When a Quiet Comes

My thanks for each of you pilgrims on
this Thanksgiving Day and in every day.


When a Quiet Comes

Sometimes when the morning surrounds 7am,
a quiet comes. A neighbor wakes, lets out
the dog, fills the songbird feeder. Often

a jogger goes by. Mostly there is the quiet.
There is a pot of coffee. Here in this house
there is a cat who seems to take the day’s

oncoming disappointments and hold them
in her purr. The mind almost shuts down.
The garden’s tapestry of buds and blooms

waits for not a thing. There is this quiet,
this way the day has of being where
we belong. At precisely 7:45 the bells

of St. Peter’s will send an old hymn into
the quiet and we who are still pilgrims
will soon walk our way into another day.

–Jack Ridl

The Louisville Review, 2015

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46 thoughts on “When a Quiet Comes

  1. So lovely, Jack. May this day and more be quiet and peaceful for you and your loved ones. Grateful you are a presence in this world.

    • Damn, that is the photo of the year!
      Roll ’em, Todd!
      And Happy Thanksgiving. I hope ya have
      a good gigantic smoke after Thanksgivng

    • Please know what this means to me, that you will read the poem a dinner.
      Talk about what one hopes for a poem, that it matters to one
      great good human and humane heart.
      Thank you, Stephen So much.

    • And you better believe that Julie and Mimi and I are
      ever thankful for you and all you have given us. Without
      knowing it you gave Mimi artistic strength way back
      when she was five!

  2. re: disappointments – “hold them in her purr” – thank you!
    We need your tender touch in our days, Jack. Very grateful for your lucid voice, all these years!

  3. Ah Jack. Capturing the calm of the moment and preserving it. Lovingly sending it out into the universe that so needs its now. On this day we give thanks know that you are someone I am truly thankful for. Sending you and Julie love and good energy.

    • Erik, our dear friend we seldom get to bump into. You are the one who
      day in and day in again sends your giving work out into the universe that
      so needs it now. Julie and I are ever grateful for you.

  4. Good Morning Jack and thank you!

    With all those bewildering news we get here everyday from the USA, your poem (poems!) is balm to my soul.

    However, the quiet in our little house comes not beforde our 16 year daughter Emma has left for school after she has given her little morning drama in in the bathroom in front of the mirror. Sometimes then I tell her to take things easy quoting you: ”Don’t expect much of the day. Be glad when you make it back to bed“. Which sometimes she takes with humour.

    Have a wonderful day.


    • Oh how I remember, Norbert, oh how I remember.
      I am thinking the title could be/should be amended to be
      “Sometimes When a Quiet Comes” !~!!

      Give Emma a hug from me for her “sometimes laugh”

      Tis bewildering here. For years I have dealt with “artists
      don’t face the real world.” I am more convinced than ever
      now that actually many of us do either face or create or
      reveal the real world.”


  5. So when you really love a poem, you try to tell the poet why, but you can’t. Because words don’t cut it. So what to do?
    You need to write a poem, yes?
    So I will make my way into this day, and wait for that poem to come.

    If it doesn’t, I’ll ask Jack to write it for me.
    NO? I have to do it myself?

    Love you, Jack. You are the best. I LOVE my Thursday morning looking forward to a poem already!

    • Arda,
      What more affirming thing to hear.
      And words don’t cut it even when ya try to serve the
      poem with words. I think that makes sense, or some
      kind of almost sense. Thank ye!!!!!

    • Jack, I am so grateful for your words in response to that poem. Please
      know how much it helps me keep going. I will always remember you and Lee
      being at the reading in Detroit when Broken Symmetry came out. You have
      walked along with me always.

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