Tag Archives: murder

Pain in a blind eye

A good man is a man who would love you,
who would, at the least, forgive you;
would look into your face and see the visage
of his Maker there and hold that too dear to lose;
would understand that you are the creature
of forces you could neither deny or command;
would wonder how you could ever do that.
But with that cordite in the air
and all this blood everywhere
and their screams still screaming in my ear,
I know I am not that man—
so I hate you even more.

And pain in a blind eye’s a double hurt.
Rúmí, The Mathnaví, I.
Quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p.34

It is the day after another mass shooting. A day when, again, we offer our prayers and love to the victims and their families. A day when, again, we search for understanding and why.  A day when, again, we wonder why the only answer is misdirection and empty rhetoric. A day when, again, we hope that there will be some substantive change, although we know there will not.  A day when, again, I come face-to-face with my inability to forgive such evil and to let go of my anger, and what that means about me as a spiritual being.

Thank you for reading Pain in a blind eye. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. I have disabled the ‘Like’ button for this post— there is nothing to like here. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken a few days ago in Cranston, RI. 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.

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Poetry

But not too long


up

Good-ole-boy Chas said he’d the right of it:
That preacher voted against concealed carry,
that’s why him and his died last night.
Chas-boy thinks that if he and his
had been there that day, they’d have heroed it,
because they’re always packing.

I’d think twice on that, sunshine, if I were you.
Notwithstanding the sheer rudeness of it all,
there’s always Justice, Chas—in the next world,
if not this one. Always. I’d think long and hard
about that if I were you. Long. And. Hard.

swril2

On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who is white, was hoping to start a race war when he shot and killed nine, black congregational members (including the pastor, State Senator Clementa Pinckney) at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, an historic church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Saddened as every empathetic person was at this evil terrorist attack, the article NRA board member blames Charleston shooting deaths on pastor’s vote against guns in churches that came out the next day floored me. One can only goggle at the arrogance, greed, cruelty and self-serving, blind narcissism of such a statement. (In case the article comes down off the server, here is a screen shot of his post. It’s small, but legible:)

up

That’s him, good ole boy Chas Cotton, in the picture above the poem.

‘Packing’ is an American euphemism for carrying a concealed weapon. ‘NRA’ stands for the National Rifle Association, a rich, loud and politically strong right-winged lobby known for constantly pushing for more legislated gun rights and viciously defending against any type of gun reform in the US.

Thank you for reading But not too long. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments. Please visit my photography web site, the Book of Bokeh.

john

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.

11 Comments

Filed under Poetry

Perhaps famous then

If ever I do, to show you how arty I am, I’d start with some animal grubbing in the dirt, perhaps, or something equally revolting. This incongruous and enigmatic scene would, of course, have nothing to do with the story, so a corpse would show up soon enough and the manner of the gruesome death would leave no doubts as to the cause: murder most foul. (That is life, after all.) There’d be multiple victims too, the more the merrier and besides, they’re cheap. And they’d all be nasty characters whose banality made their painful ends necessary—good riddance. The culprit would be more nastiness whose iron-clad alibi slowly rusts under the withering gaze of the eccentric, gruff, yet kindhearted hero/ine, who, after some stooge makes an innocuous comment, understands the impossibly irrelevant clues sprinkled hither and thither throughout the missive and determines how the improbable thing was done in the first place, and why. That’s always a crowd pleaser—why—even if not true. Then, after the guilty party stupidly brags a confession (which is—let’s be honest—hardly real but makes an efficient ending) the young love interests are reconciled, the obvious suspects are redeemed, the idiotic police are mollified and the whole shebang closed with the return of the opening grubbing animal scene.

I know—it would be totally neo-romantic of me,
but still, a cozy, comfortable world
where despite the corpses
(if not exactly because of them)
we are not left instead to hold the aging,
crumbling books that we have in our hands,
half-stories unfinished, chapters cut short,
pages torn out and the binding falling apart;
and where, when it is written—
if it is written at all—
it is written so obscurely or quickly or densely
that we cannot decipher it,
or remember it, or care about it.
Or worse, we fool ourselves into thinking
that we understand it but don’t need it.
Good riddance then, I suppose too,
but there’s no wonder—no mystery—
in that, not really.
Or comfort.
I almost envy the corpses.

This is the second of a trio of narrative poems I have written recently. In fact, I chose to make the first verse entirely narrative because of its subject. Why, in my dotage, I have taken it upon myself to write this type of poetry, which is rare for me, I cannot say. But it is up to you to say whether the effort is worth it. (Some would say that any change to my style would be an improvement, but those people are mostly family members who can be ignored and their comments edited out.)

In the end, however, don’t let the jocular tone of the poem fool you. At its core, this is a very serious poem.

Thank you for reading Perhaps famous then. 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.

4 Comments

Filed under Poetry