This Poet's Corner


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This Poet's Corner

The Selfless Generation


Dirt poor, dressed in rags,

He ran away to sea at ten,

On one of Captain Wes’s schooners.

Graduating eventually to the big ships,

The freighters and the tankers.

He taught himself to read

And had a way with machines.

By the onset of WW11

He was a ship’s engineer

Part of the guts of those big ships

And the men who manned them.


They forged his birth certificate

So he could go to officer’s school

In Alameda, California. It was there

He met her, Marmion,

A drop dead gorgeous trophy

Of a woman for any man.

He graduated Chief Engineer.

In family pics the two of them

Gaze out from barrooms long closed,

Sporting V for victory!

He is proud. She is vain. They are in love.

He shipped out, into the seas of war,

Had three ships sunk from under him

With not so much as a boast

Or some vain, glorious medal or medallion.


This was the selfless generation,

Who we can never repay. They lived hard.

The fought hard, they loved hard-

They were survivors! After victory

They Studerbackered around,

Built simple houses, had babies-

They lived the good life. The streams

Were fresh water. There were nary

so many laws and regulations.

You went to church on Sunday or

You played hooky and went for a swim.

There were three channels on the TV,

And everybody, I mean everybody

Watched ‘I Love Lucy’!



No Knives, A Wink And A Bit O’Love!


Knives are best kept away from children.

I’ve never believed in stabbing-

Except with the eyes.


Children read eyes in any language.

A word of warning, though.

Well, actually, words of warning-

One word won’t suffice.


Be careful you don’t use words against children.

This is a commandment.

Words hurt harder than blows, and blows verboten are

Always out of the question. Always!


Are you thinking of what else can be used,

Not trusting eyes to do it all-

Especially when backs are turned 

Which they sometimes are?


You can lay the heavy burden of trust on them,

Add a little kindness-

A wink whipped with love.

They hate that!

                                                    E. D. Ridgell




The Line Was Broken

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

A Sad Haiku

One last woeful turn-
Who has not left their guard down?
Brace! "All are punished!"
E. D. Ridgell, 2013

The Tibetan Sky-rite Ritual


Carve with rites
Becoming transmigration
Through the bardo-
A body is carrion.

Don an apron and
Slice the prescribed pieces.
Unbind the shroud
Before the witnesses.

Crush the biggish bones.
Break the skull. 
Preserve the namshe's cap; 
Teacup for a monk.

Call them to feed
And fill their bowels,
Leaving morsels,
To drop from the sky.

Tell the mourners:
It is done.
Build an effigy
For coded fire. 

© 2006 E.D.Ridgell
     Revised 2019

Creative Commons License


In Tandem Go

Is change a pylon finite to a pier fickle
In tandem to metered time a hand on sickle
The progression so constant with end not found?
Is change the feckless reckless rhythm unsound
To mock in disdain divers worldly endeavors
And falsely bestow hope on wants and pleasures?

And caught at end of voyage spent and tired,
Do we in harbor windless bind the anchor mired
to finish wading hard and taxing tests?
When through the gate we tricked find no rest
Save discover change infinite do we unforeseen
In whirlpools transformed accompany time too keen?

To catch the sundry glory sunsets fore
So warded do we sail afar the tempestuous shore
For waiting horizons duly drowning down?
A simple prescribed sojourn round and round-
Embark from undulating mothers’ slips unkind
Do we in tandem go with change and time?

© 2005 E.D.Ridgell
Creative Commons License


The Highwaymen

They ride in tandem.
The first out the gate, impatient
to break ahead,
with the other close behind;
a chatterbox,
to company track turns-
round and round,
until at the finish line
they’re neck to neck
to cross at breakneck speed
oblivious to the dust.

They mean no harm,
tandem highwaymen to change and time;
the coupled horsemen,
eagar for the next race;
the robbers’ meet with
results the same,
one always winning by a nose
leaving the shorter footed
heralder one step behind.
© 2006 E.D.Ridgell

Creative Commons License

You Know?

Where are you my old friend?
I've googled and searched in vain.
I even remembered your middle name-
Cindy asked after you.
Karen passed, you know?

I hope you didn't pick up,
And just slip back into those alleys.
I won't feign absent suspicians, you know?
Life is so hard and shakey at times.
I shouldn't have let you slip away, you know?
E.D.Ridgell, 2013

The Thrill



If you seek God,

Look to the patterns

You devise.

Mathematics’ magic

Strives to prove

And would cement 

Your devices.


Break patterns

For the thrill

Of being man

Taunting God.

     © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell



The Undertows


Casting weary eyes on him, I realized

He and I were elders, now,

And all the family gathered around us

Were younger to varying degrees.


He had introduced me fifty years ago

To his sister who I had married,

And who had herself died a few years ago 

To cancer, that riptide that is so universal.


I found him to be very self possessed,

But not unfriendly considering the shallows between us.

I had chased girls with him, could remember when he

Lost his virginity, written tributes to his dead daughter.


We are both survivors, too worn down now,

To care much about the other. He's on the make again.

I wish him happy hunting, but I wonder if he has any

Capacity to love, anymore. I do not begrudge him.


All in all, I think he's frozen, both in heart and spirit.

His sister never really talked of him,

And news would come of him as it does to elders,

In sporadic bits, the ebb and flow of conversations.


I suppose he's a great-something to the grandchildren,

The uncle to my daughter. To me he's a memory

Of a time long ago, when none of us had an inkling

Of the courses of our lives, or the strong undertows.

                                                                    c. E.D. Ridgell



Like Little Sparrow
Do not rehab me,
Bind my raven calls
Like forms and schemes
Of diagramed sentences exacted
By petulant,  penguins of St. Bernard’s…
Padam, Padam, Padam.
I cannot conform,
But must be free to happily singsong-
Not wheeze breathless, 
Straight jacketed in reinforced,
Padam, Padam, Padam.
Like little sparrow, 
I lost a love long ago
To life’s tempest.
Give me my Olympia,
One last song to sing for you
‘Fore the good night…
Padam,  Padam, Padam.
Cast me on the Palace Green
‘Fore I grow woof-minded.
Let the children run atop me
To the sounds of the fife and drums marching…
Padam, Padan, Padam.
It is in the poem I can sing to you
Sweetly or harshly as my mood swings
Back and forth to the meanderings
Of few joys and many sufferings…
Padam, Padam, Padam.
Remember me for my harmonies, 
With heart rung meanings, and like
Maupassant’s heroine in ‘Ball of Fat’,
Do not ridicule or mock my movements
To the gentle echoes of my archangels wings
Fluttering…Padam, Padam, Padam.
                                                                E.D. Ridgell

Picture Belongs to the Public Domain

There’s Something We Don’t Like About Michele


I mean besides the fact she’s white,

White as the frock on the ‘shot-dead’ abortion doctor

She’s always telling us to get rid of,

While pro-porting to be the virtuous daughter,

Of some lady who worked for the First National.

I mean, ‘who’s you’re daddy,

Some WASP dude, straight-talking, long-gone to

‘Weedy’ California, really?


What’s the real deal, Michelle? What’s the scam?

How do we know you weren’t born

On some chicken ranch in Texas, or

Abandoned in some lesbo’s basket

To become just another Medicaid recipient,

Brought up by share croppers

For a fat foster care check?


Did you print a so-called birth control certificate

On the back of some Oral Robert’s law degree?

Well, excuse me!

We want some real proof, something we can

Take to the bank and have the Mommy Dearest’s

Act-alike deposit, a birth certificate, a DOMA card,

Un-fudged finger prints, this mornings, clean, dip-stick-

Something proof positive!



Doc, Bring A Boy Home!


And suddenly you are aware of how old you are,

And how everything is right, right now,

And even though you are not suicidal,

You are aware there is a rainbow just to your left,

And it simply is no accident that

You are following it home. Never in your

Long, drawn out life has there been such a rainbow!


It doesn’t hurt to ask. It hasn’t been easy.

As a matter of fact it’s been hard,

A hopscotch through hell, as only You could know!

Truth is I’m tired, Doctor and there’s a Palace Green

With ashes and crumbled bone of him there strewn upon-

With a second coming to that mix!  

Surely You know, I am a coward, and so,

If you don’t mind, Doc, Bring a Boy Home!

                                                 c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014


The Red Shoes


An old classic film

Bouncing off of Hans Christian.


It is a trial at first, a bit of a bore

To contemporary notions

But art is timeless. It knows and cares

Only for elements and principles of design.

I become acclimated, drawn in,



The Ballet of the Red Shoes is

A metaphor for the continuum of dancing design.

Like Gone With The Wind, it is epic.

Good art is epic. The Iliad and The Odyssey

Suffer no curtain calls. They sail on and on

Through the ages of Western Man

And all that he can or could contrive.


There is this staircase. Where is it, Venice?

You still see it in films today! The scenery is divine.

The architecture bombed and historic.

They ham it up in the best traditions of whatever

Acting is, I don’t know. I never stop acting

Long enough to contemplate the performance-

Love scenes back dropped by the Mediterranean.

The Red Shoes will dance so long as art has critics

And I suspect that will be for a very, very, long time!

Dance on! Dance on! Dance on!


Incoming Dart

Who hung me a target board
The scapegoat dodging poisoned darts? 

Mommy married me only to divorce me
in the end a hospital ward of witnesses.
Her replacement, a wife armed with a secret 

Carrying her quill of misplaced arrows
She reserved for the lucky men in her life- 

First me, then a facsimile of Lincoln 

Followed by some mean old lawyer
Who beat her up with jewelry
She did not prize, and finally 

Big Daddy With the big bucks that everybody loved.

And here comes another wheeling her iPhone
At some officer on the other end who bites
At the chance to be her stalwart yet absent knight-
Just another dart thrown sideways at me,
Ammunition clouding her anger at a husband
Who would die rather than abide her any longer.
I am left with the tatters, a bossy bitch with
cold angry eyes and a hot burning anger at anyone
Who would dare bump her not once but twice in the ass.
Oh well, bother but definitely she’s taking aim at me. 

There’s an old Polish saying; “What’s for ya
Won’t miss ya!” This incoming dart’s for me.

                                                                          E. D. Ridgell

Paper Prayers


Reincarnation is what happens to you

When you’re making other plans.

The stars said

I’d be reborn a peacock and

I ended up a kingfisher-

Oh well. 


Somewhere in the bardo

Something went askew-

The tourists were distracting.

Disrespectful: they

Ignored the 

Pleading priests.


Old ways gave way.

The kites flew low and 

The namske’s skull went empty.

Few of the mourners 

Survived and

The paper prayers were wanting.

                                      E D Ridgell

Let it be Done!!


I dropped into the meeting,

A hothouse tomato,

Not for fear of slipping

But needing picking,

Ripe on the vine

For some intimacy-

Someone to hold me again,

Someone to fill the

Hollow void inside.


The journey was long

And I was only a little

Way through the wood.

In a room full of misfits

Strung out on caffeine,

Your testosterone drew me like

A bee to the comb-

You were hung on that chair

Just as sure as mortal sin.


You were taken, of course,

And so, a southern gentleman,

Aged on southern comfort,

I jabbed my fork into another,

And, all in all, we all

Were content enough,

To stroll South Street-

Catch Joan Baez

On a bounce.


As we sidestepped,

We watched Dear David

Destroy himself with drink.

We settled into abodes

All too bourgeoisie

For men who endure

So much for so little.


Al lost Mat in Iraq,

And evil struck him hard,

And harder still with

The Westboro Baptist Group

And a dance with the Supreme Court.

He did not win but was the

Stronger for it.

It was won in and to the trying.


And for all this,

What would the gods conspire?

I learn some twenty minutes ago,

You lay dying

With three, maybe four, months to live.


They ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell today

And I thought it was a good day

For a warrior to die.

Well, it’s not!

It’ a sweet and sour day

And I’m one drag-assed tired warrior.

Let me at the gods so that I might take scalps

And just ride into battle

With war paint dazzling in the sun.

Let it be done! Let it be done!

                                        c. E.D. Ridgell, 2010



Senators and other voices inside
And outside of our skulls are about Greece.
We are not Greece, my pretties!
We are Rome and we have
From the roots of our beginnings
Not feigned to be anything but so-
To justify our eminent domain,
We will be inverted if we wish to.
We make the rules!

We are empire, first by geography,
But more importantly by dogma-
Our mythology is craft just so, that is
Perfectly to safeguard and protect ours before
Any others. We are about the fledglings.
It is treason to not be so! Our priests are muffled!

Do not apologize to family.
We are the ultimate ‘Gang’. We are the 
‘Gangstar Revolution!’ We are about things secular
We would have our way with their women,
And their pretty boys! Screw, Everybody!

Let Heralds carry tennis balls to and fro to any 
Who would be foe. All the gods are on our side!

Our standards are like no other.
We will endure a thousand years and more!

We need copy nothing and borrow from no one.
Our horizons know no boundaries!

You are suckled on mother's teats and, yes,
Your Mama lays golden eggs, no other!
Remember this on Mother’s Day!
But with time you are the Republic’s-
That is, you are a dog tag of the Empire!

Good morning, my pretties. 
It’s reveille, Get up. Stand down.

Go off and watch your football
In our coliseums, but remember,
You are not swallows.
You are eagles! 
I beseech you, “Do not kill the messenger!
                                         c. E.D. Ridgell, 2012


Drink to me from a namshe cup
And cut me into bite sized pieces
I am old and eat too much-
It's my turn 
To fatten the vultures.
                              E.D. Ridgell, 2016



Bat-Shit Crazy


Ever have a day 

You feel bat-shit crazy-

Outa the loop,

Off the rails-

100% certifiable?


Well, welcome

To the White House,

Where nobody knows your name,

Never happy you came and

Could care less about helping you.

                                  E. D. Ridgell 2019


The Baby Boomer’s Plight


What do you want from me?

This is virgin territory.

I don’t want to be a struggling centenarian,

Some unwanted burden!


Stop pushing pills at me!

It’s disorienting.

Give me another form to fill out

And I’ll resurrect the ghost of my father,

Complete with his social security number-

From Junior to Senior with the click of a pen.


Stop rushing to replace my body parts-

I’ve no inclination to be a titanium robot;

Hurriedly patched together to boost an earnings report

Of a company stock, I’ve never heard of.


Cut me some slack.

I’m tired of the hopscotch games!

I don’t mind babysitting once in a while but

I’m no pseudo nanny-

Grant me timeouts on my overtime for cuddles.


And why doesn’t anybody listen to me?

Why don’t you weigh my opinion?

I’m tired of retakes of mistakes,

Encores by you of me to witness yet again.


What is it you want from me?

This is virgin territory.

I don’t want to be a struggling centenarian,

Some unwanted burden!


Light My Fire!

“The greatest in the history of our country…”
I don’t think so, you poor sick
Son of a bitch!

How many times in history 
Must we sacrifice ourselves to despots?
Where do all the terrible tsar’s go
After they’re finished throwing their sons
Onto the barbed wire ?

“Have you no shame?”
Your rallies are a resurrection of that evil
For which our forebearer’s gave their full measure.
History will make mincemeat of you!

We want no statues to you-
Put your Presidential library on the nineteenth green!
Hang yourself from the band of your Rolex watch!
Tie yourself to a stake, 
surround yourself with  the piles of your tax returns
And “Come on baby, light my fire”!
                                                     E. D. Ridgell 2018


I am the antique, Zanzibar
Brass studded chest 
Of a deep, rich rosewood-
So beautiful you 
Would know the
African dowery
I nestle

I guard those things
She means to spend
In that slow robbery of life
Whereafter she marries
Him in some opulent chapel 
On the off-chance 
He will be true to his vows-
One more innocent, duped bride.
                                 c.  E.D. Ridgell
                                      Revised 2018





The perfect word for an imperfect man.

The Emperor’s New Clothes? There aren’t any,

‘Cept for the Royal retinue-

They don themselves in resplendent trappings

The largesse of bloated salaries-

All while one in six children go hungry.


The Queen pretends not to care 

Bandying slogans from attire

Carefully chosen from out

Her walk-in closet.

Like a covered, caged canary,

She dare not sing her sad, sad song,

All while one in six children go hungry.


The tweeting shyster 

Hawks his missives daily,

Insistent gaslighting-

No purpose save one 

To be the day’s headline.

Each day has its ‘Breaking News!’

All while one in six children go hungry.


The Emperor is fixated on leaking,

Paranoid he was and is spied on.

A thwarted press struggles to be free,

High-beams on in the thick fog 

Disseminating gross incompetence,

All while one in six children go hungry.

                                               E. D. Ridgell 2018


Is There No One Who Is Not Published?


Years ago, therapy helped pen the first worded opus.

I started out with Poetry For Dummies and Mary Oliver.

Much to my bewilderment, I was tolerably good.

It was good to wrench the gut of feelings and memories-

Sort wrinkles while stoking the ego.


I started a site, a compilation of sorts-

Then in swooped, a poet with fame,

Who gave as good as she got. Suddenly I was

Among my kind, teaching others online, how to take risks.

I’d been gobbled up, welcomed in The Pub, and even published-

Six poems in an anthology. I was growing into a writer,

And as with so many things, I was prolific.


Now, years later, The Pub behind, I’ve got hundreds of poems,

Mere scribbling’s some, others long in the tooth,

And that site a sort of sine, a veritable oeuvre,

Over twenty pages. My pen drips daily, and me thinks

Its time for a book of my own, but

Oh my God! Is there no one who is not published?

I google and find a superhighway, a speedway to a treasure trove-


I freeze in awe at so many pathways, some safe, some I fear not.

I feel lost at sea in rough, rolling waters-

No markers do I spy and I feel rudderless.

Not needing fame but liking it nevertheless,

I pause as I am reminded of the firebird

And the infernal dance of King Kastchei!


Peter O'Toole is Dead

And I feel the pull of that twirling,
Black hole even more.
One after another falls into the grieving pool
That has become my daily gruel.
I am tired of the tedious rituals of
Living and this ever gnawing waiting.
There is no respect or want for old bits and pieces,
And yet, It seems to me that for the revenue
And some added GNP to the economy there is some plot
To keep me alive. Stop it!
I prefer the company of O'Toole!

E.D. Ridgell, 2013



Pomp and Circumstance


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

And thus began the damages of Gregory.

Reform in the hands of those who would speak

Directly from God! How convenient future kings would kindle it,

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

Blond, blue eyed angels-those pretty Saxon boys.


Could your homily have been sterner,

It’s echoes more self serving?

The Gnostics would raise women to the same level,

So high as to copulate upon the altar-

And so Gregory would have sex unclean,

And lust, so natural, would be deadened to a sin

To be laughed at in that comedy to come-

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

More modern than any could then know.


I weary more than I can tell

Of such petty speculation,

Pomp and circumstance.

I would break from all your scripts

And mimic ‘Blazing Saddles’,

Breaking through these oppressive screens.

Man would make the simple complicated.

God is as close as the tended garden

And the rules are to be made up as we go along,

Reckoning the best light and hammering the insects dead.

© 2013,  Edward  D. Ridgell

Dead David
I recall now, David,
How much I tried to help;
An entire day to hear you say no,
You were not buying it!
I left feeling angry,
Angry that you had taken the prize-
That the claw behind the glass had served up to you
One more night,
For one more risky, black out.
Then you'd come drag assin' back,
Another notch further down; a priest with no flock,
Your family fading for want of hope-
Another false start, more empty prayers,
Rote steps really. They're promise's unanswered.
I didn't go to the funeral. No one else ever knew
I had tried hard and that we had both failed.
We buried Walt recently.
Harry's most likely dead now, clutching Wall Street reports.
Al's been to hell and back, only to do a second tour.
The Supreme Court; well its busy
Slammin' dream-doors lately.
And me? I'm slowly killing me,
With that dog assed tenacity
That I share with you!
David, Damn It, Go to sleep! I'm tired.
Come back and haunt me another night!
                                  © 2011 by E.D. Ridgell

And The Award Goes To…

These recent sprees-
It’s just me dying,
Squealing at the sentinel’s light
Held just high enough 
For me to glean it's glimmer
As if I didn’t feel myself fading.

The wise men of the East
Devote their last years in preparation
For some sky rite ritual or such. Why?
What lies behind the curtain?
Do I need an iPad and who pray tell
Will get my iPhone. Should I care?

It would be a lie to say I did not find
The debauchery delicious. I did.
Fare thee well, but I was a pretty boy,
And furthermore I had no hand in that!
God or fate set me up, and for my part 
I just made the best of it. Is there sin in that?

Nay, reason! The stars were such 
That it was wrote that
I should be accommodating.
As for my end of the stick
I left no prick unattended.
Now, where’s my bloody Oscar?
                   c. E.D. Ridgell, 2017


Tick Tock!

She died of pancreatic cancer,
A stalwart force till the end.
He, the better half of me
Died of the very same thing,
It seems, just like yesterday,
And I'm left feeling the twisted irony
That has so often marked my life.

I live in fear of cancer, not that it 
Might take me, but that it may claim
Any who might be orbiting so close to my 
Patch-quilt heart. I ache to the heart.
This wound up mechanism 
In my chest seems bent on still
Ticking, ticking, ticking!

A Red Maple Leaf [version 111]

Who struck you--
Left you to hobble
A rain-soaked road?
Do black eyes peer
From nervous grass?
It pains me to pass.
Traffic askew,
Avoiding you.

Why care?
Is this confusion at pain,
Sadness at a wet crosswalk?
Each day falls,
A red maple leaf.

It is innocence
You, a common goose,
The symbol of bliss
Are a mother dying.

O Canada!

© 2006 by E.D.Ridgell

Creative Commons License

Humpty Dumpty

Pock marked
Sun burnt
Hair ablaze
Choking on smoke
Sweating in cracks
The Old Ozone Holed Orb
Orders Horsemen attack

Whimly winds change
Waves walk high heeled
Hovels into sea
Homeless forests flies
Leave locusts starving
Hordes horde the little left
All the kings horses
And all the kings men…
© 2005 E.D.Ridgell

Creative Commons License



It’s interesting,

You nestled your


Safely securing them

So that no one might surmise the truth.


Secrets are two-edged,

Some stay secrets

To wither in the shadows of silence-

Others spoken are spent 

Sure-footed and indiscreet.


She unburdened her secret on a sky-ride

High o’er head the amusement park-

Filicide in the cold environs of Canada

When she watched her parents smother

The baby they could not feed. 


She suddenly let fly

A secret and I caught it.

My job is to search out and cull

Secrets into songs, stories- 

Poetry for better or not.

                                  E. D. Ridgell

                                    Revised 2018


We all of us want the rose.
I spent a lifetime giving out roses of all hues
And was lucky enough to get a few back,

But oh those with the thorns!
There is something so sad about a
Rose that pricks you.

There is that vessel
That never holds the rose.
That is the jar of emptiness.

Then there is the vase with the hairline
That for want of a rose
Suffers the wilted stem.
                                  E. D. Ridgell, 2017


Like A Pendulum It Swings Back


Homing into the eye 

Plucking it with the consequences of words and deeds

Of clockwork oranges

Marking time to self-fulfilled prophecies.


The clock face has hands enough to pace polarities,

The politics of Zionists 

Free and unadorned of patches,

Yet bejeweled within the grip of a crescent moon,

That harries a starry pentagon and

Ally them selves to an amnesic.

Downing down a street their words 

Echo like a pendulum swinging back.


The death of this enemy brings no solace,

Penetrating as it does chamber walls 

To proselytize and portend further strife-

An eye for an eye…


Internecine tongues, 

The loose keys of muezzins,

High up in their minarets, break the spring

Wound of a facile but possible opportunity-

The knell to pause the heavy weight of war

Ringing in a ticking start that stops the watch of peace.


The Box!      

See the box? That's the one.
It contains my riddled little soldier, 
My one and only boy.
He never liked to fly.

On the flight o'er he was so relieved
To have made it so safely.
No fear, on the flight back, still-
We fear nothing after going stone cold.

See how gently they carry him?
What design this gentleness, now?
If only I could feel nothing. 
If only it didn't touch.

The swing in the backyard;
It grows rusty.
It seems like only yesterday 
He wanted pushing.

Don’t offer me condolences - Stay! 
Relieve me of your war-born weight
So that I might plant my boy, 
That one in the dead-weighted box!
                                     c. E.D. Ridgell, 2007*
Dedicated to Matt Snyder 

Waiting Around For The Singularity,

When you upload my mind's load,
Will it factor in a lifetime of experiences-
The divers and sundry repercussions?

Will it keep my inner secrets mine, 
The aspirations unmet,
The loves lost, temptations tossed,
Forbidden fruit bitten into?

What does the singularity propose
To make of my best met endeavor;
Backup some, delete the memory wasted-
Load more memory as needed?

Or will they put me into a machine,
The third machine age.
Will I commune with great, great singularities
With family coded identity numbers?

Do you propose to drape me in skin?
What color? Will I have glass eyes,
Golden globes rotating like extinct lizard's eyes?
God help me!
                                        © E. D. Ridgell, 2014


And the flowers are long
Blown away.
The newspaper still pinioned
Like you under stone,
In time is forgotten.

Pilgrims will come no more 
To Ithaca 
In search of Lakeview 
And the memory of you-
High there across the heavens
Where the celestial dragon resides.
                                           E. D. Ridgell, 2017




Drink to me from a namshe cup
And cut me into bite sized pieces
I am old and eat too much-
It's into, ye through the bardo.
It's my turn to fatten the vultures.
                              E.D. Ridgell, 2016


A variation on the Ghazal without the radif – instead
I’ve put repetition at the beginning line to each couplet.
The makhta is retained. I think it gives it an interesting 'ear'.

I Am a Room

I am a room with one lone chair,
The rush of weaver worn with wear.

I am a room with rackrent fair
For forespent groom like harried hare.

I am a room just next the stair
An open wound in neon glare.

I am a room from window stare,
To herald doom and so prepare.

I am a room full of despair,
In gloom obtuse he pauses there.

I am a room caution forbear,
And hasten bloom condition rare.

I am a room Ed does not dare
To assume for him be anywhere.
© 2007 by E.D. Ridgell

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Paper Prayers


Reincarnation is what happens to you

When you’re making other plans.

The stars said

I’d be reborn a peacock and

I ended up a kingfisher-

Oh well. 


Somewhere in the bardo

Something went askew-

The tourists were distracting.

Disrespectful: they

Ignored the 

Pleading priests.


Old ways gave way.

The kites flew low and 

The namske’s skull went empty.

Few of the mourners 

Survived and

The paper prayers were wanting.

                                      E D Ridgell


It is Like Jumping after Wirkola
                   [It is Like “Hoppe Etter Wirkola]

A dredging sweat skies
down my mug’s lift
to leap and freeze dormant in anticipation.
In wakes, it awaits an awakening,
an uneasy sequel to such coarse caressing.

After wintering to whispers,
Demeter willingly comes. She brings her
burgeoning in with gossamer skins
of faintly risen relief,
the scoring of thinly grains.

Her charms quickly fade and drop
upon a rippled sheet, recently white,
smoother now from the waxing of my finger scratching.
The circumjacent shapes swirl among the veined wings,
around her windswept form,
falling victim to the bright hot light.

Awestruck and wary,
with empathy, I rescue her
into a cool captured light,
snapping her from sight,
fixing her, here, immortal.

It is like jumping after Wirkola,
and I can shoot her no higher.
© 2007 by E.D. Ridgell

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Muck up the lovely fields of France-
Bulldoze the spring lilies.
Lay low the yellow, colored daffodils. 
Boot toe through the tulip tops-
Muddy up the Lowlands.
This is war in all its glory!

Feel our Aryan blood boil,
Blind to bullets whizzing by, 
Eagar to tank o’er fresh
Frenchie and Laddie boys
With many, many, marshaled toys-
Let’s to Paris my fine tuned Vermack as
We swiftly speed to grab the
Flower of France for the Fuhrer
And Fatherland!
Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!
                       c. E.D. Ridgell, 2014


I am a Strong Mule Deer


A rude shard shot

through a sunrise’s solitude,

shocks and catches me unawares,

penetrating my warm, sienna coat,

piercing and spurting red its fur:

forewarning nothing,

no hint to my big ear,

no nostril’s intervention;

an unforeseen advantage,

alacrity, unnatural,

attends the surprise.


Who ruptures a hart‘s hide,

draining it of its liquid

too tart to taste,

too quick to lick;

running down in ruddy falls,

downing me down

upon the ground

in a hush to the dying brush

of my black-tipped tail?


I am a strong mule deer,

whose bleating echoes ever fainter

along the canyon’s walls.

           © 2007 by E.D. Ridgell

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Heavenly One;
Rising, whithing... morphing. 
Serpent... celestial and sublime.
© 2007 E.D.Ridgell

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