Blue Sky Over Key West

Jack will NOT be reading this poem over livestream on Facebook today. He’s having trouble with a lot of nerve pain again, and he will be taking a little break while we work to get it under control. Prayers and incantations for him, if you are into that sort of thing, please.

Well, Never did I think I would be sitting here four years later.
I certainly don’t need to ask you to VOTE!

Blue Sky Over Key West

Sometimes when we stand in the loss
of it all, surrounded by what we will never

be, the sky seems to be just fine. It’s blue.
It’s many shades of blue. And it’s there

and will be when we join the landscape
of the invisible. Clouds cross, none ever

the same. And that’s when we realize again
that there actually is no sky, just another

anonymous unknown we are sure we see.
When our dog steps out onto the deck of

our little houseboat bobbing on the nameless
blue-green of this bight and lifts his nose into

the gull-crossed and sea-soaked breeze,
does he see our sky? I like to suppose

he does. Though most likely it’s something
his gentle nose has brought for only him.

–Jack Ridl

First published in The Louisville Review

Subsequently published in Saint Peter and the Goldfinch (Wayne State University Press

The remarkably prolific and playfully serious poet J.R. Solonche has just come out with two collections: The Moon Is the Capital of the World and A Guide of the Perplexed.

Where are the books? 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.

See all of Jack’s Facebook Livestream Videos Here.

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.

Jack on And Then Suddenly podcast by Angela Santillo.

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

28 thoughts on “Blue Sky Over Key West

  1. Oh so so so so so sorry to hear this. And yes – prayers, incantations, loving kindness prayers, envisioning…all of it.


  2. May Jack be feeling comfortable and pain free within the hour. We so miss him, both of you when you are not easing our solitude and reminding us that we are all in this together. Love to both of you, Marsha 💕

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Hi Jack and Julie,
    I’m glad to hear from you! I was a bit worried when your email that alerts me it’s Thursday wasn’t here this morning. I’m sorry for the pain and hope it’s gone quickly!

    Sending love and prayers, and of course good vibes for a positive outcome to this election!!


  4. I am so,so sorry. I was very concerned when  there was no poem. Keeping all in my prayers. Much love.  Kathleen 

    Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7.

  5. Well, at best I can say “The nerve of you!” [You know that Sarcasm is my first tongue?!]
    I am so sorry to read of this and will offer caring, sharing, and praying (with my like-spirited friends). Your poems are gifts, and I work on mine to self-publish through a twig (WestBow) on a branch (Zondervan/Thomas Nelson) of the Harper Collins tree: they offer the most structure and undercarriage of assistance of my contacts. We remain safe and intensely isolated since Covid outbreaks in our condo village/cessation of visits to Mamas in elder homes. Worst was watching our near-neighbor brought home by 4 in ambulance to die in his wife’s/children’s presence. The hearse arrived 2 hours later. Stay completely safe and wait for the new Prez (we delivered our ballots the day we received them since it took 5 days (incl. Sunday) to reach us–one mile from Clerk’s office.No saddlebags. I will look forward to not being cast as a Trumpeter. Because of youth friends I chose Vicki4545(April 5th bday) on Twitter and Instagram which I have forsaken past 3+ years because of so many unknown followers.

  6. Hi Jack: Take some moderately deep breaths, then repeat. We’ll know more on Tuesday, and soon thereafter, as the occupant of the White House has said, it’ll all magically go away. However, in this case, I hope it’s your neck pain. Prayers and incantations from us. P and L


  7. I hope you will get better soon. All the best to you, Jack !
    I always look forward to Thursday to see your new comments and texts.
    Lots of good thoughts,

  8. Thanks for the note, but a question. We are having some formatting problems, but the one you which was at the bottom of your reply was fine. Did mine to you come in all in black “ink.” Also, the photo somehow has relocated on the page. Yikes! My original is fine. P


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