For Who Knows Loneliness - Poem by Frank Bana
Pull back a long way, plant your feet,
Consider Loneliness from afar
Keep steady gaze until he grows familiar.
Your look eases the fear, your unease too
Falls away with Loneliness revealed
In his poor state of nakedness, a vagabond,
Transient and no more than your mind allows.
There may be no-one to appear
At the altar where you pray
At the parties where you look for friends
Nor does anything arrive to bring you joy
At moments when you most feel the need -
But the children grow and leave
For school or college overseas
And call you without warning, full of love.
Lying with your confidant in bed, was violence
A fear or just a threat? And aren't you glad
To be freed from that, suspicions and the mail
You had in common, shared address
And tangled clothes and hair, nothing for you alone.
No secret place to meet with Loneliness
Until you could embrace him and move on.
Wanting for less, your soul washed bright and clean
Beyond the reach of engineers of need
You confront his hangdog face, unblinking, without pain.
I know it's hard to loosen every fear -
Many have vanished cruelly, leaving silence in your hands
None have been as faithful or as true
As Loneliness, the one you wanted least of all.
Yes, you may sometimes be alone
Even in company, amid the human throng
So treat this man who hands you solitude
As you would have him treating you:
Welcome him in, upon a tight embrace
As if he were a friend embracing you
And he'll run screaming, far away
Not wishing to be known, leaving you well alone.
Now you begin to celebrate the senses of yourself
The multitudes within, the many you could be
The rainbows of your soul that shine in empty rooms
In hallways, in your mirrors, that endure -
The colours which you paint will be bright in other eyes
That gaze at you without desires or plans
For who you should encounter and become.
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