Tag Archives: nature writers

Terry Tempest Williams

“I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient.”

– Terry Tempest Williams

Susan Richardson’s ‘Waiting at the Breathing Hole’

Waiting at the Breathing Hole
Susan Richardson
 
The white of this screen burns
my eyes. Its unswerving glare
might well make me snow-blind. 
  
There was a time when words would fly
across the screen, like a dog-team speeding,
each at its peak and pulling
equally and all I’d have to do was leap
aboard the sledge, guide it
in the right direction, then
relish the ride.

But suddenly,
                    we hit uneven ice.
          Bumped over ridges.
I fell from the sledge.          The dogs fled.
The instructions I yelled
                    had no meaning.
 
So now, with tender eyes,
I must hunt for a hole in the white
 
and wait
 
patient
 
at the rim
for the whiskered nose of inspiration,
for a flippered urge to surge to the surface.
 
And when it comes, I won’t shoot it,
harpoon it     skin it     rip its liver out and eat it raw
leave banners of blood on the snow.
 
No. I’ll feed it all the saffron cod and shrimp it needs,
teach it to move with the ease it knows beneath
the ice
 
but first, I’ll take a few steps back
and just let it
 
breathe
 
 
First published in Creatures of the Intertidal Zone
(Cinnamon Press, 2007).
 
Visit Susan’s website and blog.

Annie Dillard

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along.  I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too.  I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them …”

– Annie Dillard