Tag Archives: peace


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.


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.


© 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.


Filed under Poetry

Chemo Café


I would like to introduce you to a wonderful poet, Ms. Julia Dean-Richards. I have been following her poetry blog, aplaceforpoetry for some time now and wanted, out of my great admiration for her work, to highlight one of her poems, Chemo Café, an excerpt of which is below:

In this lively, loving place
anxiety etched on every face
my comfort is a cushioned chair
a pillow and designer hair.

I absolutely love this poem. I found the concept of treating a chemo therapy treatment center as a café as incredibly courageous and clearly coupled with a powerful, purposeful view of life and living. Julia has told me that the sessions are now long over and “there is nothing to worry about.” And while I am certain that her current health is the product of a professional and modern health system, I am equally certain that her health is also a product of her positive, committed view.

And incredible writing skills, of course!

My wife, Lyn, and I host a monthly interfaith devotional in our home. Everyone is encouraged to share a poem, story, prayer, idea, picture or image that encapsulates their understanding of the spiritual nature of the devotion’s theme. This past month the theme of the devotional was, “Into the Light.” I read Julia’s poem as my offering because I could think of no other poem that expressed such a wonderful sense of light and buoyancy.

While at Julia’s blog, please also check out Snailbeach Tails, her magical, illustrated book for everyone who loves stories.

Thank you for reading Chemo Café. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting both the Book of Pain and aplaceforpoetry. As always, I look forward to your comments as will Julia, I am sure, at her blog.


The comments are © 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The excerpt from Chemo Café is © 2013 by Julia Dean-Richards and used with permission from the author; all rights reserved. Neither this excerpt from the poem or these comments that accompany it may be printed or distributed in any form whatsoever.


Filed under Poetry