Posts tagged ‘loneliness’

04/04/2018

Loneliness

Loneliness is a companion as tangible as a veil. It shrouds the world of interaction, of closeness and of companionship, leaving nothing but truth for the lonely to face.

On the moors, with the wind blowing in strong from the west, rain showers gusting through you, it is possible to feel vulnerable, isolated with your frailties laid bare. But loneliness… loneliness is something you carry within. The towns and villages, teeming with summer tourists, are as lonely a place as the wildest peak.

Many of the characters in my tales, both living and passed, are lonely. They live their lives alone, and understand that we all die our own death, and face it alone. The circumstances that bring each character to their loneliness may differ, but it is how they face that realization that, to a lesser or greater extent, defines them.

In “Annabel” (the opening story of The Wedding Invitation: Vol. 3 of Ghosts and Other Tales), loneliness is the central theme. For the narrator, the fact that Alice – the main protagonist – lives on her own, without (obvious) friends or family, in a remote cottage is the very definition of loneliness. The narrator sees it as a common problem for many older people in such a rural community, as indeed it is. For Alice, though, loneliness is not defined by isolation. Loneliness for her is being separated from that which she loves. It is the division of the soul.

You are alone, in a forest on the darkest night of the year. All around you are the sounds of creatures in amongst the branches. You cannot see the path in front of you clearly. You slip on the tree roots. You are alone.

You wake, and the sounds you thought were creatures in the night, were the beeping of the life support machines all around you, and the sounds of the nurses and doctors, trying their best for you. They are out there.

You are alone.

(Photographs copyright Gavin Jones)

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21/10/2013

Passengers

 

So who is there to hear our sighs?

Our tears will go unnoticed here,

And we will pass, as angels pass:

Unseen and in the end, unloved.

 

And who will take this track with us?

Another lonely soul who sits

And traces light on passing clouds,

With nothing left to lose or win.

 

And we will fill out hollow eyes

With all the dust which fell from stars.

And we will cling on to the hope

That someone here will share our weight.

 

So who is there to dream of us,

To hold our hand, to make this stop?

 

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going journey.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

 

29/09/2013

Stepping Out

 

The dress was blue and never aged.

She dropped it on and felt its cool

The same as on the autumn day

She bought the dress, without his say,

 

Her week revolved around these streets:

Her home, her walk, her week of work,

The wall which held a wagtail’s nest,

The ruts on pavements, worn by years.

 

She passed his parent’s former house:

The new folk kept the garden neat.

She passed the chapel, then the pub.

She felt the village watch her walk.

 

He never said he liked the dress:

Or if he did, she didn’t hear.

 

20/05/2013

Where “L.A. Woman” Played

 

The black-walled flat – as damp as dark –

Where smoke and carpet merged and flowed,

And promise drained, and talent flayed

Its beauty with a knife of song.

 

And through the liquid of my eyes

I sensed the air begin its ebb,

It sucked another day to death:

A Hammond swirled, a poet curled.

 

The concrete stairwell, soaked in gold,

Was echoing a dusk or dawn,

As rain began corralling drains,

And woke that sleeper from its pains.

 

Out there a dog lay writhed in bones:

In dereliction, howled alone.

 

 

Remembering hearing LA Woman by The Doors in a squat in Blackburn, Lancashire, 1987.

13/05/2013

Always Four

 

Between the branches on the beech

She sees a star and shivers.

She gathers in her dressing gown

And closes tight the curtains.

 

The floor is cold, the room is poised,

A creaking board the single sound

Besides the tinnitus which whines.

Outside the wind is dying down.

 

Her eyes are heavy, full of sleep.

She stands and waits for thoughts to break

The pounding of the still.

 

The clock, which stopped a while ago,

Restates the time when timing ceased.

She bows her head and shuts her eyes.

 

 

03/05/2013

The Panther Man

 

The shadows curl their lips and kiss

My silent feet. They keep me safe.

In light I weigh, but here I float:

Adrift in myths and hidden fates.

 

From here I watch you fight for space.

I see the endless paths you take:

You circle, paw, and spiral down.

You know I’m here: within, beyond.

 

I ripple through your flitting mind,

Just hinting at the shape of words.

A fire as dark as Saturn’s heart,

A trick of whispers, mist and night.

 

I pad these forest tracks alone,

A shadow soft in shadow’s hold.

 

 

30/04/2013

The Atacama Humanoid

 

You called us dust and distant lands.

With sandstorm veil and mysteries bound,

With feet as sharp as cactus wren:

You claimed the stars, your hands were scarred.

 

Beyond the nitrate mine and cross,

You carried us to ocean’s scents,

To know the horrors of the edge,

To ask us how we bent the Earth.

 

We wept and tasted desert rose,

We shook beneath the condor’s wing,

We hid from caracara’s claw.

You called this home, this tear-stained sky.

 

We lived in fear of men and dogs,

For freedom begged the desert moon.

 

 

04/04/2013

Hawaiian Goose

 

A lava line around the neck,

Thrust from the seabed: drops of jet.

Their lonely births are fire and rock,

Are isolated slips of blood.

 

Those eyes: the brightest black on Earth –

Whose depths we fill with shallow hopes –

Inhuman, but within each one

A loss so great it is our own.

 

These islands we behold as birds –

Too far away, too bright to know –

Perceived as wondrous specks of light

Within the ocean blank of life.

 

They stare a question from our soul:

Are we alone or are we whole?

 

 

24/03/2013

Questions on a Homeless Night

 

I wonder

 

Have you ever been alone?

Just you, a cliff, an empty sea,

A past and future lost for words,

A pallid memory of the sun.

 

To feel the swell of night’s updraft,

The pull of moon towards the tide,

The drag of skeletons in chalk,

The thought you never had the time.

 

And have you ever found the strength

In silence, stars and drifting gulls?

And knowing there is only you:

Just you, a cliff, an empty sea.

 

The silver waves and shingle roar:

I wonder, has your life meant more?

 

(Brighton, 1989)

 

10/02/2013

The Night I Saw “Babette’s Feast”

 

On Brighton beach I watched the birds

Form dark aurora round the pier.

The sunset burned their patterned swirls

As afterglow across my mind.

 

I watched them as they sucked the light,

And dragged it down beneath the waves,

And when the neon broke their spell,

A lonely soul, I left the sea.

 

I went to watch a late night film.

The cinema smelled old and cold.

I drifted through a dreamlike meal,

In darkness tasted beer and bread.

 

A solitary watcher blind:

A film as still as life and time.

 

 

response to the film Babette’s Feast, and to art house cinemas.

 

 

 

12/12/2012

Song 4: One

 

The night of summer winds and storm

And hoping that the rain would fill

The helpless silence of my fears:

I found a tree and offered prayers.

 

The wind had picked a broken fence,

Cartwheeled it passed my open door.

It smashed into a neighbour’s car:

I locked my door and walked on by.

 

Pathetic miles on mile I traipsed

In blistered cold towards the Downs.

Before the hills I found a wood,

With branches falling, streams in flood.

 

I picked the tree, I left my words,

Then fell in tears of true despair.

 

Lewes Road, Brighton where I listened to One by U2

11/12/2012

Song 1: Souvenir

 

The forests where the adder slept,

And where my loneliness found peace,

Were rich with beechwood Sunday rains,

And softened by the Autumn songs.

 

The drip of drums through scented larch.

A fractured truth which filled my heart.

Escape and acorns broke the hold

Of screaming homes and severed schools.

 

I ate the beauty of the earth:

Russula, Parasol and Cep,

I gleaned the music picking hope

In melodies which set me free.

 

For always are the two entwined:

A Souvenir, a stand of pines.

 

The forests of South Wales where I heard Souvenir by OMD.

.

14/11/2012

The Garden of the House of Pindar

 

Within the wall a redstart crouched.

It cocked its head, it stretched its wing.

This place would do: it settled in

To pass the night alone and cold.

 

Around the garden torches spat,

At moths unused to earthly moons.

To lunar flames they offered gifts.

The goddess, grateful, took their wings.

 

The garden bloomed as every year.

Its evening peace and perfumes seeped,

Beyond the walls with sleeping birds,

Across the jumbled piles of rock,

 

And on it spread above the bones,

And through the wrecks and shells of homes.

09/11/2012

θέσις

 

One day the driest desert asked

A poet for a simple verse,

A poem he could understand:

And so she wrote a song of seas.

 

The second day the skies and clouds

Asked for an easy piece to read,

A poem light and full of air:

And so she wrote a song of caves.

 

The trees requested forest words:

She wrote a desert song for them.

The night demanded darker thoughts:

The song she sang was made of sun.

 

She sang the moments of her soul,

The saddest joy that was her own.