Pure Plato

Blame Plato with his shadows on the wall.
There was, then, a firmness to it
and it was my way to have it that way:
done right, right away.
It was all ‘blood-in-the-bone’ I know—
what can’t be justified with that?
But now that I am here at the end,
as God is my witness, it has humbled me.

How do you let go of the water that’s flowed
when the water that’s flowed has gone dry?
How do you say yes when you’ve always said no
and you don’t even know the why?
And when do you stop paying
when the loan is past due—
the principal gone missing,
the interest a debt double owed?

and I doubt if ever I will—
too many nights have passed me by
here in the dark of my cave.
Tell Plato to figure it out with the shadows on his.

This poem banks on the reader knowing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which holds that there is often a deeper reality to what we perceive is happening.

I think we all feel, as we get older, like one of the prisoners freed from the cave who can, with age, better perceive the forces, effects, and consequences of their own life. It is not always necessarily a happy thing to know, but at least it is the best truth we have. At least to that point; at least as best we can see it; at least as sure as we can feel it. Life moves, it all moves, we move with it and we carry on.

Thank you for reading Pure Plato. 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.


PS: Sorry that I have not been posting much of late. You may be thinking that all the big words in, and the length of, the long essay for my previous 9/11 post tired out my poor, wittle brain, and you may just be right. But I am also very busy these days with an evening course that I am taking from Kent State, and until today, Lyn and I have had the bounty of hosting our daughter and granddaughter…which has just been a wonderful, marvelous time. Oh, and I bought a new banjo. Hey, life.

© 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, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.


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7 responses to “Pure Plato

  1. John, this was an interesting poem. I like the use of the allegory of the cave.>KB

    • KB, thank you! I have posted so little for such a long time that I feel almost embarrassed to put out anything for others to read. While in that same time you have posted dozens of poems…I wouldn’t mind so much if the quality wasn’t so damn high! Everyone, please check out KB’s work at: http://themirrorobscura.com/ Besides being a good poet he is an honest, honest friend and an excellent, excellent editor!

      • John, you embarass me. You should never compare yourself to another especially in the endeavor of writing. We each do what we do as we can. I am somewhat lucky because it is all I do. You have a job, family, other commitments. I fill the voids of my life with writing. When one has the time the imagination is a fecund territory open for exploration. I will admit I leave no stone unturned. If you had the time you would write as much. >KB

  2. This is so amazingly worded with such perfect flow. I love the thought patterns here and very Plato. Wonderful!

  3. John – Dude! So good! I really liked this, the whole thing … the first line is such a smooth creek, no camera can do it justice … (That was weird, don’t ask me to explain that) … I like what you added about you and the Mrs. enjoying your daughter and granddaughter / taking a class at Kent State, and a banjo? Really! Excellent!… John, I have another blog, so that is why you did not recognize the gravatar. T (Normally its Wilder Man on Rolling Creek) … Later, John … Love the poem.

    • “Like a smooth creek”? Aw, man, that one I have to steal and soon! Dude, it is so good to hear from you! I have been worried with all that bad weather in Colorado. What’s the other blog’s name? I want to check it out.

      “Speak listen pray don’t be stupid”…priceless!