Copyright 1995-2017 Thispoetscorner.com


© 1995-2016 Thispoetscorner.com [This Poet's Corner]

This Poet's Corner

This Poet's Corner

A Last Lie!


We were walking side by side

In a high-tide, wetland of the hot Somerset sun,

And I had warned Tom not to trust the stones,

When, all of a sudden, down goes Tom.

Turning, I spy him stalled there,

Implacable with spoon and melon still in hand

Standing upright in a grave, unfazed as always,

And bent upon finishing his melon.

He just loved Somerset cantaloupe.


How am I to forgive God this transgression?

What does Tom do to suffer such horror for which now

I funnel teaspoon after teaspoon down parsed lips.

The hospice worker lets me know the end is near,

And I am free to handle the dosage as I see fit.

Do I read significance in his gaze? Is this some message?

No, I cannot put out the light I have worked this hard

To keep lit even for a little while.

We share that same religion that belies an independent coarse.

I bend down for one last kiss and whisper a last lie-

“It’s alright to die. I’ll be okay.”



Old Man Won't You Look At Me Now!

I just spied a mirror,

And I do believe Im still here!

How did I contrive to get this old?

There are a few comrades

Holding on-

All of us caught in the headlights!

The politics are nasty, downright  uncivil!

I'm a tired old hippie 

holding out a wilted flower!

I'm alive!

Do you think that was easy?

Is a man three score plus not a marvel to behold?

                                                 c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016






I Think Back On Black


In the immediacy of grief 

Of that black, one, piece swimsuit

That so suited you.

It was another meet won

But it was not so much

The triumph, but your stroke

And the whooping of it.


Just once before

I’d seen your breaststroke,

Practiced and particular pride-

The beauty of a crane,

Its wings waking the water

Just before the tranquil stillness

That signals its sinking into a settled rest.


Vividly etched in my memory,

I remember that day

When you sent the others away.

After the morning swim,

With reassuring words you conveyed

This was my day of baptism-

For the first time I must duck

My sandy, sun bleached hair

Under the  bay, green water.


How patiently you urged me on.

That little boy, so hesitant, and frightened,

So anxious not to let you down.

We struggled on and through,

And with both of us triumphant,

You took me up to the cottage house-

You put me before the others that day only,

For favorites were not your way.


Tonight in my grief

I can still taste

The saltlick Chesapeake as

I think back on black!

Twain's House in Hartford Connecticutt

A Jewel In Hartford's Crown

She still bespeaks a commission for ingenuity.
She is fancy and whimsical, dressed in Victorian Gothic,
A rarity so like his imagination. Were the ceilings 
Mark twain high? I didn't think to ask. The docent was intent on time, 
A metaphor himself, for the harried change 
Wrought by death and time to this house gone homeless.

She's long since fallen out of mode, her vistas ruined,
Replaced by things more recent and pressing to Hartford.
He loved to gaze from her eyes but found this too distracting,
When his pen raced its way across page after page.
He mused instead in a windowless corner near a sunlit desk
Overlooking a beautiful, felt covered, cue table,
Sporting his gentlemanly manor.

The girls were dear in those early years
And they liked to play with cherubs 
Pawned from atop the bed's headboard.
Many years later he'd die, 
His head wrong way round, so that he might gaze 
At these angels with their sad reflections.

Invention placed ambition before caution,
And the house was lost. He was to lose so much more.
Almost the last one standing, he bore on and on,
While she fell into disrepair and he into despair.
"...a time when one's spirit
Is subdued and sad, one knows not why; 
When the past seems a storm-swept desolation, 
Life a vanity and a burden, and the
Future but a way to death."

And so, first with Suzy, then Olivia, and finally with Jean 
He hung on, waiting. Tenacious to the end 
He did precisely what he said he would.
He came in with Haley's comet 
And he flew out on her fiery tail,
Seventy four years later, 
One of his nation's most beloved writers.
Humorous and whimsical on the outside, serious within,
He so complimented that beloved home that restored still stands today;
Waiting and warmly welcoming all, including me to
A jewel in Hartford's crown.
                                             © 2008 by E.D. Ridgell, all rights reserved

Aquitaine and Pop Pop

Allyson Greer

I love you, too, my Little Aquitaine, 
The first born, 
The bridge over the grief 
These five years, now, when then, 
Your other grandfather, 
The better half my soul, 
Left just missing you, and I 
The other side of bereft, 
Beyond any need but wasting away-
And she presented you to me 
To see there nestled in my arms 
The hint of another morning 
To beacon hope, 
And suggest some purpose 
For not just falling away. 

And yesterday, in the midst of a family 
So recently blessed, 
Yet again in such confusion 
At the tandem of change and time-
You were there to say; 
“I love you Pop-Pop. I miss you. 
When will you be back?” 
And, oh my precious Aquitaine, 
Know that I will never leave you, 
But will always be with you 
Even if but a whisper 
To caress your pretty cheek
With a gentle touch, 
The soft wind on the brow to remind you,
Pop-Pop loves you, too,
Past the distance through all change 
Beyond the silly seeming confines of time.
                                                      2005- Pop-Pop

Down Drowning

Old, now,
I wish that I could tell you
The world is a happier place.

I wish that
My grandchildren
Could have a greener earth.

The weather 
Walks on stilts
O'er sodden ground, down drowning in apathy. 

The rich 
Stare down on Wall Street protesters
Waving martini's sporting twists of lemon peel.

Cameras are everywhere
And somehow nowhere.
A sore festers to beget two.

It's have or have not,
As I
Beget havers!

Cull me, sweet Jesu,
As the full flower moon salutes the night.
"I follow on the water."

The Archangel

I climbed up onto the big feather bed under the windows of 
Grammy's front parlor with a cool gentle breeze blowing wistfully
In from the acres of cornfields outside,
And I soon fell into a deep, innocent sleep.
I remember the air smelled sweat
And I was toying with the pompoms on the white chenille bedspread.
It was a lazy, Somerset County's, summer afternoon designed for just such a nap.

When I awoke, it was to a voice speaking my name, a man's voice telling me that
I must be a good boy and to just say his name, Michael if ever I was afraid,
And so I soon did just that, when, that afternoon,
I encountered a black water snake from out the creek.
Dick came running and hacked the snake up,
Hung it from the wire to the chicken coop, and
So I figured Michael had somehow made this happen.
I've called on Michael hundreds of times since. 
                                               c. E. D. Ridgell 2015


The King’s Closed Door


This side the door- wild abasement,

Degradation to demean,

Forges the fostered shame

Into obsessive, chance excitements.


Beyond the door- mother’s snakes,

Father’s whores, drunken orgies.

Numbed to the gut

He is unmerciful to resistance.


This side the door-

Minority by God’s grace,

Safely barred from modeled norm.

Truth is transfixed upon a cross

The body once down tattooed in lies.


Beyond the door,

Sopping tears-

Drunken truck stop whore.

Blue, bruised, beaten breasts,

Do not seduce a son to pity.


This side the door- highly resolved;

To attempt no rescue.

Take revenge in one too many

And prick out an identity.


Beyond the door- elsewhere eyes

Peer past the boy.

Once intent to steal some notice,

He waits no more in forlorn hope.


This side the door- la recette,

The fault not in Achilles but in all mortals.

Oedipal seed sown of queer deed

And straight rape,

Seeks Macedonians to meet

Hephaestion’s numbered ranks.

                               © 2005 E. D. Ridgell

Pic is the copyright of another....

Reactions of a Black Sheep to The Black Swan


Those rushes;

Those waves breaking

In emotive ejaculations-

Lifelong bumps

To the snap crackle pop

Of some secondary addiction.


So passionate

My cherry broke

To the first stroke

And I never looked back-

I knew I was not normal,

But in some pit

Where escape would

Never be wanted.


I came so close to failing,

To not taking the bit

And riding naked into the night

On Equus in that search for Parnassus.

I am indebted to their abuse

Each and everyone,

And for the kindness and empathy

Of opposites!




The shock of every second

Of still being alive!”

I’m still here. I still live.

I still feel them,

Those rushes;

Those waves breaking

In emotive ejaculations-

Lifelong bumps

To the snap crackle and pop

Of some secondary addiction.

                © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell




Suddenly Like Somebody!


I feel that curtain

Of disabling depression

Closing in on me,

That periodically

Dims the stage lights

That I need to feel

Different and special

In some small way-

Different, that’s all!


In the first grade

Sixty years ago

She gave me crayons.

I drew a happy house

Under a disarming


She had me,

Hold it up, for all to see,

And I felt

Suddenly, like somebody!


Hephaestion was the childhood friend of
Alexander the Great, fellow student of
Aristotle, and his principle confident as well
as one of his generals for life. Labels before
the Christian era regarding "straight" or "homosexual"
are just not able to convey the entirely different
sexual mores and attitudes towards sexual
preference and practices between the two distinct
times. Hephaestion was Alexander the Great's principle
lover and only trusted confident throughout his life yet
both took wives and begat children.
Hephaestion's death shortly before Alexander's and the
possible influences on Alexander afterwards is
interesting enough to Google if history is your thing.
The form of the poem is a ghazal.
                                   E. D. Ridgell
Switch hit!

Broken, Bucephalus took the bit-
no docile ass onward to switch hit.
Salutations of twilling pages
dare never a shrilly chord switch hit.
The many intrigues and treasons thwarted-
no other allegiances to accords switch hit.
In years of endearment, heralding
sentiments with sudden fell switch hit;
fore contemplation so carefully,
the subject, poor in degree, switch hit.
And come the summons-genuflecting,
a subject’s passion’s plea no switch hit.
True loyalty on one knee, head bowed;
supplicant portending the switch hit.
He kills in His cups, but not this time.
Not Hephaestion! Lay down switch hit!
© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell





They still say a mass for Larry

Every All Souls Day,

And Edward passed away, two years ago

Edie, gone also, told me that

Edward and Lar had a falling out

Which disturbed me considering 

Theirs was a decades long affair.


It’s just as Cindy says. Russell has

Disappeared from the face of the earth,

And I feel my neglect of him bores skin deep.

I hope he did not pour himself into a potter’s field,

For that marble, stepped city, with the screen-door paintings.

He’d grown far too cockeyed, a liquor-free fundamentalist!


Everybody’s so cocksure, nowadays.

They haven’t a clue,  and I’m right behind them.

I know there is and never will be any proof of an Almighty-

On this, it’s faith alone, unless like me you’ve an angel.


Once upon a time, a little boy napped on a 

White chenille bedspread of pom-poms, 

Only to awaken and find an older boy on the foot of the bed

With a simile broad enough to last a lifetime.

                                                                   c. E.D. Ridgell, 2015




Little footfalls,
On my mattress,
With its fresh sheets
All about me,
Tell me she is oh so softly
Stepping, my tiny,
White-booted, fury
Companion, still only a kitten;
'Little Boots!'

She curls to sleep,
Not to the right of,
Not to the left of,
But right on top of my feet.
It anchors the affection
Between us.

Rolling to and fro,
Back and forth
On her slick and sleek,
Back of fur,
Shows how much
She trusts me.

Politely she just sits there,
No matter how long, waiting
For me to give her exactly two treats,
No more, no less.
It's a ritual.

We teasingly call her our Van Dyck Kitty-
A tribute to her sheeny,
Dark and light markings,
As if rendered by that artist.

Her name is Meka, as in
"Take me kause I'm pretty!"

Nobody Can Explain To Me
How this tiny feline friend of mine
Can climb and hang from me,
As though I'm a favored limb
She drapes herself over,
Without me taking the slightest notice-
She having become so common to me.
Nobody can explain to me
How I know she's my last little companion.
I just know.
                                    c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014


TOM 1944-1999


Mingled minds,
Thoughts entwined;
Together- two mortally
Wounded hearts
Seek shoring up,
'Fore breaking in two
At the parting.

Time ticks company,
As death saunters forward,
Sundering up and o'er our stonewall,
'Fore ushering in that grief-
Intruding with thundering hooves
Into my life's sanctuary.

Going on, not caring where,
Into tedious rituals of living,
I, lamenting your departing,
Deftly mimic anything at hand
To mask my pain
At losing you.
          © 2005 E.D.Ridgell
            all rights reserved

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The Last Lie

In the last hours alone

Just you and I,


It was here-
The rattle! 

I knew you were beyond pain.
I hoped you could hear
A last, loving lie;

“It’s OK to die
I’ll be alright!”
            c. E.D. Ridgell

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Here After

The other side of an instant
Anything not witnessed
Never was

And so

We paint rocks
Tattoo trees
Kodak moments
Chisel monuments
Dig and sift

And pray

© 2005 E.D.Ridgell

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I have known six generations now,

And it is unlikely I see many more.

That is a long line with many to know-

Too many to meet!


I am a scribe. I unravel lines while

Plaiting patterns. I hit walls.

There are secrets to uncover,

Then scatter under the catalpa trees

Left untold in ashes of me.


I know of heroes. I know of fools.

I know many folk make family

And some stories beget more.


The spiders never cease spinning

And their webs grow and grow. I am

Destined to lie in one, sticky melding.


Who the next weaver may be

I do not know. I will cast the net

Far and wide in hopes to snag

A curious currycomb to groom the

Never shedding coat of shame and fame.


I hope it makes the silver threads

Glow for you as they did for me.

I was neither the first nor the last

To reckon the snare of time,

And you, faire future kinsman

Will never tie the ends together.

“Remember me!” Do not leave me

Hanging here, anonymous!

                                            c. E.D. Ridgell


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The Last Supper Of Aunt Bea

Andy finds her half in and half out of the oven,
Pantyhose anything but askew. Her feet strew the floor
One pointed left and the other right
In a perfect perpendicular.

A paisley dress of floral barkcloth
Testifies it is a Sunday and that
She keeps the faith. The organ
Still resonates from her mornings touch.
Her violet water perfume caresses the air,
Rising with the odorless gas.

Atop a Maytag is dinner’s faire, half prepared.
The table is covered with worn, linen cloth
Patterned in her favorite roses,
Opening on gossamer buds.

Beatrice is finished
With all the tedious rituals
Of sewing bees and church suppers.
Her reasons are similes to that
Perfectly folded towel falling 
With sides precisely parallel
Hanging from the horizontal bar
Screwed to the scrappily, scrubbed wall-
The wall Just above her impeccably clean oven
With that turned knob, its vertical, white line
Ignoring the insistence of the horizontal lines 
In the remaining three and marking 
The last supper of Aunt Bea.
                                                        E.D. Ridgell


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When she died, I realized everything

I did not know about her was gone with her,

The intimate private things;

Thoughts, passions, hurts, secrets- the pride she took

In a polka dot dress still lingering there in a closeted box,

Touches and scents meant for her alone, that excruciating

Painful mess of it all at the end of both our bitter trials.

It struck me, that baleful event

Estranging me from you,

Did not help to acquaint me with the real you.

My mind’s reason forgave you but my heart was left hollow.

They say death leaves a hole that can not be filled.

Did that hole have to be in me? Why? Was I your only winking doll

To stick those pins into. Seduced to be stabbed in the end-

or was it the pain? It must have been so painful!

When he died it was that time of passage,

When I wanted to have some answers.

No longer your pensioner and still divided from him

I had become an island unto myself. I was island bound.

I learned more about him after he was gone

Than ever I had known when he was alive,

But I dug deep this time. I searched his secrets out,

Secrets you had known all the time. Did you use these as weapons-

No, I know you did not.

He would not be laid to rest next to you. Why? 

Was it that other old man,

that would be, could be, father of his that didn't quite jive.

Even in death, the both of you taunt me.


That family as far West as they can be, still remembers you,

Idolizing your beauty. Over a half a century later

You’re still a knockout in the browning photos and

Hand-me-down memories. One sister still lives.

Perhaps it’s no mistake that I’ve kept this single link unbroken.

Perhaps yet, I can find the energy to dig deep again,

Learn more about you now

Than I ever knew when you were still alive,

and thereby reckon the hurt more to one you loved

most, I think, than not. Pain strikes out at what it can most still reach.

I came to love and miss him.

I’d like to go out loving and missing you, just a little more, Marmion-


                                                          © 2010 by E.D. Ridgell


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I Understand.


I find more and more

Ways to fill the days.

I surf for possibilities-

My interests are waning. I understand.


The specialist cancels-

Fails to get back to me.

I’m supposed to make an appointment.

I’ve fox trotted enough! I understand.


She checks me out on Facebook,

Likes a thing or two,

But never ever comments.

She’s protecting her identity. I understand.


There is just enough oxygen

To glean in casual conversation,

The laziness of any real interest.

He’s of another tribe. I understand.


I saw the child in him just once

When he collided with a brother.

It lay to rest any fear

He might be a dullard. I understand.


I glean, always the last to hear,

They dig a hole in the backyard-

My mind journeys to that field

Where you grow impatient. I understand.


I recall we touched

On her, a little, and laughed, but

I did not miss the sadness in her voice.

We were smothering. I understand.


They love us but at a safe distance.

It’s not uncommon or unloving.

Never one to push pedal to medal,

I wait patiently at the crossing. I understand.


Much as I love them

I observe them build

Their own castles of sand

Too close to the incoming tide. I understand.

                                        c. E.D. Ridgell, 2015



Cheshire Cat

"Who are you?"-
The only thing to muse over,
While I wait for time,
Too fast, too fast, to catch-
Late, again? Always.
Time smiles and dies away.

The date is set in memory
Of a bright, near moon
Casting a shadow over the awe of it.
Oh, but I ache in codeine cups,
Spewing tears out ducts
Down runways, well worn lines-
Aging speedways to the high teas
Of my long, long, journey.

Today, bunnies graze in the lawn
Beyond the windowpane,
While the Mad Hatter in my brain,
Runs in and out, up and down-
A black hole, no rabbit hole,
But another chit out my 
Patch quilted heart,
While musing the
Cheshire cat's having
Stopped purring
              © 2012 by E.D. Ridgell


My Liberal Bleeding Heart!

…and you would not shoot the dove
…and you would not stick the straw dummy
With your soldier bayonet. The ‘Sarge’
Kicked your sorry ass all the way back to the barracks
…and still you would not comply, my gentle brave heart!

You were so gentle with birds; pigeons, downy ducks, and geese-
All these were a part of my time with you, dead but never lost. 
I have it here locked in my heart, my liberal bleeding heart!

I think of you a little every ensuing day, and the last day of March 
Still marches o’er this broken heart, my liberal bleeding heart
...and you would not shoot the dove, no, not you, my gentle man.
You were the bravest of the brave and the gentlest of men
... and you would not stick the straw dummy, but you would
Stab my heart, my sorry ass liberal bleeding heart!
                                                                                   E.D. Ridgell, 2017

Sunshine aka Little Sam



Sunshine on My Shoulders

My Sunshine, my little Leo,
Always sounding with laughter, 
Shore your heart and follow your bliss
To wherever you may wander,
And should you ever suspect
You are abandoned and alone
At one of life’s little hiccups, 
Know this: it is not so. 

The circumjacent lights
Of all that came before, 
Swirl about you, guardians and
Stewarts moving through time,
Ties ever constant,
Lighting the way and 
Mending any broken toys.

Some are of that long shoe string that runs matrilineal 
Through Lygon, a Major for a faire Mary, a Harris 
Heralding from Crixee, lying in Henrico; 
Then journeying still
Farther back in a same train to meander through 
Coeur de Lions and their forebears;
And with still another string, my tie, moored to Poseidon 
With islands of strange names like Smith and Tangier, 
Now mostly ghostly and no more. Add to these add
More threads woven of that Green Isle, 
Patrilinial and yet another of a greatly grandmother 
At the foot of the Alhauer Alps-
All the diverging, divers, and sundry regions of an Old World
Entangling your spirit and soul, and then
Emulate the best and noblest of these.

Be free of any fear of death 
Knowing it is but a passing back
Into arms that are always waiting, 
Reflextions longing to enfold you once again, 
Not the least and brightest mirrored in mine. 
I am Edward, son of the same, 
One of many watching wards who with gentle reminders, 
Whispers on the air, brush your wispy hair. 
We, descended of forerunners, 
Entwined in lines that bind us all
In wakes parting in that honor and fidelity to family,
Are all of one accord in espousing all you do.

Be a gentle man even if the times are not.
Forsake all temptations that might temper what is noblest in you.
Champion the less fortunate, succor the needy, and
Preserve what is righteous and true.
Stand up to tyranny, safeguard justice, and by your heritage 
Be as a color blue; primary, mixed of no other colors that might 
Lesson the beautiful attributes of your hue.
Blue does not excuse you from the many responsibilities due,

I am your grandfather. Know me and hear me in these words I ensue,
Though still here, child, circumfluent around you
In a misty love stuffed in a toy box of temperate reminders to sue, and
Although you can not see and touch it, encircles you still, 
Many years since when with these few love laced lines, 
Branching from the heart, I penned this little poem for you, 
My Sunshine, my little Leo.
                                                      © 2007 E. D. Ridgell
                                                            Revised 2018

A Farewell To Arms

The children visited today, 
And I touched on you a couple of times,
Gently, just lightly grazing on your memory.
Showing Ally a picture of Tom,
I spoke of pancreatic cancer and my own loss.

Ally took this much as a sweetheart would,
But then all three of them are sweethearts,
Trying to make sense out of this rum world.
Have you softened, any? I hope so, and 
I think you know, I'll do the best I can. Rest.

Nothing is as cut and dry as we sometimes
Reckon it to be. Each chapter turns, as on 
A turnstile, and we turn every which way it turns.
All I ever did was tumble like a tumbleweed through storms 
that inevitably followed one on another, one after the other.

I'll be riding the carousel a little while 
Longer. I'll do the best I can, I promise you.
I'm sad I missed your last call the night you died, 
But as I listened to your last words to me,
I could not but take to heart, those not spoken.
E.D. Ridgell, 2013



Cowardly lion
Kindly needy
Sleepy head
Echoing songs

Soldier Hero
Easy shot
A Sahaab
Sharing Autumn

© 2005 E.D.Ridgell
*Rudy served in Nam and
is decorated for action
under fire. So much for
"Dont Ask. Don't Tell!"

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In Medias Res

Of our many musings in medias res
I miss those most at end of day
When we nestled side by side
With Kitty atop my lap
Purring dreams of prey
Would settle into silent unspoken close of day

Now silence screams at me in such a way
To harshly herald a costly price to pay
For those innocent lost musings in medias res

© 2005 E.D.Ridgell

Creative Commons License


A Picture Perfect Day, Today.

They’ve all left now, finally.
I’ve only ever wanted to die alone
free from the eyes and hands of strangers
This is a home in which I am not at home.
The doors swing silently and there are no locks save one.
It is my last move, I know. I doubt I’ll need most things
in those brown boxes they packed and labeled for me.
Where has the white box gotten to, my pills and pictures?
There it is over there. I’ll get it later, if I decide to play with my pills
today, or maybe I’ll cut one or two in half to save for the future.
I don’t want to look at pictures today, desperate attempts to recapture
summary events slowly fading away. Someone just came in and left without
saying a word to me. That’s OK. I’m feeling tired today, so busy disappearing. E. D. Ridgell

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Dry Goods

Threadbare dry goods in a pine desk here
bruised and folded in a blue mound,
soldiering hats hanging on my heart I fear,

like the camouflage cap in the shed at the rear,
'side dry hemlocks fainting pale flowers down.
Threadbare dry goods in a pine desk here

lie with dog tags cold to the touch and queer;
these taps in a hewn box you found-
soldiering hats hanging on my heart. I fear

hallowed eyes of a prized bisque so dear
spying trembling hands once wrapped around
threadbare dry goods. In a pine desk here

dungarees in the bottom drawer tease a tear
worn from the company of years lying ‘round
soldiering hats hanging on my heart I fear.

Oh were it not so and love’s fate less clear,
and I had nary a need for these to abound;
threadbare dry goods in a pine box here
soldiering hats hanging on my heart I fear.

© 2006 E.D.Ridgell

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Young Man!

What is this, 
I’m too old?
What did I do, grow up?
I’m not Peter Pan.

If not forward,
Where would I go?
This life doesn’t run
In reverse. Go forward

Young man!
                         E. D. Ridgell 2018


Conti is a masculine form of pastel one of my favorite mediums

Lurking 2005 E.D.Ridgell [Conti on Paper]
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Contact me at: er21120@msn.com


Come the Mating Season,


the winds of autumn egg on,

scents, smells:

spice among the dried, standing stalks

of jealous husks;

vaporous fingers beaconing,

come deeper into the wood.

Dewy eyed does,

innocent and alluring,

perfuming the air,

briefly taunt at the meadow’s edge,

gesturing with their white flags-

eager, atypically bold.


Stags snort the stages of the rut

in the chilly, pre-dawn-

eyes, blood shot circles with bulls-eyes, stalk

even as they scrape and mark with glandular warnings

their fiercely, guarded territory;

wood, corn field, secluded meadowland-

fields of battle to shame and tame the bucks.


Caution, no consideration;

only the mounted delivery-

estruses serviced,

eager, so eager for the seed.

The instinct to breed-

the chaotic performing of rites;

natural prescriptions of some source?


There is that encumbrance on all that is born.

Everything living feeds off of something else living-

one dying for the needs of the other, or just for being gotten

caught out in the cycles that must turn just so.

Death is prescribed and constant.


And so, that lowered guard,

so uncharacteristic, becomes a hole

spewing and spurting the life blood of any

caught in the centered sites of the adamant.

He dies, carcass flung, hung, and pieced per need or want,

the morality of it dismissed as nothing more than

the feigned, feminine mask of Eve.


Come the first season, if the last be not lethal,

the, once again, cautious and retiring does

deliver with a mystery as old as their lines,

running back to the beginnings of time,

their evolutionary results of some Big Bang,

or simply the birthing of the little fawns of spring.

                                     © 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

On The Queen’s Seventieth Wedding Anniversary

I was all of three maybe four
Just roaming the place like the grazing chickens,
When I encountered him, one of dozens of old men,
Lounging around on the rustic, lawn furniture
Of Grammy’s self-style nursing home. 

I suppose I expected him to be welcoming like her,
With that all encompassing and sure hug of hers-
That Grammy hug that to this day I can still feel, smell, and fall into-
A mixture of floral, bart cloth, talcum powder, and eu de cologne.
He let it be known that, no, I was not his grandchild and I took his point to heart.

There would be mingling enough but never, ever, any softness.
He seemed to me the oldest and coldest man in my tiny world.
I’m not even sure where they planted him. I am sure I don’t care.
He died quickly of a stroke as she lay wasting away into the cancer cavern.
I do remember his funeral and that my mother’s tears shocked others.

No, grandparents were not fulsome things to me-
An aunt and some cousins filled in those holes.
I hadn’t had all that good a recollection of my West Coast grandfather,
Although the last time I did see him he got silly and donned a woman’s feathered hat-
I liked that! She and I had gone to see “Oklahoma” together. She is all good memory.

I’ve tried to be the best grandfather I could be given the circumstances.
Each has at least one poem penned to each and I’ve always been a particular gift giver.
I like to give gifts, more so than to receive them, really. I think that’s a self affirmation,
Although every poet has one ear to his reader, that’s just common sense.
The pen is mightier than the sword and wielded just so an “ I love you” for the ages!
                                        E. D. Ridgell, The Queen’s Seventieth Wedding Anniversary 

I'm the only one left in the group

A Lonely Raker 

What will I do with these raked,
Pine needles this fall,
That have been for some twenty years
Warm bedding for your geese through winter?

How should I feel at this lonely raking,
With its lumbering, one-handed bagging,
As the shedding pines wag whispers;
"Where is Lorraine?"
Do I sense a gloating at left-lain bounty?

Years ago with six rakes raking,
We all were gleeful at the newly, gotten geese.
There were needles enough bagged away,
Leaving overheard gloating rooting
Under our poaching of their acidic expectations.

I remember a cold autumn’s day,
When here we raked in the knowing fear
Of a premonitory, winter’s wake
For our cancerous and chilliest raker.
He offered small piles muddled with fallen colors,
Auspices to usher in the winning season;
Four rakes raking
Under pines reckoning.
Amidst sounds of raven’s caws
In a stand of snotty pines,
I am a lonely raker raking,
Amongst the taunting pines needling
Their haunting and wistful chorus,
"Where is Lorraine?"
© 2009 by E.D. Ridgell
          Revised 2018 

I did this sometime in the Seventies...Conti on Paper

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Again, Conti which is pretty much limited to these colors- Earthen Colors

Landscape in Conte 2005 E.D.R.
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The Artist Sturgis an ancestor of mine on my Mom's side.

Daddy’s a Real Live Artist

And she just all of a sudden said,
“Daddy, you’re a real live artist, aren’t you?”
I just nodded yes.
I didn’t know then it would be a test.

Daddy can’t!
Daddy won’t mimic a child’s hero!
Art is more important you see
Than some false front of me.

I hope that you will weigh my “to be”
With what some falsely see.
I must be free and I’ll risk the fee-
For Daddy is a real live artist, you see.

Sown of Plantagenets
And rough men of the sea
You need no better pedigree.
I hope you’ll still love me

© 2005 E.D.Ridgell


Tom and I early on

A Sulpician

Why was it you wanted a Sulpician, you, a Pole?
But, then, you did not have time to explain this last rite,
before falling into that antechamber dispassionate and in-between.

I swear there was smoothness to it like Chivez Regal,
that comradery at our meeting so immediate it needed no chaser.
It was not some barroom, blood-brotherhood sealed with a boilermaker.

I stood at the broken post of the four poster bed
and pondered a scene as from Brideshead Revisited,
trying to suppress tears deemed unmanly.

Grief, the wood-walk on stilts through a mad void,
was, with time, tempered folding in the feeling-stalks
that grabbed at the sky just after your dirge.

I was so bruised and burned, seared and scorched,
at the cremation of that broad racked, well tined friendship,
I forgot the bliss and history of it. Forgive a friend!

When, You Thick-headed Pollack, my time comes,
if time allows, I’ll call for a Sulpician to bestow
forgiveness upon him before crossing over to box those Golabki ears.
© 2007 by E.D. Ridgell

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