Morning Again

The other day a friend told me each morning he goes out to fill the bird feeders. It’s nothing exceptional of course, but lately he has the feeling that what was once just another daily task has become a way of adding some goodness to the world, at least enough for the birds that come all day. He talked about how before “this time we’re trying to live within,” he never felt this way. He was simply putting out seed for the birds. But now, knowing there is little-to-nothing he can do about the coarse and crass language that smothers our consciousness, he feels perhaps this wordless language of attentive caring just might be a way to reunite us with our battered soulfulness and the givens that are good in the world.

Morning Again

This poem will not be
anything new, will slowly
make its way across
the page and down, a walk
from here to somewhere
later on, will take its place
quietly, I hope, with the leaves,
the dog asleep on the porch,
the way the garden keeps giving
us plants, the way the wind
is invisible, the way none of us
can ever know for sure.

–Jack Ridl


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26 thoughts on “Morning Again

  1. This poem is another favorite.

    And I, too, feel that way about feeding the birds. The hummingbirds are back! And the Baltimore Orioles! I do believe it’s finally spring. Hurrah!

    Thank you for such a lovely way to start the morning! Mary


    • Oh yes yes yes, I sure do know that this is how you feel. It’s
      in all you do, and the spirit of your poems. And I’m glad, very glad,
      that it’s a favorite.

  2. Rich saw our first oriole of 2018 yesterday. I leapt for the fridge and halved an orange for the deck rail. It did feel like sharing a bit of goodness with the world…and then I read your post this morning. Thank you, friend.

    • It’s lovely when we discover ways we are, as our daughter taught me,
      “cosmically connected.”

      Sending deep care, Friend.

  3. Jack

    How wonderful to wake up and find this lovely poem on my iPad. I do think it’s the small everyday things we do that focus our thought away from the meanness. Thank you.

    Elinor White Sent from my iPad Please expect typos


    • I shivered when I read this, Derek. I did. Your heart enters
      a poem’s evocation (Whoa! big word for Jack!) and has the
      courage to welcome it, hold it.

      Thank you for the multiple ways you have sustained me over all the years and moments.

  4. Dear Jack,
    why does this poem make me smile and drives to tears? And the one before? And the other one before? Thursdays are now days of beauty to me in a very special way. I’m so thankful for that!
    Love and greetings to you and your wife and your wonderful friends!
    Yours, Natascha (from Munich)

    • Well, Natascha, you here have brought about the same thing for me.
      And I am peacefully grateful.

      You ask why the poems do that. It is a mystery, isn’t it. Emily Dickinson
      said the proof of real poetry is in the way it touches the one reading.
      There is something in us that recognizes, without being able to explain,
      the genuine.

      Please know what your telling me means to me. How else can I know?

      Love from this little village and Julie’s and my hearts.

  5. If only we can gain awareness of our environment in these times of oblivious madness. Feeding birds in the desolation of our cities feels like a cry of despair in a desert of concrete. Yet all is bound together by thousands of years of entanglement: birds, insects, worms, earth, bees, trees, fruits… entanglement that we just started to understand, at the point that we just almost endangered beyond repair.

  6. As you might have heardm, there will be no Nobel Prize for Literature this year. If they gonna do it again next year, my candidate’s first name begins with J and he lives in Douglas, MI.

    Thanks to our philosopher-poet-friend-Mensch for this wonderful Stück of melancholic wisdom.

    And please, native speakers here, forgive me my English.

    • Don’t you ever ask for forgiveness for your English, not to us who can barely
      mutter and mumble and “dis-articulate” our own tongue.

      And good, dear friend, I accept your nomination. Also I know many who
      would deserve this year’s Nobel. These judges need to get out more, especially
      with those of us who care more about others’ hearts, minds, and souls than
      cultural/political impact.

      XXX always

    • Betsy, you have to come down here for a visit. Julie and I miss you.
      Thank you for this heart-lifting message.

  7. Hi Jack,

    I just wrote to Julie and now I feel compelled to share something with you as well.

    Your friend and the birds! I shared with Julie that two of my loves are animals and gardens, and along with gardens come the birds, the Monarch butterfly garden, and all of nature. Nature is the context for it all. But, what I wanted to share was my birthday gift for my 90 year old husband who doesn’t get out much. Even though I had decided when we moved from our log home in Howell which was on 7 acres and had a pond and lots of space for critters to do what they wanted to do, that I would not feed any birds here except the hummingbirds and the finches because they eat food that squirrels and mice and raccoons are not attracted to. With my dog, with my other duties, I just didn’t feel I had the time or energy to handle the extra work that comes with cleaning up after birds and squirrels.

    But, when the window box I had installed last year did not attract the butterflies and hummingbirds as I wanted them to for Dick to be able to see while eating his three daily meals, I decided to put just one or two feeders out there for him. (The reason we couldn’t attract what I wanted was because the plants got too big for him to be able to see out.) I decided like your friend, that this would be another way to help Mother Nature and do our part for birds, butterflies, pollinators, Anyway, we now have two sunflower meat feeders, two thistle socks (down from 4-5 during the winter), a peanut and fruit and nut feeder for Blue Jays, woodpeckers, cardinals, grosbeaks, etc., 3 suet feeders, an oriole feeder, and in the window box, a tray of sunflower meats with branches for finches to land on before feeding. The Hummingbird feeders have been out for two weeks but I have’t seen ours back yet. Dick’s smile lights up the room when those finches land a few feet in front of where he is sitting inside. We even have Pileated woodpeckers–two at at time sometime visit. Baltimore Orioles showed up for the first time eating suet of all things, so I got oranges out there fast and have seen them as often as 5-6 times in a day

    Mother Nature lifts the spirit and if we all did just what we could to help our planet, our animals, our birds, our people, what a world it would be. It starts with each of us doesn’t it.


    PS Attaching a few of the pictures I recently took.

    • Judy, can you see my smile? Thank you for this message that takes me
      into a kind, gentle, caring heart. And a world where I can see Dick
      smiling at those birds and the quiet glory that they are. I love
      seeing all those feeders. And I love thinking of you as the feeder
      of what most nourishes both the world “out that window” and the
      world in Dick’s and your hearts.
      Thank you for writing to me, to Julie, to us. And we both
      wish you much gentle goodness in your every day.

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