Tag Archives: humility

Let go

Sweetest to my lips is Your Name,
deepest in my heart, Your Voice;
closest to my hope is Your Mercy,
strongest for my courage, Your Memory;
hardest on my fear is Your Justice,
nearest to my serenity, Your Forgiveness;
dearest to my patience is Your Own,
heaviest on my mind, Your Truth.

Breathe deep, let go, breathe deep,
repeat…
for when the page before me dries
and I have let go all that I have learned,
I will write this poem down, I promise,
I will write this poem down.
Let go.

Thank you for reading Let go. 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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Pure Plato

Blame Plato with his shadows on the wall.
There was, then, a firmness to it
and it was my way to have it that way:
done right, right away.
It was all ‘blood-in-the-bone’ I know—
what can’t be justified with that?
But now that I am here at the end,
as God is my witness, it has humbled me.

How do you let go of the water that’s flowed
when the water that’s flowed has gone dry?
How do you say yes when you’ve always said no
and you don’t even know the why?
And when do you stop paying
when the loan is past due—
the principal gone missing,
the interest a debt double owed?

Idon’tknow/Idon’tknow/Idon’tknow/Idon’tknow
and I doubt if ever I will—
too many nights have passed me by
here in the dark of my cave.
Tell Plato to figure it out with the shadows on his.

This poem banks on the reader knowing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which holds that there is often a deeper reality to what we perceive is happening.

I think we all feel, as we get older, like one of the prisoners freed from the cave who can, with age, better perceive the forces, effects, and consequences of their own life. It is not always necessarily a happy thing to know, but at least it is the best truth we have. At least to that point; at least as best we can see it; at least as sure as we can feel it. Life moves, it all moves, we move with it and we carry on.

Thank you for reading Pure Plato. 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

PS: Sorry that I have not been posting much of late. You may be thinking that all the big words in, and the length of, the long essay for my previous 9/11 post tired out my poor, wittle brain, and you may just be right. But I am also very busy these days with an evening course that I am taking from Kent State, and until today, Lyn and I have had the bounty of hosting our daughter and granddaughter…which has just been a wonderful, marvelous time. Oh, and I bought a new banjo. Hey, life.

© 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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mei’s “chasing the shadow”

I can see the sun
but
why can’t I see my shadow
pouring prayer and praises into the cup of faith

*

I can see the dark
and
I can see my shadow
sipping the wine of pleasure from the cup of sin

*

Oh Allah …..,
I am just a grain of substances
which was allowed to stop by and enjoy life
but tend to choose pleasure than piety
I’ve crossed the ocean to the edge of universe
to correct the mistake of my shadow
turns
it has to come from the fibers of this self
to kneel below Thy splendor

by mei

Re-blogging, using my site’s theme, doesn’t tend to work very well; the formatting of the original is never correct. So I have chosen, instead, and with permission, to post a copy, the original of which is posted on Mei’s site “meiro” here.

This is a wonderful and beautiful poem, a prayer really, where the soul exquisitely balances itself between love, longing, humility and humanity before its love, the Ancient of Days. Stunning! I hope you enjoy it!

© 2013 by Mei Rozavian; all rights reserved. Cannot be reproduced in any format whatsoever without the explicit consent of the author.

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That tree

Older, barer, thick and still strong
is that tree which shaded my youth.
Prickly and knotted with a rough,
gnarly bark, it was always there,
rooted in prayer and gifted with the fruit
of its many silent blessings.
It is I who have grown,
and grown to miss it,
although I know it stands there still—
all hard and solid, its crown assured,
the weight of its many years bowing it
to the ground, as it awaits the wood cutter’s ax.

But in the winds that blow and swirl
and curl down through the years,
that tree will live on
as long as there is me or mine
to remember it. My father.

up

With great love and thanks to the family’s wonderful, loving, strong-as-a-tree father, Jack Etheridge!

Thank you for reading That tree. 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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Laugh out loud

Oh my children, my children,
my sweet, sweet children
how I love you all so very much!
Come to me again that I may
hold you in my arms,
clasp you to my breast,
and kiss your eyes one last time.

My hearts—heed me:
cry only in joy,
weep only for others
and promise me that you will laugh out loud
whenever you think of me hence.
I know that you will not forget me—
but I go hoping that someday
you just might understand me.

This is the second of two poems I call my “Epitaph Duet.” The first was My epitaph. The idea is that both stand as separate poems but that together they form a vague third.

But the issue with such serious weighty things as the last words you get to say is that it is hard to deal with the thought of how much you will hurt—if only for a little while—the loved ones you leave behind. As I wrote this poem, I realized that is why so many epitaphs are humorous: it is a great way to escape the awful finality of the idea you are facing.

Thank you so much for reading Laugh out loud. 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

2013.4.18 Edit:

Thank you for several people asking if there is any significance to my writing an epitaph. As far as I know, no, I am well and will, I hope, remain a burden on the poetry writing community for years yet to come. Dealing with the subject of a personal epitaph was an intellectual and emotional exercise only.

© 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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My epitaph

If there is much in a word
there is more in a silence,
less in a desire,
and absolutely nothing left in an epitaph.

Unless, of course, it’s a really good joke
and then all bets are off,
obviously.

This is the first of two poems I call my “Epitaph duet.” (The second is Laugh out loud.) The idea is that both stand as separate poems but that together they form a vague third. As most of you know, an “epitaph” is a short text or poem honoring someone who is deceased. The best are written by the deceased themselves and the practice of writing humorous ones goes back to at least the Greeks.

Thank you so much for reading My epitaph. 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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Hamlet

And then there was Hamlet,
correct when he was wrong,
wrong when he was correct
and slipping beyond his decisions:
I surrender, therefore I am—
that’s the rub of it.

This is the third—and with a sigh of relief, you say—last of three poems in my “Keep on thinking” series inspired by contemplation of the famous, “I think, therefore I am.” philosophical postulate. The first poem in the series is Philosophy, and the second poem in the series is Overrated.

The poem refers to the most famous of William Shakespeare’s soliloquies, the opening of  Act 3 scene 1 in Hamlet, the lines of which are said by the main character as he enters the stage:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub…

It is, of course, sheer hubris to link to anything written by Shakespeare, let alone perhaps one of his best works, but if one is going to be utterly rude and hitch one’s wagon to a star, make it a bright star, say I!

Thank you so much for reading Hamlet. 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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