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I Can’t Find That Quarry

Where once we bathed,
Hippies eager to get laid,
Swimming in expectations-
Where she had intended to go,
Shag the photographer, my chess mate,
To add to the list of indiscretions.

I can’t find that quarry 
Where in the green filtered light,
They lapped in wet liaisons
Emboldened to surer strokes.
I swam to the opposite side- 
Sacrificed myself to truth.

I can’t find that quarry
Where unions were drowned and
Confederations of different sorts surfaced-
I dog paddled through fallen leaves
Hoping some swimmers
Didn’t want me drowned after all.

I can’t find that quarry 
Where I drowned denial
In search of different moorings.
                                      E. D. Ridgell

The Mad Hatter!

I feel it unwind,
The tick tick of the clock
Forever sifting around and around 
And down!

Time will stand still-
No cease-
Fall into a black hole,
A hole marked nevermore
That wasn’t there…

Oh yes it was and is!
You evaded it, 
The inevitability of it-
A drama queen 
Up against the wall.
It is forlorn and cowardly.

You don’t want to die,
And you shun the pain of it,
So just stumble into it-
Anything to be rid of it.

Hurry, hurry,
Don’t tarry.
You’re a mad hatter
With an important date and
“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell
You a secret all the best people are”
So don’t be late. You’re
The mad hatter!
“All the best people are…”
                                           E. D. Ridgell

Dead Man Walking!


Why is it that the wild one’s live on,

And on, and on, and oh?

It’s not supposed to work that way!


I just said to her;

“Well, I would have thought that would be

The very last thing that you’d say to me” …

When she confessed what her Mom was dying of.

My heart ached.


Years earlier, I tore out of work,

And drove through a major traffic jam up 83

At times, I’s sure at nintey miles-an-hour, then

Back down it again to the hospital! Thing was,

When they operated and it was diverticulosis,

We were relieved. We thought we had found the

Root of the problem, the cause for so many tests and

Those endless blood counts and doctors’ probings,

but no. No! It was not so and some months later, an eternity,

I lost you later in that previous time, the one in the gay sunshine!


I’ve got Pulmonary Arterial Hyper-something, and still, I go on,

And on, and on.

Thing is I’m thrice blessed.

You think I worry? You think it never crosses my mind?

                                                     c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014



Do I Hear
Of a goin in the ranks?
Is the battle lost;
And what of its cause?

Where are the sergeants at arm’s?
Who bolsters the freemen,-
Nurses their fidelity,
So conscientiously won?

The first of our chiefs 
Suffered so many setbacks,
It seems a miracle
The seeds of our legacy were ever sown.

He’s honored, The Father of Our Country,
For good reasons;
One being that tenacity moored to
So much humility at his commission’s end.

Speak not to me in common wear and tear,
But only in tongues, ‘in opposites’ to disfavor.
Muster in! Muster up!
It’s better to be dead than confined!

Remember all that are the Cincinnati
Of that revolution and an earlier tea party.
Nothing new is in the wind, that this republic
Has not endured ‘fore and will not suffer again.

Each day begins with reveille and its “Call to Colors”-
And with the nightfall’s retreat and taps we
Entrust our sleep to the brave sentries of centuries-
‘Fore battles next day and a war we will carry to the end!
                                                              ©2010 by E. D. Ridgell
                                                                    Revised 2018


To He Who Waits Patiently


Is it warm there 
Spread o’er a Palace vista?
Is the green cooling dawn
Ready to emerge at morning’s mist?


Surely you’ve settled in
Since I gently laid you down. 
Daintily sowing the seed of you,
Where the Palace spies so faire a view.


Nothing dead has deed to its property
But the public ground is as good
A waiting place as any!
Rest thee, then. Rest thee...
E D Ridgell, 2017

  revised 2018 


Do Not Mind My Strong Opinions

I'll be dead and long gone
‘fore my words hit home;
Strike the marks meant
Not as too strong my opinions
But as an elder's warnings,
Wrapped in the worrisome
Knowledge that I will not be here
To care as I do about these worldly
Things that are festering
In patterns that I would break
For the sake of those I love so strongly,
Including you-
Struggle to wheeze on for
Long after I've any wish to mentor
Any other strangling death
But my own. Honor thy father,
Even if his voice is a
Queer echo of another-
A man is measured in heavenly things,
Not in earthly biases.
                    © 2010 by E.D. Ridgell


Catching Night Predators ‘Fore the Baltimore Museum of Art


Tonight, much like any night;

Just the other night--

Last night,

He was hunting a predator.

It wasn’t easy.

It takes skill

To get kill after kill.


Tonight, he’d tagged one, already.

“Steady”, he thought. ”Sober up!

Follow it up.

Look up, then down.

Wait. He’ll circle round.

Here he comes.

Yes! Slow down.”



Three, no four

More tricks- kicks,


Predators caught that night,

‘Fore the soon-be sunrise,

‘Neath his twin lions,

‘Fore the Baltimore Museum of Art.

                            © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell

Exit, Stage Right!

We donned her Trissa
To be different,
Then Tatiana after a little
Princess who was rumored
To have foiled fate long ago,
Only to learn she did not
Dodge the missiles.

But ours was favored
Above that innocent namesake.
Ours was then, and is now, words
That dissolve into tears
At the very thought of any harm
To her, Trissa Tatiana.

Time has brought its inevitable changes;
Blessings and sorrows
Replete with tides of tedious rituals
Of That farce we try to play out
So well, too often to little avail.

We've had luck- made and shaped
As we contrived the need for it.
Now, each of us can comfortably go
Into those head lights,
High-beamed into the night,
Where in deliverance one can exit,
With grace and good timing-
Stage right,
And dare not look back
For the fear of it!
                          © 2010 by E.D. Ridgell
                                     Revised 2018



...and though you may up and leave me
I will not take offense,
And if I up and leave you,
It is because I had to.

“See my little wing quiver so…
I only ever wanted a tiny drink of water.

And where’s gone Fidelity
In the face of so little pity,
Here now in the shadow of Showa
Falling fast with a final qua.”
                                          E. D. Ridgell, 2017


Grieving Aristotle

Here it is,
Another wave, 

I’ve known it was coming
For o’er a year
We talked around the edges.
I kept breaking plans to see you
And told you why. You understood
Knowing all to well the ways of me.
Ohh….The familiar pain!
The justification, in the mind’s eye,
To lashes I bestow to my back
Like the Polish Pope, recently dead as well-
Cold to my lamenting.

I must have broken all the rules
Under your tutelage. You taught me
How to untie the Gordian knot
Of a burden we blessed by God
Must carry in the face of so much acrimony.
You eased me along a highway that like
Rasbutin was the back door to salvation.
You showed me it was holier to be Persian
Than a hypocrite supping with the legions-

And when I went off with Alexander
On the glorified roads to India, you blessed
The undertaking. Messengers carried the
Ensuing news back and forth from Babylon or wherever- the loss of you hangs heavy on me!

I must rally again, I suppose and
Swallow the anguish of being a last one standing.
The medication is beginning to lay me gently down, now-
To sleep in some short respite. 

This is primary, rough and real.
No doubt I will carve and shape it latter
To words that better match these feelings.
Just as I want Tom to hold me in his safe arms
Just one last time,
So, too, do I want to hear your laugh and banter
Just one last time!
                                                           E. D. Ridgell, 2010
                                                                 Revised 2018


Shellfish Bay Reflections

The waves break o’er me,
Billowy at this recent tempest;
A red tide of events and people
In that geography imprinted on me.
The undertow could carry me out but for luck
And the pluck to anchor firm,
Until what, I do not know or fear.

Driven, why so driven? Why weigh against the waves?
Tether this tempest and 
Idle side the shore 'o the Bay awhile.
Rarely, does the Bay
Reflect a calm mirror of sky
Tarry and measure this wake o’er me,
Storm-tossed ‘fore this reckoned lull.

The Bay is a rite to me. The Bay sweats from pours of me;
Mine, salty glands of drowned-down ‘watermen’.
Surely as the Full Flower Moon salutes the night
Are these pauses welcome markers 
in the ebb and flow, ‘fore 
“I follow on the water”.
                                                          © 2010 by E.D. Ridgell
                                                                  Revised 2018

“Daddy”, Again!


I walked down the street lit lawn

Under the catalpa trees spreading

Your ashes and crumbs as I went

Feeling them slip through my fingers,

Our final parting and a dusty end-

The happiest years of my life.

I had no direction. Everything and everyone

Was a new beginning.


Life unfolds in pages not yet written.

It is in this chapter

My grandchildren were born.

It is on this new trail I continue to grope

Through the reality of life, its ups, its downs,

I do the best I can; juggle the money,

Grudgingly surrender my marbles,

Try to be upstanding, and not some freak show.


When you’re queer, you’re dragging ass-

You’re tagged, like any other minority.

Many blinking dolls gaze at you, even stare,

Treat you as equal, though you know they know

None of us are ever entirely equal.

Life can be a bit of a farce. Everybody’s got a part

In a play that’s universal, always fluctuating.

The reality of life is change, some welcome, some not.


If you’re lucky and get that far you’ve got a God,

Or enough paraphernalia to

Carry a card to the Cosmos.

Whether this is a credit card, I don’t know.

Time will tell. I do know there are enough like me

To have not been a mistake

Either of provenance or nature-

Of that much I’m sure.


It’s hard at times but everybody hurts.

You find the courage, come out, sachet about.

Hunt game and maybe even score.

Truth is you’re always a little different and scared-

You never really feel welcome in the locker room, but

You’ve got pride, and some hard won self-respect, and

Just when you think you can’t bear one more day,

After all these years, she up and calls you “Daddy”, again.


[Dedicated to Trissa Tatiana, my Daughter]


Be Positive If You Would Be Forever Young


Pessimism is a poor proponent

For anything but failure.

You must first pick the old thread out

Before you sew the new garment.

The bottom is the firmest place to be

Because the only way is up.

It is when everyone has lost hope that

The successful make their moves.


Alexander untied the Gordian knot

In the flash of a slash of steel.

Napoleon reached down and picked up

The crown of France from out the gutter.

Lenin took a train east by invitation.

Spitfires flew into the bright orb

to disappear into heaven hands.

Truman against all odds airlifted hope in;

Ceasar crossed a river

that had once known elephant dung.


They call these latest optimists the millenniums,

And hawker on how difficult they will have it.

We are in what they call the great recession;

A metaphor for the changing of the guard,

One of many corrections inevitable with time.

The violated virgins of generations before

Resist and resent the demarcation from business as before.


The future is not ours to know. Today is all we have.

Your day is yours. My day is mine.

I’ll pick flowers from my garden and

Strew them about my geography

Grateful for their beneficence to keep me positive.

Label me a miscreant if they must, but I will go to they’re

Gallows with garlands ‘round my neck,

And fragrances, the last sensation, of all that is positive

From out the garden.

                                    © August 22, 2010 by E.D. Ridgell


Let No Man Put Asunder

Everyday, there are special people

Who pave the way, give succor

When most needed. Ease your pain.

Kiss the boo boo. Lift you up

From off the hard, hard, ground.

Larry, Russell, your Aunt Bettie.

That precious man who was your

Husband till Cancer swept him away.

The man who is your husband today,

Your cowardly lion, your war hero,

Your ever vigilant, forever kind, 

Sweet and patient, Rudy.

                                E.D. Ridgell, 2013

                    Remember Me


They’re bickering and snickering online

In the safety of cyberspace-

Some supposed sanctuary

No safer than Canterbury was to Beckett.


This is the first Pope to nick himself Francis

And the first President to fail a spelling bee.

Palestine has four ancient gates

And a spanking new embassy.


The Zionists are using live ammunition.

The Koreans are biding their time.

China would be as conciliatory as 

Russia is collusive.


Patricia Routledge

Is a Daughter Of The British Empire and

Poor Mr. Humphries is dead.

My contemporaries are falling like flies.


Old age is a shipwreck 

Of wrinkles and worry beads, 

And I? I am a fading echo

Off the canyon walls. “Remember me.”

                                                   E D Ridgell


Friendly Persuasion


A furtive glance

A broken heart

I tried to reconcile

Temper the assault

No matter

I was no less sullied

Just far more adept


Too drag assed tired to care

A last argument

The question should I leave

You never forgave that

You never understood

We never understood

Loves complications



A best friend and

A husband to yours

We were loose fitted


The call

Deadly night

Forgiving a machine

Your secret


Till a last call



A line

Love recipe

Last one standing


Rest in Peace

Thee I love

More than meadows so 

Green and still

Always will

Always will

                 E D Ridgell 2016

                  Revised 2018


The 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.
Down runways
Speedways to the high teas
Of my long, long, journey.

Today, bunnies graze on the lawn
Beyond the windowpane 
While my Mad Hatter brain
Muses at the Cheshire cat's 
Having stopped purring altogether.
                        © 2012 by E.D. Ridgell
                               Revised 2018


                         Aunt Betty

I used to write for extensions to stay longer,
Two or three until I'd stayed the whole summer!
As a little tike, there were winter stays, 
Pulling a red wagon with wooden stays, 
To roast marshmallows over a log fire-
Times remembered with my Aunt Betty,
Where the Chesapeake collided with the Potomac!

Summers were idyllic, the walk down 
To what we called our private beach,
Twenty foot either side that elusive pole
Out there in deep water, that pole that was my goal!
I wouldn't put my head under the water.
She cajoled, swam that lovely butterfly
Stroke of hers, but still I demurred.
One day she just said, "Come on now Ed Jr.,
You gotta do this if you're ever to make that pole",
And so I did, and suddenly the whole world turned Gold,
Because I had pleased her. She beamed
Like the light on the Point Lookout Light House!

The State moved in, took her home, by 
Eminent domain. You don't want'a know her reaction.
The Judge and her and the kids just picked up 
Stakes and moved up the road opposite
The Confederate War Memorial opposite
Grammies old seamen's home.
It floated on cinder blocks under which
Lived the wild cats, that I so wanted to pet!
I used to net huge snap'n turtles from out the 
Muddy stream that ran parallel to the house,
Amidst pluck'n chickens all o'er the yard!
It was heaven on earth. Aunt Betty grew herbs,
And the last time I visited, was corking wine
With her latest toy, in front of the Judge,
Who was all too recently sober-a family foible!

The Judge and Aunt Betty are gone now
Resting side by side in St. Mathews up the road,
From the Rest Home, long run out of seamen.
I need to drive down the road and pay my last respects 
As the years are speeding by and my own chest is wheezing.
I've three grandchildren now, who really need to visit the
Restored Fort and Confederate Prisoner of War Camp,
At Point Lookout, at the tip of Saint Mary's County,
In Southern Maryland, The Land of Pleasant Living!
                                                        c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014

The Beaver Are Gone

The beaver are gone.
You are ashes and crushed bone.
I walked the trail today.
I’ve avoided it for ten years.
The dam that is no more
Was my feigned destination,
But I really wanted this walk
Again with you.

“Vittle” is old now and nothing
About me is brisk. I’m frail 
And there should be no hope
Where none is warranted.
The waves still break o’er me, but.
I cope. So many have died or are dying.
I grieve differently now, and I
Have no fear of death.
                 © 2010 by E.D. Ridgell
                       Revised 2018

I've Fallen Down And I Can't Get Up!


I keep making an effort, 

Only to fall back down

Into the sadness of it all,

The memory of you-

Of us and all we went through,

To do what was best.

We did that.

We did it thinking 

We were adversaries,

While all the while 

we were really allies.


I've been here before,

Left with no one lifting that side 

That side over there; that place they stand

Before they are standing no more, 

With me here wondering

Where do you all go?

What do I do, again?

What am I supposed to do,

The last one standing, again,

And again, and again-

Here, awestruck, wondering?

                                 © 2012 by E.D. Ridgell

                                        revised 2018




 My Lady is dead!


Just sett’in in- that!

My Lady is dead.

She never got over it.

Went through so many men-

Yea, but she barked at me,

Right up to the end.

Gritted her teeth

Hurled never ending low growls

Right up to the end.

Right up to the last call,

On the last night!

Her voice broke on the last hurl.

She knew.

I knew.

What’s love got to do with it?


My Lady is dead.

The Jester grieves that

My  Lady is dead.

               c.  E. D. Ridgell, 2014


City Hospital 

Cancer Unit

Was my Nam…
Hopscotching through hell…
There was so much pain…
Mommy’s pain was not alone…
Not in a ward…
You’re not alone when you’re in a ward!

The foreign woman, Italian of Greek! Catholic!
Imploring God, hands reaching up, begging, pleading…
Her voice foreign, yet understood!

Mommy screaming Junior! Junior! Junior!
From behind a white, curtained surround...
Men in white coats circling her…
Probing, jabbing mommy!

When finally you were in..
She pointed it out to you…
She lay in her own waist…
What could you do?

Junior, I don’t love you anymore!

Come be my anger dump…
Be mommy’s little anger dump!
                                E. D. Ridgell 2018

Love Like Life Is Complicated

The sidestepping had started 
On both are parts 
Before the marriage.
It continued
On both are parts after.
Love like life is complicated.

Oh, we loved one another 
Of that I’m sure, but we were both
Adult children of alcoholics-
That clouds fidelity which
Undermines intimacy.
Love like life is complicated.

I wasn’t straight but then
We both slip slid somewhere along the scale.
We both meant for it to work and 
The baby trumped all considerations.
Nevertheless the stress took its toll and 
Love like life is complicated.

I’d just started teaching.
She quit her job when the baby came.
I was teaching all day and working at night.
We fought. I drank a lake of cheap Chianti.
That day, I doubt she thought I’d go. I went.
Love like life is complicated.

I had nowhere to go so I decided 
To go somewhere. I came out!
When you were down and out plus queer 
In those days you’d hit rock bottom.
Some said split but this Queer Daddy don’t split-.
Love like life is complicated.
                                               E. D. Ridgell, 2017

Past The Evening’s Hour


I strolled into your man-cave

And glanced around.

I’d not studied you in awhile-

So absorbed in myself.


I’d made a mistake 

I’d not made in awhile.

I fell in love- not limerance,

But the deeper vow

I had chanced with him 

So long ago and lost

To the reaper’s sweep. 


I wasn’t going to do that-

I swore I wouldn’t.

I raised the ante again.

Now that we’re older

I don’t know what I feel most-

Gratitude or fear 

Oh Lord, abide with me

Past the evening’s hour.

                     E.D. Ridgell 2017



Big Lady


I went antiquing today

To escape the heat

And at how dreadful my asthma weighed me down,

... And, worse yet,

At the reality of the conversation

The night before. The truth bites deep!


Halfway through my perusing her nicks and her knacks,

I found myself conversing with the shop owner,

And her speaking about something from someone,

I asked her if that someone wasn't somebody,

And, low and behold, that somebody was my somebody, spot on!-

Dead, and buried, in the rich dirt of "Our Lady's Manor".

"Big Lady" had bitten the bullet.


We called him "Big Lady" in our cruel, ‘camping' way,

Because he was like a patent leather, shoed- tutu, dressed elephant

In a lacy, tea shop, cluttered with crowded tables

Laden with the finest china in all of the world.


He had been the butt of both straight and gay jokes,

All of his sad, love-desperate life, and he had been

The first to laugh at himself. He had always been a good sport.

In truth, he had been as ridiculous, clumsy,

And as clownish an oaf, as a hundred antics and stories related.

He was a big lady in a man's body. She had been a clown

In a muscleman's circus.


But I'm still here to tell you, God never made a more sweet, kind,

And gentle person. "Big Lady" was a gentle man,

Wandering, lonely and lost, in this cruel world, of our making; a world

that doesn't know or understand the meaning of the word, "Gentleman"!

Lay thee gently down my friend. Lay thee gently down with all of my love.

                                                                                                      E. D. Ridgell




A Side Order

She died of pancreatic cancer
The same kind of cancer 
That took Tom away,
And I was dumbfounded 
At the irony of that.

Can I ever believe again
That anything is not possible?
I wanna watch a Christmas story
Just one more time again, then pull 
The wing of my guardian angel over me,
Just one more time again, fore' resting for eternity.

Life has already been hard and long enough
To not want much more inquiry into
What's it all about, Ralfie?
I've been up and down and 
Around and around, and I've been served 
A full meal. There's no want nor need for a side order!
                                                                                  E. D. Ridgell

A Christmas Prayer!

Suddenly it's splendid to be old, and
To see seedlings of your sewing, set so-
Christmases fall away as we, each in turn,
Cross over and whittle the tree, just so-
The newer ornaments, their turns to
Twirl, aglow, from limb-tip to deep bough.

Worries wax thin, fears abate
Each day dawns anew to savor what remains.
Things age, fade; and comes the twilight,
Look there into the distant night;
Patient Reaper, a crooked finger, cocked,
Begs me hasten a delayed confession.

Gentle Lord, I beg Thy grace,
Commend my soul, as I surrender all pride-
Soon to dismount the carousel of life;
Pay the priest to anoint a wrinkled brow,
With penitent heart, take the last rites, and
Trust to bring me home to you, my God!
                                   c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014


Grammy's Bosom!

Everyday, a little more feeble,
I am preparing for death-
Reflecting back on life,
Measuring bits and pieces
Buttoning undone buttons,
Grading art and artists.
I pray I'll pass
No hypocrite in the end.

Purging myself of resentments,
I Try to forgive society and more markedly God-
YouTube Carolers sooth my evenings 
As  I endeavor to learn as much as I can 
'Fore oblivion's sweet embrace
I try to be kindness itself-
Life best lived.

I can be wrong-
The best chin wagers can be wrong.
God but I hope we're wrong! 
Most of all, I want to fall into the deep, big, soft,
Breasts of Grammy's, bart-clothed bosom.
                                                                    E.D. Ridgell 

The Poet To His Daughter


Who can sting so well

As the most precious bee from out the hive?

We raised her on stings we stung,

And I confess I like her pluck

Even though I am barefoot.


I am reminded of my father who departed

This earth after exhausting

Any and all. No man has ever plucked me more!

She thinks she has problems?

Dad hid the diamonds in the filing cabinet from hell.


Jesu, all I’m doing is posting secrets

For the world to see. What do you want from me?

I don’t give a rat’s ass so long as I don’t disappear.

It’s therapy and besides, like my father before me,

I’m indomitable. Be patient, child if only for a while.

At The Parting Plumb Me Perfectly

Like some shadow upon the ground.

Cast by a stately palace before the sun

Lay my ashes gently down

Upon green grass within the circle round.

Catalpa trees shall feather me,

As footfalls of citizens to come,

Promenade peacefully as to

Pay due homage to past pedigree.

Throughout the colonies you see

The cast markers, monuments to martyrs,

Some unnamed who gave full measure 

that I might have this bed, a tyrant's placemat!

Simple dustings of me,

Can slowly seek to mingle 

With that much loved lot

Lain down by me so long ago.

In this perfect spot,

This place we strolled through

Salad years of genteel things,

Paint swats, and hand picked boxwood.

Now nestle me down in good sheep dung,

To sleep the sleep of patriots.

God Bless this bountiful land

And forever plumb it to Liberty.

                              c. E. D. Ridgell, 2015






What’s God Got To Do With It?


I took his meaning,

The hospice nurse.

I was doling the dosage out,

And the end was near.

I was grateful for the thought.


But after negotiations, "No!"

I couldn’t. I was a coward-

To end what I had sought to save?

I used that rationalization,

But my gut was gutted!


I still carry that cargo

Carefully loaded by society.

I can’t break free

From childhood rote propaganda.

I think of Brideshead Revisited.


Will I take the rites? Probably.

I will cover my ass in the end.

You can’t purge the priests.

I am still shackled with guilt

Prescribed in doses by penguins.


I will lie under the Catalpa trees

Married upon our Palace Green.

I will mingle again with you,

A testament to a faith

I have in some bloody God!

                © 2008 by E.D. Ridgell




A Dozen Less One Plus One


I must have lost him a dozen times.

I know it was at least one dozen times-

An even dozen less one, plus one, it does not signify.


I have down drowned to the bitterest core-

Tasted the nectar of opioid on the lips.

I must have lost him a dozen times.


I did not know dead weight was so heavy.

It twists the back. It is the weight of atom water.

I must have lost him a dozen times.


I thought someone, anyone, would help me mow, but, no!

No one could or would help me plow through the fact that

I must have lost him a dozen times.


Savanah was hot as hell and Georgia haunts my mind,

Memories flood o’er me with little regard not caring that  

I must have lost him a dozen times.


I know it was at least a dozen times.

I could not kill him in the end. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t.

I must have lost him a dozen times.


I must have lost him a dozen times.

I know it was at least one dozen times-

An even dozen less one, plus one, it does not signify.


                                                                    E. D. Ridgell









A grief anniversary, 
Unsettling and upsetting,
The mind recalls,
Past battles and 
Hopeless causes.

She set sail and fled.
“All were punished!”
He followed only to fall
Upon his sword as she 
Took an asp’s bite.

The Emperor 
Stole an obelisk and
Had it re-righted
in a Roman square
To cast a long shadow.

“Upon this rock,
Easter Saturday,
A grief anniversary.
       E. D. Ridgell 2018



Why did I taunt him with the possibility that
We both have only ten good years left?
Was I whipping him with my fears, 
That death or worse is coming?

Why aren't we given a choice?
What reason, this lesson learned that, like the hunted,
We too are never far from the stalker-
And the certainty of that inevitability?

Is life so unfair
And therein lies it's greatest dilemma?
Wherein lolls the seed of virtuosity?
What profit the dying in any restraint at all?

Is this in fact the seed of a bargain?
If we're good and virtuous, do we purchase an afterlife?
What comes first, the bribe, or God?
Who's calculating the score? Who's keeping tally?
                                                             E.D. Ridgell, 2015

My Little Indomitable!

I’ve seen seventy Christmases 
And I’ll see me one more.
Tonight as I looked upon them
In wonder I was filled with gratitude 
And if truth be known a little fear-

The world is moving too fast for me now.
I’m not just a little feeble.
I’m on oxygen and there are times 
When I fear I may tip o’er.
I’ve a clear mind though and a pen that’s able.

My middle granddaughter is a lot like me,
Opinionated, independent, with an ear to history,
She’s not one to suffer fools lightly,
But not mean and keen to what is fair-
Like me you might say she’s a little Indomitable!
                                                            E. D. Ridgell, 2017

This Poet's Corner