Morning Rounds

Did you know that Chicago is an embarrassment to the entire world?

Just wondering.

Oh, and did you realize that if you disagree with 45, you are “human scum”?

Again just wondering.

My good, gentle friend, Jim Allis, is contacting his representative, asking that something be done about his being called “human scum.” Here’s his letter:

“In a tweet, the President has referred to me as “human scum.” Viewing me as “scum” indicates that I am outside the realm of beings that have the rights of existence and citizenship. I am writing to ask you, as my Congressman, whether you will stand up against the President to protect my right to exist in this country and my right to be a citizen. Thank you.”

Speaking of “human scum,” my sister — while 45 went to the ballgame — joined thousands in Pittsburgh who quietly marched on the anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre, thousands carrying signs that said STILL NOTHING DONE.

Yes, 45, all who get up and face another day that you pollute with words like “lynching,” all who keep going, unknown and seldom thanked for the good they try to place into each day, they, if they dare even mutter a disagreement, are most certainly “human scum.”

Morning Rounds

He gets up first, makes
the coffee while she lets
her dreams come to no
end. He feeds the dogs,
two cups for the big one,
one cup for the pup. She
likes coffee with cream.
He stays home. She goes
to work, brings back
the endless stress of
colleagues convinced
that family and the next
door neighbors keep
them from seeing
the evening stars or
the weekend’s clear air.
He will deadhead the flowers,
carry out the dead mole
the cats fought over during
the night, make the bed,
choose between washing
the windows, the clothes,
the car. Now the coffee’s
perked and he carries it
to her in her favorite cup.
She sits up, smiles. He
says he hopes her meeting
goes well. She says she
hopes his day is nice.
The dogs and cats sleep.
He tunes the radio to
the classical station.
She holds the coffee
between her hands.

–Jack Ridl

First published in The Louisville Review

Subsequently published in Practicing to Walk Like a Heron (Wayne State University Press)

We had a great night last Thursday. Salvatore Sapienza and I discussed Poetry & the Spirit. If you couldn’t make it, but are curious, you’ll find the video of the program here.

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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

13 thoughts on “Morning Rounds

  1. Oh my…this one brought tears! My dear husband, until he got to the point where just the simple act of making a pot of coffee became too difficult, always made the coffee. I would find my cup waiting on my dressing table, beside the sink, next to the bed when I woke up! Thank you, Jack…watching the CNN coverage, it’s nice to take a break and remember the simple acts that make us human.

  2. Great. ! Fabulous! Thank you for expressing so well what so many of us think and feel! Blessing, Jack Kathleen

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Oh I’m so glad for this response. One hopes always to create that
      which fulfills E.M. Forster’s “Only connect.”
      Thaaaaaank you for telling me that this connected!!

  3. Dear Jack and Julie,

    Happy All Saints Day! Hope you’ve found a patron saint or two to help you in your current collar trials. I was thinking of a rare and undone (and totally unknown) saint for the occasion: St. Neckrafilial of the Abbey of Nec. She is the reputed saint and patron for all ailments of the neck, and for all the hanged and beheaded. Her Abbey is also famous for wafers used to prepare children for their First Holy Communion. We used it frequently in our own upbringing – the Necco Wafer. Add her to your Litany of Saints, Jack.


    • Paul,
      I have called upon that saint. I am considering a stay at the abbey. It
      costs necks to nothing to stay for a week.
      Necco wafers reference killed me.
      And here I thought all along that it was Max who was the pain in my neck

  4. Jack, maybe this poem could be a picture of you and Julie yesterday or some years ago. This idea and your writing offer such a quiet beauty like the sunrise.


    • Still each day actually!
      Your description of what the poems create helps so much,
      enabling me to know if they are creating what I hope they do.
      Thank ye

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