This Poet's Corner


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This Poet's Corner



I listed for sale the last pair

Grateful they were all up.

I saw the irony from the first listing,

And realized that it was to be another

Walk through the grief.


Each pair would evoke memories

And each helped to piece together,

The riddle that had been in step

With your own whimbly whombly life

And secrets carried far too long.

I felt empathy for that overwhelming 

Need to feel that security that life just

Won’t buckle up for any of us!


I did not take that last call,

And the kind message choked to rest.

I did not pick up as a last act

On my part for your part 

To assure the water bore no ripples

As you crossed o’er it one last time.


I have few steps of my own now,

And I trust I’m high heeled for it,

For no one can or should judge another 

But that mystery of a cobbler

Some of us presume to call God.



A Stranger, Really?


One thinks of Mary Todd

Trying so hard to fit in, however

She could not have touched this cabal.


The drinks were there, the mixers

At the ready for a cordial fare, but

The First African American Lady

Had been black balled!


Invitation after invitation,

Was snubbed. Mr. Boehner had a

Previous commitment while O’Conner

Was crystal, Kentucky clear.


Blasphemy out loud ‘fore Congress-

Questioning the Nigga’s papers?

The bottom feeders feasted on tripe.


A stranger, really?

Not to the people

Who flooded the fields

‘fore inauguration day.


Obama got down and dirty.

Healthcare passed and

Obstructionists dusted off

Their carpet bags.


All the king’s horses and

All the king’s men

Came to play upon the chessboard.


In the end it was remarkable

Whatever name they contrived to tag it.

Historians sorted it out, and the man-

Well, he had been a gentleman

In an un-gentlemanly time, but

A stranger, really?

                               E. D. Ridgell



I’m Packing!


If I’d been born later

I might be contemplating eternal life,

That’s how fast and far science moves ya!


As it is, I am old, and memories, good and bad,

Wash o’er me like a great tsunami.

Truth is, I am dog-eared tired!


Besides, I live my life with backup,

Tucked somewhere in a back pocket.

It works for me. In any case, I’m packing God!

                                                           E. D. Ridgell



See What Pooh And A Bear Friend Can Do?


Well, Big Bad Bear,

A Bad Ass from The Games

Notices that Pooh is maimed,

And gathers boats nice and close

Afloat in Pooh’s gilded tub.


He roars with his loud roar,

Scoops Pooh up,

And tells everyone to beware,

This Bad Bear does not care one hair!

Remember, Bear bites back-

Everyone knows that!




Big Bad Bear has toys too-

Missiles and guns and tanks, so there!

Now, sigh. Everyone whispers aloud that

Bad Bear better beware

Of he just might not be invited

To Teddy Bear picnics anymore. Oh my!




Big Bad Bear goes right on maiming anyway-

Everyone knows bears like honey,

And so everyone pays up heaps and globs

Of rich golden honey, pats Pooh on the behind,

And leaves Big Bear to sleep out the winter,




When all the bother is through,

Some world leader waves a token

Piece of paper on which is writ,
“Peace In Our Time!” while

Bear naps on Crimea!

                                      E. D. Ridgell



The muse abides
In these latest
Her hands are as 
Deliberate and chiseled
As I could ever hope or wish.

Each work stands denuded 
Of all pretense much as I try
To hide and dissemble. The 
Confessional poet possesses
You sit as some sanctimonious priest!
None of the privacy of a
Confessional booth, and you-
                                                         E. D. Ridgell

A Last Gasp


I can't be all that!

I can't do all that!

It's geeked me too high, Lord.

All I see are mama’s eyes.


The alleys spew us 

Even as the PoPo move us. 

We scurry in the freezing, moonlit night,

In the company of rats

Till we nudge up ‘gainst strangers

Who may or may not shiv us- 

Huddled o’er a sagging, rusting, iron grate,  

To await our fate, each in their turn-

Ice pick-like sharp and chilling:

In a last gasp ‘fore the vast namelessness 

Of their potter’s field.

                                                    E D Ridgell


Riding The Black Swan

Waves fingering
Emotive ejections-
Deep bumps
To the snap crackle and pop
Of a secondary addiction.

So eager 
My cherry broke
At the first toke.
I never looked back-

I came so close to failing,
To not taking the bit
And riding naked into the night
On Equus in search of Parnassus-
An empathy 
Of opposites!


The shock of every second
Of being alive!”
I still feel them-
Waves breaking
To the snap crackle and pop
Of a secondary addiction.
            © 2018 by E. D. Ridgell

No Way,

I will not wave my freedom flag.
I am growing my hair long again
Just for you
Take care! Beware!
Over there, over there, 
Send the word, send the word over there…
That the Yanks are coming...

I think I will make a run for it
Before they apprehend me. 
I’ve made it this far to the border and o’er.
I might as well do the full monty.
I’ve scaled your superficial wall. 
You can no more box me out 
Than you could my forefathers.
No way, I say 
No way!

Who are you, who, who, who- 
But the reflection of those who 
No longer show in the mirror…
Long deposited in this 
Their new nation’s soil?
And, pray tell, who are these
Who test those sacred writs 
Gone yellow with aging and 
Wrinkled at such prior perusing?

Tear down this wall!
Pull down your useless endeavors.
No one can stand in the face of freedom
When the people will it so.
It is cemented into our conscience,
Molten memories, the struggles of which
Too many gave the full measure
For me to cave, bend or kowtow now! 
No way,

No way,
I will not wave my freedom flag.
I am growing my hair long again
Just for you.
Take care! Beware!
Over there, over there.
Send the word. Send the word, over there…
The Yanks are coming 
The Yanks are coming…

E. D. Ridgell 2018


I am a Zanzabar

Antique, brass studded,

Rosewood, wooden chest-

So beautiful you 

Dare not open me 

For Fear of the many 

Splendid things 

That I might spew out

Onto the marble floor, here!

I'm packed with all of her

Hopes and dreams, 

Not already gone astray

At the slow robbery of life.

She marries him in this

Opulent chapel 

In hopes that he will

Be true to his word,

A sweet, duped fool!

                         c.  E.D. Ridgell


Funeral Pyre 


The table 

Side my bed 

Is crowded with a 

Myriad of 

Prescription bottles 

From out a 

Larger horde 

That boggles 

Sorting out. 


Old age 

Drapes the bed- 

My funeral pyre 

In need of a light. 

When I reflect 

Upon this life 

I am content 

But most of all, 

I'm tired. 


I feel I'm  

Sorting out- 


A one legged hawk, 

Through a mire's nest 

Of cattywamus 


Dust unto dust.  

Pray for me. 

                    E.D. Ridgell

Fast Flung of an Insistent Cosmos,

I look about me-
My immediate geography;
Out unto the darkest reaches,
And all is foreboding.
Everything living feeds 
On something else living,
And the universe, backdropped twinkling,
Is violence expanding ever outward; no ending.
I pray you, at least allow me the denial of consciousness!
                                                          c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014

Lying on the Three Seater Swing

I liked to lie on the three seater swing
On the screened porch of the Spanish, styled house
Listening to the electric trap zapping mosquito after mosquito,
A popular fad of the fifties. I’d contemplate the exposed beams running parallel
To one another in the ceiling just above, visible inside the door to the living room.
The wet, dog smells and the snoring of damp, dozing Collies
Lent company to a solitude usually preferred by an only, lonely child. 
The frogs croaked to the background sounds of wetland bogs,
That exuded a perfumed stink all their own of a Maryland night,
And drew me further down into a lulling so perfect I remember it today.

In the distance I heard the faint breaking of the waves, 
Lapping at either the Potomac or the Bay or both,
Each nearly equal in distance away so as to not betray which wave 
Belonged to which nearby bank that bordered that narrow peninsula.
Frequently, there was a welcome breeze gently intermingled with the whispers 
Of the Confederate ghosts, the prisoners who did not survive to saunter home,
After brother finished killing brother too exhausted and broken to go on.
I often fell asleep only to be awakened by what is to this day, 
My favorite sound, the sound of a wooden screen door slamming.
When I die, know that my ashes will be strewn with the better half of my soul,
On that Palace Green before the Governor’s Mansion 
At Williamsburg, in fair, neighboring Virginia, but my heart,
Broken so often and patch quilt, mended, will feign to beat 
To the sound of the waves breaking the banks of Point Lookout,
Where the Potomac collides with the Chesapeake, 
Night after night after night.

© 2008, E.D. Ridgell


The Piano Man

It seems he spent
His whole life at that piano,
Braking, just once to a
Good Humor Ice Cream truck.

My best man-
I thought him a friend!
I can remember the last time
I saluted him a farewell.

He was in a band and
Holed up in a big house,
Off Northern Parkway-
Poof goes the magic musician!

Uncle Frank, him, and I
Used to chase girls on two wheels
Round corners up ‘gainst concrete stops.
Young, dumb, and full of cum.

He had introduced me to her,
And as my mother was dying-
And she was a woman 
Who still could be rescued, I plunged in.

I still hadn’t sorted all that out,
But wanted sorting, needed sorting-
Needed a friend more than a wife it seems.
Everybody was fucked up!

We laid what turned out to be
A splendid foundation,
Although, me thinks,
The lady protested too much.

She lies in her crypt, now,
I am right side up.
It seems he spent
His whole life at that piano.
                       c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016


How sweetly it calls,
A sweet, blissful, rest-
The destined end.

No need for light,
Nor consideration for time-
Science mute, mathematics unreckoned.

There is no one and nothing 
to push nowhere-
No top, no bottom, no inside out.
                               c. E.D. Ridgell, 2017

Oh Lord!






The high judges are suspect.


Dishonor then?


Oh Lord,


Greed sullies the ranks,


And a statue of the Virgin is seen to weep.




Fear and blasphemy rule the day,


And in distant lands fascists march again-


Oh Lord,


The rising, walking dead of a last century


Mount Subaru’s and Kawasaki’s


For a blitzkrieg led by a Desert Fox


In a false front of the Prophet!




And here they come, the Horsemen


Riding again from the bowels of history


To once more humble the mighty


And trod headlong o’er the needy-


Oh Lord!


Have we again angered the Almighty?


                                            E. D. Ridgell

                                              Revised 2018


“And whoever kills a believer 

intentionally, his recompense is Hell 

to abide therein; and the Wrath and the

Curse of Allah (peace be unto him) are upon him, 

and a great punishment is prepared for him”…The Holy Koran


Poisoners and Cutthroats


And suddenly

I do not equivocate.

This is sin if ever there be sin.


What shapes the minds 

Of these villains-

Poisoners and cutthroats?


They fancy themselves 

Great leaders. They

Cull followers.


Denials  conveyed

By ambassadors-

False fronts.


Pious priests

Preach penance

‘fore  salvation.


Children stare

In confusion

At the elders.


I do not license

My soul, this soul!

“Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

                    E. D. Ridgell 2018


Firebird Down!

All around me 
I see a world in chaos.
What isn’t under water
Is on fire.

The Russians are at the tower
And the Emperor is lowering the bridge.
The realm is besieged-
The Queen doesn’t care.

Secular writs mean nothing
As Bloody Mary praises the Lord
In the fire-glow of burning stakes-
King John’s knights pack the courts.

I would speak my mind
But I mustn’t rock the boat
And whatever is said 
Must be texted or tweeted.

I am a caged canary 
Waiting for the meds to kick in 
‘Fore I spiral up then down,
A burning bird singed in the end.

Every month the lord 
Wants more and more
Of my rotting crops 
To stoke coal furnaces choking the sky.

Naked To Mine Enemies
My coach tires go bald-
Even as my beloved Eagle
Is down drowned by a drone.
                  E. D. Ridgell 2018


Each early spring she’d 
Make raiding runs
Snatching one at a time 
From mother’s nested hole-
Such a stupid, silly, contrivance 
As to make one weep for the babes
Now ripped and torn,
Gut spew on the ground.

Each was an offering,
One sacrifice at a time
Till all were gone from hidden horde.
‘Twas Instinct, the writ of the covenant-
She did no wrong. She was sacred order
No more, nothing less than divine-
The century’s tuned huntress,
Sheik, shinny, shoulders, shimmering in sun.

Throughout the long lazy summer
She took no further tribute-
Rather, she basked in the shade
Of the red river beech,
Seemingly asleep,
But not unguarded.
Hers was a long lineage
Come down from a Nile goddess.
                          E. D. Ridgell 2017

Bloody Mary!

He was cold and unfeeling,
He was christened 
‘neath a cloth of gold,
The dynasty assured.
He would steer
The souls of his realm.
He was blessed with health
In an age ‘fore vaccinations.
He went down with measles-
Ushering in a Catholic Queen.
                                            E. D. Ridgell



A Bent Liberal

Dicing for danger,

I’ll dance a quick step,

In hopes to look back on life

With little, lingering regret.

I do not ken the conservative,

Never leaning forward, hugging the base.

It is no sport to surrogate

To another the stealing of a race.

Mount each charger, 

Naked of bridle and saddle, bareback,

Take the jumps one by one. 

Would you rather the hunt or the hack?

When all’s said and done! 

                                  © 2012 by E.D. Ridgell


I Have The Crazies Today!


I have the crazies today…

Just everything and everybody coming at me…

Nothing big…didn’t let me wake up slow…

A sale though…a Monet necklace…then I

Realize I have two lots mixed…

This means I made a mistake…I’m not

Allowed to make mistakes…this will hang on me

All day as I try to sort out whom, when, and where…


How the lady in Miami can call right back…I pass

The phone through the door to Rudy ‘cause

Mike is in the kitchen fixing the blinds…

TV is on and the Ukraine is bleeding…

Meka’s pawing me for treats…

Rudy’s out the door till eight…can’t believe it’s

Almost one…Nap time…I’m sick with this cold…

Take a sleep aid…another woman calls about the

Messy order over meds…she wants me to call

And straighten it out…That’s her bloody job!

Nobody wants to fix anything anymore…


Ukraine has a piece of my heart…I’m in a vice, God.

It’ll be OK…just got the crazies today…

The pills are taking effect…I’m calming down…I’ll

Take the prescription aids…I’m tired already…

“Well, tomorrow is another day”…

I have the crazies today!


Pet priest!
Yes you!
Come out from the murky shadows,
Of your grey clouds and imagined brimstone.
Stop playing God,
And hear this.
We know nothing of God,
Not yet that is.
How define that Love?-
With grace and love,
And most of all with empathy.
To the degree you can
Feel empathy-
That is the degree
You might glean the majesty.
But first,
My Pretty, pretty,
Petty, pet priest-
A vow of poverty?
Some token of fidelity to
The office you so poorly,
Sorely, mishandle!
At the very least
Beg audience of your confessor-
Save your charcoal soul.
Now, fly back up,
You ugly, ugly, gargoyle
And park your lazy ass,
On any chair not resembling a throne!
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 kindle it,
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,
It’s echoes more self serving?
The Gnostics would raise women to the same level,
So high as to copulate upon the altar-
And so Gregory would have sex unclean,
And lust, so natural, would be deadened to a sin
To be laughed at 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 through these oppressive screens.
Man would make the simple complicated.
God is as close as the tended garden
And the rules are to be made up as we go along,
Reckoning the best light and hammering the insects dead.
© 2013 by Edward Ridgell


There are noises that fetter moments plucked out the white background,

The sweet sounds settling into the recesses of the mind,

Like nuts being lain down for winter;

Sounds that bookmark memory,

Echoes to sooth the tempest tossed,

Sounds that mark your journey, past and present-

The slamming of the wooden, screen door on Grammy’s porch,

The cicada in the grasslands at Dad’s at sunset.

The honking geese flying over the fall festival that year,

You took time to be grateful of your life’s course.


Tonight, I listened to footfalls of grandchildren’s little feet,

Scampering over floorboards above my head in my house.

Tonight I am sixty two years old and I cross myself

For the, final, comingling, last chords caught out in the din of old age.


© 2009 by E.D. Ridgell

Creative Commons License




In A Last Breath


In a last breath

the unheard is silenced,

the unseen vanishes,

light shines dark.


Utterances linger but awhile;

Images recede into nothing,

Marble crumbles-

Ashes wash into the sea.


All vanishes into the void;

That is the vessel of time-

An illusion within

The mystery of it all.


In that instant that was not,

There was a being that never was

For whom we who do not exist-

Grieve now needlessly.


But oh how it seems to hurt.

Oh how heavy nothing that was

Seems to weigh on weightlessness.

Oh, Oh, Oh, God!

                         © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell



Seamus One

Blanche the cotton sheets
That feel too smooth, 
Like smelly fresh inside out dryers
Of smooth and soft
Like baby's behind.

That vast flat plain
Of whitened outreached
Tugs of pillow tightening
Twists and turns,
Twist away
Wrapping away
Into nothing.
E.D. Ridgell, 2013

Pancreatic Cancer Three

So I’m into this series,“Shameless”.
Seems real enough to me.
Seems tricks these days are 
“Done with mirrors.”
He used to say that-
The soul mate,
The one who gave it up-
To what?
To the pancreas.

Life’s one big kick in the ass.
Everybody’s ass-
The most recent, the ex-
Now Six feet below a cancerous pancreas.
So come to the Point. Get to the point. 
The series’s dip-shit hero ‘s gone and fallen for her.
Who else- the bitch with the pancreatic cancer!
Can you believe that?

Seems like
Life Is, real or not,
Just one big kick in the ass.
Whose ass?
My ass, your ass-
Worse yet it’s sometimes 
A kick in the gut.
Whose gut?

E. D. Ridgell 2018

off my pins 

the pace exhilarates as it trips me into
threatening to flip dreams everywhere
i go seeking free imprisoned children
now their soft locks like nylons smooth and 
sexy seek too get under armor
prisoners solicit and vie attentions but conceal to don
the mask of some trillion company rapes 
for profit and the lost hopes and dreams 
on cameras where they convey 
millions in golden yachts 
most behind his eight big balls 
like little hands and protestations 
up the ass what waits for the red white
and russian little boots
i must not shut down to
nest but rest some 
and end fore I fall
off my pins
                                e d ridgell 8102


A Message From Herald


I can’t piece the bits 

Enunciate-the tongues swill.

My mind’s eye, keen, tuning

To the wheezing of my breathing-

Oxygen wedded, waiting on God.

I don’t know!


Go ahead swill some narrative,

Hopes to resurrect her?


I’ve meandered through 

Her many monuments,

Rich communion ‘fore this crisis call.

I have no nesting ambition. 

All is ruin falling down, round me.


She is only two centuries and some. 

Where flies the eagle,

Up, up, up into the sun, or

Down, down, down into the quagmire?

Listen. Listen to me- we are in disorder. 

The covenant is broken. 

Where is the true, blue Cincinnati?

To right the ship of state 

And calm the turbulent sea?

                                    E. D. Ridgell, 2017

                                      Revised 2018


The Grove



I paid my admission


Under the lion’s gaze-


Nights of friendly


And not so friendly persuasion,


Night after night,


Year after year until


Someone captured by heart,


Freeing me from out the grove. 





We coasted through


The high tide, when suddenly


The tide went out taking you with it.


I’ve lived a whole other life since


As blessed as our time together.


I’ve given my heart again,


Knowing all to well that grief


Is the price we pay for love?


                            E.D. Ridgell, 2012

                                Revised 2018


The Terrible

All the Tsar's are Ivan's.
Heavy is the crown,
Dripping diadems
Of gems and jewels-
Diamonds, red rubies,
The bluest of sapphires!

Our Streltsy from out
Our Oprichniki,
Mingle with our Boyars-
The farther away the poorer
But by far the safer
From one swipe of Our Bear paw!

                         c. E. D. Ridgell, 2015



Against the rubber tongues of cows

And the hoeing hands of men

Thistles spike the summer air

And crack open under a blue-black pressure,


Every one a revengeful burst

Of resurrection, a grasping fistful

Of splintered weapons

And Icelandic thrust up frost


From the decaying underworld

Of long-boat Vikings.

They are like pale hairs and guttural dialects.

Every one manages a plume of blood.


Then they grow grey like men mown down.

It is like unto a feud. The sons appear

Stiff with weapons raised high

Fighting back o’er the same ground.


The Sum Of Living


Is time ever on our side?

“Boom, the shock of every second

Of feeling of being alive.”

Pain is the ultimate reminder,

Joy a momentary bit of experience.

BE in touch with all the pieces,

So as to not miss

The sum of living.


Grasp it all.

Know everything you can.

The unknown will always

Weigh more than you can gather.

There are limits for each and everyone.

There is no edge to the universe.

Reason could chart a creator,

But the maps lack any great detail.


In The End

The deeper the incision
And the more taciturn I become.
I'm never completely open-
I don't weal this pen.
It is the muse's doing.

The God question
Used to have importance for me.
I found faith, when I realized it doesn't!
In the end the only thing that really matters is kindness.

Kindness is a metaphor, a place 
To mince and meander through---
The how, the where, the why, the when?
We haven't a clue. We are mere mortals.

The judge, the soldier,
The Queen- the Pope. 
You and I, are shadows on the canyon walls.
A river runs through it, and 
Nothing can damn it shut-
And couldn't, shouldn't ever want to!

Be at peace.
Forgive everything and everyone,
Even unto martyrdom- Oh, I know.
It's seldom done. At least, try a little.
I fail. I've a pocket full of petty resentments.

My poem is no stone. Peace be unto you.
I just want to urge caution at the rapids.
In the end the only thing that matters is kindness.
Kindness follows on the water beyond the rapids.
                                              c. E.D. Ridgell, 2015

Somewhere In The Trenches Of America 

I feel I won't be long, now.
We'll be mingling again,
Dust and bone under the footfalls
Of the next in line.

I haven't heard.
Have you had snow,
And does the drum and fifes still
Pass the green? Who won best door?

I hope all worry and fear
For those loved and leave behind
Falls away with the sweet embrace
Of eternity.

I hope too you are spared news- 
Precious patriot that you are or were-
Of the tedious rise and fall of caliphates,
Here, there, everywhere the din of protest of war!

Remember, you refused to bayonet
Their silly straw man?
They could not understand a heroism
That refused to shoot the dove!

You wore them down in the end-
Hit the bulls-eye on the range so often
They just pushed you on,
Never knowing another faggot got his orders.

Rudy who will follow had to go over-
Won the distinguished service medal under fire.
All my best queers are heroes. I've done the best I can
To temper an ecstasy for 'Mad Dog' saviors.

I feel I won't be long, now.
We'll be mingling again,
Dust and bone under the footfalls
Of the next in line.
                    c. E.D. Ridgell, 2017 somewhere
                        in the trenches of America.

Doc, Bring A Boy Home!

And suddenly you are aware of how old you are,
And how good everything is right now,
And although you are not suicidal,
You are aware there is a rainbow on your left,
And that it simply can not be an accident 
You are following this home. Never in your
Long drawn out life has there been such a rainbow.

It doesn't hurt to ask. It hasn't been easy.
As a matter of fact it's been hard, 
A hopscotch through hell,
If you wanna know! Truth is, I'm tired,
And there's a Palace green with my husband
Strewn on it, and a second one in the mix,
So if you don't mind, Doc, bring a boy home!
                                          c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014

Emily Dickinson's Home, Homewood- Hartford Connecticutt

Emily Dickinson's Homewood 


Tomorrow we will walk that path you described as
“Just wide enough for two who love”
From the Homestead to the Evergreens;
Then shake the ghosts still roaming Hancock
Before dining at Deerfield’s, deserving inn.

Could we marshal more congenial company 
At close, old prospects that in the mind’s eye
Are, at both one and the same time, 
Faire but false fronts of history?
                            © 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

Nappy N’ Happy!


That bitch!

She got that natural straight hair-

I’d like to rip that blond shit out!


I got this spider bite in my scalp,

And that relaxer like to burn my brains out-

The things Momma don’t do to look hot!


Got my first perm when I was sweet sixteen-

Raised on those kitty perms,

My mamma’d give me in the kitchen sink.


Here I am grown up

Still chasing that bitch’s luck. Seems to me,

These natty locks ain’t nut’n to shout about! *



Please note that the above is a lament of sorts

About the trouble and expense that some

African American women still will go to

To keep up with cultural expectations not

Necessarily their own or the result of peer pressure.

It is written in a vernacular to catch the tempo, and ‘beat’

To the words of one imaginary individual and not

Intended to represent any one swath of race or ethniticity.

It speaks to Afro’s, hair pics, bangs, wigs, hair pieces, braiding,

Dreadlocks, and any number of affectaions some of them far too


                                                                                           E. D. Ridgell


Trayvon Martin 

Child, I'm sorry I wasn't there

To stop the bullet

To block the moment

That broke your mother's heart.

I'm sorry handguns are as plentiful 

As bullets on a shooting range.

Their copper heads rushing forth-

Brass torpedoes measuring metal-made holes.

Trayvon, lay thee gently down now

Lest we forget to softly place you and 

Roughly lay down what is so

Preciously wrapped.

Child, I'm sorry I wasn't there

To stop the bullet

To block the moment

That broke your mother's heart!

                        E.D. Ridgell, 2013*


*To all the teachers who ever stopped a bullet. 



I still track Pete. He was out in something short of seven years.
Even his pic is on the Internet-last address-last job;
A real pedophile, I helped to track down so long ago.
They caught up with him in Germany. During his trial
He still could not fathom the effect of his actions.
I don't understand this particular flavor,
But God help me, I can forgive him- see the Fascist system
That will never forgive, and at least wish him a gunshot to the head. 
Better that, than no cure, topped by no solution, 
Chased from one place to another, exposed publicly 
As a perverted ex-con. We've got a perve in the neighborhood!
What do we do. There's no cure, there's the rum, no cure!

I don't know. I have old perverts in the family tree,
Eighty year old watermen who married the next twelve year old
Lass in on the island. Some sired more. The wash got done. It was
Necessary. Where is Michael Jackson performing, now?

Here, then, where the grass is greener, I find little to graze on.
Mythology is fading. Intimacy is warping. Friends are
Misunderstandings waiting to happen on a ever clearer screen.
Sex is so dirty to these people. They taunt with jacket-likes
From Brokeback Mountain. They miss the message of what they
Can not feel themselves, not to mention
A damn good score! Finally,
We can welcome real sex addicts
Into the fold! No matter, but they take it so seriously.
Conceal their porn sites! It's a rum world,
and at times, I reminisce  for the closet!

Oh, Frack it! This is a poor poem,
And they delete them now anyway, 
Pretending to have read them. I can feel the irritation
At the interruption to what? What do they do?
Oh well, another sing song for the poetry site,
Another entry into my private diary, a comment
On the Social Issues of my time.

© 2012 by E.D. Ridgell
 All rights reserved


They want to lay the conscience of the 
Next victims on you, while they hiss
With forked tongues, so like the 
Hissing of their forebears of the last century.

Easy does it, but look to history.
The unhappy story has been 
Told and retold, time and time again.
You are not the villain, here.

Remember that you are the eagle 
With eaglets hungry, dependent
Upon the keenness of your eye-
The swiftness of your practiced dives.

You are Stars and Stripes
Like no other. You ride victorious
Carried forward on wings of valor.
Heed the haunting, sleeping whisperers.

There on the far side of the Potomac
Burns a flame eternal, a flickering,
To light your way in this dark decision making
That you took upon your Chief's shoulders.
                                              E.D. Ridgell, 2013

It Ain't Easy!

Some lives are sucked up in post trauma,
A syndrome, surely worldwide. Mine has been such;
Slap after slap, the first slap at birth!

It shapes the individual for good or bad,
Or in my case for someone stuck in-between.
My point, my poem, this song is to say this can be
A blessing, a soul search for creativity born
Of the necessity to survive,
The sensitive, soulful swap of the artist.

So often this post traumatic, symbol, says
Something so shape-shifted it sounds
The depth of a simp, singed to not be silent,
Just for the sake of societies' silly sensibilities!
You try singing your "s"s this sticky
sweet, and succinctly! It ain't easy!

© 2011 by E.D. Ridgell


Prayers Are In Order!


I canvassed the lot.

Most are dead. Some are not.

I was saddened at first.

I’d lost good friends,

Bridges o’er troubled waters,

But then acceptance,

A recurring part of

The hopscotch game

Settled in, and I reckoned

Those left including

Yours truly.


God is totally on faith

And Personal.

Post it on the billboard.

Life is a craps shoot.

There is luck, chance,

And what you make of it.


Ambition, competition;

Medals of all sorts,

Degrees in frames on the wall,

Goods and riches,

And above all success.

This is how my tribe

Keeps score!


“It ain’t over though

Till the fat lady sings”,

And a gambler’s not done

Till he puts it in the bank.

What’s left after death,

The hard currency of life-

Baubles, trinkets, worldly goods.

These are as to nothing,

At the reaper’s summons.


The player then

Must present soft currency

For the tally-

Kindness, services, gratitude-

The marks not in red.

So far, so good,

But prayers are in order.

Prayers are in order!


Sunflower Seed Reflections

Everyday, I’d sweep thousands of sunflower, seed 
Droppings from the classroom floor. It was 
Incomprehensible to me-damned right wacky!
Gum chewing wasn't the problem and you
Never saw any candy! And then it dawned on me-
My children were hungry, eager for the lunch period.
I started to put cookies out at Christmas,
A paper plate per table and the challenge became sharing,
And, of course, bullying and bickering. No matter, I had 
The key now and soon food was a year long 
Teaching tool, not only for good behavior but
Sometimes simply because you were here in the
Community of us all. You were simply you,
There was no other right of passage except that you were you.
Edward Ridgell, 2013

Cat Naps

In truth,
I haven’t the luxury
For resentments anymore.

Up against the end
I muse and remember it all-
So vivid and clear is yesteryear.

How did I not break
Against the shore?
How come I end so well?

I treasure much
But much treasure is buried.
That’s the fare.

The world is as tilted
As it ever was
But I am only half here.

It’s not a bad place to be
If truth be known. I relish the day 
And nap with the cat.
                                E.D. Ridgell, 2017

Christmas Snowflakes


It is a reality of the snowflake. What appears a miracle

Is no more than the order of lows governing everything.

The eye focuses on the marvel and the mind

Needing a label calls the snowflake beautiful.


The geometry and symmetry attest to no more than economy

Inherent is the mathematics of everything.

It is only in the mathematician that we begin to fathom the degree

To which we hold no power over it. We are powerless.


We are staring at one of countless mirrors

All tokens and reflections of our own reflection

And in the blinking of the peering eye there are lessons.

Molecules and cells go melting coercing an idea of the divine.


Let Einstein and the wizards unravel the mysteries or it.

I will enjoy the snow, littered banks this Christmas and

Gaze up at a black sky, sandwiching a billion stars

Winking at me and whispering God.

                                                              E. D. Ridgell



Krvna Osveta!

Blood Feud!

Canon fodder for local priests as
Brother revenges brother, since
Medieval times this Turkish rite
Hangs over Montenegro and its environs-
Bad blood, between Balkan kin and neighbor!

Revenge for honor's sake,
Never mind the children languishing indoors
Missing their childhood play in the sunlight.
Shame upon the Church and brethren-
Brazenly ignoring brother to love brother,
And above all, to forgive all!

How much more guttural bragging
O'er Moorish ambush in moonlight,
More frightening than romantic:
"Are are punished!" warns the feigned Duke
In a makeshift, Serbian school production of The Bard's
Testament to love, even as it is a coupled witness 
To such a great lack of profundity!
                                                           E.D. Ridgell, 2015


Growing obsession-
Again, the heart flutters, just!
Happiness is priced.
                    E.D. Ridgell 2013

The Eagle Would Soar But
The world is spinning out of control,
The four horsemen run rough rod,
O'er much of the orb.
I fear for my seed,
And I am impatient to cross
'O'er the river and rest under the shade of the trees'.
Tokyo is in future shock,
The sex pistols fire blanks,
And Mother Russia is in despair.
Where is fidelity,
In the face of such mendacity?
Do words on parchments have verity?
The Eagle would soar
If the fumes were not so heavy,
And the clouds of war not menacing!
E.D. Ridgell, 2013


Recession 1


The muse, if she visits at all,

Just sits there silent, a vacant gaze,

Shunning me, shaming me,

Depressing me further.


I feel past empty,

Running on gas fumes.

Voiceless in the face

Of so much apathy,

Weighing down

dark times- hard times,

Coming as they do,

Not singularly but in wave,

after wave, after wave..


Where is everyone gone-

Syntax, shit!  What am I to do with your

Leftovers? Am I meant to do

Anything, to nurture hope, to lament,

To mirror feelings that, in truth,

Leave me as overwhelmed as them?


She sits on a bench

In Walmart with her

Bent-over, grey haired

Head in her hands,

Waiting. What for?


He goes out to lunch,

Frequents groups,

Worries that two houses

Up and the one next door,

Also have one old person

Left within echoing walls-

Survivors, burdened by the guilt of

Surviving, guilty at the relief

It is over, and waiting like me

For the answer of what to do

With a house no longer a home!

                    © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell



The Milleniums-Generation Y. They're in Cyber Space and they're in the living room under your nose!

Thank You Tank Man!


I wanted you to know

We have not forgotten you.

What became of you

Remains a mystery.

Are you imprisoned somewhere,

A worker bee with one less kidney?


There is no statue in the square,

But the news is out there.

Accept these words as a small tribute

To your bravery and courage.

They have not erased you from history.

The hidden newsreel of the tank got through

Though you may have never known it.

The world heralded you as news

Even as your comrades fled, pushing pedals,

Cycling fast to be free from tyranny.


Are you in a grave somewhere,

Or are you the manager of a KFC?

Do your ashes reside somewhere

In a lacquered box hidden from the guard,

Waiting to be spread on Tiananmen Square?

Perhaps you were spared, married,

And had the prescribed one baby-

A fat son? I hope so.


You did your country honor

And I wanted you to know

Your ancestors smiled as

Your message, delivered before

That tank’s, turreted, red star

Traveled the world over-

Echoing yet again,

‘One man can make a difference!


Many men can make a Veteran’s Day.

My country sets aside one day to remember

Its known and unknown heroes.

Come linger with us. You are not forgotten.

Let us play taps to your memory

As well as to our own sons for

There are no boundaries

In the cause of freedom.

Thank you Tank Man!

               c. E.D. Ridgell, 2007

The Poet’s Dressing Down!


I hate the muse in me,

The feelings teeming to

Be wrapped in words-

That sensitivity that sets me up

Time and time again

For the inevitable loss and grief

That no one warned me of.


Keep your talent!

I have no want to shine.

I am well rid of youthful vanities.

I reckon these words to the

Aches of their needs-

Somewhere back there
I took on another addiction.

It is nothing more!


Bradshaw and “Codependency No More”,

All those twelve steps to nowhere.

I’m sick of it all. I’m sick of me. I’m sick of you,

And this fawning obsequiousness-

Some miserable kind of bondage

To a computer screen and the

Fawning on pretty, printed pages.

With a Master of the Fine Arts,

Who needs this shite?

When did I stoop to   

Self sycophancy?


Digg the Myselfish

Old poet Hippie,
School the chance Millennium!

Ya gotta slam the Peter Pans;
Or keep it short and IMMY-
They're here. They're there.
They're everywhere,
Very much together!

If you wish upon a star,
They'll cruise the
Alt-worthy authority,
But keep it real,
They're savvy!
They rewrite the rules.

The biggest bust yet
Was the killing of Osama;
Mashed Potatoes in Times Square,
And an ex-hole's best White-Rhino!
Digg it! Oh yea!
Teach just dialed ya!
© 2011 by E.D. Ridgell AKA Pop Pop!