Copyright 1995-2017 Thispoetscorner.com


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

This Poet's Corner

This Poet's Corner

One last War

It was a new kind of war-
Wave after wave of cyber attacks
Commanded by artificial intelligences and
Led by legends of robots.

Mercy was programmed out-
Everything was methodically mathematic.
The living things were prizes behind curtains,
Calculated aphids.

It was the last war
Decided before it was begun.
It’s history was ready for publication 
Before the first attack.

Nobody won and 
Everybody lost.
It was
The war to end all wars.
                           E.D. Ridgell 2018

The Judas Jewess


As I recall she just appeared from nowhere 

Dressed in a black and white chiffon thingy?

Was she playing with balloons

And did she hopscotch-

Step on a line to break her mother’s back?

My mother would die across that street

Though I didn’t know that then.


Rachel was fat, very fat.

She had a sweet tooth,

A high-top woman,

Tightly wrapped in a tent

I probably loved her-

I bedded her just once.

That was enough! 

                                                E. D. Ridgell, 2018


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



Twain's House in Hartford Connecticutt

A Jewel In Hartford's Crown


She still bespeaks 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 fallen out of mode, her vistas ruined,

Replaced by things more pressing to Hartford.

He loved to gaze from her eyes 

But found this distracting.

When his pen raced its way across page after page.

He mused instead in a windowless corner

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.

                                                                       E.D. Ridgell

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."

Pic is the copyright of another....

A White Swan


Billowing o’er

Waves fingering

Emotive ejections,

Bump, bumpity bump

To the snap crackle and pop,

Swan songs

Feathered white on white.


After a first toke

Eager for icing

I never looked back-

Escaping completely

Coming close to failing-

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-

Billowing o’er 

waves fingering

Emotive ejections-

Snap, crackle and pop-

Swan songs

Feathered white on white.

                                  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

Pinch Me!

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
But he’s crazy-
Bat shit crazy! 
Treasonous Trump, but no.
Play it close to the chest.
Sticks and stones…

Words do hurt.
Wars follow on fools words,
Or worse, tyranny. There are 
Tyrants about-
Presidents For Life,
Tzars For The Foreseeable.

Your grieving your country you know?
Pull yourself together. It’s not you or yours
That’s really hurt’n.
There’s so much hurt, naked suffering-
Insufferable, oppressive abuse of power.
No, worse, physical and mental abuse!

Pinch me!
                                           E. D. Ridgell, 2019

A Peculiar Mind


He occupies a peculiar mind.

Everything he opines is perfect

And he’s under appreciated 

Even persecuted, 

At least in his peculiar mind.


He’s influenced most 

By the last person he meets

But it doesn’t always stick.

His opinions are pliable,

Down right malleable.


He’d sweep the forests of Finland,

Plant his standard in Greenland,

And have the tsar to din-din

If he could have his way.

He’s a gift for getting his way.


It’s his way or the highway and 

Many find his way

Is an expressway to prison.

He prides himself on firing people

And when not firing people he pardons them.


He occupies a peculiar mind.

Everything he opines is perfect

And he’s under appreciated 

Even persecuted, 

At least in his peculiar mind.

                                                            E. D. Ridgell


A Last Lie


We were walking side by side

In a high-tide, wetland under 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 did 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 course.

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

“It’s alright to die. I’ll be okay.”
                                                                                                  E D Ridgell





They still say a mass for Larry

Every All Souls Day,

And Edward passed two years now

Edie, gone also, told me that

Edward and Larry had a falling out

Which saddens me. 

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 deep.

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

For Charm City.

He’d grown far too cockeyed, 

A liquor-free fundamentalist.


Everybody’s so cocksure, nowadays.

They haven’t a clue,  

And you can count be in.

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 sandy haired, little boy napped atop a 

White, chenille bedspread of pom-poms, 

Only to awaken and find an older boy 

Seated at the foot of the bed

With a reassurance and a

Smile broad enough to last a lifetime.

                                             c. E.D. Ridgell, 2015

                                                revised 2018



TOM 1944-1999

- - - - - - - - - - 




Minds mingling,

Thoughts entwining-

Two wounded hearts

Seek shoring up

At an ensuing 

Parting to come

As sand measures

Time slipping away.


Unraveling needs

Tick company,

As death saunters forth

Sundering up and o'er

Our last defenses

'Fore ushering in grief-

Intruding on thundering hooves

Jumping a final fence.


Going on, not caring where,

Into tedious rituals of living,

Slowly wasting away, I 

Lamenting your departing,

Deftly mimic anything

And everything

To mask the pain

Of losing you.

          © 2005 E. D. Ridgell

                revised 2018 

TOM 1944-1999

- - - - - - - - - 

Creative Commons License

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

Creative Commons License


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

Creative Commons License




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


Creative Commons License



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


Creative Commons License


New York New York 

Grand Central and the grand staircase 
The train bays, the hustle the bustle,
Stock-still people at magazine stands.

New York New York 
Central Park
West 67th and the walk through the green grass
Every morning past the Dakota to the MET.

New York New York
That taxi that took me through a tunnel.
None of a thousand cabs ever has an accident
Or knows where it’s going.

New York New York 
Trinity Church and Alexander Hamilton 
New York our city, Rudy and me,
Middle aged lovers discovering that city- 

New York New York 
Christopher Street and walking with Trissa 
Shopping an alarm system 
At that sore with the steps.

New York New York 
Sporting a pair of Mia Mia’s and 
Having the guts to take them back. 
I love New York, with it’s tread- worn, sidewalks.

New York New York
Liberty at Church 
One O O O Seven

E. D. Ridgell 2018


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


The Closed Door

This side the door abasement,
Degradation to demean,
Forges the fostered shame
Into cruel excitement.

Beyond the door- 
Mother’s  snakes,
Numb the gut to
Unmerciful resistance.

This side the door
Barred from the norm.
Truth transfixed upon an arm’s

Beyond the door,
Sopping tears-
Blue, bruised, beaten breasts,
Do not seduce a son’s pity.

This side the door 
Acceptance resolved
To revenge and
Prick out identity.

Beyond the door eyes
Peer past the boy.
Once intent to steal some notice,
He waits no more in hope.

This side the door- la recette,
The fault not in Achilles but mortal
Oedipal seed sown 
Of queer deed and masochism.

                               © 2005 E. D. Ridgell
                                    Revised 2018


Has moved out of harm’s way,
Into arms o’er there, on the far metaphor,
Under the cool shade and fluttering wings.

Cleansed clean as when anointed 
In fine, Irish linen, swaddling clothes-
He came into this world,
Full of unshaded, primary things.

Tempered with trials and troubles,
The hot blood of a
Wastrel and wealthy kinfolk,
America’s sacrificial Kennedy clan.

No matter. In these last decades
He found his calling.
Teddy rose high in the legislative annals
Of this Great Republic.

The sod is not set and yet
Men behind curtains
Slide a cosmopolitan, pretty boy 
Centerfold into his place.
He is stalwart history now,
Left leaving that dream
Parading on in its long, long, 
March to equality.

  “For all those whose cares
  have been our concern, the work goes on,
  the cause endures, the hope still lives,
  and the dream shall never die. ...”
                                          © 2018 by E.D. Ridgell





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, as your stroke

And the whooping of it.


Just once before

I’d seen your breaststroke,

Practiced with 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, green, Bay 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!

                        E. D. Ridgell



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

Down Skyline

Either side the Beatle
Miles and miles of 
Green, washed beauty
Stretched out 
Backing up to a
Long, long ridge of
Blue, hazed mountains.

These it seemed had no end
A range of valley 
Needing filling-
Forrests teaming 
With wildlife,
And speckled 
With the occasional farm.

I was young 
In this salad country 
Mesmerized by its beauty
Seduced to a lifetime
Of fidelity to that land,
The test in a struggle 
For democracy.

It was as to a wall
The vista of which
Some as I lived out 
Their brief patches of life
In harmony to principles
Coupled to secular
Loyalties for that country.
                           E. D. Ridgell



Riding a bucking bronchial
Side saddled, her purring
Comforting to the ear.

Cashmere companion
She weighs heavily
On my brewing brow.

I’m always somewhere 
In a future fearing the 
Stewing of my mind’s eye.

It is an anchor
Bouncing the bottom
Of my sandy floor.

I can no more aweigh
In a turbulent sea than any
My forefathers before me.

I would cross o’er and 
“Rest under the shade of the trees”
If I were not so cowardly.

Praise be then and 
Pray for me as I 
Ride out yet another storm.

Moreover I am as ready 
To cross o’er the water
As by my God I ere be.
               E. D. Ridgell, 2019



Little footfalls,
On sheets
Around me
Tell me she is softy
Stepping, my tiny, furry,
White-booted companion
still just a kitten.

She curls to sleep, 
Of a night
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.

Her name is Meka, as in 
"Take me kause I'm pretty!"
Politely she sits waiting
For me to give her 
Exactly two treats, 
No more, no less. 
It's a ritual.

No one can explain to me
How my feline friend 
Can hang from me 
An appendage unnoticed.
Nobody can explain how I know
She's my last little companion.
I just do.
                                    c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014
                                       Revised 2018


The Archangel


I climbed the big feather bed

As a cool breeze whistled 

Through cornfields outside,

And I fell into a innocent sleep. 

The air smelled sweat as I toyed

With white chenille pompoms. 

It was a summer’s nap.


I awoke to a soft voice 


Safe, soothing, then gone.

That afternoon a black snake out the creek- 

I knew no fear as though the boy were near.  

Dick hacked and hung it from the fence and 

I've trusted Michael ever since. 

                                      c. E. D. Ridgell 2015

                                           Revised 2018



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

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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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               Threadbare Goods 

Threadbare goods in a pine desk here 
Bruised and folded a blue mound 
Soldier hats hanging on my heart I fear 

Like your cap in the shed at the rear 
Side drying hemlocks fainting flowers down 
Threadbare goods in a pine desk here 

Side dog tags cold to the touch and queer 
These taps in that hewn box you found 
Soldier hats hanging on my heart I fear 

Hallowed eyes of that bisque so dear 
Spying trembling hands once wrapped round 
Threadbare dry goods In a pine desk here

Dungarees in the bottom drawer tease a tear
Worn from the company of years lying around
Soldier hats hanging on my heart I fear

Oh if it were not so and fate unclear 
And I had nary a need for these to abound 
Threadbare dry goods in a pine box here 
Soldier hats hanging on my heart I fear 

                                                E D Ridgell



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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