I set out to write a book


and placed my hero there at the start,
riding up a mountain on an old horse,
but paused, admiring the vista below—
it was just before the ambush was to hit.

And there I abandoned him, poor fool.
I had once had better plans for him,
but isn’t that always the case?
Hard done by he was to have been,
disgraced and bought to low esteem,
but being doughty and pure of purpose—
never casting it off for ease or self—
he would have endured through life and love
until his glorious self-sacrifice at the end.
He will never, I now know, make it to that end,
worse luck for him..his time has run out.
It seems I ambushed the coward after all.


Thank you for reading I set out to write a book. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken from the top of Barrett Hill in Pomfret, CT…one kick ass hill to cycle up, but worth the view once you get there. 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,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.


Filed under Poetry

11 responses to “I set out to write a book

  1. How fabulous is that 😄 wow

  2. John, a wonderful tour de force. Well played Sir. Smiles…>KB

    • KB, my mother used to say that, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” At this point my feet are feeling distinctly warm because I have meant to email you a dozen times to see how you are faring now that you have fallen off the edge of the known blogosphere and here it is that you right me first, to my total shame. My apologies. How ARE things going?! 🙂

      As to this poem, thank you, as always!

    • Wait a minute, you have a new blog and I never realized it! Darn…will have to change the settings on that puppy right away!

  3. I liked this a great deal, and I am so short on words to say why. Well, here is one thought: the very last line lights up one of the truths about the writer … that he lets the characters go, he lets the story go, to some degree writing itself … Our characters … we don’t always know what is going to happen, eh? Very well written, John.

  4. I can really relate to the thread you brilliantly weave throughout this poem John!!!!

    • Linda, that is very, very kind of you. Thank you so much! I am not surprised that someone with your empathetic nature could understand this poem so well.