Quaker Universalist Conversations

Poems by Sally Rickerman, QUF Founding Member

As explained in a previous blog, Sally Rickerman, who will  soon celebrated her 9oth birthday, is a founding member of QUF. Her deep commitment to Quakerism and Universalism is described in a  pamphlet entitled “Growing Up Quaker and Univeraslist Too“   http://universalistfriends.org/rickerman.html.  Rhoda Gilman introduces Sally’s poetry with this reflection:

 As Sally Rickerman looks from her desk through the glass wall of a small greenhouse that was added to the south side of the stone building, she sees an expanse of greenery, a wooded hillside, and a multitude of birds. In contemplating the scene, thoughts come to her that she often captures in verse. Friends have urged her to collect and publish them along with spirit-led messages that she has received in meetings and has preserved in writing. She only smiles and says that maybe some day she will. A few have been printed from time to time in QUF newsletters, and a small sampling is presented here with thanks to Sally.


Nature in her choice
Of her gorgeous hues,
States, “All reds, greens or tans
Must not be of the
Same, same class or kind.
Thus are enabled
To blend, bow and match
One another!
In fact, they must as well
Frequently rebel and clash !”

This pattern and approach
Gives us leave,
Sans the confines of lands or seas,
To float upon
The universal waves of open air —
Which puff and blow
Within the arc above
Which holds our name of heaven.

Here, is our home of spirit,
Where our souls can freely
Float, hover, roam and swirl
Above the gift of earth
Bringing into our lives and living,
Mundaneness and confusion,
As we struggle with challenges
To live our lives by
The universal Golden Rule
Of our inborn divinity.

So it is
With all humanity!
Let us then enjoy
It all, first,
From the gentle puffs of air
To the full blown hurricanes
Of chance and opportunity,
To live with, then,
Peace, and
Love for one another.

Sally Rickerman
October 31, 2008


The battle won
But not the war,
Bolsters the thought —
No more! — No more!

With items incremental
We have succeeded.
But in the end
The bloody scars
Cut down so very deep
That ever more, from wounds.
Which may still seep
From hurts so freely made,
When we sought to save
That, which we felt
Was the very center of our lives.

But, that center has since escaped
Both our adversaries,
And ourselves, the advocates —
So nothing, now is left
And all is gone
For in our struggle to impose
Our certitudes on others
And, without the very adding
Of the winning essence —
That of Love!
That war is lost for all
For now!

Sally Rickerman
November 30, 2004


Defined by Webster
As a substance, a powder
To change our base metals
Into shining GOLD!

Behold! Was it not
Made for the Gurus
Of yesteryear?

The self-same quick-fixers
That we have today.

Defined, as well,
For its prolonging life
But Where?
And, next, then why?

Do we really wish that
Our threadbare clothes of soul
Be worn into eternity?

Or are we not to be Content
To know our good
Will be at rest
To live in others?

Sally Rickerman
May 27, 2009


If we could fall
As a spent leaf —
Fluttering gracefully
Both up and down —
Then, sideways to and fro
In random involuntary dances,
With steps of convoluted,
At first, gracious whirls
While we meet the
Many vicissitudes.

The very many vicissitudes
Of our lives —
Full of pratfalls —
Seeming disasters —
Which envelope
Our very soul
When we lose our
Steady sturdy anchors!

If we could thus fall,
How much easier
Lives around us,
Even our own,
Would be!

Sally Rickerman
October 10, 2009

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