Whispers from Tinker Creek


My son, Brian, gave me a book entitled, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard, for my birthday. Published in 1974, the book won the esteemed Pulitzer prize.  In its pages, Ms. Dillard goes traipsing through her Virginia woods, observing sky, trees, insects, birds, and Tinker Creek.  The smallest observations vault her into grand philosophical explorations about the nature of life.  I am impressed and moved at her intellectual and transcendental depth.  I am enjoying the book! I have heard that a good way to become a better writer is to read great writers.  During a quiet moment, I aspired to write a poem inspired by Ms. Dillard’s writing.  I present to you, “Whispers from Tinker Creek.”


I hang on every word,
dew on a leaf point,
sliding slowly to drop
toward mingling mud,
the view blue and green,
but for shadow.

I cling to the twig tip
with suction feet,
searching, in space,
through tattered clouds,
for how to inch on.

The breeze whispers
words I cannot comprehend,
almost audible,
puffs of cottonwood,
floating dandelions.

The sun spares me
sudden death to bedazzle
with sparkling dust,
shattered crystals hovering

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