Gathering All the Drops

This morning we had one of those safe wonderful thunderstorms. I poured a cup of coffee and sat on the porch loving every sip and minute. After I finished my coffee, I walked out into the storm knowing I would be dry because after all, this was “fake weather.” I was betrayed. I came back soaked to the threads of my boxers.

Maybe what I thought was fake rain was on its way to Alabama defying the northwest winds.

🎶Soon it’s gonna rain, I can feel it.
Soon it’s gonna rain, I can tell.
Soon it’s gonna rain, what’re we gonna do?🎶

Gathering All the Drops

During the storm,
I started thinking
about gathering
all the drops.
From there it
took off into
light on the underside
of leaves, what
rust peels away,
the space between
musical notes. I
forgot what time
it was; I wrote that down.
When I was a kid
I loved plus signs
and hummingbirds
dancing their thrum
in the honeysuckle.
In the basement are jars
filled with words
my father left behind.

–Jack Ridl

Kristin and Neal Brace visited today. That reminds me to remind you to look for Kristin’s first book award collection from Michigan State University, Toward the Wild Abundance.

Former student Laura Donnelly’s collection Midwest Gothic was selected by Maggie Smith for the Richard Snyder Prize at Ashland Poetry Press and will be published in 2020.

Please mark your calendars for October 24, 7-9pm when Pastor Sal Sapienza and I will take the “stage” at Douglas United Church of Christ. The title for the evening’s conversation is — “Poetry and the Spirit: A Conversation with Pastor Sal and Poet Jack” Seating is limited to the first 100 who get tickets. Ticket sales will be posted here and on Facebook soon!


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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

16 thoughts on “Gathering All the Drops

  1. I love this!! I’m regret I cannot attend the October 24th gathering. I will be out of state visiting my daughter. Blessings to you Jack. So refreshing to hear your words. I’m grateful for this poem. I hope I at least share some of my words and not leave them in jars. Kathleen

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Those words are saved always and ever available.
      Soooooooo glad you loved the post, Kathleen.
      And here’s to a lovely loving time with your daughter.

  2. Thanks for a great start to the day—enjoyed the image. I was too lazy to dry off the chair on our patio so did not stay to sit in the fake water on it. Would love to hear your evening on


  3. Another wonderful Thursday poem! And with references to the thug at the center of government if not governance. Keep collecting all the drops.

  4. thx! u must be psychic! i was playing out side in millenium park under, thank god, a sturdy solid open pavilion roof. our instruments still got soaked when the thunder /rain/wind blew in at 8pm. wildest big bang of a finale ever. you!-john

    • Singin’ in the downpour. You brought it on, dear friend, you
      played up a storm. As Mimi would say, “We’re cosmically
      Yes, Sugar Shea, we are!
      Love you madly

  5. Jack,
    Just when I think the words on the paper cannot be any better, I am again surprised.
    Thank you. ❤️

    Smiles, Laughter and Happiness,



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