Monthly Archives: March 2021

With a little love

Another day another day
another day since that day,
another day until this day
hope today come what may,
here today gone away.

This poem is for all those who, at the last, hang on to that last thing there is to hang on to, endurance. Please, my hearts, hang on.

Thank you for reading With a little love. 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 is of—for those of you who love such details—January 2021. 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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Words, they hear you say them

There must be a god power
under the darkened surface,
a subtext that can explode
letting lose the kiss of tears
that both break and make your heart.

So weep your river of woe.
Gather it into yourself
and float it down to the sea
where, for your humility,
you are gathered in and loved.
Such is the power of joy.

My love and empathy go out to those who endure, and then who endure some more, and who do so on the power and beauty of their faith.

I write little metered verse, but this one seemed to demand it. While I am hardly an expert in the subject, I think this poem is written mostly in iambic trimeter, a specific type of seven syllables per line poetry. If you think this is incorrect, please let me know.

Thank you for reading Words, they hear you say them. 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 is of the Quinebaug River, as it flows through Putnam, CT. 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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Phil Wilke’s “Elegy for a Toaster”

Toaster of warm, browned bread
You have made your last slice

Marbled rye, artisanal sourdough, English muffins
All have succumbed to your heart-warming glow

Raisin bread, my dear departed toasting partner,
You raised raisin bread to an artform

There are secrets that you and I will take to our graves,
Or in your case the Butte County landfill,
Like “l’affaire du Pumpernickel” with the fork and the outlet.
Neither of us covered ourselves in glory that day

Melter of butter, melter of hearts
You charred when ignored, like a scorned lover bent on revenge

Another will take your place, but you will be forever in my heart
May all your slices be medium brown, and
May your crumb tray be forever clean

Was there ever a poem more demanding of an “Amen!” than this one from my friend, Phil?

Phil Wilke is a radio station manager, an actor, a journalist, a great baker, a husband, a father, a dear friend, and one of the funniest, sweetest guys I know. (Phil: you’re not the funniest, sweetest guy I know, but you’re like, you know, in the medals, top three. When was the last time you heard anyone say that, eh?) He loves to tease me about being born Canajun, and I, him, about being a Murrican.

Phil writes too few poems, but when he does you can rest assured that they are absolute gems of humor, with real love, humility, and humanity hidden in them like pearls.

And just so we are clear: I taught him everything he knows about writing poetry. Just sayin’.

Thank you for reading Elegy for a Toaster. 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 Phil’s kaput toaster. What you see above is the ever-faithful, chez Etheridge model toasting two slices of Old-Fashioned Sourdough, which, as you can see, since it has been treated kindly, still works. 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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