Two musings on loneliness…


The old man was alone.
Ninety per cent of his life.

He painted.
He painted for himself.
Who else could he paint for?
Nobody around.

His brush holding hand
toward his watercolour paper

He paused.

He laid in his first two strokes
and another
and another

He paused again…

What an individual.

Closed-in behind the walls
of his own making

Closed in behind the walls
that others erected
against him

He painted…
he kept on painting
his watercolours

Like an old machine – sputtering
and ticking over
but not actually ramped up
to accomplish the job

wound down
ticking over
ticking over

his cup was full
of ticking over

wound down as a human being
no interchange with his fellows

Just an old man now

his cat and his watercolours

Brush filled with colour

the colour of his life
flowing together
blending together
wet into wet
glittering across the page.

Painting after painting
shown to no one
becoming tea mats

never good
never bad
never average
never genius

The old man
still standing.

Out at night for groceries.
In all day.
Out in his yard
no one to be seen.

The old man
the old recluse

only his paper
only his paint
only his cat

only his yard.

never missed




Loneliness is defined as sadness
because one has no friends or company


But let’s just pause there. You are in the world I am in,
Yes, I know, a world of shortcomings and sin
But there are multitudes of folks around you too
Just like I see them pass me, as they walk through…

To their place of destination – work, rest, or play
Is there no one – for you to engage,
nothing you have to say?

How come they pass you by when you are lonely inside?
Shout “Heh! Come over here and abide”

“I’m only asking for a little conversation” – that’s what you should say.

Cause after all – you’ve only got all day.

If you are lonely – you must have time to be,
So stir your mind, legs and feet and go forth to meet

Anyone who is in reach…policeman, bus driver, vegetable man on the street, waiter at your seat, traffic warden – (now that’s unique…)

What about a window cleaner, road sweeper, tourist geek, fireman sam, workman plastering a wall, scaffolder or juvenile delinquent?

Baker, Quaker, candlestick maker, dog walker, Park Ranger, Gardener or Refuse taker.

My…so many to greet
But you are lonely still.

Is it that you don’t get out much?
Well there’s always the phone…
Maybe you are indoors and bed-ridden,
I will give you a ring – bring you cake
(if by you – I am bidden)

Anyway my contribution doesn’t seem much, not being mixed with ‘profound’ Psychiatric or Psychological insight.

Oh – and if you are able… what about a bike…?


One thought on “Loneliness

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