The Poetry of a Spotted Skunk

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Sometimes in life there is nothing to be done but write poetry. What other response to this experience could there be?


Mountain Memory

The Mountains do not sleep when the sun goes down.
I have been nose to nose with a spotted skunk
Who came to eat the granola I had spilled
At supper, and then decided to find out
What kind of creature was a sleeping bag
And ask it why it slept when all the other
More sensible animals were up foraging,
And what was it doing in his back yard anyway?
He learned to his surprise it was a skin
For an even stranger creature called a man.
(Just what he would have done had he found out
It was detachable, I dared not ask him.)
What shone more brightly, his eyes or his sleek coat?
I mustn’t frighten him, but ought I let
Him stay this close? And what choice did I have?
In his own way, no doubt, he asked himself
Much the same questions about me, though likely
He was less impressed than I was by the awesome
Beauty of the creature he had met
And less torn between joy and apprehension
And much more sure of just what he would do
If the other varmint should look too aggressive.
For a time we stared and asked our silent questions,
Then some noise startled him and he was gone.
It seemed that we had made a goodly trade:
A few crumbs of granola for a night
Of wonder and delight, and each of us
Was sure he had the best end of the bargain.


Sorry–no picture of my companion that night.  Wasn’t going to risk it!  But he was in a place like those shown here.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on August 11, 2014, in Donald Williams, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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