One pace, two pace, three pace on,
2k, 4k, 6k done—
bent, trying to catch a breath,
praying no one can see you,
certain you’re actually sweating blood.
You’d think, wouldn’t you, that you’d be faster
with the hounds of your soul
nipping at your ears,
but you’re not.
Funny that, huh?

It always catches me by surprise how quickly negative thoughts can sap your stamina and kill a good run. I have no cure for this, no remedy, not even any insight into how to block it. Generally I run as a cathartic act, to blow out the stress and pressure in my life. But sometimes…

Thank you for reading Jogging. 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 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: © 2013 by John Etheridge,


Filed under Poetry

6 responses to “Jogging

  1. Abbas

    When I entered the city
    you moved away.
    When I left the city
    you didn’t even look up to say good-bye.

    I’ll accept your kindness,
    I’ll accept your insult.
    I’ll accept whatever you have to give.

    Your radiance shines
    in every atom of creation
    yet our petty desires keep it hidden.

    Like the beautiful wife of a prince
    You dwell in a lonely place.
    If you came out of hiding
    the veil on every face would fall.

    You confound the doubting heart,
    Your intoxicate the faithful head.
    You have robbed every soul of its senses,
    You have brought every heart to your breast.

    All roses fall prey to December.
    All intellect falls prey to love’s glory.

    Since the rose is not eternal
    Why be captured by its scent?
    Let me know your secrets –
    Only the ones that last forever.

    How many men have found tragic ends
    running after beauty?
    Why don’t they look for you? –
    the heart and spirit of all beauty.

    You formed man from a handful of dust.
    You gave him the power to know the highest truth.
    You freed him from the snares of this world
    with one breath of your spirit.

    O love,
    O heart,
    Find the way to heaven.
    Find the way to Beloved’s pasture.
    You have spent enough time
    in this pasture made for cattle.

    Set your sights on a place
    Higher than your eyes can see.
    For it was the higher aim
    that brought you here
    in the first place.

    Now be silent.
    Let the One who creates the words speak.
    He made the door.
    He made the lock.
    He also made the key.

    ~ Rumi
    Version by Jonathan Star

  2. Hope you are doing well John, take care.

    with regards,

  3. I like this one … When I came to visit just now (almost said “Morning”, but it’s Noonish) I was going to look through your posts … and I will … but this was the first one, and I like it. The mix of what is humorous, and what speaks into something we have not thought about in a while, is good, is a blessing … the potency of the unwelcome negative thoughts …

  4. …and when inspired how fast the time goes and one’s energy is never-ending!

    • Isn’t that interesting…a side of the experience that I would not have thought to explore in a poem. I wonder what that says about me? Nothing good, I’d bet!