Tag Archives: tired

I set out to write a book


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and placed my hero there at the start,
riding up a mountain on an old horse,
but paused, admiring the vista below—
it was just before the ambush was to hit.

And there I abandoned him, poor fool.
I had once had better plans for him,
but isn’t that always the case?
Hard done by he was to have been,
disgraced and bought to low esteem,
but being doughty and pure of purpose—
never casting it off for ease or self—
he would have endured through life and love
until his glorious self-sacrifice at the end.
He will never, I now know, make it to that end,
worse luck for him..his time has run out.
It seems I ambushed the coward after all.

up

Thank you for reading I set out to write a book. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken from the top of Barrett Hill in Pomfret, CT…one kick ass hill to cycle up, but worth the view once you get there. For more photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem and notes © 2014 by 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: © 2014 by John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.

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At a cafe, watching


Have a seat

She plays, as all little girls do
when allowed to be themselves
(by themselves, for themselves)
with an intense ferocity of will
that allows no entrance to her
fantastical: crayons to paper
with a non-stop dialog
of the whos, ways and whys
of her world.

She is my daughter, as are her sisters,
as too are my sons, her brothers,
and all the young I can imagine.
And all I want to tell them
is that I’m sorry, that I never meant
for it to be this way, that I had hoped
for better when I started.
But the fantastical—as real
as it is—admits no one,
and especially not us unbelievers.
So I pay my bill and leave,
not saying, of course, a word.

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She was a darling child, caught up in her play so completely that it was fascinating just to watch her, her mother off to the side talking with friends. I thought, “There is great hope—despite our worst—yet for this world.”

Thank you for reading At a cafe, watching. 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 is entitled Have a seat and was taken in New York City on the steps of the Manhattan library. For more photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem and notes © 2014 by 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: © 2014 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.

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I awoke with a poem in my hands

but it was too dark, too late, too me
to grip it close and so my words flew apart,
little wisps of intent flying off to hide
in the nooks and crannies of our room.
There they murmured conspiratorially
and glared down at me accusingly,
pinning me back with their limpid eyes.
Exhausted, I latched on to the hitch of your back
but try as I might I could not hang on
and so spent the night lonely and confused,
refusing to even listen;
I once had held them dear to my heart
but I knew that soon each would depart
leaving me less than whole—going-going-gone.
So do it already, I thought. I don’t need you anymore.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Damned me if the older I get, the more I realize this is true…

Thank you for reading I awoke with a poem in my hands. 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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Just what time is it, anyway?

Silence is neither always good nor bad,
but it is what clings to you in the night.
My wife has stumbled into settled slumber,
a rational thing to do I’d agree, but still,
here I am, bone weary, too drained to go and join her.

The continent this night turned their clocks
upside down and backside front, and—
convinced as I was to connive in the madness—
I think that explains me now: I was supposed
to fall back and apparently I did,
because whatever time it is, it’s too late for me now.

Find your voice. Rejoice. Pray and listen.
Grab wisdom and don’t be stupid.
I went to bed.

This poem is only a slightly edited version of a posting at my friend, T.’s blog SpeakListenPrayDon’tBeStupid…a blog name that, you must agree, demands love. The post was entitled Find Your Voice! Find Your Voice! And Listen… and it was such a fine read that I asked him if I could write it into a poem.

OK, truthfully, I actually just wrote the poem and asked for forgiveness after, but that’s sort of the same thing. In any event, T. said yes. I love his tag line (it is italicized in the poem), especially the straight up, “don’t be stupid.”

Thank you for reading Just what time is it, anyway? 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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Take me—a prayer

It is too warm, I cannot sleep.
Where now is the kiss of mercy
to cool the brow of this heavy night?
In memory, in consequence,
in the calming of souls redeemed;
in humility, in submission
in the hope of forgiveness cried loud,
take me…

Take me.
Let me slip into still surcease,
let me fall into final repose,
let this beggar, at the last, know his relief.
All I want, all I really want,
all I ever truly wanted
was this poem to weep truer than me.
Take me.

Thank you for reading Take me—a prayer. 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