Monthly Archives: March 2013

Julia Dean-Richards is a wonderful poet and a fellow PenDragon. To learn more about being a PenDragon, read on…

aplaceforpoetry

 Dedicated to my circle of delicious poets: John Etheridge (https://bookofpain.wordpress.com), Elizabeth Cook (http://serialoutlet.wordpress.com) and Jordan Roe (http://tierceandhum.wordpress.com)
.
.
Working virtually
the PenDragons are poetry’s
rough hewn ships on the tide of life
casting inky anchors deep, 
diving minds for matter,
sifting happenings for collateral
worthy of our keep.
 
We make no promises
seaweed catches on our bows
best intentions dashed
by errant storm, becalmed
by sleeping muse,
yet still compelled, we push
through ode and villanelle
divining subtle truths.

View original post

Advertisements

Comments Off on

Filed under Poetry

Us Anonymous

You and me, let’s do it, let’s start it,
Us Anonymous. They’ll come, you’ll see,
every one of them, they’ll come.

And while we’re not out to save anyone,
we’ll launch with a desperate desire because
that’s the key to it, I think, desperation.
To celebrate, we’ll take every last, nasty thing
that we can be and pour them into some fireworks.
Then, we’ll seal them up and prime them down
and launch them way up high, so that
when they implode (and count on it, they will)
every little part of us that we let go of will burn
and glow in full public view (painfully it’s true,
but just for a moment) before fading…leaving
our dreams on the air, dispersing everywhere.
Gosh, I can see it now, it will be beautiful.
It will.

Thank you so much for reading Us Anonymous. 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.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

2 Comments

Filed under Poetry

In this glass

Such a magical little thing is light
slipping quietly through clear water.
I wonder: what would we expect
if we could not expect,
and expect to expect,
forgiveness?

The standard of conduct set by all the world’s major religions would be cruelly hard if not tempered with forgiveness. The standard expected by all the Messengers of God, and indeed the standard that They set in Their very own lives, resonates clear as the example that we should aspire to, and in aspiring to, being the best and the happiest that we can be. And yet, being human, only human—merely human—we will fail, and fail often. Forgiveness acts as the glue that holds our journey together, in the sense that it allows us to fail, but also then allows us to retry, and, hopefully, in the end, to succeed with whatever spiritual battle we are facing.

Thank you so much for reading In this glass. 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.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

4 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Weights

Weights on me, weights on them
weights on the fixed frames we’ve become:
smiles in blue, cheeks in red,
heartbeats in that odd shade of rapid.

But gone? No never,
that’s not the way it plays out,
at least it’s not for me. It was and is
a race where you chase only yourself,
which is wearisome, but apparently fun too—
because I never did learn to make it stop.
And if it makes you become who you are,
that’s only after it becomes what you’ve made it,
and that just seems so unfair:
half the time you don’t even know you’re in the running.

And what do so many folks drag along in that race,
even if they don’t know they’re set up to lose?
But of course you know: weights on them,
weights on me, weights on the fix thereafter.
The odd thing is, that that’s the part that matters.

A friend once joked that I, like many others (mainly those raised as Catholics and Jews) are life long members of G.U.I.L.T: Group Under the Influence of Liturgical Training. Perhaps the old saying, “Many a true word is spoken in jest” is appropriate here.

Thank you so much for reading Weights. 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.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

4 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Another day of fasting

At the end of a day of fasting
it takes so little to satisfy me.
Is that the point?

When a lamp is lit the light must first
beg forgiveness of the wick,
the wick the forbearance of the oil,
and the oil the patience of the sun.
I know that without struggle there is
no merit in victory, but at night, still,
I lie awake thinking: without struggle,
how do we keep the night away?

I am foolish, I know,
I should leave it to our children
to figure it out. Now is rightly time
for me to beg the patience of my Sun
and turn off the light and sleep.
Tomorrow is, after all, another day of fasting.

The Bahá’í Fast—when Bahá’ís refrain from eating or drinking from sunup until sundown—lasts from March 2 through to the 21st. March 21st, generally the date of the Spring Equinox, is referred to as Naw-Ruz, or New Year, and is the first day of the Bahá’í Calendar. This holiday actually predates the Bahá’í Faith and is an ancient celebration held throughout much of the Near East, generally, throughout the area that once marked Alexander The Great’s empire.

At the beginning of the fast period, I had the pleasure of posting an incredibly beautiful poem called The Copper Tree Tops, by Lyn, my wonderful and long suffering wife. Today I get to bookend that effort with my own much lesser effort on fasting, Another Day of Fasting.

It is indeed a privilege and an honor to take part in the fast. I can honestly say that the effort required, which honestly is not a lot, is far outweighed by what one gets in return: a sense of accomplishment, of joy and of humility.

Thank you so much for reading Another Day of Fasting. 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.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address,https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

5 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Worthy

Anointed for faith and fidelity, around the pit
they stagger, bloodied and battered, the lusty ones,
those worshiped ones, our idols, gone now astray,
beaten down and broken.

And so in our holiness we scream for another,
and then another and then yet another—
because the dark that is coming is getting darker.
And though we swing and dodge as we may
and prove ourselves worthy with each new failure,
it never seems to matter and yet matters much and more.
For as sure as there is faith in the morrow,
we must protect ourselves from us, today.

This poem is based on:

As the new millennium approaches, the crucial need of the human race is to find a unifying vision of the nature of man and society. For the past century humanity’s response to this impulse has driven a succession of ideological upheavals that have convulsed our world and that appear now to have exhausted themselves. The passion invested in the struggle, despite its disheartening results, testifies to the depth of the need. For, without a common conviction about the course and direction of human history, it is inconceivable that foundations can be laid for a global society to which the mass of humankind can commit themselves.

This passage is from the Statement on Bahá’u’lláh: His Life and Work, issued to mark the 1992 centenary of the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Thank you so much for reading Worthy. 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.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

4 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Morning coffee

Her balance is in the flow
of scent-whispered questions
which scorch and sear,
the sparks from the caffeine
leaving your lips lonely and wanting more.
Not you, me, says that walk,
as she sashays out the door
leaving you wondering
and then wondering some more.
Not you, me.

This is the second collaborative poem of my poet’s circle the PenDragons. Read the first collaborative poem and more about the project in general here.

Thank you so much for reading Morning coffee. 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. Please, too, visit my fellow PenDargons’ sites: Julia Dean-Richards of A Place For Poetry (http://aplaceforpoetry.wordpress.com), Elizabeth Cook of Serial Outlet (http://serialoutlet.wordpress.com) and Jordan Joseph Roe of Tierce & Hum (http://tierceandhum.wordpress.com). All are excellent poets and they host excellent sites! I am honored to be in their circle.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge, Julia Dean-Richards, Elizabeth Cook and Jordan Joseph Roe; all rights reserved. The poems in this posting, and the notes that accompany it, may not be printed or distributed without the written permission of the authors.

10 Comments

Filed under Poetry