This Poet's Corner


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This Poet's Corner

Before you yell treason, Never mistake the "voice" of the poem for that of the poet. It may be. It may not be... That is for the artist to know...

Like A Drone

For the mind’s eye 
I dream to fly 
O’er Castle Howard

Only to get caught 
In the memory 
Of that priest 
Who gave you last rites.

Like Lord Marchmain
I knew you could hear-
I’d shout your name 
Just to see you stir.

Hovering o’er the rattle,
I told you a last lie
In the hope there might be 
Anything like a merciful God. 
                  E. D. Ridgell. 2018

Forked Tongues!


Bigots set their victims up.

Line them us like ducks in a row.

When they start shooting, it’s with words,

One word at a time, one word after another,

Tumbling into sentences and phrases,

Until the hitting starts, the poking, the jabbing-

Then out come the knives, the sharp blades

For dicing and slicing the chosen ones up,

To toss into the flaming pit of a Dante-drawn hell.


I was chosen. They set me up. They poked and

Jabbed me with their foul-mouthed, rounded words,

Come down sometimes for centuries,

To cut me, slice me and mine up. They tried to toss us.

Some cut, fell, but not all, not this time!

We stood like a knife, slashed stonewall.

Stonewalls scratch but they do not bleed!


We feel nothing, now, the elders.

Nothing! We feel no guilt, nothing!

We stand stoic and solid as an old stonewall.

They’re standing the young ones up, again, row after row,

But some of us are here with words of warning, graffiti

To beware! Take care! They speak with forked tongues!

                                                           c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014




I Could Just 


Woke up frightened

Put my angry armor on

It’s 2018

Teacher recognition my Ass

I could just 


Didn’t get no watch

Just stinging choking grief

Oh yes that pension check

That goads them almost as good as a nap

I could just


Write it out

Get it out

Spew the hurt out

Let them swallow it

I could just


What profit a man

There are few men anymore 

Wyman Park’s gone dead

Round and round you go

I could just


Everybody and everything’s for sale

Too little money chasing too much stuff

Nobody wants anyway

Another scapegoated generation 

I could just


YOU are the same age as

This POTUS with the most-us

God help us all

Somebody bump me

I could just


They’re selling crack

Taxing weed

And boosting heroin up 

It’s the newest just say no YOU know

I could just


Feel the words begin to work

The pressure comes down

It was just a silly pipe dream

Of a teacher bleeding from the lip

I could just


Sweet little companion cat

Eyes announce breakfeeee

God but I’m tired and hurt

Never, never, never give up

I could just...

                                     E. D. Ridgell 2018


Flying The Stars And Bars From My Pickup Truck


Got fucked up yesterday.
Drove south and cop'd some mighty fine weed.
Got so lost in horse country,
Never thought I’d make it home.

MADD would lock me up,
Only I’d pass the sobriety test!
I’m a downhome country boy nesting a beer in my crotch
And my hunt’n dog next me side the seat.

Ain’t got no use for the law-
Never did nut’n but lock me up.
Give me a still and a softball game
With good ole boys three, shit, sheets to the wind!

Sorry if I disappoint,
But God’s got me,
And I seem fit enough
When you need a soldier boy!
c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014


Come On Doc! Carve Will Ya!

With just the littlest of luck 
I'll get out, now,
At the end of this enviable feast!

It  seems to me, I’m blessed with unusual luck,
And not just a little pluck to find myself
At so bountiful a largesse 
'Fore the final feast of worms.

By my reckoning, I should have been
Shot and bagged long ago-
Far too close in range did I frolic so!

Oh, where’s a heartbeat stopped when you need it?
How do you summon the reaper?
I’m ripe in my high risk demeanor.

How now, but I tell you;
I’m shot, plucked, stuffed and dressed-
I can’t contain myself much longer.

The Lion de Coeur literally blew up,
A bloat at too slow a service rendered!
He craved haste!

Come on Doc. Operate!
We both know, it’s been a queer journey.
I’ll leave it to Your discretion. 
Just carve by God, carve me prettily,
Dressed carcass up will ya?

Let em have their will in due course-
"Take what you need and leave the rest."
I'm grateful and more 
Than satisfied with what's left!
                                      c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016

The Iran Nuclear Deal

So I just googled coding and 
All manner of things coding
Came my way uninvited.

Is this a loss of privacy-
Handheld spies?
Google Iran and 
Get enlightened.


I hail from roots to 
Islands out of time
With languages in opposites-
Quotes are half assed backwards!

To be continued 
Unless they start a war 
And fry me and you
Just as Melania catches a wave. 

Red, white, and blue 
Streaking o’er the sky-
Only they’re playing 
The Marseillaise.

Whose going to swallow a
Con job liar, not I
Nor any of mine!
I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy-

Stormy Daniels will spiel.
Iran will wink an eye.
It is in the eye of the needle 
That you find a hole.
                               E. D. Ridgell, 2018

Copyright belongs to Marine Magazine

Amidst and Amongst the Wandering Jews

Franklin and Lucy would drive out
through Georgia marshlands in a waning wait,
rejuvenating earlier times-
amidst the wandering Jews.

Both new and neither voiced
the inevitable. In medias res-
it did not matter. A war was won-
amongst the wandering Jews.

He had always fought inner battles.
Only now could he admit the cripple;
that insecure hero-
amongst the wandering Jews.

Only then could he patiently pose,
lay down his pen,
and die-
amidst the wandering Jews.
© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

Creative Commons License

Thank God it's Benedict!

No one else could cuddle the empathy,
Key to Alan, that chap, like Crisp-
Sod-all damp cold to Merrie Olde England!

For o'er half a century, ironic,
Enigmatic, and cumbersome to explain-
An absent pardon for so long!

Finally, by Her prerogative,
Justice of sorts, far after the deed is done-
"Dip the apple in the brew, let the sleeping death seep through"!
                                                            c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014


Pubscent Pole.
Depart, dribbling, leaking ,
Cholera on Lubeck gossip.

Soddenly Doge.
Recede, stinking sinking,
Prostitute of Paris pillage.

            ©  E.D. Ridgell, 2006 


“Queer Eyes for the Straight Guys!”
It’s ridiculous until it’s your son
Who’s blown the top of his head off-
Finger on the trigger of your prized rifle!

We are so sick of you-
Finally fighting back at another blue-badged raid,
Tumbling out, en masse onto Christopher Street,
To defend our stonewall retreat we would not surrender!

You’re so vain
You probably think this poem is about.
It’s not. It’s about centuries of martyrs-
Ridiculed, beaten, tortured, and killed.

Look to the streets of St. Petersburg.
I’m stripping it of Lenin or gaze on innocents,
On the nose bled streets of Moscow, who as I write
Are suffering again these centuries old biases.

Apostles, disciples, monks and more
Carded and bequeathed their interpretations
Combed from teachings empty of any of His condemnations-
Then twisted and turned their feeble thoughts into codices. 

Who rests in the Tombs Of Unknown Soldiers-
All straight guys, no gay guys, Really?
This shame bears dishonor on so many
Who gave the full measure. Enough!

Worms have feasted on eyes, swollen, blackened, and blue,
Or gouged out altogether, leaving empty white skulls
The martyred, murder victims- markers to teach us the 
Manifold, multifarious working of God. Enough!
                                                               E D Ridgell 2018

A Box Of Chocolates

In the front parlor,
A room little frequented,
She offered what little she knew
Of musical skill. It wasn’t much
But it opened her up to me
Like never before.

As time raced by, 
I had fewer and fewer 
friends  on which to rely.
Many were wanting, none more than I.
She had silently seduced what 
Little faith I still relied. All 
Was corrupt and sullied.

Just once
She let the throttle out,
Took her rings off
cockled her husband, 
And abandoned her boy.

She died slowly, painfully
Still dumping her anger 
In public, in view of the whole ward.
Done up in clown’s makeup, 
she broke his heart one last time. 
He put her in a shipping casket
To be stuck next her father-in-law whom
She had shed tears for such a short time before.

My eyes are as heavy as my mood,
And I would sooner it be over 
Than dig any deeper in a
Futile endeavor to make 
The memories pleasanter.
Life is not a box of chocolates and 
All the memories are not sweet.
                                       E. D. Ridgell, 2019



The Eagle is wounded.

Dying a slow death-

Or am I a footnote to history?

I hope so.


I remember the possibility

Of feathered ghosts.

Were they not saved?

I thought so.


The tribal chiefs

Always squabbled. 

It was in the DNA.

I worry so.


I am an old patriot,

A tired hippie

Used to street fights.



These braves

They know the words.

Bowls teach them the basics.

Is that not so?


Truth is it’s never easy.

Rows, white crosses in

Lovely fields of France

Attest so.


I have offerings.

Words on wings

Not carcasses yet 

Soon it will be so.

                   E. D. Ridgell, 2018



e e cummings 

i can’t find me

its always that

does anyone

feelings that ricochet and tumble weed

never stationary never sure 

childhood defenses

abandoned abused fear of

everyone goes except you

cant find me cant loose me

son of a bitch

better angry than depressed

use it old ally

struggle mustnt no

boom the shock

fore catalpa trees

                           e d ridgell 2020



God Knows

A thousand years prior
And we were in the bleak mid-winter,
A time when writing had been lost and
That elixir cement seemingly lost.

Science was witchcraft and
Mathematics dark reckoning
Not to be scribbled about
Less you forfeit your soul.

The individual dare not and
The group not yet there.
All about was darkness and 
The light shown not.

In the underbelly
That was the boot
There was a glimmer
That only needed the spark of hope.

I know nothing of the Big Bang
But I know much of fire.
It was fire that begot
Self fulfilling curiosity.

Ever forward into history
Not yet made 
We venture up and out
Into a light that only God knows…
                                   E. D. Ridgell 2019

Far Far Too Short

It is possible me thinks
To be religious and moral-
More too, me thinks the opposite can hold.

Then too, me thinks one can be moral
With no religion at all. Worse though
Is to be irreligious and immoral.

Too much religion
Can prove immoral as 
Bloody Mary is no historic hero.

The last Tudor
Seemed to strike a middle mark.
Lo, today she is still esteemed “Great”.

Many would and could 
Espouse to be “Great”,
While falling far, far too short!
                                             E. D. Ridgell, 2019

Pass The Geritol!


Just once I’d like not to

Anticipate that shoe,

The one that drops, plop!


Lately, it’s raining shoes.

I feel like Bush Two,

Dodging incoming fire!


When Iraq fell,

They kept slapping Sadam

O’er and o’er with a shoe.


You’d think I’d be

Better healed by now-

Well, I’m not!


I’m sick and tired 

Of being sick and tired-

Pass the Geritol! 

                 E. D. Ridgell, 2018



The Real Housewives of Surfside Beach

“The chairs are from Georgio’s, you know-

Frightfully expensive but just right.

They help block anyone from

Coming right up the path and past us.

We had Anzio’s do the patio, you know.”

“I know. Don’t you just hate that

Our beach is free, for just anyone?

I love the chairs though- 

You always get what you pay for!

You’ll need side tables or something

For drinks and all, won’t you?”

“Too much bother, Dear, 

And we never leave the patio-- 

Drags sand in, you know.

We’re only down for July anyway.

Isn’t the sunset pretty, and all?”

“Gracious, I would think so.

It cost enough, you know!

                        E. D. Ridgell, 2009


Sway Jesu Sway

Lay me gently down God
For I am weary of Assyrians
And warrior clans
Laden down with bronze.

Ishtar, Stormy Daniels
An Esagila prostitute,
Femme fatale 
For his just deserts.

Abide with me my Lord
That changeth not-
Who never did diseave me
On mine long journey.

Lay me gently down, then,
Fallen out my well worn chariot
One too many times-
Sway Jesu Sway.*
                         E. D. Ridgell, 2017

Go God Go… South Park


Rest In Peace Scottie!

I love the early seeds
Spewing forth meandering down, 
Tumbling down in timeless lines that end.
Never-mind, there are branches higher to circle round.

A case in mind,
Ian is the last  McCullen.
He has actor ancestors though.

“Will the last person to leave please turn out the lights?”

Where was I?
Oh yes, the memorial
When Jeff’s mom spoke-

“A Golden Promise is one 
That must never be broken. 
It is made in one's heart to another heart
That’s just departed this life."

She asked us to” …commit… 
“random acts of kindness 
And senseless acts of beauty' ...
Maybe, just maybe, 
Together we'll be able to repair the damage done 
To this lowly little world by the passing 
Of this gentle minstrel."

Her boy!

“We were treated to a full concert.
There were pictures on a wall in the backroom,
And a poem by Jeff. 
His siblings mingled in the room, 
Taking time with well-meaning fans.

We left that night, 
Feeling like we had a higher purpose, 
That things did matter. 
We left with songs in our hearts, 
And on our lips. We played our kazoo's 
On the streets of New York as Mary had asked.
Life will not go on as it always had. 
Life will go on as it always should have.”
Rest In Peace Scottie!
                            c. E.D. Ridgell 2017

Robin’s Not Angry Anymore!


There was always just a touch of pathos,

An underlying sadness to his genius-

Centuries old coupling of comedy facing off tragedy-

Come down from ancient amphitheaters,

Places of viewing both sides, and around,


And around, and around we go-

Flashes of naked truth delivered open-faced

With no enmity or snippets of half-voiced thoughts,

Spun comically, and made digestible. We laughed at ourselves,

And others with equanimity, momentary, universal, humanity;


The chuckle, the belly aching guffaw, giggling and all sorts of laughter,

Served up lightning fast with impromptu delivery-

Our beloved, silly bard to match a serious Shakespeare

Whom we can’t find a replacement for-

Another hole in humanity’s soul.


Robin’s not angry anymore!


Community Service


Listen on swift and sundry

Cleaving hot air from cold:

The rounds of unrepentant rifles

Ripping into the issued uniforms

As the Diocese’s, duty-bound boys

Marching to cadences

Bandied with an esprit de corps.


Then stare upon the consequences,

The results of patriarchal tutorials,

Begotten on homeland hunting grounds

Anointed with the blood of game

And cultivated on winning fields;

The baseball fields,

The grid ironed fields,

And now the killing fields,

No longer communal, civic or civil.


Tag the toes and

Reckon the score

Of these dead;

Dancers just a year ago,

On a floor strewn with white carnations

Dropped at their senior year prom;

Pledges from your sanctimonious,

Recruitment tour.


A squad of body-bagged dreamers

Who just yesterday lust they

To lie and roll in beds less deep and

More kindly and timely fitting than these-

Come home now to lay in folds to

Crease our churchyards.


Paste another bumper sticker,

To mask the high school’s

Printed avatar gone redundant;

Something to attest that your vehicle,

Is now a fading, dead child’s billboard to

Community service!

                                     c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014


A Street In Madrid In The Summer Of Seventy Six,
She could not speak English,
And she did not speak it, courteously,
With kind, knowing eyes.
Fat, dressed in black, receding with a gait,
A straw shopping basket in hand,
Shards of Spanish light
Cut her into sharp shadows.
She was colorfully colorless.
Franco had banned color.
She would not be muted though-
She had bade time for a lifetime.
Grown old and obese on collected memories,
She knew the cost of the loss of freedom-
Red blood stains on black and white photos,
Hot, bright hue on no color and all color, definitive.
Receding down the sunlit street, at siesta-
Burned into my memory, a scenario;
That gait had once been flamenco,
And kind, knowing eyes had blazed for the bull fighter.
                                                  © 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

Sweet Virginia

We had come to that place
A farm where you could 
Wipe the shit right off your boots
Looking for pot or hashish
I don’t remember which.

In my malaise of denial
I knew little of deceit or betrayal
except my own. Karma was in the wings.
Your sin was yours.
My sin is mine.

We wore abandonment like 
Come-hither, talisman, fitted suits. 
There were warnings.
I ignored yours, you mine, and so
We both cop’d the shit!

                           E. D. Ridgell 2018


The Last Rights

Summon Rome, 
A Cistercian, a Jesuit-
No matter.
I would save my soul.

“Everyone serves somebody.”
Serve me the last rights.
It’s time.
“I’m bored with it all.”

Then burn it all
‘Cept my soul.
Let it rise in 
Fluffy duckies.

And if you will,
Give us a last song-
“Always Look
On the bright side of life.”
E. D. Ridgell, 2018

Oh Come The Fuck On, Doc!


They just up and die-

How bloody peaceful!

It seems like everyone’s always grieving


Get it? Some ‘body’!


I’m still grieving.

Tom weaves in and out of my mind

At least once a day.

It’s not that I don’t love Rudy,

My sahib. I do. It’s just that

I can’t bear the grief,

Not again. Not on top of so many.

I can’t take much more. 

I’m as fragile as a thin straw

On a dry-rotting broom.


I haven’t a clue if I am a good grandfather or not.

They always seem one step ahead of my outstretched arms,

Busy as all children are and should be. I try. I try 

All though this bent life, of mine. I try so hard.

Women cry foul even as they use you,

And the men, well the men are either insecure

Or think this song is about them.

You are easy prey to women. You present a danger

To the men both inside and out.

Is this what you intended, Doc? Why?

What is your motive? What is your design?

Oh come the fuck on God!

                                                         E. D. Ridgell 2018



All The World Loves A Parade!


The narcissist wants a parade, 

A patriotic show 

Down Pennsylvania Avenue.


The generals as all generals do

Clamor for weaponry

To keep us out of harm’s way.


The party wants something to show

The nation is stewarded 

By at least a modicum of rule.


There are plans for a big wall

To keep us safe and secure 

From rapists to drug lords.


All the King’s horses

And all the King’s men

Parade as the world looks on.

                               E. D. Ridgell, 2017

Zoroastrian Lore

Into the bardo
Sky rite transitioning-
Holy metamorphosis 
Feeding off something living.

Craving meaning,
Anything, anything at all-
Slit throats, rip the beating hearts,
Slay the tiny first born.

Sometimes the incense 
Stifles the senses-
The censer
Waves as chanters go chanting.

Fine vestments, the 
Prescribed uniforms
Donned for sacred rituals-
Golden chalices in hands held high.

Transubstantiation make-believe
So set to an ancient score 
It’s sacrilege to muse-
The Holy See is not questioned!

One only,
Begotten son
Crucified to
Witness some hallowed song’s libretto.
                               E. D. Ridgell, 2017

The Song Of Bernadette


Oh Anne, how could you.

After all we had shared?

Did you think that I could let just any woman into

My bruised and broken sepulcher of a heart?

When did I suddenly become the next adversary in

The long list of yours of those who would not let you

Save the world in just your homogenized way?

I’d have been content to let you save it o’er and o’er again

As I had done for so many years.

Why the sudden rain clouds?

They were suddenly washing o’er me.

I was drenched in words distempered

And reminiscent of that mother now safely dead.

Your Dad choked to death

In the same restaurant

On the same day

He had failed to choke to death a year before-

Yet I did abide.

Not even the song of Bernadette

Could convey to you how gently I would abide.

No more!




Sunny Fields Of Closure


Sometimes I feel like fleeing to

One of these Amish farms surrounding us

In Lancaster County and

Cry “Sanctuary! I cry Sanctuary!


This fast paced, technological, robotic, driven game

Of hopscotch overwhelms me.

I’m on the last course, the memory whipped desert years.

I want my topping without preservatives.


I don’t want to stand on the side

Of acres of sunning sunflowers and take pictures of them.

I want to be in the field my hand in yours,

Feeling the wind and sun on our wrinkling hides.


“Thee, I love,

More than the meadows so green and still.”

Let us making these closing years, our sanctuary years,

Sown in sunny fields all our own, sunny fields of closure!

                                                                                E. D. Ridgell


On The Side Of The Angels


They conspired to take that God out of the equation

Who had bolstered this cattywhompus life.

There was no way I could have waded the

Raging, rapids of the journey

Without some Puppet Master.

Rushing into it, I realized I was bent to it,

And saw this as my secret, rabbit’s foot,

Tucked safe in my dungaree pocket.

It did not decrease my masculinity.

It was not I who set the bar.


I navigated around it, planted my seed despite it-

When the tide turned, I drove hard through it

To land in the arms of my soul mate,

I’d not have known without it, and then

When the reaper knocked, I turned again

To He they distained, and so here I am,

In the dotage of my old age, given a last sahib

To help me into the good night, where I trust

Soon, He at last will embrace me.

I never ever was on any side but the Angel’s.

I never ever was anything but salted water

Rushing o’er freshwater falls.



I Remember Now!


Michael, I fell today,

And in my fear,

I thought perhaps you were not there-

But no, I remember now.

It had slipped my mind.

The mind slips so easily now,

In and out of memory,

Journeys round the carousel.


You have been my guardian,

Since I remember, when-

Oh, yes. I do remember now

A sandy haired little boy,

Stirs from the perfect sleep,

Atop the pom pom’d bed,

To spy no feathers, no wings,

But a kindly, smiling boy-

That long wished for companion.

I remember now. I remember now.

                              c. E.D. Ridgell



My mind is fulsome
Of a life quick paced,
Overflowing with ironies;
Situations atypical,
Events so personal-
Nicht bandfähig!

The Queen of Hearts
Confronts the Ace of Spades, and I fear
The Jack of clubs, done slipped down drunk.
I can not find him on the whole wide net!
Did he rise, a star to twinkle, 'fore The King of Diamonds?
I know not, but I am maimed and burnt out!

Gently, now, Great Macedonian.
Your loyal Horseguard can not burn on.
He would be ashes and crumbs,
Mulch for your Babylonian gardens, hanging down.
Give leave to your loyal supplicant, and let the pyre burn me
Down and around upon that ground, that is You're golden orb.

Rolling On The Edge Of Some Blackhole!

Too much reasoning
With an over zealous education
Has robbed me of that warm comforter 
Of any one, faith based, belief system -- thank God!

Sometimes I think I long for the 
Eternal, warm, comforting, embrace of time-space-
I feel so worn out with too little muster 
For whatever the journey left ahead

I've circled through one too many
Revolutions of this oozing, coughing, ill orb,
As it tunnels through the dark vastness,
Rolling on the edge of some blackhole!

If one more pumped up, published cosmologist
Pushes his desperate postulations at me,
I think I will go mad at the disappointment 
Of any necessity for this long sentence.

It seems a cruel, cruel, irony of fate,
To have been foisted on that not asked for,
With no sensible request for a rocket ship ride
Through this cluttered and seemingly dangerous geography.

For my part I've learned 
The value of good symmetry and metaphor,
And I'll manage the best composition
That luck latched to much pluck may provide!
                                                             E.D. Ridgell, 2016

Exit, Stage Right!


We donned her Trissa

To mimic difference-

Then Tatiana after a little

Princess who was rumored

To have foiled fate long ago,

Only to learn she did not

Dodge the missiles.


But ours was favored

Above that innocent namesake.

Ours was then, and is now, words

That dissolve into tears

At the very thought of any harm

To her, Trissa Tatiana.


Time has brought its inevitable changes;

Ups and downs,

Blessings and sorrows

Replete with tides of tedious rituals

Of the farce we try to play out

Too often to little avail.


We've shape-shifted luck-

Contriving the need for it.

Now, each of us can comfortably

Jockey our head lights-

High-beamed into the night,

Where in deference one can exit,

With grace and good timing-

Stage right,

And dare not look back

For fear of it!

                                  E.D. Ridgell



So I was fit to be tied girl.

You made a mountain out of a molehill.

So many pieces of the mobile set spinning,

No less than mine. Why?

So Teach that I am or were, 

I put the sleuth in me to work

And as usual digging deep 

I was able to put some of you together.

This has always been coping for me,

Calming and therapeutic but above all informing.

A teacher is about information 

Coupled with an insatiable curiosity.

I’m sorry you lost your sweet Eddie so recently.

I’ve lost to that big C too.

It hurts and sets all things wobbly and 

We all do things we might not do.

                                          Eddie Ridgell, 2020


Dozing Through The Bardo

Another face of grief
Or vice versa
Unhealed wounds
Fester memories 
Lurking in the recesses

Lingering resentments
Wasteful dues
The hourglass
Stalks a
Penultimate clash
Of masked memories

Everything living feeds
Dines in a 
Sky rite ritual as
Vultures soar dropping
Their droplets
Into the bardo

                           E D Ridgell 2020


The Covenant is Broken!

Do not let the cries of caws
Interrupt the songs of canaries,
As they hop about the snow,
Out in the cold bright daylight-
Entertainment for feathered friends
With nervous, tiny, eyes blinking,
From within warm, window cages.

It is their rank,
To be well kept and warm,
While larger like
Serve a lesser entente.
Nothing is fair in nature,
And everything living 
Feeds off something else living-
So it is written in The Covenant.

Heed my words-
Every action has a reaction,
That is ofttimes a sorry reward
For a noble undertaking.
Nothing is sure,
No matter it be sacred scripture-
That which can be unwound
Does not abound, not now, or ever!

The Covenant Is Broken!
                                                           E. D. Ridgell

Times Have Changed!

I remember my Dad swinging a chicken
Round and round with one arm.
Then laying its head on the end of a block of wood 
And chop-pin it off with a sharp hatchet.
I swear that chicken got right up and ran 
Round and round with no head at all!
I must have been no more than five.

I was play-in out back, one day,
When I saw a long, slicked-back worm, it's back raised up
As if taking aim to spit right in my eye.  
I ran in and told Mommy and she 
Came out, took a garden how, chopped that big worm up,
Then draped it o'er the garden fence,
Went back in the kitchen and that was that.

Life and death had little meaning
To a kid so young. I had no real fear of mortality.
One day, me and my friends walked out o'er
Cracking ice jumping up and down at the thrill of it.
I remember walking o'er a long railroad bridge,
With nary a worry of an oncoming train.
I was immortal then but only then. Times have changed!
                                                         c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing II


Minor are these things,

Minutia in the funnel of these storms.

Major things first, the loved ones.

Manage things as best you can-

Mirror nothing but patience for the sake of all.

Move slowly, tread softly- do not step on toes.


Mean is the moon. Generous is your House-

Most purple is your harvest;

Mingled wine and blood.

Mithraic mysteries of old

Marching throughout time,   

Moor your honorable mention.

                         © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell


Fidelity downs deep in our clan.
We do not cleave the ranks
Surrender the ground or
Change mounts in the middle marsh.
Cowardice does not become
The island bound. It is as
Distant as the mainland just a
Short ways o'er there-
Where the Bay and the Potomac
Collide, rebel-downed dogs
Bark at memories' bastions.
We relish our fantasies.
We are proud and death is
Always close but ne'er feared.
What's for us will not miss us,
And at the prescribed second.
Hold fast to our bonded. Be true
To any who would trust us-
Let widows', folded flags commend us
Unto the sunsets!
                                               E. D. Ridgell

Caught Up In These Hard Times
Friends, long missing for sundry, divers reasons
Turn up in need of real time help.
You do what you can which can never be enough-
Caught up in these hard times!
Phone calls, text messages, e-mails
Solicit that empathy within you that feigns,
But is part of that metaphor
Of what may or may not be God-
Caught up in these hard times!
People kill people today
As they did in yesteryear, and how in your
Pieced together, patch stitched, heart of hearts
You know they'll go right on killing people
Tomorrow, and you fear for the future even as you are
Caught up in these hard times.
Your personal life is so busy, cattywampus,
Convoluted and confusing as you navigate
The tedious rituals of living. Is there anyone
Who isn't published today, seeking to be just
One more whisper heard, now,
Caught up in these hard times?
Lord but I'm overwhelmed, and
So tired- my anchor's dragging the bottom
Tearing up oyster pups striving to thrive
Once more on what seems to be a dying orb-
Caught up in these hard times.
  E.D. Ridgell  2013

Tempered Faith!

I know that I should

Not tease the reaper,

But I get tired and

Muse on the waiting ground,

That field strewn with catalpa pods.

A love lies there in ashes cold,

And tiny bits of bone nestled down

Strewn on ground long ago-

On a chilly night 

In faire Williamsburg.

Abide by me.

I’ve kept a faith

So questioned and tested

By quantum physics

And a host of theorists.

Now my mind

Meanders back

To prayers ‘fore Our Lady

Who in that time of innocence

I felt more than this tempered faith.

                                        Revised 2018

  We’re Open!


Everyday there are over fourteen hundred deportees-

But for the grace of God.  Why?

Did we take the welcome sign down?

Surely we did not mean to, not seriously!


We are a nation of cast offs, cast aways,

Cargo holds of throwaways,

Unwanted, and fleeing refugees.

It is our pedigree. It is our heritage.


 No one driving a taxi in New York City

Knows where in the hell he's going.

We like it that way,

A one-way ticket to who knows where.


Send us your baggage. Bestow on us your choicest bums.

Plus begets of left o'er slaves.

We will make citizens of these.

Throw a homo or two into the stew. You've got potpourri!


But beware. Take care. Don't spit on the smile of our

Shoeshine boys. Don’t come railing at us

In hopes we’ll forget or falter. We won’t.

We’re open!

                                                                       E. D. Ridgell


The Light

If you can feel gratitude 
At the final wake
‘Fore the drowning down,
You are blessed.

It is good with you.
So hold onto that faith
Which can not be proven
To He who changenth not.

Faith, hope, and charity-
In the end 
The only thing that matters
Is kindness.

No man is perfect
And long life has shown you,
Time and time again,
Too few are kind.

No matter-
Your chart is coursed.
Lay you gently down 
In a shroud of love.

Love everyone.
Forgive all
In the certain knowledge
You fall into the light.
                    E. D. Ridgell, 2018


Nothing Hurts

I’m hit!

Nothing hurts.

That’s bad!

Oh God

Help me!

Yes, here!

Thank you.

I can’t!

No sir!

Nothing hurts.

Please, no!

Oh God,

That hurt!

Not there.

Nothing hurts.

I’m going.

Yes, Sir.

A little.

Nothing hurts!

Oh God!

           E.D. Ridgell




Where am I

In time,

Subset of my kind-

More spirits close at hand

‘Fore the resurrection.

The end of collective myth making.


I am here

Marking a plane with stirring fingers,

Pigeon messages drowning down

The hourglass allotted to me-

A jester with his

Measured offerings to place



Dedicated to her Father and Mother who lost Michelle but for awhile.

In A Quantum Leap…

algorithms dictate,
I am dead,
and you are resurrected.

You split in an infinite
number of possibilities.
Differences reconcile.

No laws,
no morals-

Higher dimensions seek
proof in collisions-
atomic components wanted!

Particles disappear
into higher dimensions-
proof positives.

Open the portals.
Become immortals.
Be as one with the gods!

He saves
through wormholes;
our lifeboats,

monopods of DNA-
God’s ant colonies!
© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

Creative Commons License

The Eye Of The Needle

She's one of the beautiful people, 
She bids on 'Gilt', and has lots of friends
Who are all people who have passed
Her entrance exam. She's proud
She's one of the one per cent,
And will bore you blind with
How she did it all on her own-
'With hard work, you too,
Can be like me!'

She woke up sure that Romney
Had won and imagines there was
Some sort of trickery. She begins debates 
With one liner grenades, and comes 
Back to chasten you. She's on top 
Of the world, but is nagged by 
Insecurity. Somehow, someday,
She has to squeeze through 
The eye of a needle.
                                   E.D. Ridgell, 2014


How to convey these-
Mind weeds from
Furrows of my mind’s eye?
They’re all real-
No make believe.
It’s all true but it’s all about me.
Why should anyone care
Some department store
Used to be on Howard 
Opposite Hutzler’s?

So, I still don’t know what to do with 
Memories insistent on interfering-
You drive down Harford almost to North,
Hang a left and up the ramp 
To what seems the roof.
All the Sears are closing now.
My father used to walk me down North 
To the forgotten Carlin’s Amusement Park.
Like Gwynn Oak it needs resurrecting, if only here,
A memento of a meddlesome mind’s mining.
                                                            E. D. Ridgell

Abject Disinterest

It's seventeen drag-ass years 
Since you crossed o'er the river 
To rest under the shade of the trees,
And not a day goes by 
that I don't ache for you.

Your dust and the crumbs of your bones
Have long since mulched into the soil
Of the Palace Green, in fair Williamsburg, 
And still I muse on that day
I too will lay under the catalpa trees.

Divers and sundry
Tedious rituals of living grow 
More and more banal with the passing years, and 
Memories break o'er these bodily bulwarks 
Weakened by my advancing years and abject disinterest!
                                                               c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016



Can't Get No Satisfaction!

In a last stab of the back,
They pull up in their eighteen wheeler,
With some highfalutin, genius-like 
Big brained cosmologist,
And with no further ado they drop it on ya,
A mother fuckin' Hawking Bomb-
A brief history of chaos and by the way, 
There ain't no friggin' God! None! Na Na!
Never was, ya cock-sucking sap!

Your balls take the elevator up,
And on your last leg, you try to unravel what ya
Couldn't unravel long ago, no how.
Try as you will, can't get no satisfaction!
Worst of all the Penguins done fucked ya long ago
So as ya ain't got the moxie to off yourself,
For fear you'll break the imaginary spell 
You thought they had on Ya.
Your up an Aussie's creek!

Jesus Christ, will ya cut me some rosary,
And get me outta this here world?
Oblivion's chump change-
A small price to pay,
For just some friggin' resolution-
Can't get no satisfaction!
                 c. E.D. Ridgell, 2017

Family Secrets
And so, you know,
I go down the road to honor your brother
Stopping by to visit others; my mother; your mother-
Then on to you, up the road, in that carefully selected spot
Strategically planted next to your grandfather,
Safely hidden away hoarding your secrets.
I spent years puzzling together the pieces.
I thought I knew all the reasons for
Everyone's multifarious selections
To do with many, varied reasons.
I had grown used to chaos early on
With its cockeyed meanderings, but
I was neither prepared or amused
At another oblique, mystery rising up
In the shadow of this tasteless stone.
There she was parked right up next to you,
Her chiseled identity a mystery to me-
One name with so much unoccupied space around
From any other name not familiar to my ear;
Too close, some thirty years later-
This howled!
I vaguely recalled that sunny day,
Three decades ago when you dragged me
To that lovely spot overlooking the St. Mary's River-
Dickered with the rector,
And bargained for your last bit of real estate.
After passing rigorous, secular, checks and balances,
You could now confront the clergy,
Confident in shouting, “Shop!”
Admittance was not easy for anyone
Into that gated community.
Had you purchased two for one that day?
You could sell God the Brooklyn Bridge.
I was divorced but you had a tiny, grand daughter.
No, it would not fit, a round bit in a rectangular hole.
I suspected another secret,
But I respectfully left that last one interred
For you and her to share in a parallel universe.
Even in her grief my aunt laughed
And said, “Is that so?”
There was that twinkle in an old eye though-
But, as so often before, it proved too late.
That aunt crossed over, just this last year,
Taking with her, no doubt, a secret or two,
Tucked into her frugal casket.
     © 2008 by E.D. Ridgell


Long Island Getaway!

I took that Egyptian leather
Thingy bag thinking I would be dapper
Or some such something. I was so young,
And barely out, to be going to The Big Apple
All by myself! I took the train into Central
And had to get to Long Island-
Lord knows how I navigated it all!
Long Island Getaway!

Off the connecting boat,
It was all boardwalk,
And I soon found my weekend digs,
Greeted by a queen in his jockstrap
Hanging wash on a line.
This was Fire Island, then-
Unmotorized and half dressed.
Not that I minded this
Long Island Getaway!

The girls weren’t having much to do with me,
Figuring, quite rightly, I wanted to cruise.
I remember both Rebecca, and Cindy
Dancing on the bar top of the saloon.
I soon drank up the courage
To walk the dunes. The moon had been pre-arranged-
A nervous quickie, and that surreal leather trio
I didn’t know what to make of 
Let alone kowtow to, all
Shiny boots, strange chains, and surreal.
The whole weekend was fun but a little sad
As I never really got lucky enough 
To be nestled up or embraced, but it did push
Me to do one life changing thing-
First day home, I picked up the phone,
Rang up Tom and the rest is history,
A well done and cherished chunk of it anyway!
The fire on that island was nothing to compare
To the fire in my heart that even now years after his 
Death still burns and will never entirely burn out,
The well heeled fruits of the memory of a long ago,
Long Island Getaway!
                                                              E.D. Ridgell

A Tribute to the Dead Poet
     ( In memorium ... Paul Stevens )

His words would roll
One o'er the other
In such keen tether
As to not stray too far
One o'er the other.

A tall Aussie was he.
No more will the bits rhyme
Or skillfully meander
True to form for you-
No more will the bits rhyme!
                 E.D. Ridgell, 2013

The Line Was Broken

Rest you little children,
Victims of gas warfare.
No more harm befall.
The world hesitates still
To catch the predator-
But know love abides,
Confused though it knows
Some travesty was done,
An inexplicable grave deed
That calls to Heaven,
The pale is crossed,
The line stepped upon.
It will not do!
It must not do!
The line was broken!
E.D. Ridgell, 2013



Pomp and Circumstance


“Pro cuius amore in eius eloquio nec mihi parco”-

And thus began the damages of Gregory;

Reform in the hands of those who would speak

Directly from God! How convenient future kings would nurse this,

Even usurp it from that isle to where he sent forth his to convert those

Blond, blue eyed angels-those pretty Saxon boys.


Could your homily have been sterner;

Its echoes more self serving?

The Gnostics would raise women to the same level,

So high as to copulate to near the altar,

And so Gregory would have sex unclean,

And lust, a temptation only, would be deadened to a sin

To be scoffed and condemned in that comedy to come-

The final touches would be layered on an image of hell,

More modern than any could then know.


I weary more than I can tell

Of such petty speculation,

Pomp and circumstance.

I would break from all your scripts

And mimic Blazing Saddles,

Breaking out these oppressive screens.

Man would make the simple complicated.

God is as close as the garden

And the rules much the same,

No matter the novel implement,

Reckoning the best light and

Not sledge hammering the insects dead.

© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell



No Pain, No No Gain!

Sometime's you have to hurt someone,
To help them, bearing that anger that will follow-
It's a hard thing to do; to leave, to say no,
To close a door as if you were shutting memories out,
Even though, you know, deep in your heart you are right.

Don't look back, go forward through the shared pain,
Trusting that in the end you've offered up yourself
For the better good. Be forever kind and gentle
No matter how high your wake seems to wash over another.
So long as they come right side up, you've just been 
Excess ballast needing to lighten the load. No pain, no gain!
                                                                 E.D. Ridgell, 2014

Hewn Stones


Peppering likes onto the screen

I hoped fidelity would prevail

O’er base political discourse.


I’ve had neighbors for whom no wall

Divided discourse from civility.

Everyone hurts sometime and 

No one is right all of the time.


Liberal, conservative or just bat shit crazy,

We send our cherished children into war,

Trusting in each other to ease the pain of

Crosses adorned with their white hewn stones. 


                                      c. E.D. Ridgell, 2017

                                           Revised 2018