Tag Archives: frustration

Divorced from reality

a birch tree in the cold fog

The cold front, like a sly hyena pack,
slunk in through the night and
pounced on the warm moist air,
snarling and creating the fog in its hunt,
cackling as it roved in and took hold.

Early next morning I went to photograph
the banks of stranded mist
as their wisps and curls
pawed silently through the woods.
It’s a give-and-take thing taking pictures
of a shabby old forest in low light.
You find yourself thinking,
How in God’s name did it ever get this way?
and, What can set it aright?
Shot after shot, quicker and quicker,
more desperate as it goes on to hold on,
you try and try but sometimes, you think,
you just can’t capture what this silence is
and anyway, they can’t see the trees for the trees.

As the sun rises, the clan hunts itself breathlessly,
worries itself relentlessly and snips away
the last tendrils of its cohesion.
And then it’s gone.

up

How do we explain the inexplicable of what we do? I’m not sure, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

Thank you for reading Divorced from reality. 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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If only

Végre nem butulok tovább
is Hungarian for,
“I’ve finally stopped getting dumber.”
If only, I thought…

If only that were true I
would not fool me so often—
shame, double shame on me.

If only that were true I
would not calculate so dear
the zero sum gain of a
positive sum want.

If only that were true I
would, instead, invest in the
future and not in the past
and sum the effort
overcoming what is me,
knowing this to be
the final truth of the heart.

If only.

The quotation that starts this poem came from a posting on the excellent essay blog, the Bully Pulpit, about Paul Erdős, one of the  most brilliant and prolific mathematicians of the twentieth century. Erdős proposed the line as his epitaph, and really, how can you not admire someone with that sense of humor? Or honesty.

The title of this poem was my immediate reaction to the quotation. It still is. It probably always will be.

Thank you for reading If only. 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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Filed under Poetry