Walking Between Worlds


Troy Lim photography via Photobotos

Last night an owl
visited my dream.

At first, a shadow
till the moon reflected
layer upon layer,
feathered phantom,
snowy countenance,
searing eyes,
her image in a well
of watery, starlit magic.

Gift of wisdom:
darkest light that shimmers—

plumbing fear,
extracting secrets,
harboring power
of the womb.

The risk is this:
you dare not go within.

The owl totem is a symbol of the feminine, the moon and the night. It is a bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom. When she visits your dreams, you are well-advised to look within.

Written for Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets’ Pub hosted tonight by Joe Hesch. Stop on over. I suspect he’ll brew up a magic potion just for you.

Photo Credit: This photo is the work of Troy Lim as featured on Photobotos.com  It is my understanding the work featured on Photobotos my be used for non-commercial purposes. If this is incorrect, I will be happy to remove it from this post. It was the photo (and a dream) that set my mind to working. I highly recommend this site to fellow poets as a marvelous source of inspiration.

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57 thoughts on “Walking Between Worlds

  1. Owls are the symbol of Athena, who is also the goddess of wisdom. This interplay of mythology and deep parts of the psyche – feminine or masculine – are recurring themes in your poetry.

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  2. A risk indeed! Incredible imagery here – as powerful and mysterious as the owl herself. Thoroughly enjoyed your word weaving here.

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  3. I thought I already commented on this. And I still love it.

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  4. Joseph Hesch says:

    I really sensed a magical layering of the bird symbolism over womanhood in these words, Victoria. So cool and so deep in this tightly written piece.

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  5. Haven’t been here in quite a while… and enjoying your gift… again. =)
    Thank you for sharing this. Really like the “power of the womb.” I’ll be sharing your owl info with a friend as she continues to see owls everywhere (in waking hours)… a baby one was even in the open tube of her mailbox the other day, (the usual spot for the newspaper!)

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  6. leahJlynn says:

    Owl: Gift of wisdom- darkest light that shimmers. Like that line. this is a lovely poem full of visual beauty.
    http://leah-jamielynn.typepad.com/blog/2012/04/only-god-knows.html

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  7. Truedessa says:

    Hi, Well you have my attention as I find owls to be very wise and share a love for this creature of nature. Nicely written.

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  8. Tino says:

    I was having a severe bout of deja vu here. My memory aint great. Then it hit me and I saw the date and now I know I am not going completely crazy.

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  9. Very powerful poem. Thanks!

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  10. dragonkatet says:

    I have a special kinship with owls, though they are not my totem. I like the way you have incorporated the mystical feel of them in this piece. It would not surprise me a bit if owl was one of your totems, Victoria. 🙂 Thank you for sharing both the poem and the lore!

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  11. tigerbrite says:

    Hi Victoria
    This post means so much.
    Blessings and love to you.
    Just before my mother died a huge white owl came to me. Not in a dream, for real and it was awesome, I was awake and felt everything
    It is a sign of love and the greater order of nature.
    My mother has visited me in spirit since.
    I hope this is helpfull to you.

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  12. powerful poem Victoria…I love when an owl visits our woods at night, not a dream but for real…the sound of her/his soulful hooting wakes up something inside of me and transports me to a tranquil place.

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  13. Luke Prater says:

    Strong piece (as per)… this stanza in partic is excellent –

    plumbing fear,
    extracting secrets,
    harboring power
    of the womb.

    haven’t seen you around for a little while… drop in sometime poet buddy. Love your work

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  14. ed pilolla says:

    this owl as you describe it is beautiful and frightening, so much like the photo, life-giving and life-taking.

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  15. This all makes me think of Native American lore. Owls, moon, shadows…all very magical yet grounded to Father Sky and Mother Earth…

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  16. siubhan says:

    i love the mystery woven into this poem, and especially in those last two lines! thanks for adding the footnote– it helped a lot in seeing the nuances of the piece.

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  17. Patti says:

    This is a powerful piece. I like it a lot. I didn’t know the symbolism of the owl, but I’m a big fan. I have a collection of owls from all over the world (including one made from the ash of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption). And then there’s the one who lives in the tree in my yeard. I’ve never seen him, but he talks to me every night.

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  18. Chris G. says:

    Lovely, in-depth piece–you take a symbol and dig your hands in deep to the power and beauty held within, and with just enough abstract to it that it makes the mind sing with the investigation. Plenty of fables could (and undoubtedly do) rest within the owl’s wings, and for good reason. An atmospheric delight.

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  19. Rachel says:

    Was the mouse laughing at you in your dream too? The owl was quite mesmerising as were your words. Lovely feminie charm.

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  20. Chazinator says:

    This has such a dark power, which only dreams can bring to light. I like the contrasts and reversal of values, especially at the end where wisdom is not seeking within. That’s an interesting reversal of what wisdom is often assumed to say.

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  21. I’ve always found owls to be kool but spooky. Maybe that’s why its image is associated feminine 🙂 lol. Anyway, very nice write. I liked the use of the owl image throughout and the mention of the womb. Very powerful image. Excellente.

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  22. I loved everything about this piece Victoria! Well crafted and beautifully written–and I love hte images and what they evoke–

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  23. Beautiful write, Victoria. A powerful image created with words.
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-end/

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  24. dfb says:

    I love this poem, Victoria, full of wonderful symbolism.

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  25. I like how you used the symbols to evoke wisdom, and power. Cheers ~

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  26. Intense and evocative, expressed with skill and great economy of language. Loved it!

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  27. poemsofhateandhope says:

    Owls are such special birds. Maybe so haunting becasur they occupy the night, and as such easily become a vessel, a metaphor for the poet- and hear you instil such magic and mysticism- the atmosphere was really thick in between these words.

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  28. Tino says:

    Amazing piece, simply amazing. Its kind of my genre, so something of this nature and quality will always appeal to me. I slipped into the words, I was there, I experienced the sensations as they happened.
    A truly wonderful poem, hits every single nerve ending and I shall cherish reading this over and over, its just that damned good!!

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  29. Gay says:

    The owl was Athena’s companion, I think, named Glaucus (sp?) There was something about it not spreading its wings until sunset I believe. There’s truth here too. I think sometimes plumbing “the reasons why” may lead to doing nothing, taking no risks, not going forward. It’s not always necessary to understand one’s own motivation, it’s important to seize the inspiration and act. Well done!

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  30. “…plumbing fear,
    extracting secrets,
    harboring power
    of the womb.”

    Such a fascinating bird of mystical symbolism. I love how you brought that out in your writing. Well penned, my friend!

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  31. Mysterious, magical… I love how you creatively incorporate the symbols of the owl in the poem… the ending “dare not look within” makes me think; an ending that stays with me….

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  32. ManicDdaily says:

    Lovely poem, and lovely photo. Dare not go within indeed! Thanks for the recommendation. K.

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  33. colleen says:

    I especially like the line that starts with plumbing fear … the image is haunting.

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  34. vivinfrance says:

    Your owl poem sent shivers up my spine. I can see why the photo inspired you.

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  35. hedgewitch says:

    This is magic and mystic and very much up my alley(or knothole in my tree) love it Victoria. i frequently have talked to owls in my dreams, and in my thoughts…they have such listening faces.

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  36. Zouxzoux says:

    The mystical in this is fantastic. Much of my poetry come from my dreams – I believe it’s a special gift and especially when such totems are seen. Love this.

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  37. hobgoblin2011 says:

    Nice write Victoria. I love symbolism and the Owl symbolism is cool. Really like the at first a shadow stanza and love this one:
    plumbing fear,
    extracting secrets,
    harboring power
    of the womb.

    Very good read. Thanks

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  38. bajanpoet says:

    This is an awesome poem. You weaved the feminine, magic and the moon and water quite well in this piece. I loved it!

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  39. mairmusic says:

    Deep watery secrets– love the mystery in this.

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  40. timkeen40 says:

    The poem was fantastic and owls are such mystical, fantastic creatures.

    htt://timkeen.wordpress.com

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  41. souldipper says:

    Oh the mystery and quiet watchfulness…I could feel those golden eyes burrowing and waiting. Great poem, Victoria, with great effect.

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  42. Emma says:

    I love the mystery of this one that the subject seems to lend to it…the dream connection. Owls are one of my favorite birds, they do have that something that makes them seem all-knowing when they look at you. Lovely poetry, Victoria.

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  43. leahJlynn says:

    I love owls, there just magical to look at. nice poem

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  44. Mary says:

    I loved learning about the symbolism of the owl, and I will hope that an owl visits my dream. I enjoyed your poem and where it took me.

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  45. Ravenblack says:

    Very interesting poem and footnote. Loved the imagery in the poem — the well reflecting the stars in the night sky and the image of the owl nearby. Looking into, not so easy.

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  46. brian miller says:

    oo a bit of magic in your dream…and in your retelling…dare not go in, but dare not stay out for what you have the chance to miss…smiles.

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  47. ayala says:

    The owl symbolizes wisdom…I did not know it means to search within…lovely and thank you for sharing Victora.

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  48. Myrna says:

    The owl is wise. Looking within seems like such a risk because our truth to remain concealed. But, how else can we really grow, except by knowing our truth? Nice write.

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  49. Adura Ojo says:

    Oh, I do find owls scary. i think are feared/revered in almost every culture I know of. Your portrayal of the owl is spot on, Victoria.

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  50. Yes, the owl is symbolic for wisdom. Lucy you to have one visit you in your dream. Sad for the little mouse in the photograph who is about to become its meal though but, such is life and the order of things.
    Lovely piece of prose Victoria.

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  51. claudia says:

    nice…this has some kind of magic clinging to it…feels like a touch with the owl’s wings and a breeze of cool night air..very atmospheric victoria…about to go to bed…wondering what i’m going to dream tonight…smiles

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  52. zongrik says:

    The image of an owl in a well must mean something in either psychology or folklore, if not, it would make a great mythical short story.

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