Ron Riddell – Sometimes there’s a Timelessness

Riddell LE P&W 3 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three Nov-Dec 2023.

Sometimes there’s a Timelessness, poem by Ron Riddell.

Sometimes there’s a Timelessness

Sometimes there’s a timelessness
about scenes, events, occurrences
including the long gone; the long dead

including the neighbour today
moving the lawn with a t-shirt
that reads Up the Punk!

also the lady who later calls
asking me repeatedly
Is that Mose? Is that you Mose?

I almost haven’t the heart to say no
or at least, who knows?

Also, I keep seeing bright lights
in new slants, places, sills
things I haven’t seen before

at least not in the clear light of day

and this is nothing remarkable
nothing life-saving or endorsing
or maybe is; this pause-to-ponder

the moment of wonder when
you notice the generosity of spirit
that pours through all living matter

Remembering Blair Peach

The New Zealand civil rights activist killed by British Police
in London 1979 during an anti-racist rally

They’re cold grey, these London streets
and cold grey the faces on-the-beat
the faces advancing, in lines advancing
in grey waves of our sealed defeat

at the fall of these cold grey hooves
the shaft and heft of empire’s weight
bearing down on us, from iron-grey skies
dominant, indifferent.

What do we know friend, what do we know?
How do we progress from this cold grey world
these bloody fronts by the old grey river
the easy-rolling, sooth-saying Thames?

You, dear brother, are the protector
of voices; of the needy, the lowly
who, without your example are voiceless:
they’re cold grey today, the streets of London

yet in your name they’re revived
even though they grow dark, dark
with the hues we’ll never forget
because they’re us and our deliverance

in this way, it’s not so cold today
though your bones lie in the cold grey clay
teacher, matua, give up your robe
your mantel of care and compassion

in time of need, you offer your cloak
caught between the lines of fire
against the ire, the dictates of fate
the fires of love don’t hesitate

to embrace you, welcome you back
to the hearth of kaha and aroha
together with mana, tupuna
as kith and kin, as tangata whenua.

If I Say Nothing Worth Hearing

If I say nothing worth hearing
that improves the common lot

if I amount to nothing but
a diminished note, murmur

still I’m content, grateful
for my presence, voice

for being a brief witness
to tranquil pastures, shores

waiting, fetching, singing
rounds of rebounding echoes

if nothing but a sounding board
to subtle vibrations

emanating from within
reverberating from without

so it is to live in silent rapture
shape-shifting lullabies of hope

© Ron Riddell

Ron Riddell is a New Zealand writer with a deep commitment to ecology, on all possible levels: natural, social-temporal, philosophic and spiritual. Recent books are: Dance of Blue Dragonflies (poetry) and Pachamama & the Jaguar Man (novel). Previous work has been translated into a dozen languages. Book One of his long poem The Wanderer was launched in New Zealand in 2020 by HeadworX Publishers of Wellington. Married to Saray Torres from Colombia, he has two sons Roland and Pablo, and three granddaughters Tuvia, Felicia and Ella, who all live in Sweden. His latest collection of short poems is Exilstationer/Stations of Exile, a bi-lingual English-Swedish edition, was published in May 2020 by Simon Editor, Jonkoping, Sweden. Book Two of his long poem The Wanderer was published in November 2022.

He believes and works in the spirit of the transformative power of poetry and all creative human expression. At present, he divides his time between New Zealand and Colombia. His work has been translated into German, French, Swedish, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Uzbek and Spanish. Recently, his poems have featured in several large international anthologies, in Kenya, Bangladesh and most latterly in the Nepalese world anthology Madness, edited by Keshab Sigdel.

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