The Final Part of J. Humbert Riddle’s Birthday Ode

J. Humbert Riddle’s Birthday Ode,
Delivered on Vacation
In the Isles, 2010

Editor’s Preface:
A new, extended version of
Perhaps Riddle’s most famous
Poem, written during a time
Of supposed sanity, and ease.

VI. For You

In Worcester too
On nights once in
Cell-like rooms, thinking
Of paved roads long
After rains in the mid-day
Of mountains of
Bright sun-light on
Wet leaves that glisten, glisten like

Silence. Silence.
Silence tapping a wooden
Walking stick so gently
Against tar-black pavement that is
A tap

Of creeping boot-soles creeping
Against the firm flesh
Of hands rubbing against
Life and a
Tap tap
Of places down roads taken
Past towns I once drank in
By surging streams and hikes
I waited by tall trees with
A walking stick in hand for
You. Waiting

And watching out…
For you.

Posted as part of Poets United Sunday Poetry Pantry

15 thoughts on “The Final Part of J. Humbert Riddle’s Birthday Ode

  1. Mary January 10, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    The perfect conclusion!


  2. Sherry Blue Sky January 10, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Oh no! No more J. Humbert Riddle???? I love the wet leaves that “glisten like silence”……..and that he is waiting for someone.


  3. C.C. January 10, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    “wet leaves that glisten like silence”—stunning line 🙂


  4. kanzensakura January 10, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    This whole series puts me in mind of TS Eliot – but newer and more personal. Wet leaves that glisten like silence – incredible image. I’ll look at wet leaves differently now and think of this line. Your wordsmithing and line breaks are stunning.


  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 10, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    Oh you brought it to a conclusion… I have so enjoyed this series. Maybe there is a permanence in the an end like this?… and here it’s road taken and not the one diverging into yellow woods… maybe his choice is right.


  6. thotpurge January 11, 2016 / 1:30 am

    Beautiful… I do want to read the whole series now…great writing.


  7. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) January 11, 2016 / 9:21 am

    I have very much enjoyed the sections of the Birthday Ode! I was going to say I’ll miss J. Humbert Riddle – but remembered thankfully that I can re-read the blog.


  8. Marcoantonio January 11, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    i’m still waiting. this left me waiting. this is life



  9. Kerry O'Connor January 11, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    This has a wonderful phrasing and pace, which allows the imagery to unfold in the reader’s mind.


  10. Jae Rose January 11, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Supposed sanity and ease..and yet the pain of waiting is as loud as that tapping..i suspect that tap has echoed alone for many years past..


  11. Jamztoma January 12, 2016 / 12:54 am

    a bit creepy to think about. love the thrill of it. interesting.


  12. Wendy Bourke January 12, 2016 / 2:53 am

    An awesome series of poems that you have concluded on just the right note. Wonderful writing!


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