Tag Archives: fate

Zodiac

The planets, the moons, the stars,
what a desperate set they make!
They turn, they wheel, they dice, they deal
and never do they know
how easy it is to slip by them—
to deny them—to just go on and ignore them.
Each night it’s the same, if you’re lucky,
to the right and straight on ’til morning.

The astute of you will pick up on the Peter Pan reference: “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.”

People think they are in control of their lives, but they are not. People are in control of their actions, but the forces that impinge on us are beyond our ability to control, coerce, and often, understand.

The source of all good is trust in God and contentment with His holy will and pleasure.

That does not mean that people are not responsible for their actions. But so much of life is beyond that limited degree of control. Illness, the way people appreciate your efforts, the way they treat you…you may be able to influence such things in a positive direction, but you cannot force them to be what you want.

And in some tragic ends, there are those who even chose the hardest and saddest of all options: opting out.

Thank you for reading Zodiac. 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.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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The magic of old New Orleans

In the heart of New Orleans is the French Quarter
and at its center is Jackson Square.
There on the steps of the Basilica,
and not just for the shuck of us rubes,
goes on the spirited commerce in lost souls:
tarot dealers and cursers in voodoo
faith healers and gazers into crystal,
they all vie for the right to sell you
the sweetest of illusions, control.
God on the one hand
and the devil on the other—
in New Orleans, you’d be crazy
not to deal the one without the other.

Many years ago, my wife was invited to speak at a conference in New Orleans and we turned the trip into a short vacation to explore the city’s storied French Quarter. Built in the middle of a swamp, by the 1600s and through to the 1800s, New Orleans had one of the highest death rates in the world. Combined with the large number of slaves that were brought in from the West Indies and Africa, this gave birth to the Death Cult/black arts/voodoo worship/deep Catholicism aura that still haunts the city. Walk around there, you’ll feel it.

To “shuck” someone means to trick them out of their money. Those stolen from are often called “rubes.”

Thank you for reading The magic of old New Orleans. 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.

john

© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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