is no reason for this--

Make me turn my gaze
Just enough to take in

A white heron
Blessing the lake
With silence and flight.

Shadows darken.
Stars appear.

There is no looking back

No turning away

If you are the heron.

I've been doing a lot of dictionary work with the kids, and I have been loving it. Every word in our language has a story that takes us deep into another time and place. I found talisman to be irresistable:

Main Entry: tal·is·man
Pronunciation: \ˈta-ləs-mən, -ləz-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural tal·is·mans
Etymology: French talisman or Spanish talismán or Italian talismano; all from Arabic ṭilsam, from Middle Greek telesma, from Greek, consecration, from telein to initiate into the mysteries, complete, from telos end — more at telos
Date: 1638
1 : an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune
2 : something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects
— tal·is·man·ic \ˌta-ləs-ˈma-nik, -ləz-\ adjective
— tal·is·man·i·cal·ly \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Comments

  1. I love etymology; I could spend hours with those huge dictionaries the libraries have just enjoying new words.

    Loved your poetry today, especially the image of the heron and the flavour of autumn.

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  2. I love all that autumn brings us. THe world does seem a bit more quiet beginning in October. A wonderful month full of color and crispy air. It is a wonderful thought to have a talisman.

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  3. i love the poem. i can see in my minds eye the apple and the heron gracing the autumn yard and placid lake...

    it is indeed a talisman!

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  4. Love the poem. Strange how something can make us look over like that, in time to see the heron skim the lake. Just like when I went to the window just in time to see the fox staring in at me.

    There are certain words that have a good sound to them and talisman is one of those words. Enjoyed looking at all the definitions.
    Nuts in May

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  5. fascinating, I'd like to be in your classes but will have to get it second hand via blogging.

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  6. You're teaching all the time my friend! Lovely poem...and I've always felt that the word talisman had special meaning to me...nice to see it showcased.
    Sandi

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  7. What a wonderful poem. And thanks for the etymology of the word talisman.

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  8. I could smell those apples and feel that cool breeze. Great going.

    solidified

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  9. Thank you, Sandy. Thank you for telling, and reminding, me that there is a story in every word we have. I am a believer.

    You did very good with your story. I love the way you integrate nature into so many of your poems. For me there was no way from the definition to use natural settings.
    ..

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  10. what a lovely artist you are, you paint such devine picttures in my mind and in my heart!

    well done Sandy!

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  11. It reads like a long haiku. Such evoking images.

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  12. You are a talisman to us and to your students!

    Aloha, Friend

    Comfort Spiral

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  13. What beautiful, tranquil words Sandy, I loved this post and savored each line. Well done..

    Hugs, G

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  14. I really like this poem, Sandy.
    I'm fond of reading the dictionary as well, I like to know the etymology and discover new words.

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  15. this is so beautiful!

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  16. with your first few lines, something inside me slowed
    i read your poem out loud
    i was transported
    i love your perspective on our prompt, thank you.

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  17. I have a passion for ethymology. It's fascinating to see where our words come from...

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  18. Isn't it wonderful how teachers learn along with the students? Enjoyed the poem tht left vivid photos in my mind.

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  19. Talisman is such an evocative word. It is onomatopoetic - sounds like what it is: magical, miraculous, a charm.

    It is precisely opposite from its despised younger brother: taliban.

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  20. I love the way you think, Sandy. Your poem was wonderful, thanks...

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  21. very compelling and peaceful

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  22. swapna8:59 AM

    Thank you for sharing more on Talisman.

    Loved your work, especially the imagery of a white heron blessing the lake with its silence and flight...was simply superb.

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  23. Poetry is as elusive to me as that rainbow shot I seek but I can and do appreciate your lovely way with words

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  24. So always make nature so inviting.

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  25. This made me sit still and sigh deeply for all its meaning... personal and perhaps reaching externally into the magical quality of changing seasons.

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  26. Dictionaries are such treasures!
    Thanks for the poem.

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  27. your poem is perfect, placing us exactly in that instant where the human and the heron connect, tied together in space time.

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  28. This was beautiful...your words are straightforward, yet they always go deep. It's a wonderful feeling every time I read your work.

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  29. I got to know the deeper meaning of talisman! Thank you, Sandy. Wonderful poem! :)

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  30. Your words are magical Sandy!

    A pleasure to read your poems every time :)

    Have a great week!
    Anna

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  31. "The distant fragrances
    Of forgotten apples
    Of cooling wild grapes
    Of fallen leaves crumbling"

    These items do indeed create a magic in memory and thought. Very nicely done. Thank you.

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  32. Are those choices limited only if you're the heron?

    Our instincts are heightened during this season--loved whatever made the protagonist turn her/his head to take in the heron--

    Lovely!

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  33. Lovely poem - I've always found 'talisman' to be a musical, magical word with many uses. Nice post!

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  34. Snady: Beautifully written, I can't read this word W/O thing of Steven King and his writings.

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  35. Sandy, I, too, looked this word up to make sure I understood its meaning! Your dictionary is much more indepth than mine, and I, too, wrote about a bird! I love the images in your poem for they bring me right back to New England and a walk through a farmer's field with woods at the edge. I can smell the apples and the newly fallen leaves. I love the image of the heron taking flight. Your poem is carried on its wings!

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  36. Anonymous7:40 AM

    i had given up the idea of writing on this prompt....you make it look so easy here...

    pure delight..

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  37. I like that poem.....wonderful!

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  38. Anonymous6:46 PM

    .. so beautiful ..

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  39. Anonymous aka zoya gautam ..

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  40. The miracle of connectedness - very nicely written, Sandy.

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  41. I can just picture this (and smell it too!). What a wonderful tribute to an October evening! Just lovely, Sandy~

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  42. Aahhh, that heron again. I remember him from last summer. Splendidly told, and as always your gift of imagery is without peer.

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