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JP Jan 2016
aloneness and silence are two aspect of one experience.
If you wants to experience silence one has to go
into one´s total aloneness.

I wondered, what happen when I go silenced, just to see
what happen to personality when you press the off button.
I experienced enormous amount of creativity and
understood the behavior pattern of Individuals. and also
learned that different individual practice aloneness for
different reason. I began to use my own life as a sort of
laboratory to test some ideas, the outcome was amazing.
I found I loved silence want to build a cottage inside of aloneness.

My friends started worrying about my aloneness, coz
we have the habit of getting frightened of anyone
who goes away from the crowd and develops Eccentric habits.
Suddenly they finding you going out of their circle
i.e. practicing new set of behavior. But your society won't
allow i.e. your friends and relatives come and advice in order
to pull you back into the circle. And I believed everyone has
a singular personal voice, unquestionable more creative.
But they look in dark suspicion, when you use in more
established method of that creativity - Aloneness

Why we  feel pain when we are alone? coz it hurts the EGO.
Our Ego gets nourished in the presence of others,
Ego cannot exist alone.  When you leave others and
entered aloneness, then you have to drop  Ego,
you cannot carry it with you. Our whole identity was our Ego,
the more you alone the more the Ego gets weakened...
Vinay Kr Jun 2015
Aloneness is ecstasy,
Aloneness is bliss,
Lonliness is aloneness misunderstood.
Rochelle R Feb 2018
The anguish in this alienating aloneness is alarmingly enlightening
I am aware as the colors of my aura
fade from vibrant to mute
A spiraling sense of self grasps at false promises of hope or help
Each face that shows itself as an ally is simply mirage or ghost
Or wisps of nothingness I probably hallucinated to cope
I am an anchor in a rushing tide
Life floods by with no more than a glance over the shoulder
Some collide from behind urging me to move on, frustrated when I don’t align with their idea of time
I need to be unapologetically ‘not ok’
Imagine my electric shock when I find that’s not an option
The anguish in this alienating aloneness is alarmingly enlightening
This is our place; here on Whidbey Island
We came here to escape all the noise of Seattle
To escape the chaos of our friends and family
It was just you and me
Our own little world
Our cleansing time by the ocean

We didn’t have much say much to know the other was content
We sat there by the sand listening to the waves
Letting our hearts whispers to one another
And as I ran my fingers through your hair
And you closed your eyes
At that moment we merged as one

Knowing that this is what we’ve been waiting for our whole lives
Knowing this is the person I want to be with for a long time
This is someone worth fighting for
Knowing that there will be those moments
Of being angry, scared and confused
Sitting in silent aloneness
Waiting for those secure arms and bright smile
To break through all the darkness

Looking out on the sound now
Listening to my single heart beat
Remembering how much I love you
And knowing you are worth this aloneness
From: Talk *****/Breathe Easy
© Khrystina-Lee 2010
Our embrace lasted too long.
We loved right down to the bone.  
I hear the bones grind, I see  
our two skeletons.

Now I am waiting
till you leave, till
the clatter of your shoes
is heard no more. Now, silence.

Tonight I am going to sleep alone  
on the bedclothes of purity.
is the first hygienic measure.  
will enlarge the walls of the room,  
I will open the window
and the large, frosty air will enter,  
healthy as tragedy.
Human thoughts will enter
and human concerns,
misfortune of others, saintliness of others.  
They will converse softly and sternly.

Do not come anymore.  
I am an animal  
very rarely.
patty m May 2014
I need a hug

a long one that I can settle into,

a kiss on the top of my head.

A simple gesture really,

to let me know

I'm loved and that you care.

An act of love and kindness

when nerves are strained and bare

and my heart aches

in its aloneness.
ryn Nov 2014
In solitude...
There's constant talk of the moon
And incessant wishes upon stars
Each word is cast unto paper
Unsure if they'd stretch that far

In solitude...
I embody pelts of droplets from the sky
As thunder mark the seconds that would elapse
Stagnant puddles of liquid dreams
Ever flowing in endless traps

In solitude...*
I feel the urge to lose all balance
Aloneness beckons like a long lost friend
Always strange but familiar
To see and be at the bitter end
H Zul Jun 2015
In aloneness
all in oneness
thoughts trickle
never end
but never mend
these scars

The gravitas
weight of words
push and piston
beating heart
the rise and fall
of chests

Cold and candour
truths in clamour
cresting waves
the callous pull
in quiet calm
the moon

And so I gaze
in silent praise
the constellations
glinting stars
in tessellation
your eyes

As I became
so garrulous
and perilous
chit and chatter
careless talk
to self

While I beheld
the universe
in reverse
your eyes
the skies
liza Dec 2017
One day you're feeling translucent. light. The only thing weighing you down is the weight of the wind. Full but empty. Content.
And one day you rise and somehow your sleep felt like the sleep of the past. You wake up felling like you're somewhere else with the smell of someone else's hair and the air feels like the air of a space you haven't thought of in months. And it comes back. Regret. Guilt. The weight. When you open you're eyes, you're still where you were left. Somewhere alone. It never matters though.

There's an odd silence that comes with aloneness. It's purely specific to aloneness. I think once you get used to this silence, the loneliness goes away. Then it's just you and the dog again, and it's okay to be alone.

Before this silence becomes familiar, it just feels like the space of a place that was once filled. And while the filling loved you, the emptiness never will.
harlon rivers Nov 2017
The nakedness of winter lies heavy upon
the tolling Sunday quietude
Shed  leaves perish into yesterday
and the dream of another
dawning  someday wanes

The  sun ― lay low
the drudging  ashen  skyline  
Barerd emerald moss scaffolds
draw much more distantness
to the pallid shadowed horizon

The evergreens step forth,
roots grasping sacred heart,
soil  and  rock
In the swelling aloneness
you can feel the grain
of  the  heartwood
rooted in your soul

There are no hard feelings
but there's an enduring ache,
like a tree with a rotting limb
languishing  within
its blackened bark sacrifice

It's not just the grinding time
that slips away begrudgingly;
more of the same takes a toll 
as if another unrung belfry hour
in an empty bell tower
without a song rang out in vain,

peeling  reflections
of reluctant hours  c r a w l  by
in the insensible apathy

A so called holiday passes ―
its footprint bears down
hard  and  deep
as if a paling winter rose
grieves its own passing

A dry wishbone unbroken
lay bare the poignant
truth  it  holds;

it takes two to make
this wish come true

Written by:  harlon rivers
a winter Sunday
11. 26. 2017

Note : alternative title before
accidentally published
by write/ public/default

"Unlucky Wishbone"
Ottar Jun 2013
Atmosphere, the fish bowl, circling here
At most fear, someone watching, from near
Atmosphere, is it failing bit by bit?
At most fear, aloneness, unable to admit,
they are?

A mouse dear, it was a mouse I fear
In this a house of cheer and merriment,
go back my friend, to your hole in the wall
*it is a trap!
Change for the sake of change to rearrange and displace all the pieces,
Overload as to not negotiate, something wretched, stinks like feces.

I disavow any knowledge, yup dumb as brick...
Adam Childs Feb 2014
Please do not ring
For your eyes sting
As I see the many failures
The shadows in your eyes
For I seek to hide
From the many mirrors
Of this world
Please pass me by
Dismiss me
For your presence hurts
My very wishes
Splitting my heart in two
And the blessing of others
Chisel my brow
Aged by my own hope

I star gaze into
The world of relating
Never has a breath of love
Felt so far away
But there is a beauty
In the midnight black
As I gazeee
The love between stars
Dances and plays
But as day turns to night
I switch of the light
Feeling the gravity
Of this earth
My heart seeks
An unconscious sleep
Where my head rests
In the soil of my mind

For I am a solitary saxophonist
Who echos his song across
The still silent lake at night
Stirring the leaves of the willow trees
Who stretch over the moon lite lake
Slowly I tread
Into the dark lake at night
The murky waters of my mind
Descending the waters of fright
Where devils and demons
Lurk out of sight
Where I seek to meet
The dwellers of the deep
To hear their hidden screams
Releasing the sounds
Of the forbidden wounds
That haunt the twilight night

As the world seeks to draw
Me into their petty quarrels
Their childish fights
As they play
Pitta patta , pitta patta
Bakers man
So that they may find their hands
I bath in the warmth of God
Protected by the many showers
Of many disappointments
That are sprinkled on many a love
As I seek a deeper silence
Where the world flees from
I seek to find a solace
As I bring much company
To the many painful parts
Searching to cushion them
With a gentle love
Harvested from the oceanic realms
One we all may find
If we simply care to look

Taking breath to feel
The great aloneness
Can be a nervous task
But our many demons and angels
Will all be found
Standing close so very close
Hand in hand cheek to cheek
One the doctor ,one patient
So finding the treasures of our deep
Will bring you a great new sweep
As we wipe my feet clean
Before I enter another soul
No way to breathe
No way to find myself
Out of this sorrow
of you

I hear rumors
Sleeping In laundry mats
Dumpsers next
to the river
At night
Under freeway passes

The **** owns you
Knowing you
are so vulnerable
Breaks my heart
Even more

I am isolated
in your aloneness
I am lost in
your lost-ness
I miss you deeply
Yet am afraid
Of all you
come with

How do I find solace
When there is none
When the
silver lining has
become tarnished

My Sparkle Girl
Gone Girl Gone
Even if I found you
You would deny me
You would deny
me because
I am the voice
of reason
That you run from

I am so very alone
in your aloneness
Methamphetamine addiction. Heartbreaking
A conflict crippling beyond my will,
My mind, my own capacity,
Abating to the point of dread
A broken soul, now broken inanity

The words I can't resist to restate
Again and again and about
Can I have the will to keep it--
The meaning, now to saturate

I sit in my muddled state of disarray
Contemplating the worst--
Or perhaps,
Just honesty

I love my scattered, esoteric mind
I love to squirm as I think at night
Alone, I know, not just in presence
But in ethos, judgement, sense--all the rest,

Still who can help but want another
A mind to love for lonely days
Any mind vaguely the same, just wise
Who could think in ways of deep insight

Can both be given?
In my life of ungraciousness
My world of willful sorrow
My feeble ways of petty days

A weight held fast in the heart

That's what my conflict is made of.
Hal Loyd Denton Oct 2012
This piece was started earlier in my mind now I apologize if it is openly to raw and telling but let me tell
You try to give something with this idiocy going on it’s a tall order when you read that a young new
Afghanistan bride was beheaded because she wouldn’t submit to prostitution we have the little girl in
Pakistan shot by the Taliban because of her love of peace and liberty I add this it’s a pretty sick system
And without any power if it must prey on little ones to continue what kind of vile concoction do those
Men in that part of the world take I know that answer it’s the only place that they openly lick the poison
Right from the devil’s Godless finger tips I will repeat my own encounter with a demon back home in
California he’s speaking trying to act as God’s Holy angel in my spirit I saw this creature with a body of
Bubbling sores and then I knew evil at its core all that reject God’s holy love has only one thing left that
Thing that talked with me and causes men to do these unbelievable acts and before you say oh that’s in
The Middle East children today just turned in a cell phone of a young American woman in Oregon who
Worked at Star Bucks is missing it was five minutes from her home they find the cell phone in a field
The filthy oozing thing I spoke of just moved up the coast it’s a global problem children to the most part
Don’t have cell phones they are found in fields and the little ten year old was also beheaded to try to
Hide her identity that was in Colorado we have a sin problem that only a Holy God can give answer to
But he does work through the life and voice of certain people the person I will relate to you is real this
Story comes about on this wise was it partially contributed to the dare devil sky diver who broke all the
Records in Roswell on the same day or was it because of the night it’s easy to see strange things in the
Dark anyway a man was taking a walk in the quiet night his walk always took him by this pond he carried
A lantern I think he did it as a connection with the past but as he entered the old familiar path he saw
This strange site a Swan was on the water how many years can you live some place and not see a Swan
So he was befuddled and then as he watched it headed for shore and then the thing went totally Roswell
Because it turned into a woman or did it one thing she was different as he would soon find out his
Curiosity demanded he go over and speak to her he introduced himself but he had his back turned and
Must have been nervous not speaking as he usually would it was ether Jim or Tim she being more
Caution of the two didn’t give her name their accidental meeting was cordial enough that one of them
Gestured that they set down he set the lantern down that held them both in the light in a confused and
Brutal world where the enemy moves practically unchallenged I believe the woman to be a messenger
Sent to guide and turn the tide in the degree that people are stripped of the father’s immediate love He
Works in a way that is not the perfect expected way but still gives comfort they put it to song but long
Before that it was a story offered in dramatic cinema The Heart is a Lonely Hunter much truth is spelled
Out and also it is relentless the hurting contend without end for solace and also the mind is a crying one
Who seeks through the most unsearchable distillable thought to find the way that leads safely and true
This is some of the things she offered the disarming the most attractive and perfection of her creation
Vulnerability it’s told in wisdoms ultimate terms a soft word turns away wrath but in her she is most
Empowered when though her femininity she opens the gates that on the other side are nothing but ruin
When any one tries to use power and force but her demure acts ushers in victory it is burnished it
gleams it is blinding the total error of fools are shown their destructive path a sword can slay in this
Situation but you wound your own self without remedy was our friends mouth hanging open at her
Physical appearance the way she presented herself and the words she used defiantly so he set by a pond
But the pool of her soul flooded the most desperate recesses of his hurting existence she would empty
Herself and it might seem barbaric but she would slay her own self on the altar of sacrifice and duty for
Him and others the gift demands nothing less you must go forth bearing the marks of blood look for God
Sake beyond the obvious they are killed physically as this piece has spoken of but the pretty show
Outwardly is the enemy’s greatest conjuring trick what could possibly be wrong look at what all I have
She said this first you talk like this and you will die among friends they want a world of pleasure
Truth has too many sharp edges it doesn’t make you free without cutting away the lies you are the most
Sought after prize in an all out war fare for the souls of men and women it would be sad tale indeed if
Some of your words about yourself were made public you wear a garland on this plane it is like the
Greek contestants in the ancient Olympics that Garland is a promise of the gold you will wear and a robe
Of purest linen now hopefully you can follow the flow the super being wants to honor His children all
The finest Jewels will make up your home it all rides and falls on this one thing obedience and her words
That say this when I see the blood I will in all total reality welcome you into joy for ever more yes by a
Simple earthen pond she touched this individual with brilliance that contained all of time plus as she
Walked through his heightened awareness wisdom without compare created in his life pillars and a
Structure that was without equal no enemy would ever penetrate the sanctuary she described to him
In detail she took darkness that surrounded them turned it inside out reveled to him colors that were
Foreign to his natural mind she laced it with passion that was as the eruptions of volcanoes he fell back
In consternation but then basked in what she said it’s like living in a garbage heap you were born there
You know nothing else then your circumstance change you see the ocean the forest mountains the first
Time if only in the eyes of a seer then her voice is soft her eyes flash lighting her eyes retell primordial
Findings astonishments that foundationally explains the world and at your most breathless moment she
Says now let me tell the other world that supersedes this one a timeless world aloneness is unknown
Feel anxiety loss seem like your heart is barren peace joy and love can’t be explained on the level that it
Will exist in the near future she says only this about that there was a time in the mountains when this
Blessing of those three things were given she had to cry after the Holy one no more anymore and this
Mortal frame will give out well let us deal with what we can handle she rose and by now he didn’t know
What to expect she walked to the center and she did just this simple act she twirled around but in that
Movement womanhood was reveled to him he already knew but he wasn’t able to know and give
Expression call the wild things in all their diversity in to your hands feel vibrancy in its maxim degree
Pass beyond the pond go to all places that ***** and fall away with sweetest tender grace your getting
Only the outer understanding of what a woman is she was so minded to show him more yes Sherlock
Homes would fail in the attempt of telling what he felt how she made him feel give up every ounce of
Your being your dreams and hopes you have entered the staging area of dreams still melancholy where
Want was first ever made and handed to the untrained in its use next and most formable is to offer your
Heart most divine act but cruelest of beast dwell in these surroundings you are powerless is there is no
Savagery that can inflict this kind of pain your face tells of your dance in paradise boundless profane
And there is no explanation or end as someone said lost love opens up on the high way of infinity its
Worth her affection but if she must ever say never will I open my arms of love again know a most
Wonderful sea harbor that holds mist crashing waves highs and lows of pleasure fulfillment of the
Highest order nothing more tender flows between man and women yes *** is a mystery it fuses the
Whole person higher than natural mountains and truly deeper than any ocean nowhere else can
Tenderness Employ such grace such truth such caring and can end with the admixture of both partners
With the Unbelievable gift of a child that you can even love more than your selves if there is any greater
Art than that if there is any greater I don’t know of it this is the end of this encounter know this he was
Enriched and is most thankful he sometimes broods about southern climes it’s understandable Jim
If that’s your name you have been in the presence of a special one
ryn Apr 2017
           ­         and everything in between.

                    and secrets that don't come clean.

                    and smiles beaming keen.

                    Deep thoughts,
                    and the dark places we've been.

                    carel­ess hugs
                    and ready shoulders to lean.

                    Reckless stabs,
                    impulsive jabs
                    and caustic words we don't mean.

                    count­ing blessings
                    and hope we can glean.

        ­            and everything in between.
Nigel Morgan Apr 2013
after the painting by Mary Fedden

I kept seeing her around and about, but mostly on the beach. This is a small community and after five years or so I know who everyone is, except those who visit in the summer, though I am getting to know some of the regulars. I reckon she’s my age. When she looks at me in the store, and I look at her and smile, her smile tells me these things.

I have trouble with my hair. It’s thinned and doesn’t grow quite as it should. When I was pregnant and then nursing my children it was positively luxuriant. But later, and despite medical advice (and treatment I was unsure about and abandoned) it became an embarrassment, until he reassured me (just once) and I became an ‘adored woman’. He never ever spoke of it again and loved me so wholly and beautifully I had no reason for it to matter in his company, in his arms.

But seeing her, and often on the beach, more and more regularly, seeing her with her mane of strong dark brown hair flowing behind her in the wind, I felt a curious desire for such a wealth of hair. In fact, I began to feel something stir in me that was desire of a different kind. I can’t think I had ever looked at a woman in quite that way in any previous life. It was always men I sought, I wanted.

Her name is Sara, no h, just an A at the end. She said that when I eventually introduced myself. We were walking towards each other, barefoot both on that glistening skin of water the sea creates between the tides coming and going. It was about midday and I was, I was thinking and walking. I do this now. I don’t bring my sketchbook, I don’t look everywhere I can and more so, I have begun to retreat into my most private self. Perhaps it’s my age and so many years of feeling I had to be wholly attentive and active. Being in this remote place, almost permanently, has slowed me down, and I have begun to dream, to see beyond what I usually would have seen moment to moment. I’ve been re-reading the prose and poetry of Kathleen Raine, who understood this sea-swept place and was haunted by its ghosts, and who dreamed.

Never, never, again
This moment, never
These slow ripples
Across smooth water,
Never again these
Clouds white and grey
In sky crystalline
Blue as the tern’s cry
Shrill in the light air
Salt from the ocean,
Sweet from flowers

Oh yes,  
‘the sun that rose this morning from the sea will never return . . .’* I have become a watcher, no longer an observer. I put my camera away last winter and now hold moments in my memory. Here I can sketch. I can have all the time I need, and more. And I knew when I began to talk to Sara I wanted beyond anything else to sketch her, to know her line by line with the pen, and later bring the texture of her into paint.

Painting is where I am now. It’s direct, mesmeric, challenging, wholly absorbing. My needles and thread only deal with our clothes, my clever printing and collaging lies dormant in my studio, a studio I rarely enter now. I have a room upstairs in the loft that is all light and sky. There’s just an easel, a table, a chair, a small bookcase, a trolley-thing of paints and brushes. Even that’s too much. I always collected things around me. I brought so much in from outside and now I’m trying, trying to have as little as possible. This is where I will paint Sara. I’m already thinking this as we take the first tentative steps towards knowing one another. Names, where we live, (we both know). Partners, family, children? I have all this, but not here, only my companion, my love who caresses me with such care and attention. There are my cats and my hens. She has no one, or rather she talks of no one. She asks the questions and avoids giving answers. She just nods and doesn’t answer. Otherwise, she’s a straight yes / no person. She doesn’t feel she has to qualify anything.

We’re standing together. We’re intent on looking at each other. Words seem a little unnecessary because what we both want to do is look. ‘I can tell you paint’, she says, ‘It’s your finger nails’. My perfect nails and the pads of my fingers hold the evidence of a morning at my easel. ‘I have seen your work’, she says, ‘One could hardly not. You’re well known beyond these shores.’ I feel myself blushing slightly. I thought blushing had stopped with the menopause, not that it troubled me much, the menopause that is. Blushing though was a torturous part of my adolescence, but let’s not go into that.

‘Your husband,’ she says, ‘he’s up very early. I see him sometimes here, on the beach.’
‘Do you get up at five?’ I am surprised. My husband gets up before five.
‘Sleep is difficult sometimes. I walk a lot. I need to be out, and walk.’

Her face, her head is larger than mine. She is a larger woman altogether, bigger *****, long-legged, but with youthful ******* that seem taut and well-rounded under her brown frock, no, her brown dress. I only think frock because that’s what he says – ‘I love that frock.’ And he means usually whatever I am wearing now that’s old and rich in memories of his hands knowing me through a dress, sorry a frock, which remains for me (and possibly for him) the most sensuous of sensations, still. Au nature has its place, and I love the rub of his skin and body hair. But when we are lovers, and we are still lovers and usually when travelling, in hotel rooms or borrowed cottages, or visiting friends and dare I say it, staying with our various children. Last autumn in Venice, in this large, amazing marble-tiled room, with this huge bed, he undressed me in front of a window opening onto our own terrace, and I was beside myself with passion, desire, oh all those wonderful things. And for months afterwards I would return to that early evening, remembering the lights coming on all over the watered city as he kissed and stroked and brushed my body through my Gudrun Sjödén frock. I would replay, find again over and over, those exquisite moments of such joyful touching as he then undressed me, and with such care and tenderness I felt myself crying out. Well, he says I did. In one of his poems (for your eyes only, he had whispered) he admits to his own celebration of those moments again, again.

Sara’s dress is calf-length. There’s nothing else. As the breeze wraps itself around the loose-fitting brown cotton her naked figure is revealed inside itself. No ring, no jewellery, nothing to hold her hair now flowing behind her. She has positioned herself so it does; flow out behind her. This is so strange. Am I dreaming this? We have become silent and together look in silence at the sea. I can hear her short breathes. She turns to me with a smile and looks straight into my eyes – and says nothing – and then walks backward a few steps – still with her warm smile – turns and walks away.

I tell him I met Sara today and ask if he sees her on the beach in the early mornings. Yes, he has, in the distance, mostly. He has said good morning to her on a few occasions, but she has smiled and said nothing. Five o’clock is far too early to say anything, he says. She swims occasionally. I keep my distance, he says with a grin.

I tell him I would like to paint her. I should, he says, You should go and ask her, do it, get it done and out of your system. It’s time you stopped being afraid of the face, the portrait, the figurative. I’d give so much to have been able to paint you, he says ruefully, my darling, my dearest. And he strokes my arm, kisses my cheek, then, he slowly and carefully kneels down beside my chair, places his arm across the top of my thighs so when I bend to kiss him his bare forearm touches the edge of my *******. He puts his head in my lap, and I caress his ears, his quite white hair.

Sara’s door is open. She’s living in Ralph’s cottage, a summer-let habitable (just) in the nearly autumn time it is. I call, ‘Sara, it’s me’, thinking she’ll recognize my voice, not wishing to say my name. She appears at the door. ‘I have the kettle on, she says, ‘I had a feeling you might be by.’ Her accent is, like mine, un-regional, carefully articulated, a Welsh tinge perhaps. There’s an uplift and a slowness in some of the vowels. ‘You will come in’, she says, more a statement than a question. It’s rather dark inside. There’s a reading lamp on, but she has the chair, her chair, close by the window. There are letters being written. There are books. Not Ralph’s, but what she has brought with her. Normally, I would be hopelessly inquisitive, but I can’t stop myself looking at her, wondering even now, in these first few moments in this dark room, how I will position her to paint her form, her face, her nature. What will I paint? I look at her still-bare feet, her large hands.

And so, with mugs of tea, Indian tea I don’t drink, but here, as her guest I do, but without milk, we sit, I on the only other chair (from the kitchen) she on the floor. And she watches me look about, and look at her.

‘I’m rather done with talking, with polite conversation. That’s why I’m here to be done with all that for a while.’
‘I came to ask you to sit for me. To let me draw you, paint you even. You can be completely quiet. I won’t say a word. I’ve never, ever asked anyone to sit for me. I’m not that sort of painter. But when I saw you on the beach it was the first thing that came into my head.’
‘I should be flattered. Though I have sat for artists before, when I was a little younger,’ surprisingly she mentions two names I know, both women. ‘I know how to be still. But, those are days in a different life.’
‘I only want to paint you in the life you have now.’ And I realise then that what I want to paint was Sara’s ‘aloneness’. I think then I have never been truly alone since he came into my life and took any loneliness I had from me. Whenever we are apart, and still there are times, he writes to me the tenderest letters, the most touching poems, he quotes his Chinese favourites down the telephone. We always, always speak to each other before bed, even when we are on different continents and time-zones. He told me I was always his last thought before sleep. And I wonder if I would be his last thought . . .

‘Do you want to do this formally?, said Sara.
‘I don’t know. Yet. I’d like to draw you first, be with you for a little while, perhaps to walk. A little while at a time. Whatever might suit you.’
‘Would you pay me? I have little money. It would be useful.’
‘Of course’, I say this directly, having no idea about what one pays a model. He will know though. He knew Paula Rego and didn’t she have a female model? I think of those large full-length figures rendered in pastels. Her model’s name was Lila, who for more than 25 years, had sat for her, stood for her, crouched for her, hour after hour and day after day. I remember a newspaper piece that went something like this: since 1985 Lila has helped to give life, in paint, and pastel, and charcoal, to the characters in Paula Rego's head. Lila was all Paula Rego’s women.

‘Sara’, I said, ‘help me please. It’s taken more than a little courage to come to see you, to ask you. My husband says I should do this, finally get myself painting the person, the face, body, not as some exercise in a life class, but the real thing.’
‘Of course’, she says, ‘Let’s go and walk to the point.’

And we did. Not saying very much at all, but I suppose I did. She made me talk and gradually I laid my life out in front of her, and not the life she would have found in those glossy monographs and catalogue introductions, and God forbid, not in those media features and interviews that I suppose have made me a name I’d always dreamed of becoming, and now could do without.

‘I suppose you have a studio’, she said suddenly, ‘Is that where you’d want me to come?’
‘Yes, I have a studio. No, I don’t think I want you to come there. Not at first anyway.’ I was floundering. ‘ I’d like to draw you, paint you possibly on the beach, where we met, so there would be sea and sky and breeze blowing your hair.’
‘And a steamer out on the horizon belching smoke from its funnel and the sea blowing white horses and dancing about. I’d be right by the seastrand with waves and spray and foam, and under a greyish sky. Not a sunny day. A breezy day. In my brown dress, sitting on the sand by the tide marks, looking out to sea, looking at the steamer away in the distance, sitting with my left hand behind me holding myself up, and the shape of my legs akimbo bent slightly under my brown dress. How would that be?’
‘Perfect’, I said.

And it was.
Short Sands Feb 2015
That word
Can mean anything anywhere to anyone
It is possible to feel alone among people if that is how you feel inside
When you can't connect with them
But I'm talking physically alone
A state of being that is not really natural for us social animals but so prevalent today
Alone means not with anyone else
Just me myself and I am alone a lot
And I won't lie sometimes alone means
And it hurts and it aches
So til it changes which it may not really ever do, because I am fussy about that
I make friends with myself
I switch it around in my head to
It gives me time to do all my DIY projects
My inner work. Work work work
And being my own friend, I fit some fun in too
So then when I'm not alone
When I get to be with anyone else
Even if it's just the mailman saying
As he drives off leaving my mail
I can appreciate his company
For what it is
And I can see and recognize things
In others
That I already work on in myself
And I can offer comfort and company
And feel less alone
In my heart
If not my body
Alone is a choice and so is solitude
It doesn't have to feel lonely
But either way that's not where we grow
It takes other people
To have have fun to live to love to laugh to hurt to cry to anything
It's where we heal
If we can
So we can be unalone together
I have had enough of death and suicide talk. That is the easy way out and if it's your choice I am sorry for you and your loved ones if you have to give up and I concern myself with the ones who want to live and to celebrate and grow especially the ones who have come through to the other side of pain again and again. It is daily work and there is no magic pill or anything but simply care for your self  and others and it is so worth every minute spent in the doing. Because we all have wings just like that dead guy sang...isn't it ironic?
SG Holter Aug 2014
I have loved to be alone  
My whole life.

Closed doors, phone on silent.
I have never known

Omar Kawash Jun 2015
I miss my cargo green canvas backpack

Shredded with the mass of three
science textbooks: biology,
classical history, chemistry.

Not like backpack was meant for
several colossal three hundred page
hardcover books.

When it was empty,
it was light,
barely anything, tugging
on my shoulders;
but I insisted the friend come with me.

But I used backpack
for study,
The linen wore
with every use.

It was my safety blanket,
under loose cloth
that contained
orange glucose
tablets that I hoped
to never need

Inside the main large pocket,
there was a secret
zipper, within held
a pack of cigarettes,
an excuse,
to pardon myself into a realm of aloneness-
with little questions asked

There were strings that adjusted
its position on my back that
I would pull down,
using tension to fling myself
terminal to terminal

More than fifteen times, I lost
count, of my partner traversing
across oceans, gently cradling my laptop and phone-
my trusted links
with the outside world

Nervousness alleviated by the tassels
in my mouth, I bite and chew
on the cloth, but it holds steadfast
as I ponder how to approach
what's next,
the bittersweet coffee they fell into
rehydrates with my salivating mouth,
hungry for adventure
but a stomach empty
knots itself
for what's to come

My backpack weighs
on my shoulders, empty or full,
but it's trained my body
to carry the load thoughts in my
head bring upon me

But it yielded to what was to come,
the seams at the bottom gave out.
Backpack let me know: I needed to
learn to carry on
without reliance.
An old poem I wrote dedicated to something that used to be inseperable from me. In other news, I have a new backpack that resembles this old one, but is a bit hardier because for those who know me, they would ask if this current one ripped and no, not yet. (; This is an ode to the first one I had that I was known for and had for an innumerable amount of years.
McClain Sep 2013
Who decides life is not worth it?
When you reach this point, questioning living, breathing, you play god.
You feel your mind make,
and create
new processes never felt before; a process of passion,
confusion, contradiction and confession.
You strive just by the thought of not surviving.
of a

Painfully and buried deep down the impulses slip out.
Screams for hopes, answers, connections, positive aspirations.
Constantly wondering is this it?
Is this the end?
That your life can never peek again,
so the result of your collapse is an
eternal slumber with the devil by your side.
Whispering in your ear telling you about the ache
and sorrow your sinking heart and conscience feel.
An eternal hell. An eternal anguish, torment, suffering.
Do you stay in the hell on earth or hell in the after life?
You examine all the details
over and over
only thinking of your lonely pitiful life.
Meaningless and outrageous.
Screams moving around trying to get out but only
bouncing back inside of you to find
the little nothingness in which they are in seek of.  
Literally, are taking you in and cutting you into
the smallest treads as possible over and over.
Never letting up to give the one underneath a second break.
Pounding as hard as possible.
Thudding and pulling, twisting and hurting.
Neither end nor good.
You can feel the over whelming sense of your corruption
taking you headfirst and choking your every last breath off.
Cutting it away like a river being eroded by things we cannot control.
Your life you cannot control.
People you cannot control.
You see the only outlet in your mind
but it burdens you with insanity behind it.
Taking life; your own life.
The reasons are bliss.
Sweet tender resolutions freeze
over your tempered thoughts,
fragile thoughts of a
Unaware of the footprint left behind.
Your stomach churns,
and confusion
sets in once again.
You feel ***** rising in your
throat about to implode
but it’s just an illusion created
in your mind;
Questions are still increasing
their intensity and passion.
With every moment of aloneness and isolation,
the time ticks away from you until you feel as though
you will fly into a rage.
You take a deep breath;
intense thoughts.
Questioning right verses wrong;
life verses death;
now or never.
Take a step back
and pull the trigger;
welcome to the end.
Dawn Lambert Mar 2016
Drip, dropp Drip
The facet go
creak, creak, creak
the floor boards go
swish, swish, swish
the trees out front go
the sound when your alone

tweet, tweet tweet
the birds go
swoosh swoosh swoosh
the waves go
swoosh whoosh swoosh
the cars go
the beautiful sounds of alone
Eric W Jan 2014
I am unsure of the nature of my insanity.
I don't know whether I shall overcome this,
or watch my life come crashing down around me.
I don't know where this path will lead.
It winds and it turns and it goes over mountains
and through valleys and even further
into caves and I am lost.
I am so utterly lost and beyond rescue.

I hear voices.
The say they want to save me.
They say they care.
I believe them sometimes, but come nightfall
all is lost.
I have never been so shaken, so scared.
I cannot describe this aloneness, this
simple singularity.
I know there are those that would take my madness.
They stand by me, but
I am blind.
I could hear them, but
I am deaf.
I can touch them, but
I am not convinced of reality.

I cannot accept that my life may end in ruin, but
will I really have a choice?
Will my mind just take over my mind and
destroy all I hold dear?
I don't know.

I just don't know.

So, you reading this, remember me please.
As I am now while I haven't been consumed by darkness.
Take these words and savor them.
This is me.
I am not yet insane.

One day I might be.
D Conors Jun 2010
It is Autumn, once again,
favorite season,
and again,
the leaves turn by way of the wind,
in colours of palettes,
around my aloneness again

I look long down the avenue,
the street,
the sidewalk, the trees,
I wish
I could watch myself wandering,
with someone
I love
     in the breeze,
this again is uncertain
as my cigarette lifts
in this crisp
Autumn air...

     my aloneness has gathered here.
D. Conors
c. 1996
Mohd Arshad Oct 2018
Peep into your heart
Now it's a dark tunnel
Where none can tread
Or sit for a moment
To calmly engage
In conversation with you
The moss of aloneness
Has thickened on its walls
And it's stinking
You're not lonely
Thousands of things
And thousands of people
Wait to welcome you
And offer their company
To live along with you
For you're special
In your own way
Come out of it
If you feel unable
Think of the flock
In the green fields
And the jolly birds
Flying in proximity
Nothing is alone
In this world
Except for
Your negative thoughts
Which chain your joys.
Jelisa Jeffery May 2010
I went down a hill on my bike,
It was fun.

The air in my hair,
Although my hair is quite short,
I could feel it.

I opened my eyes so the wind
Would meet them
And then slide to the corners
And off of my cheek.

There was a feeling of aloneness,
but a good one.
My partner was up ahead of me,
But ahead enough I could ignore they were there
For just a moment
And I could have sworn
I was flying
Jelisa Jeffery © 2010
vircapio gale Apr 2013
before it falls i dilate
with electric scent, spine-hairs
string her possibilities as kites
to tug my summon ground--
lilt, wave and spiral
distant mischief to a head.
i rumble on the vista, far, and,
on occasion of a social clearing hum,
chance aloneness on a hill
to watch the herald lake and trees, nets
secure themselves as emblems to my storied lust.
apsara, i
breathe you in in strokes
submit unconscious rhythm of imaginal delights
made real to last beyond experience of time
descended of the clouds
sea rich, heavy, sultry
you unroll an atmospheric fate:
my lust to span the sky, irrupt an earthen,
orgiastic zenith of all things--burst fantastic quell
in pale continuum your pedestal allays

floating hair as long as frantic overcast
horizon length
and indistinct of rain..
green, blue continents of eyes, mists
suspend ecstatic sway
in areolae breeze,
my hands the brimming cups
to gather, spill
bright ****** drops
into the signal essence rising,
center rhythm of a liquid bounce
that shines in belly-button crescent moon--
each gust a lapping of the sky-clad ache of moonlit summer leaves,
another sudden adolescence lost and gained--
falls on me, dripping
legs to wrap and draw in
every ***** blade of grass--
saturate the lingam i am living in--
enveloped in vaginal dance of pressure
pulling on the earth i am
an arching back
and skyward ******

begun before a time historians belie
wind genie, yoni,
full of all i ever willed..
how rare appearance has to be,
knowing you unique
to whimsically revise
your lightning shape akin
exotic form to fit my changing own
and yet you don't exist, my eyebrow says
between horizon-cracks
and patter of the gale--
bolts to spread dark syrup
through my veins..
i am intent on having you
to let you have me as your first and last
--being young
i am intent on twining my virginity to you,
to pierce my own hymenal dome--
slick with yearning, thundering
in moan across the hills and puddled tennis courts
undulating to my concord whim
your rivuletted ***** of the gods, goddesses --gulped between inhaling--
eyes that roll pineal
genesis denuded of a crime, apparel
gone insane delight
of endless tempest ***--
the purge cascades a vacuum in each vessel..
limp on writhing grass
euphoric in a space of never having been

what soul i have
her visitation marked--
with gridless memories unfaded by the games a decade
striates on the mind. i made
her more than what my way would make of her
and less for what my symbols lose;
i call her muse,
and forfeit right to call her anything again.
i am the burning key and lock
our chastity attained and lost
in vaporous blurring of all stars
rewinking in the gossamer above

apsara: a female spirit of the clouds and waters
Satsih Verma Mar 2017
One by one
leaves had gone,
several and many times.
Lone tree, standing naked in dry wind
was ready to walk.

In inward aloneness
to know the roots.
You look straight into the eyes of primeval
suffering. Under a cramped disguise of happiness,
behind the glassed life.

For the clawed, weeping silences
who had turned away from the shrill voices.
Night of burns,
and promised beach of immortality
shoulder to shoulder.
Hal Loyd Denton Nov 2011
This was the story that was told to me as I set in my cabin on the ocean just listening to the sea breeze take
Its pleasure making noise out of anything that was loose it was like a game the wind loved to play some
Time it could take the day or a whole night since fall was fast approaching I had made sure plenty of fire
Wood was available but I thought old wind why should you have all the fun why not give you a playful
Friend so some wood was selected with more green and had a potential to be aromatic so I sat there in
My grand chair by the bay window the wife tired had already gone to bed though it was quiet early the
Fire place was quiet lively the dance it played in the shadowed corners beyond my reading lamp and the
The popping snapping as the fire released the secrets it had gathered as it stood testy Gail force winds
And those pacific monsoon rains they had given the trees quiet volumes’ that it had recorded now it happily shared I couldn’t resist with it lying so close on the stand by the chair Granddads last visit had left his pipe and
Cherry tobacco behind the times we had watching the pipe smoke swirl up then it just does a slow hang in
The room and silently drifts as his sonorous voice would fill the air with stories to please any appetite I
Thought we should go to town and see him he was ninety five now a friend had launched a small
Campaign to get as many as possible to send him birthday cards she had done so for her mother and
Decided to extend it to another oldie but goody as she was fond of saying so I took up that old familiar
Tobacco pouch loaded the pipe well packed it like I watched him do so many times struck the match held
It over the tobacco did a couple of draws and she was well on the way fired and smoldering as that
Sweet cherry blend filled the room now here is where the tricky part comes in did the knock come to the
Door or did all of these gentle rhythms combined become too much and I slipped upon the sleep train
And continued even to grander locals well we don’t have time to resolve conundrums right now if real
Or dreamed a lady from down the beach was at the door she was new to the area after pleasantries she
got down to the reason for her visit while putting her house in order cleaning storing she came on this
Calendar it was very old she even hoped possibly an earlier owner had been a sailor and it possibly held
Some grand tales well it seems it had a few of its own the name was the first indication the title was
Memories always make me strong well she had been at a good while so a break was in order well what
Do you do with a calendar? She decided to look up those who had passed on to see and remember their
Special Day she decided to start with Terrance the husband she lost to cancer it might have taken the
Physical man but his spirit indomitable now he was just the true greatness that once was robed and held
Contained in physical restraints now unleashed at times she could know his presence but as she sat and
Placed the calendar in her lap and the date of his birth the most delightful vivid images let go a barrage
Of memories they truly came alive in the room was that him standing there who turned on the Cat he
Always reminded her of her dad Clarence and grandfather Jack his power his tenderness flooded her
Heart he pulled her from the chair this slow dancing wasn’t how they used to do it if they danced at all
But now to be held so close would she swoon no matter he would hold her as before everything in the
Room caught their reflection it was like ball room oh the romance poured in like flood laughter mixed
With tears the aloneness was thrown against the wall the years apart dissolved giddy was an under
Statement this continued for a timeless period and then he leaned forward and said love I must go but
Keep track on the calendar because on our anniversary I will be back we will dance and laugh the night
Away she returned to her chair and before sadness could replace the happiness she started to see
Names of friends and their loved ones special days as she passed her finger over the dates gold letters
Would form telling who’s birthday or anniversary she was filled with joy she knew they could experience
What she had to share she felt overwhelmed she knew I did a little writing from what her neighbor had
Told her possibly I could tell her how to proceed that is still being worked out but you could look at your
calendar for now there is more to this realm than you know be adventurous who knows who your dance
partner could be if your ever out on the west coast tell me your stories maybe I will put it in a book or excerpt it on facebook by for now God bless you richly.
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Joel M Frye Dec 2016
The silence of solitude
sings to me at night;
words whispered
for my ears only
while the house sleeps.
I draw from the well
of my self, and savor
each drop thirstily.
The starving beast within
gnaws at every fresh
crust of aloneness,
melted butter soothing
scalded hands,
until my rumbling gut
is sated, and is at peace
with itself and the world.
Julie Antonic Apr 2018
I gave up sweeping that year
Like a penance
As sand permeated
Everything in my condo
Clung to my scalp and feet
Blew in with the fog and landed
In my tub, between my sheets, the sink, the carpet
Gritted between my teeth in the early hours
When i would reach for her still
Before the memory would detonate around me that she didn't come.
I would follow you anywhere.
Morphed into
I can't.
I hate those dagger give-up words.
Unlike the sand
I reviled in coaxing the beach closer still
And sand blurred the boundaries of my life
Inside.  Outside.
Past.  Present.
Old.  New.
I could pull the blanket of crashing waves around me in hypnotizing hues
Breathe in the turquoise or gray or navy blue
Of the mecurial moods of the sea.
Each morning ritual of coffee and perching 8 foot tall on the sea wall studying the swells and tides
I could palpate the energy of my spirit rising around the waves
Curling and mixing as
Aqua-purple-red dragonflies hovered at my veranda hibiscus that murmers truths
I do no want to hear.
And in all that aloneness settled a great quiet still emptiness.
Because I couldn't cry I'd go diving in the persistent waves of salt and kelp.
The cold violated my eardrums and for a moment I'd go spinning-disoriented and weightless-suspended
Surrender without air as the Pacific held me buyouant
Only surfacing to breathe like a Baptism.  I was ok being alone.
And sometimes I wasn't.
As the sand exfoliated my old self I'd grasp hold of the new wonders of phosphorescent tide under a harvest moon
And the fading memory of her would rise like a helium balloon I held down for 2 hrs and 4 weeks at Surfers Point in Ventura
Then let her go into the abyss of acceptance
Like granting permission to the invading sand
Gathering like whispers
In disappearing corners of her absence
And leaned into the redefinition of myself:
Barefoot.  Sandy.  Expectant.
The memory of sand.
harlon rivers Feb 2018
The trap was set by the light of the winter blue moon ;
just a simple blank sheet of paper and a pen
The Antique Cherry carved poster bed stood alone ,
adorning four Bordeaux colored silk pillowcases ,
fluffed feather pillows impatiently laying in wait
The stone cold down comforter that blanketed the loneliness
was neatly turned down from where it lay tucked and rolled ...

I close my eyes with a surrendering sigh ;
the cold touch of solitude brings a breathtaking shiver
Curling up in a fetal ball for a sense of closeness ,
like a tiny abandoned child, waiting for the sandman
to steal away the remains of another lonely day ...

In the imperative silence of the moonlit stillness ,
you could hear the blood running through my veins
The pounding heartbeat is reluctantly softened
quietly drifting off into a dream ...

The first arousing whisper broke the silence ,
as musings tiptoed through the silent reverie
Songs danced throughout the secret places ,
safely kept out of the wilderness' nocturnal voyeurs eyes
Words murmured expose an unsated caged yearning ;
an insatiable thirst that aloneness can not quench ...

Emotions ebb and flow within the twilight depths
of our thickly breathed word play
Intertwined in the infinite beauty
of enchanting moonstruck conjured delights ...

We glide speechlessly in the starlit moon dust,
levitating blissfully like giddy adult playmates
with  an  uninhibited  wanton  glee
Mesmerized by a rousing romantic essence
stirring up an urgent swooning breeze
If only this recurring dreamfulness
could reach out beyond reach a bewitching dream
to tenderly touch another impassioned heart of soul ...  


The sweat soaked sheets are now tangled ,
twisted traces of ecstasy tossed and turned
Awakened flesh trembling with the uncovered morning chill
A body drained and exhausted
as if there were never a moments sleep ...

The trap was set by the light of the winter blue moon ;
perfectly placed to catch the spilled secrets
of a moonstruck midnight spell
Awakening to find a paling illusion’s memory
laid bare in words, stranded on the cotton sheets of dawn ~

In the heat of the night these three simple words 
were clearly scribbled, trapped on the once blank sheet of paper ―
                       to remind me in ink blue ...

                               It  is You !!!


               " I breathe you in my dreams "

             harlon rivers ….❤  happy belated St. Valentines day ☽
Thanks for reading !!!

"Breathe You in My Dreams" ― Trixie Whitley
Bruised Orange Aug 2013
Do you ever think that life could be more?  
That we are sitting,
doing nothing,
that life is passing us by?

I feel remorse
for having had children so young,
for not having adventured


I want some adventure!
But all I see ahead of me is


I wish I had had a chance to go out into the


and just lived,
moment by moment.
I'm afraid I will die,
regretting that I never once lived.  

(If I were a wealthy man, this might be the beginning of my mid life crisis.)  

What is it called when a woman feels the panic of settledness coming upon her?

There is no name.
There is only the feeling of the sameness of days going by,
the aloneness of standing here,
surrounded by routine,
by repetition.

While the desire to jump,
to plunge, into the unknown,
beats steady on in my chest,

and the knowing that

That moment,

That chance,

Has passed me by.
SG Holter Jun 2015
Norwegian summer night.
She opens her guest room window and
Balcony door to

Give the scent of warm pine and
Sunstroked willow a free tour of her
Apartment on a welcome breeze.

I mute the TV, as she enters her bedroom  
Leaving me shirtless in shorts on her
Sofa, headphones nearly plugged into

My laptop when she requests a tuck-in,
Knowing that granting me the remains of
Her Saturday night sixpack means

She's going to bed alone.
I kiss her forehead goodnight. She steals
A bonus hug, wanting it to

Last until morning though it's
Futile. I bury my face in warm, soft
Neck. She

Releases hesitantly. Smiles.
She has bed. I have Johnny Cash and Chet
Baker, Alan Watts and Allen Ginsberg,

Beer, time, and a window of solitude.
"Silent" and "listen" are spelled with
The same letters.

My impairment is that I am a man.
I love her. And the aloneness that
A man can only obtain when

Even the loneliness has left him.
I can't feel my feet, unless she does what
She has learned to do;

Give me space. Space with the texture,
Colour and pattern of the
Blanket one tucks

The legs of someone
In a wheelchair, gesturing by it:

*I love your
Every single
Kamaruzzaman Apr 2010
If you ever die
If you ever die from me
Looking at my longing eyes
In guise of a mystic veil
Dead drop at the twilight hours
White longish fangs
Of the piercing moments
Will unfurl its wings of fire
Setting sail in an invisible gondola
At long last to carry you home
To the isle of your birth

Even if you ever die at all from me
I will stand upon the deck of noontide
All alone in my aloneness, all alone
Staring vaguely at the rushing gondola
Surfing invisibly away from me
Tearing apart the veil of grazing mist
At the twilight hours casting spell on me
To diminish myself into you
And with you I too diminish away
From you, all away from you
In a shroud of love and longing
As if you never died away from me
In my longing eyes for you, only for you

And like The Prophet beloved
Prophesying on the blue mountain
From his never ending well
Of wisdom depthless and deathless
I will remember you as silently
As the sound of scorching darkness
And I will remember your heart
As saying for ever to me, only to me:

“A little while,
A moment of rest upon the wind,
And another woman will bear me."

(The italic quotation is from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet)
Catriona E Jun 2015
there is a room
of objects
by your fragile presence.

The crunch of glass
closes me tightly
throat, eyes, toes gripping.
A halo of fluorescent pink
around his dripping skull.

I avert myself
my eyes
swallowed by the night
and cease to exist.
Fear precipitates on
city fumes,
turning into tiny droplets
that run red rivers.

there is a room
of objects.
It comforts me.
Terry Collett Nov 2013
The bell from the cloister rang. Echoed around and settled upon nun in bed cosy in blanket against morning’s cold and frost. Stirred. Head raised. Eyes peered into the dawn’s light, sighed, shivered, moved arms against body’s length. Closed eyes. Wished for more sleep. None to have. Bell rang. Time, ladies, please. Time and tide. Stirred again. Lifted head. Sighed. Gazed at bedside table. Clock tick tock, tick tock. Moved to edge of the bed. Feet dangled. Toes wiggled. Hands joined for prayer. Breath stilled. Silence of the room. Bell stopped. Sighed. Breathed air, cold air. Wake up, rise, and shine. Funny words. Tired still. Wished to sleep, but no time. Dangled feet rose and fell. Toes wriggled. Rose from bed and knelt on wooden floor. Hard floor. Cold floor. Polished to a shine floor. Knees slid on smooth surface. Back stiff from straw-stuffed bedding. Sighed. Sister Teresa joined hands. Let fingers touch. Let flesh touch flesh. Sin on sin once maybe. Long ago. Sighed. Opened eyes. Gazed at crucifix on wall above bed. Old Christ, battered by time and grime. Eyes closed image held in mind’s eye. Prayer began. Words searched for amongst the wordless zones. Reaching through darkness for an inch of light. Light upon light. Darkness upon darkness. Who felt this she does not know. None speak except Sister John. Word upon word built. Holy upon holy. Sit here, she’d say. Rest a while. Rest in cloister. Rest on bench by cloister wall. You and she. Her hands old and wrinkled by time and age. Her eyes glassy. Her voice thin and worn, yet warm. Want to be close to warm. Especially in dark cold mornings like this, Teresa mused, lifting head and opening eyes to dawn’s light and cold’s chill in bone and skin. She stood and dressed. Disrobed from nightgown and into habit. Black as death with white wimple of innocence. Laughed softly. Such times. Such times. Harsh serge against soft flesh. Stiff whiteness on skin’s paleness. Sighed. Coughed. Made sign of cross from head to breast to breast. Never to touch, mama said, never let be touched. Words, long ago. Mama is dead. Rest in peace. No mirror. No image of seventeen-year old face or features now. Vanity of vanities. Sighed. Papa said, some men would deceive. Deceived by what? She often asked but none would tell. Ding **** bell. Silence now. Go now. Moved to door and down the cloister to the church and the dawn’s welcome cold and still. Teresa closed door and walked at pace soft and motionless seeming. None shall speak. Sing and chant and raise eyes and maybe a smile briefly, but none shall speak. Nor touch. For none may touch. Not as much as a sleeve felt or breath sensed. Each one an island. Water upon water none shall cross. Teresa sighed. Walked down the steps one by one, not to rush but not to lag sloth-like, lazily or drag wearily. Mother Abbess would know.Knows all. Sensed all. Next to God most feared. Most loved maybe if truth were known. Teresa sighed. Chill of cloister ate at bones and flesh. Nimble walking might ease, but walk as nuns do and cold bites like violent fish. Breathed in the air. The moon still out. Stuck out on a corner bright and white. The sun’s colour fed the dawn’s light. Brightness promised. Warmer weather. Warmer than Sister John. Who knows, Teresa mused, touching the cloister wall for sense of touch. Absence of touch can mean so much, Jude said, years before. Jude’s image faded now. No longer haunting as before. Teresa brushed her finger on the cloister wall. Rough and smooth. Rough and smooth. Men may deceive, papa said. Let none touch, mama advised. Long ago or seeming so. Seventeen-years old and innocent as innocence allowed. Jude laughed, feeling such. Wanting to touch. Over much. Entered church. Cool air. Sense of aloneness. Choir stalls. Smell of incense and polish mixed. Sense upon sense. Smell upon smell. Walked slowly. Genuflected to Christ. High on high. All seeing. Like Mother abbess. But less human. Less human all too human. The Crucified for all to see. Half naked there. Stretched wide arms. Head dangling lifeless or so seeming. Genuflection over moved to place in choir stall, stood, and stared at vacant wall. Brick upon brick. Sounds held. Chants upon chants sang once, held here. Chill in bone and flesh. Breviary held. Pages turned. Find the place and mark it well. Bell pulled sounds now. Nuns enter and gather round. Sister upon sister, elbow near elbow, but none may touch. None touch. None touch.Sister Rose eyes dim searched yours for morning joy. Smiled. Coughed. Awaited tap from Abbess. Smiled. Nodded. Hands held beneath black serge. Wanting to hold something, someone, but none may do so. None may touch. Tap, tap, wood on wood. Chant came as if from the cold air settled on ears. Felt in breast. Sensed and blessed, but none may touch. The sense to sing. The voice raised. The ear tuned. The mouth and lips employed, but none may touch. At least, said Sister Rose, not over much. Not over much. Still air. Cold air. Warmth wanted. Sister John or Sister Rose. None shall touch.

— The End —