Poster Image

2023 Poster: Listen to Whispers


Item#: 2023SYR09

Purchase Details

11x17-inches, printed on heavy weight (100-pound) Hammermill cover paper. We package each print with a piece of chipboard in a clear plastic sleeve.

You also receive…

An information page with photos of the artist and poet, and hand-written comments from each.

Medium- and large-format posters are available by custom order. Contact us for details.

Poem Inspiration Location

Listen to Whispers

poster information


Listen to whispers

rising from the earthy past.

Their story, your guide!

My attempt to interpret the “project” prompt to write in and of the “Spirit of Ancestral Guidance,” led me to the idea of how, forever, through time on this earth, it is and always has been our ancestors’ experiences that have influenced the condition in which we live.

The “whispers” in my poem are the subtle and perpetual stories of human experience. They are stories told in the language of WISDOM! And so, no matter what our culture or when in time we tread this earth, it is crucial that we listen to the important whispers of those who lived before us.

And so it has been, and so it shall be…The whispers rise…from primitive paintings on cave walls and from hieroglyphics that hover the sands of Egypt. From the bloodstained soil of fallen soldiers and from the scholarly chapters of our history books. The whispers rise from the sullen and faded epitaphs on the faces of gravestones…and from one’s angst and joy in the tear dappled pages of dusty diaries. And so, we listen…to learn…and to live!

I chose the haiku about whispers from the past due to how the past informs the present and future. Much of what we experience and interact with on a daily basis has roots in the past, and to be able to hear the stories of the past we need to observe and listen to the subtle cues around us. It was a challenge to decide on a visual concept without a specific subject or location provided in the poem.

To tie the poem to the region and land, I began researching the regional geology and learned about the Onondaga Limestone formation that extends across the state and into Canada. Upon more investigation I learned that some iconic Syracuse buildings were constructed from the quarried stone, specifically the White Memorial Building, SU’s Hall of languages, and the Onondaga County Savings Bank. Once this connection was found with geology, the pieces all fell into place.

The whispering lips and attentive ear met images of actual quarry stone and became the vehicle for the story. I enjoy creating layers in my work and this illustration is no different. Layers of meaning found in the earth we walk upon and numerous people’s lives who have existed within and around the walls of these buildings.