It is in the small hours,
when tumbling back to bed,
that they come to you most often:
When will the dawn come
and will I rise to greet it?

When is my friend arriving
and will he wake me up?
But by then the clock down the hall
is chiming or ringing or ticking
and you’re already back, snuggled in,
asleep again, not that it matters
if you don’t want to rise,
but still, perhaps, just perhaps…


Thank you for reading Perhaps. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph is a still life of a clock I took in my home in Putnam, CT. For more photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh.


Photograph, poem and notes © 2014 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2014 by John Etheridge, The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.


Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “Perhaps

  1. Barbara Minor

    The clock picture caught my attention. And then the words have a perfect description of how it feels, as, my other half does clock repair, clock hobby, clock maker, etc. Clocks everywhere ticking, bonging or ringing with a unique voice telling me about the time. They all seem to know how important they each are, and with beauty all their own. Just like the Baha’is know we are all the same but look and sound different.

    • Barbara, so good to hear from you! I hope things are going well. That part of the poem was inspired by a mantle clock we have from my mother which rings beautifully (and loudly!) ever 15 minutes. I often wait to hear it in the night after returning to bed, and usually fail to stay awake long enough to hear it. It’s sort of my own version of “counting sheep.”

      I’d love to hear what the hour sounds like in your house. It must sound like the start of Pink Floyd’s Time! 🙂