But not too long


Good-ole-boy Chas said he’d the right of it:
That preacher voted against concealed carry,
that’s why him and his died last night.
Chas-boy thinks that if he and his
had been there that day, they’d have heroed it,
because they’re always packing.

I’d think twice on that, sunshine, if I were you.
Notwithstanding the sheer rudeness of it all,
there’s always Justice, Chas—in the next world,
if not this one. Always. I’d think long and hard
about that if I were you. Long. And. Hard.


On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who is white, was hoping to start a race war when he shot and killed nine, black congregational members (including the pastor, State Senator Clementa Pinckney) at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, an historic church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Saddened as every empathetic person was at this evil terrorist attack, the article NRA board member blames Charleston shooting deaths on pastor’s vote against guns in churches that came out the next day floored me. One can only goggle at the arrogance, greed, cruelty and self-serving, blind narcissism of such a statement. (In case the article comes down off the server, here is a screen shot of his post. It’s small, but legible:)


That’s him, good ole boy Chas Cotton, in the picture above the poem.

‘Packing’ is an American euphemism for carrying a concealed weapon. ‘NRA’ stands for the National Rifle Association, a rich, loud and politically strong right-winged lobby known for constantly pushing for more legislated gun rights and viciously defending against any type of gun reform in the US.

Thank you for reading But not too long. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments. Please visit my photography web site, the Book of Bokeh.


Poem and notes © 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: © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.


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11 responses to “But not too long

  1. Beautifully written beautiful sentiments!

  2. John, when situations like this arise, when the total insanity of a person’s actions leave me stunned, and I wanting Justice to prevail and unable to do so myself, I step back. I regain my composure. I cry if I have to. I let go. And then I let God take the reigns and with conviction, KNOW beyond a doubt that some day Justice shall be served. Please let your unforgiveness go. That energy is only hurting you. I understand how truly difficult it is to forgive sometimes, and I seem to teeter back and forth sometimes, letting go, getting angry, letting go, getting angry. Taking lots of deep breaths, I rise above the anger, saying NO!, and again let go with confidence in God that somehow the scales will be balanced. I hope this helps. (((HUGS))) Amy ❤

    • You are, of course, right. The problem is, I don’t want to let go of my feelings. And maybe ‘anger’ is not the correct term. ‘Indignation’ may be better. This was wrong and I will forever be there saying that: this is wrong!

      But still, thank you! You are a good friend! 🙂

      • I totally understand where you are coming from. I have learned to let go these type of feelings for they truly wear me down and exhaust me. That does not mean I have my head in the sand or my head up in the clouds. No. I just don’t have the vigor nor energy to stay angry any more. Perhaps I am just mellowing with age. I would like to think so. 🙂 ❤

      • PS And yes knowing something is wrong is different from allowing it to eat away at you. I’m really just trying to reach out to you to help you know letting go of anger is OK. That is not letting go of knowing this is wrong. (((HUGS))) ❤

      • You are, of course, completely correct. Thank you for being so kind! 🙂

  3. Few posts expose my hatred for racism … Paradoxically, this is such a necessary post (lack of better adjective) and (without flattery) well written post. The tragedy you write about, here, is intense beyond intense. The word “evil” is appropriate, in your use. I was raised in the deep south and I was “protected” from the truths of what happened and what was happening there, injustice and terror inflicted on the black residents of our state. Such truths are horrible. I will never release those memories, because they are not meant to be released. Thanks for writing this post.

    • T, there are depths to you that know no bottom. I did not know that you were raised in the south! But that you could come from such a background and be the all-inclusive loving man that you are, that says much for where the nobility of man can rise! 🙂 Thank you!