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Will

free

What do you do when you’re drawn to the do?
When somehow, somewhere, by someone,
there’s nothing that’s left that’s not been done before?
I mean, what’s there to be afraid of, except,
well—you know—you?

And yes, I know you’re tired, of course you are.
But you’re also all aflutter from the naughty
you’ve discovered, I can hear your pulse
pounding in your desire.
Just beware what you scratch,
there’s more than warm blood
welling from the bottom of this one.
And speaking of heat,
you left the door open
when you went your way home
and that’s making the temperature rise—
perhaps it’s that bridge burning beneath your feet.

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Thank you for reading Will. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken in Sedona, Arizona, along the Oak Creek river, just north of town. I had stopped to take pictures of the canyon and quickly grabbed this shot when I had the chance. For more photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem and notes © 2014 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 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: © 2014 by John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.

 

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Rend

I wish to God I’d
more water to weep,
more blood to flow,
more flesh to rend from bone!

Think you, you wolves to have me?
It is me and only simply me
and the rocks and the earth and the sea and the sky
and all that is immutable
who lie here prone and silent,
ravenous with intent,
waiting just for you—
fools you—waiting just for you.

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The idea I was trying to convey in this poem is best summed up by a quotation from the New Testament, Matthew 5:5: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

This quote is now often said with sarcasm, reflecting its use over the past centuries by the rich, powerful and manipulative as an excuse to subjugate and exploit other people by class, race, nationality or economic strata. The irony of this is undeniable: it is both a justification of greed, and at the same time, a sanctimonious suggestion that such rapaciousness somehow benefits the downtrodden. Ridiculous, of course, but hypocrisy seldom makes much sense in the end.

And in the end, there will be justice, if not this world, than the next.

Thank you so much for reading Rend. 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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Worthy

Anointed for faith and fidelity,
they are gone now astray
and around the pit they stagger,
those lusty ones, our idols,

bloodied, battered and broken.

And so in our holiness we scream
for another yet another and another—
because the dark that is coming is getting darker.
And though we swing and dodge as we may
and prove ourselves worthy with each new failure,
it never seems to matter,
for as sure as there is faith in tomorrow,
we must protect ourselves, today.

This poem is based on:

As the new millennium approaches, the crucial need of the human race is to find a unifying vision of the nature of man and society. For the past century humanity’s response to this impulse has driven a succession of ideological upheavals that have convulsed our world and that appear now to have exhausted themselves. The passion invested in the struggle, despite its disheartening results, testifies to the depth of the need. For, without a common conviction about the course and direction of human history, it is inconceivable that foundations can be laid for a global society to which the mass of humankind can commit themselves.

This passage is from the Statement on Bahá’u’lláh: His Life and Work, issued to mark the 1992 centenary of the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Thank you so much for reading Worthy. 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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