Monthly Archives: February 2021

The murmur of the Nile, ever on


In Egypt, you more feel your way
through the beat of a song than hear it.
It is that wild thing you are after,
that joy of the moment held for its own sake
smoothing the blows into a throb you can live with
rather than pounding it out on your own.
It is like the tears running through the rhythm of your heart,
the ebb and flood of them the most ancient song
we sing of lives lived and life lived on
when it seems there is no reason to listen.
But you do, because you hear that music.

This is a poem written about and for the dearest of all my friends, my “brother of another mother.”

Thank you for reading The murmur of the Nile, ever on. 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.

Sadly, I do not have a photo of the Nile or Egypt in my collection, so I substituted one of Lake Tahoe on the California side. Certainly, it reminds me of the tranquility of the Nile. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 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. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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An issue of privilege

All I can say is this,
that you are dear and beloved of me
for who and what you are.

And while I see only the tiniest bit
of the beauty that is you,
that little glimpse blinds me
and I struggle to say more
then just my awe.

You may not believe any of this. That is OK,
I will wait to be proved right.
But at the very least believe in me and my belief in you,
for I believe in you with all my heart and soul.

Thank you for reading An issue of privilege, one of the more joyous poems I’ve written recently! 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.

The photograph was taken in Sedona, Arizona. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 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. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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Oh the parent who doesn’t know this

There was then a firmness to it
and it was my way to have it that way:
done right and done right away.
It was all “blood-in-the-bone” I know—
what sin can’t be justified with that?
But now that I am here at the end
as God is my witness, it has humbled me.
Too late, but it has humbled me
and now all I have left is love
and all these unanswered texts.

This is the second poem taken from an original longer poem, the other half of which was posted last week.

Thank you for reading Oh the parent who doesn’t know this. 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.

The photograph was taken in New York City several years ago; it is from one of the many marvelous Christmas windows displays that pop in the city at that time of year. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 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. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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It is in the owing, I think

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 renewed
but the principal is missing
and the interest long rued?

idon’tknow/idon’tknow/idon’tknow/idon’tknow
and I doubt if ever I will;
but if this debt is ever to be paid
it’ll not be me who pays the bill.

Occasionally, I will look back on an older poem and discover that my ambition then outstripped my ability, and I had mashed two poems into one. That is the case with the original of this poem and is here, I hope, righted.

Thank you for reading It is in the owing, I think. 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.

The photograph was taken at sunrise at Beaver Tail State Park in Rhode Island. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 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. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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