Tag Archives: temptation

When you walk alone

They say that sometimes at night
when your breath billows softly white
and the snow crunches loud in the silence,
when the pale moon hangs overhead, large and bright,

that on your dark trail you can meet the one
who will, with all the lies of the world
and all the fears in your heart,
tempt you and deceive you and break you.

I do not believe this.
I meet that one everywhere.

The Devil at the Crossroads trope is a persistent and imaginative theme in western literature and this poem came out of some pencil doodlings I was doing one day. But even as the poem developed, I knew its end truth: the demon is always me, my ego—and, in society—us, ours.

Thank you for reading When you walk alone. 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 New Hampshire one cold winter night. 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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A quiet tale of a scalpel and a brush

You have a thief’s hands, you do,
a lover’s lips, a liar’s tongue
and a drunk’s sure hand for the cure.
How often I’ve let you make me,
severing lips from hope
and painting my eyes shut…

I know you, I do;
I know you as I know the way
pain runs sweet and slow
down my broken back;
I know you as I know the way
I drain and flow to your will,
wanting more, yearning less,
mute to you all the while;
I know you as I know the way
I lay helpless in your gaze,
searching for you, searching for me,
searching for the surcease of I-don’t-know-what,
but searching all the same.
We know, don’t we? We know.

Thank you for reading A quiet tale of a scalpel and a brush. 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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Filed under Poetry