"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

Planet Haiku PDF Print E-mail

Planet Haiku by Ron Riddellplanet-haiku

My new collection of short poetry has been about five to six years in the making, following my first sustained attempts at haiku writing in late 2001, early 2002. Writing haiku is a very exacting discipline and I have learned a lot about the challenges of the "process" over the last few years.

The book has an introduction by my old friend, Denys Trussell, writer, raconteur, conservationist, poet and musician. It also has an afterword, by my friend and colleague, Ban'ya Natsuiashi, who is founder and director of the World Haiku Association. I am honoured that their fine words are able to accompany the texts of the haiku.

The book itself spans the years 2002-2008, during which time I have attended many international poetry festivals in different parts of the world.

The sequences of haiku in the book track the various journeys I made to attend these festivals. They are, in many ways, echos of the joys of these wonderful poetic experiences. But they are more than this also and if you want to find out more, please watch this space or send me a message.

El Milagro de Medellín PDF Print E-mail
El Milagro de Medellín y Otros Poemas (82pp), is the 13th collection of poetry by N.Z. poet Ron Riddell. It is the first volume by a N.Z. poet to be published in Latin America.el-milagro
The poems were written in N.Z. and Colombia between 1998 and 2002.
El Milagro de Medellín is the title poem of the book.
It is a celebration of Medellín, its people, ambience, culture,
including the Festival Internacional de Poesía which takes place every year.
The author started writing this poem when he was representing
N.Z. in the XI Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellin in 2001.
The poem was completed in June 2002 during his third visit to Colombia.

"Riddell's great strength is his positive inspirational vision of human existence. It is a direct view, uncluttered by ego, vanity or obscure references...
Riddell reports he has strong feelings of solidarity with the people of Colombia.
He believes that a combination of understanding and the arts can be used to bring hope, peace and sustenance to the people of Colombia"

- Capital Times.

Price: NZ$25.00

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El Milagro de Medellín


Medellín, O Medellín! You are the answer

to the poet's prayers - you are the poet's heaven.

You are a poet's making and braking

his purgatory, hell and transcendence.

Medellín, O Medellín, I want to sleep

with the beggars on your streets

make pillows of your gutters

and drink the tears from your steps.

I want to eat the feast of dry bread

in your riverbed of fable and fiesta

of poverty and poetry; of bombs and wonder.

I want to hear the doves raise their gentle hymn

above the racket of the gorgeous buses...

I want to whisper them my love songs and secrets

as they may whisper back to me

and breach the locks of my heart for good.


Waiting for the Perfect Man

for Janice Lloyd

Waiting for the perfect man?

Have no fear. Your wait is over.

The perfect man waits for


He waits in patience and in hope

For you to come and find him.

Wait? What are you waiting for?

Ever y moment you delay,

is a lifetime lost, a whole world wasted.

The perfect man lives round the corner,

larger than life, less than a bus-ride away.

Maybe you don't want to meet him?

Maybe you're not completely sure

Who it is you're waiting for-

and how you would know him,

one day, if he came to your door?


The Doves of Medellin

for Saray

These pigeons who tip-toe

along the rooftop ledges of Medellin ...

I have watched them closely.

I have asked them how to fly.

They are not proud, nor cold nor dull.

They open the doors of their tiny hearts

to where the hopes of beggars lie,

to add mine to their precious store.

And in the dawn of silent thunder

they lift me up; my hopes, my heart.

They take me with them, through

The cloudy heights - O brothers, O sisters-

I soar with them, on wings of light

In the orange glow of morning.

Spirit Songs PDF Print E-mail
Spirit Songs (100pp), a collection of poems by Ron Riddell,spirit-songs
was launched in Colombia, the U.S.A. and New Zealand in 2004.
Spirit Songs is the fourteenth collection of verse to be published by Ron Riddell.
It is issued in a bi-lingual Spanish-English edition of 102 pages
and follows the widely-acclaimed parallel edition, El Milagro de Medellin y otros poemas.

"Riddell wants poems to build bridges and heal.
He sustains a rhapsodic commitment to poetry that brings our lives to light"
- Dominion Post

"Ron Riddell's new book has the powerful,
speaking title Spirit Songs...the poems do, indeed, sing to us.
Ron has a way of skillfully creating echoes within lines and between lines
-not only rhymes but patterns of vowel sounds and consonantal sounds that
give shape to each poem and sometimes create reminders of other poems in the sequence...
so that the poems have some resemblance to music.... The reader ...is lead by the poet's voice to feel compassion from the sufferers of man's inhumanity to man."
- Nelson Wattie

Price: NZ$25.00

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