From the light of dreams to morning's gloom,
Illuminated by a son, next darkened by a cloud.
A sun-filled ride to a light, supportive room
Then late and lost, lamenting now out loud.

Another flare, the heart is filled and light
Not twenty minutes, why would she grant consent?
For kindness, love, that shining moment's right
Protects this heart against the next descent

Through violent storm, no gentle rain to wash
The wounds, but sharp-edged ice and black and bitter night.
Again, the son, and hose nor mud can quash
The rainbow-joy now running in the light.

As metal tempered by the fire and freeze,
From warm to chill, this soul's harsh destiny
To know indifference, knowing to appease,
Survive, grow strong, for love's eternity

RonRisley – 22 May 2005


They leave.
Often too soon. They
leave us behind with the
thousand daily sorrows
and joys of our lives.
We speak of their big
things, their public
things, how they made
a small difference for
many or, perhaps, a big
difference for one.
Or two. We remember
smaller things, glances,
words, understandings,
knowledge of presence
even when contact was
deferred for the trivial.
We speak of accomplishments.
We remember stories.

They leave.
Leave spaces in our
world where once they
lived with such vivid
reality that they could
be safely ignored for
great spans of time.
Now those vacated
spaces call to our

They leave.
We do not grieve
for them but for left
behinds who can but
embrace faith that we
might in some different
eternity fill parts of
one another's worlds 
once again.

RonRisley – 02 May 2005

Literature/Writing 141

A collection of pieces from a 1991 writing course.

What makes experience worth waiting for?

WHAT MAKES experience worth waiting for?
Why not indulge in hedonistic now?
Always, there is an easy open door.
Temptation beckons, there to show us how
To bypass patience, tedium, long tracks,
Achieving simulated wealth and peace:
A fraction of the cost for gilded wax.
Make merry, 'fore we find ourselves deceased!
But will the faux experience ring true
With want forgone, anticipation skipped?
Next year, will memory be there for you
Or will you be by some new fashion gripped?
  For quality through time can resonate,
  Genuine art is thus proved worth the wait

RonRisley – 11 Apr 2005 (revised 17 Apr 2005)

What Profit, then, in contemplating ends

WHAT PROFIT, then, in contemplating ends
While things begin, at midpoint, at the last?
We know that tricky time just warps and bends
Perceptions of our now, our then, our past.
We celebrate a birth e'en though we know
That fleeting fame leads only to the grave:
But for this life, death would not be a foe
'Tis ends make moments rare enough to save.
Indeed, our moments make eternity,
What matters matters 'twixt myself and thou,
Connects the ancient with modernity:
The only true forever happens now.
  To know that night will fall before too long
  Must not diminish wonder at the dawn

RonRisley – 06 Apr 2005

Solitude Must Seek Its Own Repair

Solitude must seek its own repair,
Relying not on others to find right,
Trusting but to God, to self, to prayer.

Though counsel has its place to help prepare
For journeys taken to advance our sight,
Solitude must seek its own repair

If it is to escape from others' glare
And find its own true, perfect shaft of light,
Trusting but to God, to self, to prayer.

Confusion borne of conflict and compare
Might rob the staunchest seekers of their might:
Solitude must seek its own repair.

When striving to touch truth, best to take care,
Avoiding those who paint in black and white,
Trusting but to God, to self, to prayer.

Though lonely time can reek of dark despair,
Only unencumbered thoughts take flight;
Solitude must seek its own repair
Trusting but to God, to self, to prayer.

RonRisley – 30 Mar 2005

Elizabeth Keating

In 1988 I closed my information technology consulting practice and embarked on a thirteen year quest to become a physician. It was a journey filled with remarkable people and events. Among the most memorable people was Elizabeth Keating, Ph.D. who taught an obscure English 205 course at San Diego City College. Dr. Keating was a small, older woman with a big presence, an English accent, and very definite opinions about writing.

Continue reading Elizabeth Keating