Children in the Rain – Ron Riddell

Children in the Rain – Ron Riddell

Children in the Rain – Ron Riddell



 Ron Riddell is an internationally-renown New Zealand poet. His poetry is particularly well-loved in the Hispanic world, where his last seven collections have been published in bi-lingual editions.

A painter, percussionist and the author of several plays and novels, he has published twenty-one collections of verse. His most recent novel is The Guardian of the Shield (2013). His work has been translated into seven languages. He divides his time between New Zealand and Colombia.

so much hanging by
a thread: the world upended
in a dew drop

“Like Robert Graves before him, Ron Riddell, unperturbed by poetic fashions or fads has for a number of years created verse that is both accessible and clear. By following the dictates of his own distinctive muse he has created poems that will still be read long after some of his more radical contemporaries will have ceased to be of interest to anyone.”

Bob Orr
New Zealand poet

“Should we lose any hope at the beginning of this new century, Ron Riddell’s Children in the Rain may offer us a warm and shining key to dispelling the darkness. His haiku and poems are a light of regeneration.”

– Ban’ya Natsuishi
Director of the World Haiku Association

“It wouldn’t be too pretentious to say that Ron Riddell is New Zealand’s most travelled poet. His distinctive style, the kindness and passion of his words, travel long distances. Printable Reality’s “Stage2Page” publishing series is designed to celebrate contemporary poetry, poetry that jumps from the page to the stage, and grabs you. In Ron’s case, the stage is anywhere, from any reader’s heart to live events and literary festivals across the world. We are fortunate to have captured some of his new haikus and poems in this beautiful volume. Please enjoy the places it takes you to.

Gus Simonovic
September 2014

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Life of a Field Hand
for Seamus Heaney(1939-2013)

A father digging; you follow suit

speaking for the silent earth, wringing

fresh life from ancestral loam

do not go down, do not go down

but rise up to a higher ground.


Rise to the task and share once more

the bread you made of kneaded earth

the drink to quench communal thirst

the peat you tilled with steady hand

revealing seams at furrows’ fall


Ulsterman who angled south

beneath the marching arc of light

bog man undo your links

field hand raise up your hands


let the light invade each limb

each sculpted pore; each close

and studied offering. Pause

for a moment, set to the plough


rein in the leash to the tiller

where out of deep, undaunted gaze

and the gift of peerless speech

Jerusalem is born again


vowels are rounded, consonants hold –

in the moment language flows

landscape too takes its cue –

we pause, look up, give thanks:


do not go down, do not go down

but rise up to the higher ground.


Vida de una mano campesina

Para Seamus Heaney(1939-2013)

De un padre labriego, has seguido el ejemplo

Hablando a la tierra silenciosa,

Moldeando con vida fresca

el ancestral barro

No bajes, no bajes

Busca tierras más altas

Retorna a la faena y comparte de nuevo

El pan que amasaste con la tierra

El trago para calmar la sed de todos

El terreno labrado con manos firmes

Revelando junturas donde yacen surcos

El hombre de Ulster que demarcó el sur

Por encima del arco fugaz de luz

Enpantanado rompe  tus cadenas

Manos Campesinas levántense

Deja que la luz invada cada miembro

Cada poro esculpido, cada cercana

y detallada ofrenda,

descansa un rato, deja que sea

El timón quien conduzca el arado

Más allá del abismo,  impávidas miradas

Y el don de incomparables palabras

Donde Jerusalén renace


vocales redondeadas, consonantes detenidas

En el instante en que fluye el lenguaje

El horizonte también cobra su símbolo –

Haciendo una pausa, nos volvemos para dar gracias:

No bajes, no bajes

Busca tierras más altas.

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