A Life of Solitude.

“No man is an island”, so the poet led,

Tho’ I ponder on that presumed refrain,

As I quietly lay awake in bed,

The small hours of the night ticking away overhead.

And I shall presume he included women,

Tho’ such things usually go unsaid.

But for a while back there, when gravely ill,

(And I will speak for others more stricken still).

An island I certainly felt..in a sea of pain,

Tho’ thoughts and comforting words,

Of close friends were given time and again,

But the pain…’twas MY pain..would always remain.

And for some; the pain of loneliness?

Or the loveless, wed in vain..?

The empty house, the unfeeling spouse?

Can comforting wisdom fill the void?

Or see televised braces of laughing faces,

Without a seeming care in the world?

When all sometimes needed is one reassuring word,

That is given so many times of late,

In banal, flippant gestures heard;

“LOVE the cut of that coat”, or “LOVE that orange cake!”

So perhaps we always an island remain,

Surrounded by ocean of the equally vain,

Crowding in suburban estates about,

To assuage a niggling, subconscious doubt;

That in the safety of a multitude,

Under one roof shelter from the rain,

We live out a life of dumb solitude..

Secure amid plenty of one mistaken refrain.

2 thoughts on “A Life of Solitude.

  1. The wee small hours is a dangerous territory. It’s a land of isolation regardless of who is snoozing beside you.

    I loathe the 1 or 2 am wake ups. Cannot figure out why thoughts then are so dark then. I get up, go downstairs and read something nourishing until the yawning starts, the eyes water a bit and I’m confident of getting back to sleep.

    Ironing is another cure. I cannot decide whether it’s meditative or so paralysingly dull.

    The island metaphor is really powerful. In my Dad’s declining years, his world retreated to his garage, then the house, then the bedroom, then the hospice.

    The tide kept rising and each time the island became smaller.

    In his hospice bed, his life retreated in his own body. I held his lifeless hand as he died.

    The sea rose the last few inches and his island disappeared.

    On a happier note, I am reading President Jimmy Carter’s poetry. It’s wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Therese…I had a close friend pass away early this year…she was a very independent person, married for a very long time and oh so very conscious of her health…but a stroke brought her undone and she slipped into a kind of demetia…and regardless of the good thoughts and kindness shown, she just withdrew inside her own shell and slipped away……it’s what made me reflect on the solitude each of us lives in our lives…


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