Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer.

“Riches” by Charles Wm. Preble is a contemplative poem surrounded by watchful, waiting silence. “Behold,” says this poet. “Be still, observe, be held.” After showing me how to look out at the world through a poet’s eyes, this poem returns me to my warmed self, inviting a small, contented sigh.

–Tracy Rittmueller

Charles Wm. Preble

The first snow came
yesterday—eight inches—
and today it is clear and cold.

Across the drive, a pileated woodpecker
tests an aged elm for digs;
and chickadees and nuthatches

dine on bits of safflower
and sunflower seeds
as a downy swings on the suet,
savoring his supper;

and the setting sun
ignites the barren branches
with glisters of rubies, while I 
sit inside beside the fire.

Tell me I am not rich.

Click to purchase The Ruffed Grouse

Charles Wm Preble, in addition to writing poetry, is an artisan and a priest. He has lived in St. Joseph, Minnesota on a nineteenth-century farmstead surrounded by woods and fields since 1986. It is this place with its solitude, quiet and wildness which inspires the daily wonder of writing and reading poetry. He has published two collections of poems, The Ruffed Grouse, (2012) and Portals, (2017), available for purchase at Minnesota Street Market, and at the bookstores of The College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University.

“Riches” from The Ruffed Grouse, 
©2012 by Charles Wm. Preble. Appears with the permission 
of the author.