Walter Rinder would be proud

As you may or may not know, my dad and I collect bad poetry (for an entry on our love of crappy literature, click here). With that in mind, and the fact that Walter Rinder is the quintessential Bad Poet, I present you with an email my dad just sent me:

At the hospital [where he works] we celebrate a strange, committee ritual in which
someone reads a “Reflection” as the first agenda item. It’s usually a
bit of Chicken Soup for the Soul tripe and at consummation, most
listeners add yet another arrow to their quivers of enlightenment,
while a sorry few sit in stunned silence. Here’s the Rinderesque poem
read by a long-haired woman at yesterday’s reflection:

Wage Peace
by Judyth Hill, September 11, 2001 Wage Peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble.
Breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red-wing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
Breathe out sleeping children and fresh mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out life long relationships intact.

Wage peace with our listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothing pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music; learn the word “thank you” in 3 languages.

Learn to knit: make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries.

Imagine grief
as the outbreak of beauty or gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the word seemed so fresh and precious.

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.

Some applauded. I needed to blow my nose.

See? I come by it honestly.


5 thoughts on “Walter Rinder would be proud

  1. niall

    Loved your comment about Walter Rinder. I had to suffer through his heyday in the 1970s. He made Rod McKuen look like Auden. I’m so glad his vogue is over. Cheers!

  2. Pingback: No, really. This is where I get it. « the little bird

  3. Teri Swanner

    “To judge is to not know”…the fact that you and your father failed to “get it” doesn’t in any way diminsh the wonderful poetry of Walter Rinder. He was certainly a gift and treasure in my life and so many many others. Inspiration comes from “In Spirit” and Walter Rinder’s work was so inspired. Art is not to be judged.


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