Happy Birthday, Jack Ridl!

Poet, friend, good guy, kind man, coffee chef: Jack Ridl

Poet, friend, good guy, kind man, coffee chef: Jack Ridl

This is for Jack

This is for Jack. He’s
a good guy and
a kind man. He knows
how to break
a line, writes
poems which help us make
it through the day and even
through the night. Each
morning he makes strong
coffee for Julie. He never
forgets to warm the cups.

for Jack Ridl

It’s almost 10 years now since I left a comment on one of Jack’s poems on his homepage, never expecting a response from a “real” poet and Professor. But Jack did answer, sending me a kind e-mail. Ever since we write each other frequently and have become friends. I am grateful for this friendship which is for me a constant source of comfort and inspiration – as are Jack’s wonderful poems.

Last Wednesday Jack Ridl celebrated his 80th birthday. We congratulate him warmly wishing all the best and are looking forward to his next book of poetry.


PS: The little poetic homage above is an answer to the opening poem of “Practicing to Walk Like a Heron”.

“Write to Your Unknown Friends“ (Jeff Gundy)

This is for Bob. He’s a good guy, likes
to fly fish, records each catch, where
he caught it, the weather, type of fly,
time of day. He tosses everyting back.

This is for Tanya. She’s a single mom
with three kids. She works behind
the counter in the post office, knows
everyone in town. Years ago she
threw away the “Return to Sender.
Address Unknown” stamp.

This is for Ted. Ted sells cars.
He wishes cars with fins would
come back. He knows gas mileage
matters. But “You don’t see
mileage when a car drives by.”

This is for Kenny. He never made it
past the sixth grade. In the winter,
he plows driveways, shovels walks.
The rest of the year he paints houses,
mows lawn, hauls junk. Each morning
he buys a paper, reads it over a cup
of coffee, black, and does the crossword.

This is for Ann. In her backyard, she
has a perennial garden, best in town,
more than a hundred different plants.
She has four greyhounds and a parakeet.
Where she goes, she wears a hat.

This is for Martha. She talks to
sparrows. She tries to tell them
something they’ve never heard.

This is for Sammy. He’s always late.
He loves to play blackjack. He’s
no good at counting cards. He wants
to own a motorcycle and ride it
to places he’s never been – Toledo,
Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Maine.

Today there’s no one around.
Too bad. It’s a good day
to call some friends, see if
they’s like to come over, shoot
the breeze, have some pizza, maybe
watch an old movie on TV.

Jack Ridl
(used here with permisson of the author)

For more information about Jack Ridl visit his website


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Kommentare sind geschlossen.

GDPR Cookie Consent mit Real Cookie Banner