Patrick Ricke’s recently published collection of poetry, essays, and personal photographs, “Express Yourself,” makes for a delightful read. The work offers a glimpse of raw emotions as well as some fresh ideas on important issues facing America.
Patrick (or Alex or Alexander) describes himself as an old soul with a promise. In ‘Express Yourself,’ he does a marvelous job of not only expressing his innermost thoughts in beautiful poetry and prose but also exhorts the readers to start doing the same and live a happy life.
“Express Yourself” comprises several short verses, an essay, and a number of personal photographs of the author’s childhood and teen years. The chapters include ‘Love is Worth a Bullet’, ‘Without Each Other We Are Nothing’, ‘One Love’, ‘There Better Be…’, ‘God’s Reflections’, ‘Do People Change?’ and ‘Happy Birthday Mom’.
“I believe our purpose in life is to be happy. It took me twenty-six years to figure that out,” writes Patrick in his author’s bio. He goes on to present his thoughts and reflections in a number of poems.
‘Love is Worth a Bullet’ begins with the admission of a fear of making awful decisions and hoping that such a situation never arises. The writer prays to God to give him the strength to protect his loved one and realizes that the bullet in his gun is meant to save not his but her life.
‘Without Each Other, We Are Nothing’ is an essay on the Second Amendment and the gun problem that surfaces every after incidents of public shootings. According to Patrick, the American dream is not yet instilled in its children. And mass shootings go on. “Americans have freedom and responsibility. The American people can only progress in society if they work together toward a common goal,” writes Patrick.
In the poem, ‘Do People Change?’ the author remembers himself as a kid who knew he had the freedom to choose his words and the tone of his voice. Today, he can still feel that same freedom and is reminded about his childhood days. The author concludes that we are still the same kids, but with greater expectations and a subconscious desire to be better than the children we were.
“It took me twenty-six years to realize that happiness is the goal in any path we choose to take. Luckily, I was able to write some meaningful expressions along the way. I encourage everyone to not be afraid to express themselves. Be weird. Be different. Be the person you want to be. Just express yourself,” says Patrick.
Dedicated to Merry Leyendecker, “Express Yourself” has begun to attract praise from the readers. “Such a thoughtful and intellectual book, I wish I could give it 10 stars!” says one reader review.
I hear footsteps at night and whispers down below.
It leads me to believe we too will perish. It’s inevitable.
Tall buildings and low skies, false hope and white lies are all
Crumbs of our nature.
This world is a privilege, and my life is a pawn,
So why fight for a dollar from dusk until dawn?