Tag Archives: irony

One-hit-wonder

In a weak moment of optimism
I thought I could build a patio of four terraces,
in stone, in my lifetime.
It had become, by then, a misery of heat, humidity and sunburn,
sodden shirts, squashed fingers, stinging eyes and sore back.

But it was there on that patio,
from a neighbor’s open window, that I heard it,
a song I’d not heard in years—
a great melody, played incredibly, sung wonderfully,
the perfect summer moment…

Recorded by accident, I recalled, on a whim,
with the wrong personnel late at night.

It was almost lost and then released anyway,
more by indecision than design.

My wife found me later, laughing to myself,
slapping down rock with abandon.
God, I love to sweat!

I recently found this nearly lost gem several backup-layers down, deep in the bowels of an old directory I was about to purge. It dates from 2006 and while I remember the incident, I cannot, for the life of me, remember the song that sparked it! And if you are wondering, yes, I did eventually finish the patio, all four terraces of it. 🙂

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

The photograph was taken in our garden on one of the terraces. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem and notes © 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: © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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Surely, it’s both

In a walk-by-eavesdrop
I heard a son ask his father
why water was incomprehensible.
Walking on I thought to myself,
surely he means incompressible,
but you never know, not really.
Because when you think about it
(55 or 60% or so, lower when we cry)
it’s both.
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it,
why we learned to laugh?

Thank you for reading Surely, it’s both. 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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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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