The flow

A small girl, her cotton nightdress
flapping behind her like wings
alights atop the banister…
Not me—you, her poise seems to say,
and with the balance in her flow
proceeds from whence she came,
down and away—
and away and away and away—
into the night, free.

I am a member of the PenDragons, a  poetry circle where we sometimes share poems in development to get a second opinion prior to publication. This particular poem is the first of two (the other will be the next posting I make) developed as a challenge to the circle and based on this first draft of an idea:

The flow is the balance,
through windswept corridors
and over rocky shores
where back currents whisper
quietly in your ear,
“not me–you,” it kisses
softly and recedes from whence
it came.

This rough, yet evocative, image-poor idea sort of took off from there and split into two more concrete poems fairly quickly. I have been tussling with them since the first few go-a-rounds trying to firm them up and, for better or worse, they are now complete.

Thank you so much for reading The flow. 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 (, Elizabeth Cook of Serial Outlet ( and Jordan Joseph Roe of Tierce & Hum ( All are excellent poets and they host excellent sites! I am honored to be in their circle.


© 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.


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3 responses to “The flow

  1. Yay PenDragons! I just love the picture of the girl on the stairs…

  2. Pingback: Morning coffee | the Book of Pain

  3. Both are equally lovely. I think the first girl is a butterfly… and the waves in the second poem…