Tag Archives: persistence

Tell me again, will you?

flame

I missed another promise that I promised this time I’d keep.
The subjective implication of this
is matched only by the objective hook
that snags you as you pass it by:
it’s not the bleeding that ages you, it’s the scars;
think of sand put through the fire—eventually you become clear glass
but too fragile to hold on to, once made.

So hold me,
just hold me—for a second will do. Hold me as if to say
You do not have to break and I will never let you go.
So that when I do, and you don’t (as I will and you won’t
and that is the simple truth of it)
I’ll have that long trail of hooks and snags
and little drops of blood that I let joyously fall
(flung, really, cast out like little mendicants
with their tiny beggar bowls held high)
to find my way back to you, again.
Tired, I think, smiling,
I’m just tired.
Smiling.

up

Life is a journey and a long one. We are not, I hope, judged too generously on our few perfect moments, nor too harshly on our many failed moments, but mostly on our persistence to keep trying in the moments in between.

We should bring ourselves to account each day, but not to identify our failures—that’s corrosive. Rather, to value the good moments and the successes of the day, to cherish them and be thankful for them. Everything else, bundle up and pass off, asking God for His support and mercy. Life is about persistence, not perfection.

Thank you for reading Tell me again, will you? 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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Where you draw your line

No matter how short you think it is
told true, the trail is always long.
If you want to know what it all means,
it means exactly and only what you think it does:
you do not hike a path, you blaze it as you go.

So do not talk of the distance you’ve trod
but of the way you’ve left to go.
And if you think I am telling you exactly
what I want of you, you are correct—
I want exactly and only what you think I do:
you do not yearn in vain, it burns you as you go.

This is how I make the miles of a long hike disappear, by writing poetry in my head. It doesn’t do a lot for my practice of mindfulness, but it sure can make a trail go faster.

Human beings are such curious things. How much do we yearn to be safe and careful and free of worry and doubt? How much do we fear the unknown, when it is in the unknown that we find our strength, our purpose? How often do we do and want things that are inimical to our well-being? I am as puzzled by me as you are by you and as we all are by each other.

Thank you for reading Where you draw your line. 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.

7 Comments

Filed under Poetry