Practicing Chinese Ink Drawing

Sometimes when it seems bleak out there, it can be helpful to see what black branches can bring. This week’s poem, below, arrived out from that seeing.

For a fine example of what three black ink lines accompanied by three written lines can do, I encourage you to look for Even Now, a collection by artist Jill Sabella and poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. The book is from Lithic Press, whose purpose is to publish “fine books for an old planet.”

Rosemerry will be giving a reading here in Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan, at Roan & Black Gallery on June 23, 7pm, where you can right now find and purchase the lovely book/gift while their supplies last.

Practicing Chinese Ink Drawing

Outside this window
the trees
are black-branched,
by an overnight
fall of snow.
Everything is still,
no wind,
no wind on its way,
and the sky—deep
blue, vague
behind a gray
scrim, mimics
the stillness
of this snow
my brush strokes
carry the feel
of listless
and precise
as the single file
tracks the trio
of toms trailed
this morning
into the woods
whose branches
and snow
and light
cannot be drawn.

–Jack Ridl

First published in The Georgia Review

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4 thoughts on “Practicing Chinese Ink Drawing

  1. Hi Dear Jack,
    what a thoughtful shout out about the book, thank you! And your poem, it has such a fine conversation with this season, with all that can and cannot be expressed … you are ever inspiring, Jack, I love being the glad receiver or your “listless luck.” xo r

    • Thank ye, Sister Rosemerry!
      Mostly I can’t express~!
      Wish you had been here the other evening when a couple
      held your book together and kept sighing as they wandered
      in each piece.
      Well, it’s a new year. Although I never think in years.

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