"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.

Books for Purchase
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

oracle

 


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

transforming

 

by faith

in what sustains

the otherwise

impossible

 

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

 

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

Love_Beyond

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.

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Ron Riddell's First Novel PDF Print E-mail

The Greek Letter by Ron Riddellgreek-letter

The first novel by Ron to be published.
A man loses his memory on an Auckland bus. His father goes missing-in-action during the Battle of Crete. A quest for lost identity begins - of the son and of the father. How do their roads converge?
The mystery of the Greek letter holds a key, to the discovery of these identities, to reconciliation, to new bonds of love and hope.

"As a memoir of a lost identity and a new ground of being to come home to, The Greek Letter is a thoughtful book. It is a story where heart and head thrash out the story that is the making of the personal myth; that in the end says who
we are going to be. On another level it is also a story that makes observations and asks questions of the political psyche of a society of which it is part. That said, it is foremost a story which remains faithful to the art of storytelling and
the inherent fascination of fictions. There is an openness of feeling, an integrity of vision..., as well as some very sharp evocations of place, that make The Greek Letter a good, fascinating read."

- Michael Harlow

ISBN 978-0-9582801-0-5

$NZ 30.00

 

 

  I

Ground Zero

I woke with a start as the bus shuddered to a halt. A pale, watery light drifted down to the shops on either side of the street. I looked at them in wonder. Where could I be? There was a cautionary sign above the driver's seat: On no account should passengers converse with the driver while this vehicle is in motion. I hesitated, stumbling forward as the bus drove away from the lights.

"Excuse me, driver. Could you tell me where I am?"

"Great North Road, mate."

"Oh, right... thanks," I stammered, and retreated to my seat.

The words "Great North Road" echoed blankly through my mind. "Great North Road?" Where could this be? Where did it lead? The road north. But which way was that? I gripped the metal frame of the seat in front of me. My head throbbed with pain and confusion. Thoughts came and went: senseless, random. "Get off at the next stop," an inner voice commanded.

I tugged at the exit-rope and waited for the bus to stop. We had travelled some distance from the place called Great North Road. This in itself did not bother me. If I had lost my bearings there, maybe it would be the place in which to rediscover them? Something there, some sign, some clue, shining in the light of a window or street lamp, would perhaps be able to help me. Darkness enveloped me as I stepped down from the bus. I watched as it pulled away up the street. I noticed the eyes of the passengers and their auras of domestic certainty. Their bus sailed on, like a brightly-lighted ship through the dimming western skies.

Overhead, streaks of crimson were splashed against a slate of deep ultramarine. The stars appeared one by one. All was quiet. I looked up and down the street. Not a sign of life. The street lamps stood like sentinels; guarding the rows of wooden bungalows that ran each side of the road. After the stuffiness of the bus, I was grateful for the cool night air; its bitter-sweet taste of eucalyptus, jasmine and wattle. I pointed myself in the direction of the shops on Great North Road, the lights of which I could still see glowing in the distance.

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