Tag Archives: freedom

Forbidden

As creation myths go, it’s delicious:
the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve,
the apple, the snake, the bite,
the slaying of Abel and us being Cain’s get,
the tale says it all succinctly:
take what you want, just pay for it.

But tell it as you will—it was no Fall.

The wonderful thing about myths is that while they may not be history, they are true.

Take what you want but pay for it, says God, is quoted as being a Spanish proverb by several mystery writers, among others, starting with Agatha Christie in 1938. However, I can uncover no further evidence that it is actually Spanish. The earliest mention I can find of it is in the University of the Sate of New York Bulletin of January, 1926. There it is said to be a Persian proverb, The Gods said to the mortals, “Take what you will and pay for it.”

Thank you for reading A dash, a running leap. 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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Us Anonymous

You and me, let’s do it, let’s start it,
Us Anonymous.
They’ll come, you’ll see,
every one of them, they’ll come.

We’ll launch with a desperate desire
because that’s the key to it, I think, desperation.
To celebrate, we’ll take every last, nasty thing
that we can be and pour them into some fireworks.
We’ll seal them up and prime them down
and launch them way up high.
When they explode (and count on it, they will)
every little part that we let go
will burn and glow in full public view
(painfully it’s true, but just for a moment)
before fading…leaving our dreams on the air,
dispersing everywhere.
Gosh, I can see it now, it will be beautiful.
It will.

Thank you so much for reading Us Anonymous. 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, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

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The flow

A small girl, her cotton nightdress
flapping behind her like wings
alights atop the banister…
Not me—you, her poise seems to say,
and with the balance in her flow
proceeds from whence she came,
down and away—
and away and away and away—
into the night, free.

I am a member of the PenDragons, a  poetry circle where we sometimes share poems in development to get a second opinion prior to publication. This particular poem is the first of two (the other will be the next posting I make) developed as a challenge to the circle and based on this first draft of an idea:

The flow is the balance,
through windswept corridors
and over rocky shores
where back currents whisper
quietly in your ear,
“not me–you,” it kisses
softly and recedes from whence
it came.

This rough, yet evocative, image-poor idea sort of took off from there and split into two more concrete poems fairly quickly. I have been tussling with them since the first few go-a-rounds trying to firm them up and, for better or worse, they are now complete.

Thank you so much for reading The flow. 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. Please, too, visit my fellow PenDargons’ sites: Julia Dean-Richards of A Place For Poetry (http://aplaceforpoetry.wordpress.com), Elizabeth Cook of Serial Outlet (http://serialoutlet.wordpress.com) and Jordan Joseph Roe of Tierce & Hum (http://tierceandhum.wordpress.com). All are excellent poets and they host excellent sites! I am honored to be in their circle.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge, Julia Dean-Richards, Elizabeth Cook and Jordan Joseph Roe; all rights reserved. The poems in this posting, and the notes that accompany it, may not be printed or distributed without the written permission of the authors.

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More or less, usually less

The skull beneath the eye,
the sinew without the pull,
the ghost left raving in a raging heart—
is there a hope left here to hold?
No.

And while this, of course, is something,
it is nothing and all that I am true to;
and while this, of course, is nothing,
it is something to be ashamed of;
if I had less, I’d embrace it more,
if I embraced it more, I’d have more,
or less, depending on my desires.
You see my dilemma, don’t you?

I love emotional and spiritual puzzles and paradoxes. I love ideas that conflict and oppose but are, by their nature, wedded together so that understanding them is a discovery of truth. It is my belief that at the heart of every paradox there is a great spiritual truth; resolving the paradox is the heart of wisdom.

One of these paradoxical truths is the idea of surrender. Let me illustrate this by a metaphor I first read by the wonderful Rúhíyyih Khanum.

Imagine yourself trying to drive across a busy city at the end of the work day; if there were no street lights it would be utter chaos. Moreover, without them, you’d be risking your life and the lives of others. But if the street lights are working and you obey them, they organize the traffic patterns in an orderly flow and allow you to get home safely in the fastest time possible. So by surrendering your will to the will of the traffic lights, you have gained what your independent freedom could not have got you.

Thank you for reading More or less, usually less. 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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