"Riddell’s great strength is his positive view of human existence."
- Capital Times

Ron Riddell

A selection of publications by Ron Riddell are now available for purchase on the site.

Selected Haiku PDF Print E-mail


A unique publication. The first co-authored book of haiku between a New Zealand and Latin American haiku poet. A dazzling selection with comment by Ban’ya Natsuishi, President of The World Haiku Association.selected-haiku

 “No poet has worked more successfully to make real the connections, between New Zealand and South America.”

-C.K. Stead

“Riddell offers the kind of poetry that never fails to move or impress us with its freshness, honesty and sincerity.”

-Poetry New Zealand

“Riddell’s great strength is his positive view of human existence.”

-Capital Times

“Riddell wants poems to build bridges and heal. He sustains a rhapsodic commitment to poetry that brings our lives to light.”

-The Dominion Post

ISBN: 978-958-99-0810-5

$NZ 30.00

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Three haiku by Ron Riddell

after the storm

rain puddles contain

the dance of fantail


Pasada la tormenta

en los charcos de agua

danzan los pájaros.


flames in the canefield

leap from the earth

to grape-blue sky


Fuego en el cañaveral,

trepan las llamas

al cielo azul-uva.




a poet at his cupboard

stealing from emptiness

hopes no one is watching


un poeta que roba

en su propio ropero

pasa desapercibido.


The Oracle PDF Print E-mail

A collection of poems



ISBN: 978-958-8466-05-7

$NZ 20.00

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New Bread

after Roque Dalton

the poem is

new bread

new voice

of blood, transfused



by faith

in what sustains

the otherwise



El Salvador, 2005


For My Brother


After so many distances

solitudes and silences

after so many journeys

deaths, losses


After so many sojourns

seas, shores of exile

forgone farewells

and nil responses

I remove myself

from familiar ground

to where I’m rootless

with no past nor name


that I may speak

to you, truly, kindly

from an inner state

which resonates


with the midnight

cooing of a morepork

patient, timeless

calling from the deep





Sometimes it’s good to stop thinking

                        it’s good to stop talking

                        it’s good to stop acting

                        it’s good to stop playing


Sometimes it’s good to stop doing

                       it’s good to stop wooing

                       it’s good to stop cringing

                       it’s good to stop whinging


Sometimes it’s good to stop


and watch the leaves

outside the window

gently waving

in the wind

A Love Beyond PDF Print E-mail


While mainly known as a poet, Ron Riddell’s highly readable and thought-provoking novels are finding an increasing and interested following.

A Love Beyond is Ron Riddell’s second novel. In it he elaborates on aspects of the themes of love, destiny, displacement and the quest for fulfilment. A Love Beyond begins with the exploration of a secret, unrequited love that had been all-but-forgotten but the two main protagonists, Duncan McKenzie and Celia Debrett. However, as a chance meeting in an Edinburgh café twenty years on reveals, the hope and memory of this attraction has never been completely abandoned. In its psycho-political aspect this enthralling new novel also contains elements of the psychological thriller. In the cultural, historical and familial spheres, the novel further explores the many such links between Scotland and New Zealand.

ISBN: 978-958-8466-05-7
$NZ 30.00

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Twenty Years On

Duncan McKenzie was a man who lived by cheese. His business was the purveying of cheese, of New World origin, though much of it went by names that were borrowed from the great European traditions: Cheddar, Gruyere, Emmentaler, Feta, Havarti, Gouda and Blue Vein. He counted himself lucky to have a career that was also a passion. His devotion to cheese had carried him a long way.

Now, at last, he found himself walking the streets of a long-held dream, the streets of Edinburgh, Auld Reekie, Athens of the North, ancestral seat and original Dunedin. He, Duncan McKen­zie, born 1939 in Northland, New Zealand, was not just a tourist in town but a man with a mission. Cheese was in the air. As he strolled, light-footed from Princes Street up to the Royal Mile, Duncan was a man whose thoughts were centred on curds and whey and their multifarious derivatives.

However, while Duncan McKenzie had a natural, commodious love of cheese, his passion for cheesecake was sometimes wild, unpredictable. Not just any old cheesecake - nothing too sweet, nothing too gooey, but a flan with élan. His passion was occasio­ned by cheesecake with style, cheesecake with breeding. He could spot one a good city block or two distant.

And so it was, as he wended his way up through Canongate, he happened to spy just such a puddin' - a Scottish cheesecake of in­disputable class, distinction. There it was, in its plain and simple proof, sitting in the window of The Café Caledonia. He needed no further invitation, not even the fragrant aroma of cappuccino that came wafting through the cafe door. He was over the thres­hold in the twinkling of an eye, cappuccino and cheesecake soon in hand.

He guided himself to a table near the window. His desert fork plunged into the generous portion that quivered on his plate. He ate with abandon, with unreserved relish, that is, until he reali­sed he was being observed. Slowly he put his fork down, brought his napkin up to his lips, dabbing the corners of his mouth. He looked up.

A Wonderful Weekend of Poetic Dialogue in Hiruharama on the Wanganui River PDF Print E-mail

by Ron Riddell

On the weekend of November the 27th and 28th there was a much-anticipated gathering of poets in Jerusalem. Nine poetic pilgrims made the hot, winding journey up the river road to share their poetry; their thoughts about life; their hopes for "papatuanuku" (mother earth) and humanity.

In a series of moving exchanges, poetic thoughts and voices were sought and found. New ways of looking at life and art were explored; new ways of sharing, of hallowing a common creative ground; new ways of looking at how we create positive, unifying and healing relationships.

It was the hope of the organizers, Saray & Ron Riddell that a "further seed" be planted at Jerusalem; a spiritual seed that takes its essence from living creative impulses. To their great delight, this planting was successful.

Sister Sue and Sister Margaret (whose Order of the Sisters of Compassion the organizers had worked with previously in the context of the Wellington International Poetry Festival) were very considerate with their assistance in making the Jerusalem Retreat Centre available as the venue for the event.

From Colombia With Love PDF Print E-mail

 We are woken up in the middle of the night by a gun battle raging between the neighbours – no petty domestic disputes these, over fences or the weeds climbing over them – but war in all its gory intent. It’s impossible to go back to sleep and we wait in suspense for the fuselages to subside, hoping against hope that none of the bullets have our names on them, for when the bullets start flying in the crowded barrios of Medellín (Colombia’s second largest city, population four million), there’s nowhere to hide. Bullets fired in the direction of an opposing “banda” or faction can soon become “balas perdidas,” (lost bullets), which can ricochet off walls and crash through windows or doors, with devastating effects.

Not long after this night of noisy mayhem, Oscar Tamayo, a brilliant nineteen-year-old student at the National University, is felled at the campus close by our house by just such a lost bullet, as he goes to retrieve some papers from the photocopy desk. He falls to the ground and help is called for but there’s no immediately visible sign of injury. Maria, the Rector’s Secretary, kneels by Oscar’s side. He gives out the barest whisper. As she goes to feel his pulse, she notices a small tear in his shirt and a smudge of blood – this is where the lost bullet enters, just below his rib cage, travelling home to his heart. She calls for an ambulance but Oscar is pronounced dead on arrival.


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