Like an old phonograph wound down
I am living out of time,
an echo in the refrain of a song that
I cannot, now, recall.

My children, however, are more modern:
they are billions of bits
scattered onto nets and copied point-to-point
with no apparent loss of resolution—
surely they will carry on that way forever.

This, then, is what it is to be a vector,
a force in a direction.
So consider: day has night, and light, dark.
But what has time got? Silence?
Well if so, then I am content,
let that be the vector of me:
stillness becoming silence becoming stillness…
in truth, that is all I ever wanted to be.

By training I am an engineer, so mathematical metaphors often sneak into my poetry. A vector is exactly as it is described in the poem, a force moving in a direction. Think of a wind blowing at 20 mph from the northeast—that is a vector.

Of all the spiritual truths that can be taught, I have come to believe that in this age of bling-bling consumerism, humility is one of the essential spiritual verities and perhaps even the most essential. With a posture of humility you can see the world for what it really is and not what it pretends to be and escape the madness that swirls around you.

Thank you for reading Vector. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge,

Comments Off on Vector

Filed under Poetry

Comments are closed.