— Ron Risley – 2014-03-24
It was the summer where the giant pool and bounce house stood side-by-side. Continue reading The Summer that Was
HIKING GOLDEN BROWN HILLS, sun dazzling, dry breeze hot I kneel before a great flat stone and, struck from behind I am surprised to find my heart on that stone, rhythmically Pulsing, wet, alive, dislocated, ugly It should be sterile, that heart, but it gathers chaff And grains of sand, wind blown, and tiny pebbles from The rock on which it beats. Its sticky wetness defies The dehydrating air, the desiccating sun, the drying dirt I pick it up, hurl it toward a sea that lies beyond The horizon. Borne aloft, it is a miracle that it plashes Out beyond the turbid, crashing waves and half sinks Half floats in the moist milieu, shedding sand and sticks Beating still, wet still, living still
— Ron – 16 Aug 2008
Our second night together In not too many years Our love, so long enduring, So chaste and pure unless you count The thousand or so lascivious thoughts Coursing through my mind: O! to wake up more entangled Than entranced! But a treasure Such as ours is not so lightly Changed, and what pure bliss To wake to coffee, to walk, to dream, To reminisce of all those times When we stumbled, fell, Gave our hearts for breaking, Tortured our minds with questing, Laughed with sorrow, cried with joy, And we were here, each other, For each other, loving each other, Offering our arms in hugs That say it’s okay that we Don’t always understand. You, so tolerant of my mistakes, Must see in me something like The wisdom, beauty, courage that I see In you for each of one thousand five hundred Days and two nights. Can I -- dare I try? -- to fill a part of The “If I’m so wonderful...” empty Spaces over which you give lament? Dare I say what you might not believe, That you are still -- have always been -- My picture of not quite perfection? There still aren’t words, even in This “Precise, Extra-Fine” pen to Say what I have tried to know For fourteen hundred ninety eight Of fifteen hundred nights. In my dreams, I finally work it out On a porch, in an old rocker, By your side in the twilight -- But by then I have no empty space, And it need not be said.
— Ron – 08 Jul 1993
with my neighbors’ long since bare I cling to turnéd leaves rust and brown, sere and crisp, yet not surrendered to the ground where others’ have lain, been raked, gone to their reward in compost heaps or street drain clogs passers by, then even I, wonder if spring will come again for me my neighbors now are green yet I am clothed in last year’s umber then far behind the pack, the withered brown are pushed from their twigs by scarlet feathers; scarlet turns the palest, brightest green, then deepens and I wake again
— Ron – 10 May 2008
WHEN YOU PLANT a tree, it is with the expectation that it will grow But O! so long from seed to fruit: the tender shoot That first sees sun by foot or paw, careless beak, hungry snail, Days of drought, late spring frost, is vulnerable to the slightest Whim of chance. Next season, if luck and nurture fare it well, Taller and just this much stronger it reaches again to heaven. Speck by speck, ring by ring, imperceptible except we slow so Much to watch, it grows. Ring, love blossoms. Ring, a friend Meets god. Ring, a child is born. Ring, half-a-thousand meals shared. Ring, holidays and holy days. Ring, a tragedy, its burden shared. Ring, children grow and learn and change and it is hard and it is Good and they echo in time-lapse another ring, other friends and Loves and tragedies. Ring, nights up in conversations long and Hard and hopeless and hopeful and painful and beautiful. Ring, A picnic. Ring, the seashore. Ring, new job. Ring, new service. Ring, recognition and rewards. Ring, loneliness. Ring, illness. Ring, growth. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring, and still it is but A sapling. Stronger, sure, but without luck extraordinary and Careful nurture, threatened by the flashy flowers and verdant Grass which sprout and drink deeply of the soil’s mead, shoot Up and blossom in a season then are gone. Threatened, still, By storm, by drought, by gardeners’ whips and boys’ pocket knives, Landscapers’ whims and fire and pest and climate and economy... Yet, given luck and nurture, luck and nurture, luck and nurture: Ring, the planters grow old. Ring, the children grow up. Ring and Ring and ring and ring and ring and the children’s children climb; Blessed shade and sturdy roots and food and air they breathe Replenished by the tree in middle age. Now sturdy, tall, it may Within its boughs provide the shelter it once required but only With luck (ring!) vigilance (ring!) priority (ring!) nurture (ring!) And time and time and time and time and time.
— Ron – 02 Apr 2008
I HAVE TIME to sleep a few hours each night, Time to play two-year-old and five-year-old games, Time to earn a living, attend church, support my communities; Time for cooking, eating, dishes, And time to admire pages, white as newest snow. A little time to read from ink-stained sheets, More time to answer the beeps, clicks, whistles Of devices at my belt, my fingertips, in my kitchen. Time for laundry (process, not event), Time to plant and feed and water and mow But not to sully pages, still white as newest snow Pickups, dropoffs, diapers, playgrounds, movies; Depression, voices, chemicals, and tests; Movies, castles, wizards, bunnies, Peeps; The minister of magic seven days a week. Still friends await correspondence And I stare longingly at pages white as newest snow Tidying, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, Backyards, museums, zoos, lakes; Banks, bills, timesheets, licenses; Distant family tech support; Groceries, clothing, presents, treats -- Time for these and so much more And journal pages white as newest snow
— Ron – 11 Jun 2007
It is not my place; it was his. I honor memory. Pretzels that distracted while pizza cooled are gone, churros now. The rest remains: lines where I held him ’til arms gave out, then put down to run on mischief-making legs; straw dispenser attacked with single-minded furor, scoring many before I bade him stop; soda fountain where I juggled food and lifted with still-weary arms, napkins and bills of change blowing away. Or left at table with pizza, pretzel, and sundae while I ran for sodas and crucial napkins, fearing ill would befall in the seconds out of sight. Next door they sell tires; he crawled through the donut holes, got stuck where I could not reach without rolling half a dozen from the rack, our hands black and smelling of vulcanized rubber. Memories. Reality stolen by time. The air is chill, the flavors not so rich. Why have I come. I regret the straw-scolding. I remember to cherish the fleeting now.
— Ron – 16 Feb 2006
like a glass of port wine born with a kiss of sun and a spray of slightly salty breeze plucked away, crushed, strengthened in a musty stew filtered, clarified, and casked eight thousand days to grow in depth, complexity in quiet while the world rages round about only then to land a place, perhaps, at the end of a first time movieandadinner date, first sip, evocative sweet and sad and speaking of promise... but no second sip to come the journey of life, of two decades culminating in a sudden expected twist into a different urn with no way of knowing if the ancient drops can find their destiny again
— Ron – 03 Oct 2005
where it really happens. craving distraction. wishing for a word, a touch. so desperate that even a television voice would be welcome. but this, this is where it happens. tidying, cleaning, attending to old obligations delays the inevitable -- dark despair and glimpses of beauty will crawl out from where they have taken refuge in a busy life, a lathe of solitude curling and gouging away things important, things unnecessary, leaving a remnant
— RonRisley – 19 Aug 2005