Something to hold on to

A symphony’s endnote is a flurry of emotions,
transcendent with joy and resolution.
When you left, you stole that last note away
and bound me to the penultimate.

I see others getting back to their lives
and think How can you? Don’t you still hear it?
It grows quieter, that drone, and I sometimes wonder
if it is now, finally, gone silent; but whenever I listen you’re there.
Sort of.

If you doubt the idea of the resolution of the key of a great symphony, listen to the last movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (the movement of movements, of the symphony of symphonies, by the composer of symphonies.) Jump to the 9:55 mark in the recording to hear the full ending. After that, listen to at least the previous few minutes of the recording to get a feeling for the piece and then stop it before that final note. It hurts, you miss it so. Not getting to hear that final note…that is what the loss of a loved one is.

Thank you for reading Something to hold on to. 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 Hilton Head, South Carolina. 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

7 responses to “Something to hold on to

  1. A deep expression of grief.

  2. “As long as I can find it, so are you.” Nope. Never happens. Most people can’t feel. They just can’t. We grew up and interacted with the world and that gave us a sense of knowing so much, especially about other people. It is a hard fact to accept that a lot of people are completely unable to feel. Just like there are people with missing limbs or limited eyesight or limited hearing.
    The synonyms are always partial. As is our connection to other people. Unfortunately we come to realise not only our words do not match but we are speaking totally different languages.

    • Well, thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed and expansive response. I very much appreciate the effort you put into your comments. What can I say, beyond what I said in the poem? As long as I can find the silence they left behind, that defines the depth of my emotion about them. Again, thank you! -j

  3. philwilke

    when I read this my first thought was, I hope Lyn hasn’t left him…  i love the poem, but two thoughts…. “drone” seemed ordinary… I think there is a better word out there… and “whenever I looked” … the whole poem is about listening not looking, shouldn’t the denouement reflect that? 

    • Phil, Lyn leaving me? Is there anything you know that I do not?!?! 🙂 Now, this is interesting. I vacillated between ‘listened’ and ‘looked’ a dozen times, and finally went for the latter because I wanted a sense of active searching and there was really no sound, but a feeling. But you have me rethinking that. As to “drone”, it felt right when I finally found it. Plus I cannot find a word that better suits. I generally do not like using words with two meanings because a reader may stumble when they hit it; ‘drone’ now also has the unfortunate sense of a small, remotely controlled flying thingee, but I cannot find anything better that captures that run-on feeling of waiting for some resolution to develop. – j