I wrote a poem a few months ago for a man who is and has been a constant source of inspiration as I continue to write, parent, live, and breathe. I met his ‘book of poems’ in a humble bookstore near downtown Indianapolis. My hands were drawn to his book, and I sat on the floor of the bookstore, devouring his words until digestion of each poem was complete. 101 pages later, I bought the book – and it sits patiently on my desk each day, awaiting our inevitable encounter. One poem in particular, ‘Delicate,’ I will never forget. I read it over and over and over again. I read it weekly, sometimes multiple times a day. I cry every time. It touches me in a way not many poems have touched me. I am asked by readers, who inspires me? Where do I find inspiration? What ignites the fire within? Trees and nature inspire so many posts and poems, yes, but Jules R. Ryckebusch is a very beautiful source of light that I keep close by – literally. On days when I am feeling defeated, I take his book with me – to run errands, go to the library, even to the gym! How do I even begin to thank him for his bright presence in my life? The only way I know how….
I pick up your book
And remember why
My stubborn fingers refused departure
The first time.
Your poem, ‘Delicate’
Did you write that for me?
It’s as though you reached
Into my soul and stole
A piece for yourself.
That would explain the title of your book:
Tangible & Other Poems.
You are a man intimate with death,
Love, Sorrow, Joy.
Surely you have suffered in this life
I can feel it, I do. I hear you, too.
Thank you for sharing this with me.
I find solace in the gifts we share
As writers and parents,
Roles plagued with uncertainty
And woven with unspeakable bliss.
You say what I cannot.
How is it possible that I know you
Though our eyes remain foreign?
I touch these pages
As if to reach you.
I wonder if you touched the pen
Used to write these poems,
In hopes of reaching me?
-Jules R. Ryckebusch
“The finest china and glass is delicate,
The fragility hides the extremety
Of its fire born life.
Sometimes there is a beauty in things
Easily broken because they are precious
And have to be handled with kindness.
The gods, it seems, made you delicate.
I think I might be understanding why
They took a young girl and taught her to fly.”
May 18, 2006
From: Tangible & Other Poems