Posted on Jul 10, 2015 in Good Books, Poetry

Wayne State University Press, 2006

This has become my new favorite Jack Ridl book of poetry.  I like everything about it.  The poems, some of them collected from his other books, the layout, paper and print and most of all the painting on the cover which I happen to know is by his daughter Meridith.  It matches the mood of this collection perfectly.  I saw work when it was hung at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and recently discovered that it now hangs in the home of a friend.)

Jack Ridl’s poems are often stories so they should be heard or read in their entirety, but let me entice you with a few succulent phrases:

from  After Reading Dom John Chapman, Benedictine Abbot / “Pray as you can, not as you can’t.”

My prayers will sit on the backs
of bedraggled donkeys, in the sidecars
of Harleys, in the pockets of night
watchman, on the laps of widows.

from  Repairing the House

We’ll learn the house can live
without our changes.  We will
listen to its language.  The cracks
along the stairway – they are sentences.

from Sisley’s “Snow at Louveciennes”

….She stands
bordered by the indifference
of daylight, imagines a cardinal
cutting its wound across the snow,
a cat crawling under a cottage,
curling its tail around its sleep.

and from I am Wearing Your Shirt/ For my father

The snow that comes in the mornings
brings each of your words.  The water
forms around your and, your either, not,
and yes.  They land, they just land.
Sometimes they fall all day, and into
the next.  Sometimes they melt before noon.