Al Young title




gabriele lightning

button camRemembering Gabriele | A Video Tribute

gabriele rico by richard pressman  © Richard B. Ressman


Gabriele Rico Ressman (1937-2013) in memoriam

 “We don’t stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing.”
Satchel Paige

You taught the world to write a natural way,

a playful way for sure. Don’t think. Just breathe.

Just undermine what’s on your mind and stay

aloof. Just hold your breath and die. Believe.

Let go and breathe back out. You’re on again.

Stories and poems we utter naturally;

text vexes us like learning the trombone.

Technique groans to get taught. You actually

danced from your left brain to your right with just

enough of the right kind of love left over

to share, to match all odds. Your lifelong lust

for learning and defiance lasts. Forever.

From Germany to California you,

light-giving Gabriele, you gave us you.

— Al Young
19 March 2013


writing the natural way cvr_


“I’m not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.”
— Sojourner Truth

On Living, Loving, and Dying

Suzanne Rico’s Walking Papers Blog |
A Long, Strange Family Trip



  1. Kathleen Lynch Says:

    Thank you for honoring Gabriele Rico in your poem. She was — and will always be — a “light giving force.”

  2. suzanne rico Says:

    HI Al,

    Thank you for posting your poem about my mom. Kate Evans did a wonderful job reading it at the celebration of her life. I hope you got to see the video that I posted on my blog this morning–I am sure you will see the essence of my mom in it.

    I loved “Gabriele The Natural Way” and will treasure it always.

    My best to you and hope to meet in person some day.


  3. Simone Rico Says:

    Dear Al,

    Thank you for your beautiful poem honoring my mom, as well as for your note about your own mother and the importance of making memories. Over the last nine months we have made some lasting memories, indeed, which will sustain us as we learn to navigate this world without her physical presence. We met several years ago (I think you came to a McGraw-Hill meeting in SF, maybe?) and I was hoping to get reacquainted at the service, but it was not to be. Please let me know if you are ever in the Seattle area and we will make you a fabulous dinner!

    With love and appreciation,

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