Anointed for faith and fidelity,
they are gone now astray
and around the pit they stagger,
those lusty ones, our idols,

bloodied, battered and broken.

And so in our holiness we scream
for another yet another and 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,
for as sure as there is faith in tomorrow,
we must protect ourselves, 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.


© 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.


Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “Worthy

  1. This is really great! Well done. 🙂

  2. I love this conclusion, especially the last two lines:
    ‘…each new failure,
    it never seems to matter
    and yet it matters much and more,
    for as sure as there is faith in the morrow,
    we must protect us
    from us, today.’

    • Denise,

      Isn’t it funny how poems come together? For example, I must have spent more hours on the opening first few lines then the rest combined. They fought me the hardest. Then, out of the entire poem, the section that hits me as the most compelling (both as an idea and as structured verse) is:

      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;

      You, and just about everyone else I’ve spoken with, however, comment on how the last section falls like a hammer head for them.

      I must give a shout out to several of my PenDragon friends for help in finalizing this one.