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The steed of the Valley of Love is pain

You have no idea what rages inside me, but know this:
I will steal the breath from your throat,
char you to the bone
and flay you down to your still-beating heart;
I will kiss your eyes wide open,
lift your palm to my lips and breathe there a prayer
and sing you a song that you will never have heard
yet have known since you first drew breath.

I will break you just to make you
and in making you may lose you,
but if I do, it will be you who is lost.
If you hate me when I am done
I would understand,
but I promise you this if you do not,
your understanding will all be your own.

The title of this poem is a direct reference to The Seven Valleys, Bahá’u’lláh’s beautiful and mystical explanation of the soul’s development towards complete detachment from the trappings of this world and unity with the Will of His Messenger. There, in the section “The Valley of Love,” He states: The steed of this Valley is pain…

Thank you for reading The steed of the Valley of Love is pain. 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.

The photograph was taken in my home, in Putnam, Connecticut, and is the reflection of our kitchen light in my open, but powered off laptop screen. 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 Work 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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Tierney Tolar’s “Seasons”

My favorite season is winter and summer.
I like those two seasons because
summer is where you can do anything
and winter is where you can
build a snowman
and you can get into a snowball fight.

Having the greatest family

I’m having the greatest time of my life
and the greatest year, the funnest week ever
with grandma and grandpa and aunt Sasha
and my sisters and brother and parents.
I have the sweetest family ever.
Everyone cares about each other
and everyone even loves each other.
Family is important too.

Christmas trees

Christmas trees are fun to put ornaments on
(and lights of course)
and it’s pretty when you turn the lights on.
Christmas trees are to put presents under.
You can put the Christmas tree anywhere you want to.
I’m following Santa Claus tonight.
Santa is watching you…he loves cookies.

Cupcakes

It’s fun when you make cupcakes.
They are yummy, they are fun and they are cute
if you decorate them.
It’s just fun.
You can decorate them however you like
and you can even make a background too.
If you want.

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I get to introduce you to a singular, new and powerful voice in the world of poetry: my granddaughter, 8 year old Tierney. We, Tierney and I, but also her grandmother, father, mother, aunt, brother and sisters are together this Christmas.

Thank you for reading Seasons and all of Tierney’s poems. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed them and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

© 2012 by Tierney Tolar; all rights reserved. These poems and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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The quilt

Fashioned from the multicolored, tattered, rag-ends of cloth,
the tiny, odd little pieces are sewn on the straight seam—
shifted, spun, moved about and fitted—
stitch by stitch, patch by patch,
the pattern repeated over the larger whole.

A quilter is a lover who sees not the plan but the fact
and slowly calls the dream forth from
naught but the meanest scraps of nothing,
binding them together so that in the end
it grows to wrap the whole earth ’round, safe,
as it sleeps in the arms of eternity.

A very dear Bahá’í friend was ill for several years suffering from debilitating migraines. During the illness she still managed, with her mother’s help, to produce a stunningly beautiful quilt into which she poured the emotional experience of being so sick. I was particularly drawn to the small reflective circles that she had scattered into the design to designate the explosions of light that would go on in her head when the migraines were at their worst.

For the first time in my life I contemplated just how hard making a quilt must be—working from the simplest of elements to bring forth objects of beauty. It is hard work requiring patience, planning and a sense of assurance that by the end of the project the design while meet the vision. A thing I call ‘faith.’

Thank you for reading The quilt. 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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