Tom Parker

June 9th, 2007 at 8:52 pm


Jeff O’Dell (right) of KVOE Radio interviews Tom Parker. Tom is one of my favorite Kansas writers. His prose stuns me.

Dispatches from Kansas” is the title of his blog and also his book.

Tom Parker puts words together in a way that I wish I could. His columns have beauty and depth.

In one of his pieces called “A Lesson for the Living,” Parker finds a dying albino sparrow and stays with the bird because “Nobody should have to die alone.”

Other sparrows came and went from the nearby bird feeder. “Had she heard their wings? Did she remember the sensation of flight, perhaps even of her first, when she left the nest and gathered the sky to her, made it her very own? … At the end she jerked to her feet, cocked her head to the side and collapsed. Her tail was stiff. Her flanks no longer moved.

I sat there a while longer, wondering if her last movement was a death-constriction or a longing to see the sky once more, to die with it in her eyes. I prefer the latter. It has music in it.”

See what I mean? He’s got a book full of images and wonder.

Over the past year or so, I’ve corresponded a few times with Tom and his wife, Lori, but had never met them. Because Tom arranges his words with such care, I had expected a more reserved person, but Tom had a pleasant exuberance about him. Stories swirl in his aura.

E-town, events, other people's stuff

  1. June 10th, 2007 at 09:39 | #1

    When I saw your comment about me being “reserved” I snorted so hard boogers came out my nose. Hardly a reserved admission, but there you have it. Lori got a laugh out it, too. It was delightful meeting you–now I have a face to go with your most excellent writing.
    But I do question your judgment…


  2. June 10th, 2007 at 10:41 | #2

    I was just giving you the benefit of the doubt, Tom.

    And … I think you have successfully quashed all doubt about any reservedness!