Another Day in Your Life

A dear friend was here today and told me about a number of very unfortunate things that had happened over the week to people close to him and to him as well. After our conversation about these and appreciating the poem he’d written out from these experiences, we realized that on this day, like all the days, 45 was going to steal our attention through yet another cruel tweet or verbal abuse.

Though I’m sure we have had racist presidents before, this one never hides it. With civility out the window, there is no discussion, no debate or argument, no conversation, no hope of defending people at the border, no room for encouraging our better angels. It’s as if they’ve fled.

And then there’s the “father figure” head of Focus on the Family, after going to the border, announcing that “these” people are violent criminals. Well, you don’t need me to point out the vicious dramatic irony.

My friend should not have to be shaking his head over 45’s personal vendettas. He should be unencumbered while he cares for those he cares about.

We most certainly should be able to simply get up and get about our own inevitable dailiness, our own work to push uphill to a better place.


Another Day in Your Life

The thing is this rain keeps
falling and the long notion
of another day stays

relentless as a ringing phone.
What if you made up who you are
and why your mother never ate cereal,

why your father was a night watchman
in his own home? You keep things
tidy and full of happy endings. You

rearrange the empty jars in the cellar,
remembering the way you strained
the apricots, blueberries, raspberries,

how you stirred the apple butter, sealed
and labeled each jar. You sort through
the gladiolus bulbs lying on frayed window

screens, pull off new tubers, count them
to see if you’ll have three or four times
as many in the summer when the wheat

grass around your house has grown
so thick the cats can hide. You swipe
the webs from corners of the windows,

go back upstairs, sit down with a drink,
the windows open, and you smile as you tell
yourself the same old jokes your father told.

–Jack Ridl

from Practicing to Walk Like a Heron (Wayne State University Press)



Taking a short break for surgery to stabilize  my neck. Meanwhile, please follow the good folks  at Writers Resist online magazine. An honor to be included, an honor to be in such a gorgeous magazine. Check them out when you need solace and friends!

If you enjoy the annual Reading at The Red Dock, this year’s will take place on August 13 at 6pm. This year I’ll be joined by D.L. James and Mark Hiskes. Come early for music, food and drink, and a good time on the high water harbor!

On August 20 at 7pm, I’ll be reading with Greg Rappleye at The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague. Talk about a place where the atmosphere alone is a joy, let alone the food and beverages.

AND… Kristin Brace’s first book-award-winning collectionToward the Wild Abundance(Michigan State University Press), has been released! Stop here to pick up your copy now! 


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Visit Reader’s World or Hope-Geneva Bookstore in Holland, The Bookman in Grand Haven, the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, and The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

Jack’s page on Amazon.

Click here to subscribe to receive Jack’s poems and news in your inbox.

Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.

Click here to watch Jack’s TedX talk.

Jack at Fetzer Institute on Kindness.

Jack at Fetzer Institute on Everyday Forgiveness.

Jack at Fetzer Institute on Empathy.

Jack Ridl at Fetzer Institute on Suffering and Love.

Beyond Meaning with Jack Ridl, C3: West Michigan’s Spiritual Connection

9 thoughts on “Another Day in Your Life

  1. Jack, You will be in my thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and a good recovery. As usual your poem today met the situation. I love Writers Resist! Reading Vasily Grossman presently and I must say, any writer or artist of any type remain human through resistance. Bless you Jack.

  2. Good Morning,Jack! Sending ❤️ and 🙏🏻 your way, my friend! I would love to be of support post surgery… either OT wise or just hang around and be a PITA (pain in the ass!) Love, Louise (and Bob)


  3. Dear Jack,
    Hope you will be sending us more of your gorgeous (and thought provoking) poetry very soon. Am sending more of the same healing thoughts as the rest of your tribe. ❤️

  4. “Another Day” made this a good day – thank you for the weekly dose of sanity in these insane times.

  5. Check the web for reports that Jim Daly said”Immigrants are criminals”. I couldn’t find any article saying that. Many organizations are helping and asking for reform.

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