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?

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.


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, The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.


Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “It is in the owing, I think

  1. philwilke

    love this: but if this debt is ever to be paid/it will not be me who counts the coin.

  2. Picture this: the water is life. Life leaving you awards you with a hole to be filled. That is your debt. The debt is payed (completed) when you yourself are complete. The completion is called awakening. The coin to be paid is love. And as you noticed there is a lot to be paid. So go the extra distance (extra mile, other cheek, etc), go for excess on your balance, struggle to reach enlightment, feel all the pain and sorrow, clean yourself of this world. I give you my word: you will count the coin but first struggle you must.