Out In the Fields With the Dogs Two Weeks Before Christmas

In the midst of it all, there can be light, perhaps even a kind of joy–Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

Let’s have this “”little child’ lead us.

And let’s follow the Clumber Spaniels we once got to live with…

Out in the Fields with the Dogs Two Weeks before Christmas

Their great white heads take me
deeper into the snow. They lift
their noses into the wind-soaked
air, then push further into the drifts,
finding the lost smells in the roots,
weeds, and matted ground cover. They
know the deer have walked here,
their own heads lifted high into
the morning. I can only imagine
what worlds fill the dogs’ heads,
what takes form from the thousand
smells we can never know, their
dreams made from all these grasses,
mud, scat, and fur. Maybe something
takes the scents and stirs them into
some bewilderment of wolves
walking a ridge. We walk on.
At home, the Christmas tree,
trimmed with strings of tiny lights,
glitter-covered glass, tinsel, angels,
nesting birds, toy drums, and
the withering paper globes we
made when we were children,
stands in a back window. You
are baking kolaces, baking them
the way my father did, rolling
the soft dough over the apricots,
raisins, apples, and poppy seed.
The snow is falling harder. The dogs
look back, then come to my side, sit
and gnaw at the ice frozen to their feet.
This year it will be the two of us,
and the dogs. We’ve been told
the full moon is to be the brightest
it’s been in 90 years. We’ll watch
it out the bedroom window as it
crosses through the trees, low
in the southern sky, the dogs
asleep at the foot of the bed.

–Jack Ridl

Published in Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press)

I hope you will skim back through this year’s posts for books by writers I think you would appreciate and books to consider giving to someone for a holiday gift.

 

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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

Michael Steinberg Made the World Better

Hi folks. Julie here. We are early this week. It’s a hard day, and we needed to talk about it…

Carole just wrote to us. Michael has died. We are staggered. We are staggered the way we are all staggered, trying to imagine the world without our loved ones in it. It’s unimaginable. And it should be, really. Hard to fathom. Anything less would say so little about the life. We should all aim to leave a hole in the world that staggers people.

Michael Steinberg.

Mike.

Many thousands of writers and readers could walk arm-in-arm through the hole Mike has left us. It is enormous and raggedly edged.

And that’s because Mike invented and taught us a whole new way to tell our stories. Then he made sure our stories were heard.

Really, what better gift could a person give the world, what better legacy could a person leave than giving us a new way to connect, one to an other? By giving us a Fourth Genre, he showed us how creative non-fiction can transport us to someone else’s place and time and experience.

And he poured more of his life into teaching and celebrating other people’s writing than anyone we knew. He celebrated Jack’s poems too, because he was generous that way. He listened to Jack’s stories, and Jack listened to his, and Carole and I were very patient, taking walks to stare into woods or along shorelines,  when many… well, most… of those stories centered on sports.

He introduced us to so many writers. And by us, I mean Jack and Julie, but I especially mean you, and the world. Editors paid attention to the writers Michael paid attention to. Careers quietly and not so quietly launched by his careful reading and coaching, his boundless energy for this work.

No. It’s hard to walk through this day, and it’s hard to imagine tomorrow without Michael. And if it’s hard for us, we can hardly dip a toe into Carole’s pain.  So let’s go to her now, and tell her we will never forget him. Not ever. Impossible.

Without looking for it, this poem landed in my lap this morning. It makes me think of that kid in Brooklyn, playing baseball anywhere he could hunt up a game. And then finding his girl.

Carole, we love you…  J&J

Psalm

I am still on a rooftop in Brooklyn
on your holy day. The harbor is before me,
Governor’s Island, Verrazano Bridge
and the Narrows. I keep in my head
what Rabbi Nachmann said about the world
being a narrow bridge and that the important thing
is not to be afraid. So on this day
I bless my mother and father, that they be
not fearful where they wander. And I
ask you to bless them and before you
close your Book of Life, your Sefer Hachayim,
remember that I always praised your world
and your splendor and that my tongue
tried to say your name on Court Street in Brooklyn.
Take me safely through the Narrows to the sea.

–Harvey Shapiro
From A Momentary Glory — Last Poems, Wesleyan University Press

Over in That Corner, the Puppets

For many, “’tis the season to be jolly.” And for some that is not an easy thing to be.

I have failed over and over again–especially in my own home, a place where my anger and disappointment should be kept where it touches no one I proclaim to love. Oh I can try to justify it and even ask others to understand. But that fails to eradicate its effect.

Be jolly? No, I don’t think I can pull that off. But I do feel that I can and should “Be of good cheer.

To “be of good cheer” is a decision. It doesn’t require a “season,” something that puts the responsibility outside my responsibility. But “Be of good cheer,” that’s a sweet and gentle command.

I’m going to take it on, no matter how I really feel, I’m going to “be of good cheer.” And it’s not hypocritical to the way I really feel, because the way I really feel isn’t what’s important. What’s important is the feeling I create for others to be with. I want them to be with someone who can, no matter what, “Be of good cheer.”

A repeat poem for today–

Over in That Corner, the Puppets

Even when the weather changes,
remember to pet the dog, make
the cat purr, watch whatever

comes to the window. If you
stand there long enough,
someone will come by,

a stranger perhaps, one who
could be more, but needs
to keep walking. “Hello”

is likely what you can say.

–for Naomi Shihab Nye

–Jack Ridl

First published in Peninsula Poets.

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

Once again Gayle Boss’s marvelous and original All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings, is here for the Season. The moving woodcuts are by David G. Klein, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Random House, DC Comics, and Marvel. Published by Paraclete Press, it is available where fine books are sold and online. “A lovely invitation into the quiet mysteries of darkness.”–Christine Valters Paintner, author of Illuminating the Way: Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics.

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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 Man Who Loves Olives

Here in the U.S. it’s Thanksgiving Day.

I am certainly thankful for those of you reading this, for your sustaining support of postings that I began while all but certain they would be short-lived, that I would not end up, three years down the road, wondering how I can keep coming up with anything when the discouragement remains chronic.

Today two painters came to do touch-up work at our house. We had a lot of laughs. One guy had been painting for 40 years; he was 56, and during this time he’d broken his back, his leg, his ankle, and had three knee operations.

He had done the original painting of the walls and baseboards, ceilings and trim. I thanked him, saying how we had talked about the terrific paint job that someone had done. He said how rare it is that he ever hears, “… ‘Thank you.’ And it means so much to me.”

No matter how bad it is, there are people like our painter, who respect and take pride in their craft, who get up and go to work, who, behind our scene, make our lives richer–and deserve not just a paycheck but our thanks.

The Man Who Loves Olives

Every day he goes to the store
at the end of his street and buys
a jar of olives. He pretends
they are from the south of France,
grown by a family who first planted
the trees just after the Romans had
cleared out, leaving the sun and the
light and the mistral. He imagines
the trees, twisted, full of gnarled
knots, rooted deeper than their
history. He knows how the trees,
even when broken, bent, cut back
to nothing but a sprig send
shoots back up into the hot, dry summer.
He knows how difficult it is to pick
a single olive, how they hold to the
tangle of branches, how the timing
has to be perfect or the lovely bitter
taste will fail. When he gets home,
he sits on his porch, twists off the cap,
picks out a single olive, black or green,
and drops it in his mouth, pausing,
letting the red clay in his imagination
open, letting the trees stand against
the wind. He bites down, smiles,
shudders, then pulls out another, the sun’s
light coming through his window,
the heat of the day rising like his past.

–Jack Ridl

Published in Waymark — Voices of the Valley.

My pal Jeffrey Munroe’s hot new Reading Buechner is out and already a Best Seller! And it’s the Number 1 book in the country in literary criticism. He is a wonderful man. He is funny and bright. He knows his bourbon. There are many reasons to love him, and to love Buechner, so we recommend picking up both authors and settling in for a great winter read.

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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

Advice Upon Leaving

Last night, Wednesday eve, people in our area, and probably in yours too, held a vigil for transgendered people who have lost their lives, and for their families and all who grieve with them.

These cruel losses, of course, didn’t need to happen. Each lost person was the victim of hate. They caused no harm. They were hated.

One was the daughter of a cherished former student.

Friends of ours are accompanying their son, who is transitioning and working to be accepted as the male we all know him to be. They know all that lies ahead. At his high school he has been mostly affirmed. His principal has made sure the family can believe in his support. They can feel his care for them.

However, we can no longer trust that this is a government FOR the people. Especially people like this boy.

And yet at the same time, so many people care. It’s on their faces. People who used to engage in political discussion have recognized that civil argument is futile. Better to care: for the climate, for those impoverished in so many ways, for the transgendered, for anyone at risk from fear and hatred, and all you can think of who could be listed here.

Oh we’re all still physically here in the U.S., but many of us don’t live here anymore.

Lately, along with being with those who care, I’ve been living in the world of music. It’s no longer simply a soundtrack to my day. I listen. I really listen. I’ve resettled where there is care and where there is music.

Advice Upon Leaving

Learn how many teeth your dog has.
Enjoy the weather.
Listen to the sound of sweet voices.
Memorize silence
When you are alone, let nothing enter.
Be close to water.
Don’t make anything that can be used.
Find a friend you cannot talk to.
Look out.
When asked what you think,
answer, “Music.”

–Jack Ridl

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

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.