Images of Loneliness
First Image

In my mind’s eye, upon a child I do gaze.
How fearful the world to one of mild ways.
And what does await him but imminent death. Imminent death!
Plot of the prominent who speak lies with each breath.
Many a mother, if giving birth is right, in her time:
To which the only reply is not very sublime.
Though the mother does feel alone in her prime;
May ponder the question: “Must the child be or not be?”
Of course it is, “Yes! You carry a son don’t you see!”
Alone, in her choice, the question must be: Is he lonely?

Second Image

A new form is thrust so sharp in my mind;
Of secular boys, with him, at odds do they find.
Not being like them, his faith he does learn;
While all books of his faith, they would readily burn.
Though different, still, with them he does play;
Knowing, in all things, that first he must pray,
For faith to take hold in their lives some fine day.
They are different, and think, “In truth we are free.”
Though being apart, for alone must he be.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?

Third Image

A new image appears of a young man alone.
Life’s lessons to him, how well they are known.
He studies the Psalms, prayers formal are they:
His whole life a prayer for he follows the way.
He ponders all and understands in his heart;
While others grasp truth but only in part,
They cast a doubt at the mind, at the spirit a dart.
His studies unfold his faith as a living history.
Its secrets revealed, for you and for me.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?

Fourth Image

Upon me anew, again do I see, and see very clear;
As a desert nomad, who wanders without any fear.
Deep in his thoughts, from civilized life he does stray,
To remove from his life any cloud which is grey.
He has come here alone to test his resolve.
His mind to try for all problems to solve;
Building his courage so it may evolve.
To unite not just mind, but soul and body.
Together a whole, a whole made of three.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?

Fifth Image

As in a mirage, I see another vision appear:
On the beach does he walk and a voice does he hear.
Different people he meets, and strangers they are;
Though rugged and rough, he accepts them at par.
He discourses with them, treating them fair,
For them, does he fashion bonds which don’t tear;
Him, do they follow, though knowing not where.
Not understood and ever alone though is he;
Their minds and emotions tossed on the sea.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?

Sixth Image

A great cloud is ahead, not a vision as such;
Like a great city, which is crowded too much.
The hustle and bustle of everyone racing;
Each mother’s footsteps, her children are tracing.
Alone, among many, greeting each to their face,
Mattering not if they live in this place;
Taking his time at a much slower pace.
The men in the market, spending their money;
Costly rugs do they buy as ‘Rare, One and Only’.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?
Seventh Image

Vision seven is faded, and I must concentrate:
My, look at the time! It is getting quite late.
Ah! There it is. Now I can see it aright;
He is once more alone and far into the night.
Here in a garden whose vegetation is lush;
Trees bearing fruits and flowers and such;
Surrounded by hedges and many a brush.
The quiet is shattered by an arriving party;
Here in this place, betrayed by an enemy.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?

Eighth Image

This man alone is at the service of others.
Women and men he calls sisters and brothers.
Some stand opposed to all that he does.
Each life is made new; it is not as it was.
They have decided, the die has been cast,
Their purpose is quick and their paces are fast:
Friends having scattered, they grasp him at last.
Of him, the stories they tell are pitifully phony:
He is beaten so badly, his body is bony.
Alone, yet the question remains: Is he lonely?

Ninth Image

A final form takes its shape, making me shudder.
This man is alone except for his mother.
He seems to be starved, though he has eaten;
At the mercy of others, tormented and beaten.
His accusers, to fault him, could do nothing but lie:
In his pain, nothing said other than asking them: “Why?”
Why must they perjure themselves, and why must he die?
The one who betrayed him had been given a fee;
And though he was guiltless, was hung from a tree.
Abandoned by all, for but a moment, he was deeply lonely.
:: Byron J. Samson
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

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