Feeling This Way in the Afternoon

Tuesday we woke to the first fake climate change snow of the season. While she was walking our dog, Julie stepped in drifts up to her knees. The schools were closed.

The plows are out. Shovelers are out. People are searching the garage for where they stored the car window scrapers and brushes. Our two-year-old Spinone loves snow, shoves her face in it, chomps on it, and stares at us, nose-coated.

I sometimes worry about turning these posts into an “advice column.” I hope that I’ve refrained. After all, as my mom used to say to me several times a week, “How can someone so smart in school be soooo dumb??”

Well, here’s an idea: Last night we went to dinner–oh my what a deeeelicious meal it was, complete with gumbo–at the home of cherished family. Frank offered one “rule”: No talk about 45. The result: A conversation as it’s meant to be–warm, interesting, familial in terms of news, funny, engaging, uniting.

We’ve all been encouraged to take a break from the news. Our health in so many ways needs that.

How about adding to that wisdom taking a break from talking about 45 and all that is leeched to him. Wait a little bit for the feeling of withdrawal. Then join the human and humane world: Ask after the kids, say what you’ve been up to lately. Go ahead, talk about the weather.

Feeling This Way in the Afternoon

November’s burnished landscape
lends an invitation to sit, a blanket
across our knees that once bent and

knelt to plant a hundred bulbs, pull
a thousand weeds. Now this month’s
brown cold is welcome. Within

the calm, there is no guilt-stalked
need, no frayed thought that we
had better take advantage of the long

day’s light. Oh, the dog still needs
her walk. And there are dishes.
But we can listen to the morning,

watch the slow breathing of the cat,
look for this year’s yearlings crossing
through the trees behind the house. Still

we know we are an inconvenience
in the world, that it gives itself up
to give us room. When evening creates

its slow merging, we will believe again,
our breath alchemizing oxygen into gratitude.

–Jack Ridl

First published in Poetry East

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

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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

 

The Night I Dreamed Paul Klee Married the Sky

I am typing this on election day. In our village there are six candidates for three positions on the City Council. Not one would call anyone who voted for someone else “human scum.” We’ll keep the arguments as endless as anywhere else and say hello at the coffee shop and post office.

The front page story in this week’s Sunday New York Times was an unsettling analysis of all, ALL, of 45’s tweets. It would have disgusted my bawdy grandmother. But deep within the suitcase-sized Times was the Sunday Magazine and there next to an article about Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, was a poem I composed.

My poem there in the New York Times! No way would I ever, even on good grass, hallucinate that such a thing could happen.

As preface to the poem was a wonderfully insightful reading by the Column’s author/editor, Naomi Shihab Nye, who has given herself day after day, traveling throughout the world to bring her loving affirmation of peace over hate. Heartsick by the onslaught of hate let loose by 45, she rises daily with an aching hope for a ceasefire of this despicable disrespect of “the other.”

This here is a link to the poem and R.O. Blechman’s lovely ilustration and Naomi’s response. I still can’t believe this happened. False modesty? Nope. Damn proud and joy-filled:

The Night I Dreamed Paul Klee Married the Sky

We went out for dinner, down
some lackadaisical alley, threading
our way among leftover handshakes, sleeping

former aristocrats, and scattered scraps
of newsprint still holding words against
the wind. Above us, the old sky held

its cross-stitch of stars and we half expected
the light to shiver in our back pockets.
It was just that we knew. It was

just that it was cold. In the window
of the Italian restaurant, we saw a couple,
likely in their sixties, looking at each other.

She dipped her bread into her soup
while he drank his wine. Then she reached
across the table, took his hand, and lay

a spoon across his palm. We went in. I
remember how big the napkins were.

–Jack Ridl

We had a great night a couple of weeks ago. 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

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

The Turning Year

Another week with the crass commentator.

“Lynching”?

While he goes on, and on, l hope you can take a look at something heartening that’s right there with you.

Our UCC Pastor Sal has encouraged us to jot down five things before bed that we are grateful for. I thought, “Oh no, not more self-help!”

But what I discovered in doing it was that each thing I wrote down, and I emphasize wrote down, came back to me, and I spent time with it before turning in to sleep.

Here’s one I can write down each evening this month: October. I’m grateful for October.

We live in Michigan where there are four seasons. Well, I should say that there is summer, winter, fall, and two weeks of spring.

Here in October we get to live within — all explanations aside — an alchemy of leaves transforming the array of green hues into a quiet bounty of reds, yellows, golds and siennas of every mysterious nuance of hue, a canopy of color.

Way back when in my freshman English class I wrote “Fall’s multi-colored etchings tumbled to the ground.” When my journal was returned, my professor had written in the margin, “I take it the leaves fell.”

Before my prose turns purple, I shall, well, hope I learned.

The Turning Year

Sometimes when the dog is asleep,
and the whole world seems quietly
poised between green and brown,
when everything is lascivious with
leaves—the ground, the porch floor,
the holly bushes, even a few last trees–
you can see a glimpse of the way
the clapboard house was set within
this woods, almost see them nailing
the sills under the windows and
carrying in the kindling. The air
sifts across your forehead, and you
look up, hearing the chill jabber
of the chickadees, the quick
scattering of chipmunks,
the windswept scrim of clouds,
and in the anonymous distance,
the disappearance of the sound
of children or was it a car? There
is no need for a letter in the mail,
no thought of putting away
the pots of yellowed impatiens.
Just this little time and
perhaps, a little more.

–Jack Ridl

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

“The Jack and Sal Show” is sold out for Thursday night. We are amazed, honored, humbled, and scared to death. Hope to see you there.

This Saturday Kathy McGookey and Lisa Lenzo will be reading with more friends at The Public Pool Art Space in Hamtramck. Follow the link for details, please!

 

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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

Mid-October

A friend of ours was in a local diner. He looked over toward the table across from his. The guy sitting there packed a handgun on his belt.

Our friend asked the server if she would ask the man to take his gun to his car. “I can’t,” she said. “Michigan has an open carry law. Nothing I can do.”

So our friends left the restaurant.

Michigan has no law that says, “No shirt, no shoes, no service,” but that sign is seen in store after store, restaurant after restaurant.

Every restaurant or small business owner can choose to post a “no weapons” sign. They cost $5-10 at Amazon.

Is it true that in America, sartorial taste is more highly valued than our customers’ sense of safety?

What has me amazed lately is that in what is now among the most violent, brutal, ignorance-doesn’t-matter nations in the world, day after day, good souls go about their good work, be it building a new home, teaching kids, running the post office, performing surgery, coaching soccer, etc. That people keep showing up and going on in this violent culture is the miracle.

For some eye-opening statistics on gun violence in America, go here.

Mid-October

Night comes even
with evening.

Our cat lies
purring, a supplication.

We will say a prayer
for the cold rain,

for the trees
going skeletal.

–Jack Ridl

Poetry and the Spirit, the conversation between Pastor Salvatore Sapienza and Jack Ridl on October 24 has sold out, but we are still taking names on our waiting list. For details and a link to our ticketing/wait list page, click here.

Elizabeth McBride’s Most Beautiful, a collection of prose and poetry with paintings by Connie Cronenwett, has been published by The Poetry Box, the same publisher who did D.R. James’s Surreal Expulsion.

Also look for The Weight of Bodily Touches by Joseph Zaccardi from Kelsay Books.

On October 30 at 6pm Kathleen McGookey will be reading from her two latest collections, Nineteen Letters and Instructions for My Imposter at Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo. She will be joined by Scott Bade.

On November 12 at 7pm Kathleen will be joined by Philip Sterling reading from his new book Amateur Husbandry at the Zhang Memorial Archives of Western Michigan University.

The Comforting

In his address to the campus community, the president of Colgate University said,

“The seas are rising. In such a time how can one sit in a quiet room and read? Our political leaders are blaring at each other on Twitter. There’s an increasing tide of nationalism and militarism across the planet. There are trade wars and border wars. Cherished institutions–the press, the courts, the universities–are under duress. Inequity increases and tears at those things that once joined us. The Amazon is on fire. At such a time, how can one think of poetry? Here is why you can and should: Because the world needs you to. The world needs those who are awed by beauty.”

And I would add that the world needs the foundation of almost all poetry, which is empathy, an empathy that extends not only to one another but also to the natural world.

Suggested reading: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and “Kindness” by Naomi Shiihab Nye

The Comforting

A few words from a neighbor, some
Duke Ellington, just the middle of the week.

Out in the yard, the anonymous robin; in
the neighbor’s garden, a spray of poppies.

The configuration of nests: why mud, leaves,
string; why paper, sticks; why stones?

The lonely smell of a wet dog, the
way water stays in the world.

Your tongue, holding to the apple, tomato,
pear, letting go without your say.

Across the street, the oat grass turning yellow.

–Jack Ridl

Published in Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press)

Five tickets left, friends… Sal and I will talk Poetry and the Spirit ON OCTOBER 24, 7-9PM, Douglas United Church of Christ, 56 Wall Street, Douglas. Here are the details and how to get your very own tickets before they are gone.

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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

The Mail Carrier

The poet Jennifer Clark, whose collections are a gift to us all, told me this story: Her father was being given a memory test. When asked, “Who is the president of the United States?” he answered, “There is no president of the United States.”

On October 1, Jimmy Carter turned 95. He spent the day working on a home for Habitat for Humanity.

“Decent people don’t get enough credit.”– Steve Blass in his farewell speech after 60 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates as player and broadcaster.

The Mail Carrier

When the weather is good,
she imagines each letter
sits forever in a lonely
mind. Postcards, a small
hello, sometimes a question
about the job help her
believe the uniform,
the truck, even the sack
keep her safe from
her own days. She often
daydreams she’s an angel
carrying the mystery
of words that only connect.
She thinks about her route,
how she’s driven it
for 27 years: five miles
north, two more east,
four south, six west,
tires over the same roads,
her hand reaching across
the empty passenger seat,
settling it all into every
mailbox, a quiet pause
in front of each house.
She knows by now what lies
in nearly any envelope,
knows when she gives up
this work, she’ll dream
the route, carry opened,
unread letters throughout the day.

–Jack Ridl

First published in The Pebble Lake Review.

Subsequently published in Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press)

For this you need tickets, friends… Sal and I will talk Poetry and the Spirit ON OCTOBER 24, 7-9PM, Douglas United Church of Christ, 56 Wall Street, Douglas. Here are the details and how to get your very own tickets before they are gone.

This week we were visited by former student and writer Mira Bartok and artist Alex Chitty. Mira’s memoir ,The Memory Palace received the New York Book Critics Circle Award, and her latest book, The Wonderling, will be made into a major motion picture. Check out Alex’s arresting sculptures here. It’s a big deal when your students bring their students and you begin to see a new map of the world.

 

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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

This Field Must Be Saved

How about Greta!

In our UCC Church, we have our own Greta. She is Hannah Huggett. At fourteen she organized the local climate protest. Her mom is having to worry about how many socially conscious, environmental concerns Hannah leads. Somehow Hannah’s able to maintain her extraordinary academic record while she devotes herself to these emergencies.

And Emma, high school daughter of our German friends, organized the protest in her town. Go Emma!  These young women inspire us to work through our retirement.

On Tuesday I was one of the discussion leaders for the community read Julie helped organize for the deeply moving book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. If you’ve not read it, well, we recommend it. It will touch your environmental consciousness in a multitude of ways for which you’ll be grateful.

We usually learn ABOUT the natural world. Less commonly do we discover that we can actually have an experiential relationship WITH it. Yes, we can empathize with all we live with.

Thank you, Greta. Thank you, Hannah. Thank you Robin.

This Field Must Be Saved
for Jane Harrington Bach

We will have to grow great waves
of sweetgrass, yarrow, milkweed,
sage, and Queen Anne’s lace.
There must be space
for horses, and an old man
walking through, letting
his fingers brush against
the blooming, letting
his memories wander back
to be breathed in by the horses
as they lighten the air with their tails.

–Jack Ridl

From Between, Dawn Valley Press. Republished in Poems from The Same Ghost and Between (Dawn Valley Press).

Hey! I get to talk with Sal! And you! ON OCTOBER 24, 7-9PM, Douglas United Church of Christ, 56 Wall Street, Douglas. Here are the details and how to order tickets.

Acclaimed prose poet Kathleen McGookey has a collection just out, Instructions for My Imposter from Press 53. In the words of Anne-Marie Oomen, “I feel as though I am reading sacred language.”

Laura Donnelly’s collection, Midwest Gothic, was chosen by Maggie Smith for the Richard Snyder Prize and will be published by Ashland University Press.

Michael Theune is co-editor of Negative Capability: Origins and Afterlives and is co-founder of The Keats Letter Project.

Jennifer Clark has a new collection, A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven from Unsolicited Press. It revels in such wonders as moths, dandelions, dogs, and beer.

Kristin Brace’s book launch for her MSU first book award winning collection Toward the Wild Abundance, Michigan State University Press, will be held today, Thursday, at LowellArts from 7 to 8:15pm.

Phillip Sterling will have a launch for his new book, Amateur Husbandry, Mayapple Press, at LowellArts on October 24 from 6:30-8pm. The book will be released November 1. Preorder from Mayapplepress.com October 1.

The 4th Annual Lost Lake Writers Retreat will be held October 10-13 at the Lost Lake Woods Club in Lincoln, Michigan. The featured writers include Robert Fanning, Allison Downey, Michael Zadorian among others. Information at springfed.org

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room at 114 S. Main in Ann Arbor will feature Dennis Henrichsen on October 23 and George Tysh and Chris Tysh on December 4. Hosted by Ed Morin and Joe Kelly, the events are from 7-8:45.

The Friends of Poetry–Kalamazoo holds many activities and gatherings. For information contact Elizabeth Kerlikowske or visit their Facebook page.

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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

 

 

A Generous Welcome

My first work after graduating was at Colgate University. To this day I have no idea how in the world I got the position. I answered a call for the job by sending a resume that had nothing on it except that I had graduated from Westminster College. I got a call for an interview. Went. Came home. Got a phone call asking me to take the position. Why me? Who knows.

The dean I worked for, Guy Martin, was a brilliant man. Cliche? Yes. But he was. I kept thinking that he must have at least a half dozen degrees. He was not only profoundly knowledgeable, he was also wise. That’s rather rare, that coupling. And he was gentle in voice and patient to the point of long suffering with this punk kid who had no idea what he was doing.

After my first trip off campus I came back with about half of the cash given to me for expenses. I had saved the college money. Guy suggested that next time I spend it all. “Or they might cut our budget.”

Yesterday Guy passed away.

I just sat there.

I don’t have to tell you the difference between working for 45 and for Guy, a theologian who made his theology incarnate.

One day I asked Guy what, when he was younger, did he want to be when he grew up. He answered without a pause, “Kind.”

I carry that every day. And every evening I look back over my day and see my failures and where I remembered.

Thank you, Guy. Thank you for taking a chance on and for being with me every day.

A Generous Welcome

The snow is falling through eternity’s quiet
where everything here lives within. And now
mid-morning the sunlight falls across the

hemlocks, it too lying within the ubiquity
of quiet, a quiet arriving from the silence
that was here before Alpha and will be here

after Omega. This morning when the turkeys,
twelve of them, tumbled in their tumultuous
flutter down from roosting in the dark

where they sleep one hundred feet up in
the empty-leaved maples, the snow shook
down on the quiet of the cat, and she rushed

through the brush to the back door where she waited
for me. The quiet, of course, was everywhere.
The turkeys nodded their stable way up the hill,

following the inevitable trail that has become
their day, seeming to trust the path will bring
them to seeds and corn, lost fruit. The light

glistened along the sheen of their backs bringing
gold and green out from what against the drifts
seemed only a study in black. Sound does come,

even in the hush of the turkeys’ enormous feet
imprinting the snowfall, even in the small fall
of flake upon flake. Quiet can come to silence.

For Guy

–Jack Ridl

First Published in Crab Orchard Review.

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

Hey! I get to talk with Sal! And you! ON OCTOBER 24, 7-9PM, Douglas United Church of Christ, 56 Wall Street, Douglas. Here are the details and how to order tickets.

Watch for Hope College celebrating poet and professor Greg Rappleye in a future publication.

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