Ron Riddell

Ron RiddellDostoyevsky brings me back to life.
He pops up everywhere –
waving the flag, urging me on.
How he does it, I don’t know.
From time to time, I hear his voice
but when I look around, he turns away.

He is reaching for his pen
amid the frozen steppes, his winter sheets
the tree-lined streets of St. Petersburg.
Then he is silent, intent, all ears:
as if, out of his wintry depths
he hears me too, urging him on.

From time to time, I look out my window
but there are only waves, trees
a clocktower and some ships.
I see no sign of him but meet his voice
in the sounds of the street:
in the workers’ talk, the factory whistle
and a ship’s horn booming in from the deep.

Dressing You
for Saray

I would dress you in flowers.
I would dress you in kisses.

I would dress you in kindness
I would dress you in dreams.

I would cover you from head to toe
in cream-white linen,

scented by sea-salt, river stones
from the Caribbean.

I would dress you in rainbows,
feather-down and shells.

I would have a hundred butterflies
Bring you sacred spells.

I would have a hundred larks
come sing at your door.

I would undress you, to address you
and never want for more.

Prayer Flag
for John & Bianca

The day gives up
a nameless flag
fluttering over
the roof-tops

I stand, a moment
in voiceless wonder
I kneel and give
an unseen bow

I stand and still
at break of day
I stand and still
the wind at play .


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