This Poet's Corner


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This Poet's Corner

Alexander Hamilton


Give me a strong federation

To protect me from the state,

Arbitrate the fast, fleeting,

Escaping over lines, and 

Secure me from selfish sectionalism-

Something to unify the whole 

To prevent the boil and keep an even simmer

To the melting pot-

Protect me from my neighbor's zeal

To steal upon my solitary prayer.


Give me a high top

From on which to look out

Over a larger property

In case of some seditious plot

To crack the shell that holds

The spell that mesmerized my 

Dearly departed, generation after generation,

Since that revolution and its hard won liberty

That was nothing less than miraculous 

In the course of history.


Give back tiny patches, pieces of that patchwork quilt that

Comrades keep for the running over of river edges, and

The falling 'fore the winds of change sparing a little from our

Horn of plenty, this vast expanse of land and sky,

That we have not come close to filling with anything like

Enough of the world's caste offs. Send them to us

With their hopes and dreams to multiply, in their turn-

A mighty momentum of growth, going forward,

Leaning forward, united by the dreams and hopes,

Of a people who will not settle for less than greatness!

                                                                c. E.D. Ridgell

                                                                 revised 2018


Progressives Always Win

I keep them around for amusement,

But I keep them out front where I can see them.

They definitely have never goggled “liberal”,

‘Cause I’m pretty sure they do not wish to compliment.

They got values, and lots of them,

Most cut and pasted from out fundamentalist missives.

They got religion too, God help us!

So many causes, so few solutions.

Every so often they get their turn,

Long, long, years full of an occult sort of mayhem.

Dead doves lie at their feet among their spent shells-

Collected by their faithfully trained retrievers.

The pendulum swings back and suddenly

“Here comes the sun” and we find despite them

We’ve somehow come out the other end-

More resilient than before. Progressives always win!


                                                              E. D. Ridgell, 2017



Late Night Musings On Heresy!


I thought of you tonight, the cancer

Intermingled with memories of all

The many cancer’s in my mind’s eye-

So many cancers, too many cancers.

I can’t bag all the cancers for fear I might

Miss you, Darling, or a mangled, remembered mommy!


Oh that it would have been mine, but no!

He wouldn’t let up. He must not spoil

This grand, ironic joke on a chosen,

Jock-strapped, snapped-on,

Innocent, queer, assed supplicant-

Acting out one last perversity, The Last Rites!


No Title Necessary!

I don’t always vote. 
It needs motivating. 
No! It needs passion, 
A bit of anger. An act of treason! 
I’m no slouch in my patriotism. 
It’s as corny and as old as is my 
Aging constitution. I love my country; 
It’s mixed up mythology, it’s rebellion, it’s distrust  
Of outside intervention. I condone every 
Rationalization. I echo every war cry of 
Refutation off of it’s bloodied, canyon walls.  
For every action there is a reaction. 
The force is forever forward marching. 
The revolution burns and brands every true citizen,  
No matter his misdirections. It is about spirit.  
It is the flight and fight of the eagle, 
Each feather storm tossed from out some other nation. 
There are some votes that come from the gut of me! 
No reasoning is necessary. It is primary to my roots, 
Vomited up from the blood and guts of my forefathers. 
Don’t lecture me or mine on freedom, ancestors of  
Hershey Bar totting, well meaning, young boys  
Who dot this earth under the white crosses of a faith  
And conviction to match any you might catch out  
Of some Norman Rockwell painting! 
                                           © 2010 by E.D. R

Of the Deep South!

It was the summer of '65',
I was all of seventeen
And I found myself in Tallahassee,
And the Deep South,
For the first time.

I don't recollect why my mother
Wouldn't or couldn't make the trip to bail
My sailor Dad out from one of another long
String of dry-out joints that
Choked my childhood.  

Alcoholism had struck again,
And the songs of Mary Poppins,
Out that year, couldn't seem
To cheer me up or mask
The fact that mine was no 
Regular or ordinary childhood.

With Dad in the tank, 
I was free to check things out,
Look around me in Tallahassee. 
My room had a ceiling fan,
A novel and strange thing to me,
But common in the Deep South!

I saw my first palm tree,
A squirt of a thing, this-
No coconut tree!
I noticed there were two colors
Of taxi cabs, black and white, and after
Many waves a black one picked me up!

Dad hadn't been robbed,
And so I was flush with cash,
And wanted something
To eat besides the bags of salted nuts
That had been my fare, together with a
Fruitcake that had come from somewhere!    

The regular restaurants were daunting
For a kid of seventeen, a little frightening.
I finally found a cafeteria, just the thing!
I went in, took a tray, and spied there were 
Two lines, and with this the blinds dropped
From my innocent eyes. I had met the bigotry
                 Of the Deep South!
                                           E. D. Ridgell, 2014


Picture is: 'Paradise Sunset' 
Artist is: Diane Romanello 
art print from

The Real Housewives of Paradise Beach

“The chairs are from Georgio’s, you know-
Frightfully expensive but just right.
They help block anyone who might think
They can come right up the path and past us, 
We had Adzio’s do the patio, you know.”

“I know. Don’t you just hate it-- 
That the beach is free, for just anyone and all?
I love the chairs though- a pretty penny, were they?
You’ll need side tables or something
For drinks and all, won’t you?”

“Too much bother, Dear, 
And we never leave the patio-- 
Drags sand in you know.
We’re only down for July anyway.
Isn’t the sunset pretty, and all?”

“Gracious it had better be! 
It was expensive enough, you know?”
  E. D. Ridgell, 2009
   All rights reserved
Creative Commons License


I Can Remember a Kind of Silence

If I think hard enough and long enough
I can remember a kind of silence,
when nothing unnatural interrupted the ear:
the break of small waves on the beach of Point Lookout;
the rustle of the tobacco leaves outside the propped up window;
the eagle’s call atop Old Rag Mountain;
woodland walks with no where particular to go
accompanied by noises so natural
the walk was mistaken for some silent retreat.

As the year’s went by I did not notice
the gradual creeping of unnatural noises
seeping into my consciousness. The heart beat
and blood pressure were rarely a concern in youth,
and I was hell bent on making the artificial noises
that surrounding me. I had not yet learned the
prudence of moderation or the consideration of solitude.

Wars came and went and came again.
Technology burst upon the world with the insistence of
“You’ve got mail!” Noise became more and more
artificially generated and I learned to multi-task it,
weave those elements in and out like the music mixer
in a noisy night club. My patience grew shorter and shorter
to match the allotted time I could give to any poem to read.

Today, I’m in a race against all the noise about me:
Trying to get the words out in-between
noisy children in the background;
timing my time alone to compose my poetry before
Doo wop intrudes upon my mind;
trying to meditate over the noise of the plane above.

How I miss that kind of silence I hear so little of in my world today;
a kind of silence of noises natural to the harmony of things primary.
I feel frantic and nervous and the doctor prescribes pill upon pill
for my nerves and the heightening pressure. Reading ‘War and Peace’
again is unthinkable-that summer long ago is rent and but a memory.
Caffeine sustains me and heightens the pulse of everything around me,
banging and slamming, pounding and ringing, screaming and screeching…
© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

Creative Commons License


Give me a strong federation
To protect me from the state,
Arbitrate the fast, fleeting,
Escaping over lines, and 
Secure me from selfish sectionalism-

Something to unify the whole 
To prevent the boil and keep an even simmer
To the melting pot-
Protect me from my neighbor's zeal
To steal upon my solitary prayer.

Give me a high top
From on which to look out
Over a larger property
In case of some seditious plot
To crack the shell that holds
That spell that mesmerized my 
Dearly departed, generation after generation,
Since that revolution and its hard won liberty
That was nothing less than miraculous 
In the course of history.

Give me back in tiny patches some of the pieces
Of that big parachute of a quilt that many comrades
Contribute to keep it ready on 
The chance of life's inevitable crashes-
The running over of river edges,
The fall of the many power lines, 
Brought down by the winds of change.

Bestow on me no small satisfaction
That the greater community does care
To spare a little from this horn of plenty-
A vast expanse of land and sky,
That we have not come close to filling 
With anything like enough of a world's caste offs!
Bring them to us with their hopes and dreams,
So that we might mint that fresh coin to replenish the
Coffers that in the end, like fishes and bread, 
Seem never to run out, but to multiply, in their turn-
That mighty momentum of growth, going forward,
Leaning forward, united by the dreams and hopes,
Of a people who will not settle for less than greatness!
                                                                      c. E.D. Ridgell

Edit Text




The Eagle Would Soar But


The world is spinning out of control,

The four horsemen run rough rod,

O'er much of the orb.


I fear for my seed,

And I am impatient to cross

'O'er the river and rest under the shade of the trees'.


Tokyo is in future shock,

The sex pistols fire blanks,

And Mother Russia is in despair.


Where is fidelity,

In the face of such mendacity?

Do words on parchments have verity?


The Eagle would soar

If the fumes were not so heavy,

And the clouds of war not menacing!

E.D. Ridgell, 2013 Edit Text



These Pills Work You See!

Anxiety is always just a missed pill away;
These pills work you see, and the docs keep 
Pilling one pill upon another. I'm in a race with 
Some alta cocker to see who packs the most pills
For the next old age cruise. This one is to
Bermuda, and I'm trying to get my meds in a row, 
In a frenzied, anxious, pre-boarding state I'm 
Anxious, I might fall overboard out of 
The sheer panic of withdrawal. How is it
My great grandfather lived into his eighties
Without these miracles? These pills work, you see!
E.D. Ridgell, 2013

                Fish Lady


A flat, flat, landscape

Side waterways

River and Bay-


Silver-dome sunk wetlands,

Backdropped by Chessie sky,

Out onto the meandering way-



Morning’s catch-

Wet-eyed fish heads,


Newsprint stuffed 

To wrap

And waist-not:


A dead lady 

With weather weary sons

Out sinking sand-lands


Followed on the water, 

Down drowned, ink-print monger  

Silver, dome-top, fish lady.

                                       E D Ridgell


That Entitlement Program

The one so many young men counted on-
To take over the family hardware store
Before Walmart came along-
To proudly follow Dad down the coal shaft
Before the mine closed down-
To join the union and straddle up on a
Neighborhood bar stool with the older men
Before the factory closed down.
This was that unforeseen loss,
For which you were so expectant,
That entitlement program-
The one you’re angry about with a
White, hot anger deep to the national soul.
                                         E.D. Ridgell. 2013

A Nursery Rhyme 

Maleficent is malevolent-
Aurora is in her sights, 
And this is anything but nice.

Her malicious eyes gaze
From over her black cloak,
Like a cat's eyes,
Eying for a kill.

Aurora, all innocence,
Suspects nothing sitting there
On her sweet little
Tuffet eating her 
Curds and whey.

Maleficent, all malice,
Is ready to pounce-
When who should jump out,
But an innocent spider to suddenly
Frighten Aurora away!

Poor Maleficent! 
Lucky Aurora!
      C. E.D. Ridgell, c. 2014


Similes and Symbols


It was a hot day at The Battery.

We waited so long to be screened,

Bitchy and buckle-less,

Before passing over to that island,

A simile for another we proudly passed.


The Towers were freshly fallen,

In both memory and the mind’s eye.

Traumatized, we needed buckling up-

Some reminder of just who we were

And what we symbolized.


We waved to her as we paced,

Her torch in hand,

Mother of Exiles reminding us

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breath free…


Hers was a worldwide welcome,

Alike yet unlike the place beside her;

Sunset gates held ajar with a doorstop.

She had always been firmly rooted,

Never tempest tossed was she.


With silent lips she seemed to ask,

“Who is an immigrant who

Does not come to us an alien-

Wary, unsure, and frightened?

How do we welcome these?”


We enfold them into our ranks;

Offer them succor, and yes

We educate them

All to the abundant degree

Of our bountiful largesse.


We invite them into our ranks,

Immigrants every one of us before.

They are our lifeblood.

They are our soul.

They are our folk.


Speak not to me of minor things,

Forms and regulations-

Rather attend to their needs

And in time when they can muster,

Foster their pledges for citizenship.


Let us not seek to stoke

Fires of discord, similes of smoke signals-

Symbols of mistakes before!

“…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these,

The least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”



America, Speak Not To Me In Smoke Signals!

It was a hot day that day at The Big Apple’s Battery.
We waited so long to be screened buckle-less
Before passing over to that Island
The simile of another we proudly passed.

The towers were still freshly fallen 
In both memory and the mind’s eye. 
We needed buckling up- a reminder
Of just what we symbolized.

There she stood torch in hand,
Mother of Exiles reminding us
“Give me your tired, your poor, your
Huddled masses yearning to breath free…”

Hers was a world wide welcome
Alike yet unlike the place beside her; 
Sunset gates held ajar with a doorstop.
She had always been firmly rooted, 
Never tempest-tossed was she.

With silent lips she seemed to ask;
“Who is an immigrant who
Does not come to us an alien-
Wary, unsure and frightened?
How do we welcome them?”

We embrace them into our fold; 
Feed and clothe them,
Nurse them to health,
And, yes, we educate them
All to the abundant degree 
Of our blessed largesse.
"Whatever you neglected to do 
Unto one of these least of these, 
You neglected to do unto Me!”...

We invite them into our ranks,
Immigrants everyone of us before.
They are our lifeblood.
They are our soul.
They are our folk.

Speak not to me of-
Forms and registrations.
Rather attend to their needs
And foster their cries for citizenship,
In the same measure
As your forefathers, 
Everyone of you!

America, speak not to me in smoke signals
By fires stoked oft times before-
Signals sent to warn the many tribes
Of bigotry, ignorance, and intolerance!
We've seen all of these before
In a long, long lines of this nation's martyrs!

                                © 2010 by E.D. Ridgell




Tinker Bell's Fail!

Come Back to the Five and Dime
Bobby Dee Bobby Dee,
I didn't mean it. You'll always be my
Disney boy, so dear to my heart!

How came you to a potter's grave
Bobby Dee Bobby Dee?
I didn't mean it, to prick and stick
You so hard and high you'd die, pretty boy!

Lie you still on Hart Island,
Bobby Dee Bobby Dee
Far from Treasure Island, the voice of Pan
Now but a whisper o'er the windy Sound?
© 2011 by E.D. Ridgell



Faith Alone!

So you drag ass yourself through a lifetime
Of interminable tests and high-wire risks 
Only Spider-Man or Wonder Woman
Could survive only to have some
Cripple of a theoretical physicist,
One of the countless Sagan cosmologists,
Tell you there is no proof of or, worse yet,
Bloody need of a God, let alone a trinity!

And you ask yourself, for Christ Sakes,
Well who in the hell is that inside my head,
And who have I been entreating all these
Dog-eared years to save my sorry ass!
I mean give me a God Damed break, will you?

Never did I feel so close to anyone
As I did before that plaster statue
Of our Sacred Lady some half a century ago-
Staring up pouring my child’s heart out
To the only person I felt could hear
My confusion and bewilderment 
At things I just couldn’t unwrap
No matter how I tried. As an altar boy
I felt chosen not to be better
But to serve something clear and unsullied.

I have always been the kindest person I know,
Indeed this world with its strange inhabitants
Still feels alien to me. I’ve given up ever
Feeling anything like what they call normal.
I dared not say anything in the confessional
For fear of God knows what, and the thing was,
I didn’t know what was and what wasn’t.
I just worked off of their templates.

I clearly saw Michael. I’ve never been prone
To apparitions. He sat there on the pompom,
White, chenille bedspread until poof, like that,
He was gone. To this day, I believe this,
And so to this day I refuse to give up
The memory of him, of My Lady,
Or my much maligned faith in God Almighty!
                                                   c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016



It was a late assignation,
An old man’s last groping at youth-
Meant to be used and not
Tittle tattled off her canyon walls.

She made short shift of you,
Letting you know the full 
Weight and measure of your desecration.
She never revealed all you’d scorned.

She did reveal a friendship
Far more treasured than 
The dalliance I forswore.
You were not all you scored.

I was bitter amused
But knew before-
The drive home was
Long and arduous.

I’m well healed now,
Content but still afield.
They locked you up 
But this was is to  be expected.

I let her know 
I was sorry for you-
She lent little pity and
There it lies.
                     E.D. Ridgell 2017

The Melon


A Virginian melon,

Lying there nestled

In sandy, rich Virginia soil-

Decades ago, that melon

In still etched in my mind,


An enormous cantaloupe,

Ripe for plucking,

So tempting yet too perfect to pick-

Its rich colors matching those of a copperhead,

Spied, sunning, side Dad’s pier.


Everything about the nursery, stocked fields,

So reminiscent of those times,

Was abundant and vibrant with beginnings.

Times were perfect and I was young

And so safely bundled in denial.


Came life’s passages,

With harvest time-

Consumption spread and

Worldly things plowed youth’s disdain

With its insistent optimism.


Life’s harvest proved good and

As September draws near,

The melon is a memory,

One of many memories, more good than bad-

Since I plucked that there melon from out the garden.




Mitchell is sixty eight-

Only a year. She fades ever so slowly.

I am melting ever so slowly.


Joni always does her own album covers,

Mixes it up. Mixes her media.

She paints in LA and BC.


Like her, I am flipping-

Making my word-songs,

Though I still shoot a hidden photo or two.


‘Love Has Many Faces’.

New tunes for ballet dancers-

Joan’s in the Hall of Fame.


On The Side Of The Angels

They keep conspiring to take God out of the equation
That has been my long, cattywhompus life. It won't work.
There is no way I could have negotiated the rushing,
Raging Rapids of it without a puppet master to wade me
Through it. To my horror, I realized I had been bent to it,
And yet I was not sorry for it, but took it as a sort of 
Extra curricular activity, a secret rabbit's foot to keep in my
Dungaree pocket. It never diminished my masculinity!  

I navigated around it, planted a seed despite it, hiding it from
Even me, then when the tide turned, drove hard through it, to rest
In the arms of a soul mate I'd not have known without it, and still,
When all was lost, I turned it over again to that God they disdain.
And, yet here I am in the dotage of my old age, having been given 
A last sahib to help me into the good night, when I hope he will, 
At last, embrace me. I never ever was but on the side of the Angels.
I never ever was anything but salted water washing over freshwater falls!
                                                                            c. E. D. Ridgell, 2015

Love At All Hours, 

Like her savior on the cross.  
We do not need to see her face  
To know she is content 
 Under the glow of a full moon. 
The room bespeaks order  
In her life. It is uncluttered  
Befitting her control. 
Her hair is neatly braided. 
Nothing and no one is neglected. 
Who has penned the note? 

Is it him? Does she long 
For his return? I think so. 
                                       E. D. Ridgell 

Bumpity Bump!

Having lunch with the better part of my heart,
I look at my girls growing so fast-
See how their hair is just a shade different.
One looks like my mother, the other maybe hers.

There is snow in June on Mt. St. Helena.
Uncle Frank is doing better, but life is
Far too hard on him. Marlin is so sweet,
And I explain how we kept the lines open.

Driving home, I worry, just as my mother
Taught me to. Life is long, and I 
Confess I'm weary- not Dalhart'd but wary,
That things are too smooth. It's time for a bump.

Bumpity bump! Bumpity bump!
"What's a blue man gonna do,
When he collects the whole set of the blues...
A blue man says bumpity bump!"*
                                     c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014
*Adrian Belew
"Mr, Music Head, 1989"

 Remembrances Of A Cottontail

I remember Cotton,
Sit'n up tall the other side a 
Pickup cab’s, ring-stained seat,
Cud'lin a cold beer to his crotch.
He was a hotrod man
When he took to teas'n me, 
'Cause he knew,
Just 'cause he knew.

I was a special 
Boy for him. He told me so,
On a sweet, moonlit, driven night;
My best friend and buddy, 
Somebody bigger to look up to. 
He nicked me his Cottontail,
And he'd ne’er told me any lies.
He ne’er told me any lies.

He’d been run'in Racine raw.
It weren’t fit'n,
Her being married and all.
Everybody knew though
'Cept that there cock-hold, 
And he weren’t half of Cot!
I figured, too, Racine know’d that
Cotton ne'er told her any lies.
He ne’er told her any lies.

Cotton got something awful
Foxed, and fearless too,
In those days when you drove
Unfeathered and free
'Customed as you were to liberty.

He flipped o’er into a causeway ditch.
It ‘bout broke everybody’s heart.
I bored the beat'n weight,
Heavy and taut in pain,
That toted a void,
The hole that couldn’t be filled.
I reckon I’ll mostly remember though,
Cotton ne’er told me any lies.
He ne’er told me any lies.

Scoot on o’er here a little closer.
Do ya wanna ‘nother beer?
Don’t be such a shyaway
On a sweaty-driven moonlit-night.
We’ll fill up if ya wanna, 
And sate the void again,
In a bright night; 
Taut, light-weighted and chased to that
Upper right handed, cotton-liked corner
Of pain, I muse in my mind’s eye,
Cause I know,
Just cause I know.
You can call me Cottontail,
And I  won’t be tell'n ya any lies;
I won’t be tell’n ya any lies. 
© 2006 by E.D. Ridgell

Creative Commons License


We parted as friends light years ago,
Over misunderstandings downing down 
Into the  insignificance of the farce.
We were once young, happy, and so sure.

Now wounded by the truest reality of love,
And worn down by the tedious rituals of living,
Past each our true love's respective last gasps,
You come limping back, and with no phony, 
Feigned pretense, ask if you might trade chips in, 
Won long ago, and left forgotten until now on the table!

You're so hurt and angry, and it is hard to decipher 
This distemper that envelops you. You're like the squirrel
Before the barreling-down and round, car wheel. 

I take my time as is my way, tip toeing around all
Your broken toys. You want each mended and put
Together as it was before, not yet realizing most are
Beyond repair. Most of mine lay broken too.

The future is uncertain and friends are fast fleeting-
Some die and others just meander away confused in these foggy
Hard times. Hold fast! Keep your temper! Trust your gut, girl!

We are the granite on which the best that is past will model
As worthy example rock on which to emulate 
That character and backbone that is primary 
To the best that can be made of worst times, 
While waiting upon better, an aging homosexual 
And an enigmatic mirrored-like image,
Fast friends in the end, to the end, 
And perhaps, who knows. beyond!
© 2011 by E.D. Ridgell

I Had A Job!


My aged mind meanders back in time

To when I had a job whipping at my ass

And a marriage of love

Built on wampum secrets simmering.

I felt like I carried the world on my back.


I had a job. Everybody wanted a job!

She burst out on the world

Reborn in the women’s lib movement.

We both worked hard,

So hard we broke!

Another fight and I asked if she wanted me to leave.

She said yes and to her surprise I did.

I burst out on the world.

I kissed a boy and I liked it!


She was free. I was free.

The baby bounced back and forth.

We regrouped but always the baby came first,

Our little girl!

Gradually it unfolded and suddenly

She up and had her tubes tied.



Suddenly, everything was my fault. Blame it on the queer.

I had a job! The queer had a job!

That bloody queer always had a job!


We meandered on into life’s push-tug,

Lives and loves separate except for visitations

And money matters. Women’s lib came back and bit her-

Dad and I colluded. My divorce lawyer was my lover.

She never knew.


The child needed me. She needed her.

We brokered insurance policies and

Imitated movies. After one forte into the courts

She settled down-

Idling in her second marriage.


To this day, I don’t like to take cold calls.

I took my anger out on myself but

I had a job. I always had a job-

The bloody queer always had a job!


She’s spent now,

Dead and buried.

The kid had three kids of her own,

And I find myself a grandfather

Coupled to a soldier hero,

And after a long, long, haul

The bloody queer’s still got a job!

                                            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!
                                                          E. D. Ridgell

What Does A Father Say

To chase inevitability away? 
How do I make this boo boo OK?  There's never been a thing 
Either of us would not do for you.  Slay a dragon. Suffer fools. 
Abide by some armistice that  Now seems ridiculous. We 
Both broke the rules, and despite  ourselves we injured you. 

But as we take turns that are  Natural and in truth, inevitable,  We both go out loving you 
With a love that will never 
Cease to hang about you, with  A vigilance so deep and true,  It amends all our fancy turns 
Down God's long, long, lines,  Of fool after fool, after fool, 
Just living, loving, and dying.
                         c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016


Val-kill Industries

My owner was irreverently rye,
liberal about more things than not
after the Age of Reason.
Shift about my foundations
and you’ll find this is no sand
but hard granite indeed.
I am done settling;
A stately house.

I have become so forgotten,
they skip me after Springwood-
it’s closer to the Park.
Today, the unfashionable
is often the mode tomorrow-
There is hope.
Change is inevitable
and a circle has no breaks.
It is well designed.

Society is always owed a debt.
Pay it with the proceeds
of craftsmanship-yes, statesmanship
made, here, within this place.
She lies but a little bit away.
Please, pay her her due!
© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

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Let Me Pass

I often wonder at your lack of savoire faire,
Your camouflaged and fatigued élan,
Everything assembled in the PRC,
Purchased by you on sale and off the rack.

Where is that insecurity that might spark
At least a small imperfection or two
To interest me even a little to nibble on you
Even at the fear that your normalcy might rub off?
Is it as catching as it must be uncomfortable?

By what process were you potty trained,
That you should be as asexual as to feign
Even a slight degree of that excess so vital
To the savoring of the fat fruit so laden on the tree?
Have you such an aversion to the odd snake
In the manhole or the actual snake sneaking up
Her asshole or no snake seeking any hole,
But rather branching out, a two headed oddity,
To grow rich in the many freak shows of Eve's fall!

You might find me acerbic behind my yawn,
But it is you that would inhibit me.
History has proven you as malicious as
You are self righteous. You've bullied, tortured,
And maimed anything or anyone who might not
Conform to your false, cruel, and judgmental god,
Whom you bring out on his golden leash
Whenever your crimes need justification yet again.

God forgive you, even as I can not.
I only pray I can cover my ass in a last
Dramatic act at the taking of the last rights,
As to entertain that Good Creator that he might
Let me pass and thus avoid spending an
Eternity in Hell with you. The boredom would
Be insufferable and the whiskey watered
Down to cheat the clientele, all your closest friends.

© 2012 by E.D. Ridgell


Plaster Memories

I'd kneel and gaze up at her-
These were my innocent years.
I'd go the rote routine, but when
Transfixed by that loving smile,
I spoke from the heart, asking her,
If she'd look after me, and
Act as a go between. I just
Knelt and stared and felt 
Comforted. As a little boy,
This was Madonna Mia.

Now stripped of both our false
Fronts, I feel like I have plaster dust 
All over me, and I'd hock you in a minute-
And yet, tucked deep inside there's still that
Wanting of lost innocence, and a
Kneading, needling, needing for motherly whispers,
Mumbling gibbering of secretive gibberish-
Oh, where's gone idolatry carried
On the strong shoulders of childlike fidelity.
                                      c. E. D. Ridgell, 2014

The pic appears to be in the public domain.



Life is so long

And hard.

It takes a stalwart heart

To complete the journey.


The valleys seem deeper

Than the peaks

To me

And it’s been a coaster ride!


Grief is the hardest thing

I ever did,

Except death.

I haven’t tried that yet.


Of God I know nothing,

And no one else does too.

When it comes down to it

I believe without knowing.


Right and wrong

Seem fixed

As if in stone-

At least for me.


I live the good life

As I see it

Without malice

Free as I can.


I hope I live

In the hearts and minds

Of a few

Who love me.


In the end

The thing that

Matters most

Is kindness!

                 E. D. Ridgell 



Five Sevens all in a row wins you
The Jack in the Box
He caught a wave.
That about sums it up.

A POTUS who tweets,
A Tweetie bird,
Who knows the fat cats,
The insatiable cats
Who'd sooner grab your pussy
Than spare you a dime.

All the kings horses 
And all the kings men
Won't put my poor country
Back together again!
Four long years of mendacity-
So says Big Daddy!
                     E.D. Ridgell, 2017

The Undertow

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 first cousin 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, 2015

A Wonton Whore 

Whittle and carve
Each and every word
Carved from out
Your mind's eye,
The pen, no,
The key board
Your chisel!

Eschew all others.
"To thine own self be true"!
Fame is a wanton whore-
Is there anyone who is not
Published? I thought not!
                       c. E.D. Ridgell 2016

 Mommy's Boy


Whatever you do or say,

Won't bring my boy back-

The pitter-pat of his little feet

On the clean, linoleum floor-

are echoes now. 


He won't be buying skittles and tea, 

Or skipping through the wet green grass,

A hoodie up, to shield the breeze 

From my, pretty boy's brow.

E.D. Ridgell, 2013

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It’s Karma

You can’t just 
Kiss the booboo’s away-
Patch them up
And send them back
To wherever.

Your kidnappings
Are living testaments,
The damaged goods of abuse-
Witnesses for the prosecution 
Beyond this nightmare.

In their turn they’ll
Sue and sue and sue again,
Inca boots come a marching 
Treading o’er your felled fencing-
Litigators for restitution or vengeance.

Spit peach pits. Go ahead,
Nothin’s gonna grow
Outta anything you sew,
Never did and never will-
It’s karma.
               E. D. Ridgell 2019



Why did I taunt him with the possibility.

We only have at best ten years.

Was I whipping him with my fears,

That death is riding?


Why aren’t we given a choice?

Why this pre arranged appointment with

A stalker who poaches

With inevitability without immunity?


Life is unfair and

Therein lies a harsh dilemma-

A lotus wherein lies the seed of death.

What profit the dying any civility?


Is it some bargain

Purchased with good actions and deeds?

What comes first the bribe or God?

Without an equation for time there is no necessity for God!


Quack!, Quack!

I know what you
Really think about me and mine
When we're not looking-
At least most of you.

To be born untouchable
Is a heavy crucible.
You spend half your life
Feuding with their God
Until you find your own.

The hardest thing is to 
Try and forgive.
You've little self respect 
To buttress it!

I'll always be a little afraid
Of any straight man.
I can be oh so accommodating 
When faced with those 
Shiny, black boots!

See my little wing quiver so
As I lie here atop the snow!
Water is surely free I think.
I only wanted a tiny drink.
Something is broke within I know.
I can not lift and rise to go.
So happy was I on the brink
Eager at a dawn’s early pink;
Very frightened, left alone,
Lamenting others who have flown-
Fled they so high into a sky
Never more into will I fly.
What rudely broke my perfect wing
So swift and sudden came the sting,
Dropping me from an upward lift
Leaving regal feathers rudely rift?
Something struck me swift and cruel,
Sharp tipped from side a northern pool,
Amidst the warnings of little swallows
Urging me to flap and follow.
And where’s gone fidelity
In the face of so little pity,
Here now in a shadow of Showa,
Falling fast with a final, “Q
                          c. E.D. Ridgell, 2016


The Old Buddha begins the Forty Fifth Day

You die for interrupting the song of the canary!
We have no ear now for distant discords
or the echoing rumors common to the court.
These are as to silent flights of hummingbirds.
You are but one of a host of brown-headed sparrows while
this one, yellow canary sings with celestial purpose,
lightening Our morning’s jealous solitude,
a pretty prelude ‘fore the tedious rituals of tending mortals.

Away! Behead him without delay, this fowl,
indigenous sparrow heckling the lovely canary.
Commonplace no matter its elegant competition,
its airs cannot forestay Our boredom,
or equal these lovely songs floating on the morning.
With the breaking of winging sounds most pure
comes this kowtowing herald of a general,
too egalitarian for Our liking.
Go! We begin the migration on the day rudely used!
How now, tell Us, fairs Our Boxer’s?

© 2008 by E.D. Ridgell

Creative Commons License